"The Wrestler" is a 2008 film about a semi-retired professional wrestler trying to decide between life after wrestling and wrestling after his prime. The film leveraged Ring Of Honor for authenticity in the underground world of independent wrestling. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, the picture received instant acclaim as a vehicle to rejuvenate the lapsed film career of Mickey Rourke. For his performance, Rourke won a Golden Globe and earned an Oscar nomination. Rourke has since stayed busy in Hollywood, even appearing as Whiplash in the popular Iron Man franchise.
The film had a limited release in December 2008 before spreading nationwide in January 2009. On January 7, 2009, Andy, Chris, TJ, Kay, and Jimmy went to see a pre-screening in Scottsdale, and all of them enjoyed the movie itself but now forever link it to creepy middle-aged pedophilies. Vic saw the film online in late-December and he rated it as 8/10.
Bruce Springsteen wrote and recorded a song by the same name for the film's soundtrack. Like the film, the track received much praise and critical acclaim. It won the Golden Globe for "Best Original Song." Although Springsteen performed the song at the 81st Academy Awards show, it was not nominated for an award that year (only three songs were entered in the category, instead of the standard five nominees).
Although a fictionalized account, this movie was allegedly inspired heavily by Beyond The Mat, a 1999 documentary on the wrestling industry which focused on maintaining a normal family life while portraying a larger-than-life character.