Professional Wrestling is unique, to say the least.
It's undeniably the most physical form of sport. There isn't anywhere else that an athlete can be spiked on his neck, fall from a 3 story scaffold, ignited by an undead phantasm, and sexually objectified... in the same night. All this while potentially making millions of dollars and becoming a worldwide celebrity.
Curiously, considering the level of danger involved, wrestling has always been targeted directly at children. Because of this, there is no shortage of boys and girls who show an interest in the world's purest form of sport, and no shortage of parents pushing their kids to excel in the ring.
To these parents, I implore you to seek out and watch Chris Bell's, Trophy Kids.
This documentary shines a light on the extreme measures parents take to give their children the maximum chance at athletic glory, and the spoils that come with it. As you might expect, the children are shown to be victims while the parents come off as at best, buffoons, and at worst, psychopaths.
A lifelong wrestling fan, Bell deftly avoids explicitly mentioning professional wrestling in the confines of his film, but the lessons it teaches about overbearing parents and the children who must absorb this abuse, is plain as day. This subtlety allows Bell to transcend the label of "pro-wrestling filmmaker" after his wrestling-centric Bigger, Stronger, Faster bought him into the public eye.
There is a time and a place for targeted encouragement, but this film shows the depths to which parents can sink while living vicariously through their children. A career in professional wrestling or any major sport is not promised to anyone, regardless of the conditions provided. While a lack of fanatical support from the parent might not direct a child to athletic success, the greater risk is an overabundance of direction burning out the fun of sport for the child and perhaps alienating them from the parents altogether.
Trophy Kids is currently showing on HBOGO, in abridged form, as part of Peter Berg's State of Play documentary series. In a recent interview, Bell stated that an extended length version will re-debut on HBOGO in the fall.
Bell's newest film, Prescription Thugs, is currently touring the festival circuit. It examines the role of drugs in sports. Given the film's subject matter, it will sadly mark the director's return to overt covering the topic of pro wrestling. Prescription Thugs is likely headed to an arthouse cinema near you. Showtimes and more information is available at www.prescriptionthugs.com.
OFFICIAL WRESTLER WRANKINGS FORMULA
ANY WIN = 2 POINTS
US OR INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE BOUT = 1 POINT
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE BOUT = 3 POINTS
NON "BIG 4" PPV BONUS = 1.5X
SUMMERSLAM, SURVIVOR SERIES, ROYAL RUMBLE = 2X BONUS
WRESTLEMANIA = 3X BONUS
The WWE season begins on the day after WrestleMania 31 and culminates with WrestleMania 32. The wrestler who accumulates the most points over the course of the season, wins the coveted Wrankings Championship!
Monday Night Raw-- 8/17/15
Main Event-- 8/18/15
WRESTLER WRANKINGS, WEEK 21 *TOP TEN*
1. Seth Rollins -- 56.5 points
2. Neville -- 55
3. John Cena -- 43.5
4. Ryback -- 41
5. Dean Ambrose -- 36.5
6. Roman Reigns -- 35.5
7. Randy Orton -- 35
8. Bad News Barrett -- 33.5
9. Rusev -- 28
10. Sheamus -- 27.5
T37: Tye Dillinger -- 0
Thanks for reading, Cagesiders. We'll see you back here next week!