By Michael Weaver, Jr. [E-Mail | Facebook | Instagram | Website | X]

"Wrestlers" is now streaming on Netflix.  (Photo Credit: Netflix)
Wrestlers is now streaming on Netflix. (Photo Credit: Netflix)

Throughout the history of professional wrestling, there have been many documentaries produced on the business and on the talent themselves. However; Netflix’s latest documentary, Wrestlers, does something that very few have been able to do.

Wrestlers is a documentary about an independent wrestling company called Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), which is based in Louisville, Kentucky. OVW was founded in 1993 by “Nightmare” Danny Davis (Not to be confused with former WWF referee-turned-wrestler-turned-referee “Dangerous” Danny Davis.) and it was originally part of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) under the name of NWA Ohio Valley Championship Wrestling. In 1997, the company departed from the NWA and was renamed Ohio Valley Wrestling and became a developmental organization for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1999.

Through the years, OVW has produced some of the biggest names in professional wrestling history such as “The Animal” Batista, “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar, “The Viper” Randy Orton and John Cena. All four of those men debuted for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2002 and would capture the WWE Championship.

Now it’s 2022 and OVW has gone through several changes. In 2018, WWE Legend and “The Prince of Hardcore” Al Snow purchased OVW then in 2021 an investing group that was led by Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones and Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg purchased a majority interest in the company.

Wrestlers documents the internal struggles of operating a wrestling company, such as when new co-owners Matt Jones and Mayor Greenberg tells Al Snow that if the company doesn’t make a profit soon major changes might take place.

The viewer also sees the drama in the talent’s lives that they wouldn’t normally see. For an example, The Amazing Maria James, who is head of the female talent, is also a a wrestler who likes to compete in death matches and is the mother of another OVW female talent named “HollyHood” Haley J. It was revealed that after Maria had Haley and her older brother, she began to sell drugs to make a living but eventually found herself behind bars. Being separated from her mother created scars and issues for Haley. This was evident by Haley’s other relationship issues that were revealed in later episodes.

While watching Wrestlers, the viewer gains an appreciation for all of the effort and stress that goes on behind the scenes, as far as what Al Snow deals with. From constantly hearing from his co-owners that OVW MUST make a profit soon to hearing all of the talents’ ideas regarding the talents’ personas and storylines to dealing with controversial situations the talent find themselves in such as when OVW star Jake Lawless was arrested after a cop drove by him sitting in his car snorting a Lortab.

At the beginning of the series, Jones tells Snow that this is the biggest summer OVW can have as they embark on a summer tour which leads to an OVW pay-per-view called The Big One. Jones makes it clear to Snow and the OVW roster that the company’s future depends on this tour and The Big One.

One of Wrestlers most memorable cast members is OVW Superstar Mahabali Shera. Shera is an example of what the American dream is. Shera shows us his prized car and tells the story of how an Uber rider damaged the center console and he has no idea who it is. The viewer can feel how much he loves his vehicle by the way he wants to show it off. Shera appreciates the small things that most Americans take for granted. Shera is the OVW National Heavyweight Champion at one point and we learn that Snow is building him into a superstar. However; during a match, Shera is injured and the viewer sees how he deals with the setback.

Does OVW and Al Snow make their summer tour and The Big One a success? Obviously you could visit OVW’s website and see if they’re still running shows but this reviewer feels you should take the time and watch Wrestlers.

Wrestlers is a MUST-SEE captivating documentary and even if you’re not a wrestling fan, you’ll be hooked just to see what stupid and crazy things people will do to screw up an opportunity that most people would give anything to have. WU Online hopes more episodes will be released to continue telling the story of Ohio Valley Wrestling and Al Snow – the unsung heroes of sports-entertainment.

About The Author