Eric Nelson offers worthless opinion of “The Wrestler”

Hey brother, thanks for helping me get more over than Manu.

"Hey brother, thanks for helping me get more over than Manu."

(This is a formal movie review; sometime in the next week I plan to pen a more wrestling-centric write-up with a lot more “Whoa, they showed that?” and “Why the hell was Capt. Lou Albino in the shot?” type of stuff.)

MICK-EY-ROURKE! MICK-EY-ROURKE!

Only a year and a half removed from thickly muscled professional wrestler Chris Benoit murdering his wife and young son before hanging himself in his home gym, and with the U.S. Congress currently breathing down the neck of the entertaining sport with accusations of steroid use in hand, tumult surrounds the strategic release date (think Oscar consideration, and rightfully so) for “The Wrestler”. But the turmoil surrounding and brewing within Mickey Rourke’s aging, addictive but gentle character makes far better drama than any angle or storyline professional wrestling’s script writers have conjured up since Hulkamania ran wild or Steve Austin nailed Vince McMahon with a “Stone Cold Stunner.”

Rourke’s character, Randy “The Ram” Robinson, once stood atop the professional wrestling world, headlining sold-out shows at “The Garden,” winning various “Wrestler of the Year” accolades and even being immortalized in action figure form. But that was the mid-1980s; fast-forward to the present day, and Robinson finds himself scrounging for rent for his mobile home, slinging potato salad at a grocery store deli counter and stepping through the ropes at the occasional weekend wrestling show in front of a few dozen nostalgic fans. And “The Ram’s” time on the road comes back to haunt in him: Years of chugging beer and cavorting with strippers prove to be hard habits to break, the money he does earn goes into his bloodstream in steroid form before it goes toward his bills, and the connection with his daughter that once was lost is now severed, possibly beyond repair.

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Mick Foley offers worthless opinion of “The Wrestler”

Youll get this joke in a minute.

You'll get this joke in a minute.

Mick Foley, whose biggest claim to fame in recent years is being confused for a walking bag of trash, reviewed new movie “The Wrestler” for Slate.com (according to Prowrestling.net). Here are some snippets:

A couple of years ago, I met with a respected and successful producer who believed that one day, the motion picture industry would finally make a great pro-wrestling movie … and that I was the guy to write it.

Jesus, the first couple of paragraphs of this thing have more “I”s than a Derek Burgan message board post. And of course Foley would be tapped to write a book about eating chocolate while lying in bed all day movie about pro wrestling. He’s Mick Foley, for crying out loud, the only pro wrestler whose ever seen a pen and paper. Moving on…

I received an inquiry early on about serving as a consultant but cited the need to “spend time with my family” as a reason to refrain.

And his family was overheard saying, “Please get him out of the house, he smells like an old bowl of Cheerios.”

The scene depicting a poorly attended “Legends Convention” where Randy, a man so proud of his past, is forced not only to accept his present but to take a glimpse at the future, will strike an uncomfortable yet legitimate chord with every wrestling star whose personal appearances have ever been met with a symphony of silence.

Sorry, Virgil.

Rourke deserves great credit not only for whipping himself into incredible shape—packing 30 pounds of muscle on for the role—but for doing his wrestling homework.

This coming from… nah, too easy.

Learning the trade at age 52 could not have been easy, but Rourke’s in-ring work is good enough to pass this wrestler’s sniff test.

This wrestler’s sniff test involves walking through the mall, smelling Sbarro’s and Pretzelmaker in the food court, and eating anything that comes with cheese dip.

And I wish there had been some visible difference in Randy’s physique after he underwent heart surgery and gave up ‘roids—even if just to illustrate the effectiveness and necessity of those substances in “the Ram’s” life.

I wish there was some visible difference in Foley’s physique between 2000 and now. And that’s not even a crack on his weight; I wish, for the sake of a wrestler I used to love, that he would (or would be able to, given the shape his knees, hips and back must be in) drop some of that baby weight and get back to his classic 287 lb. fighting weight.

To be fair, Foley is a great writer, and his review, as verbose as he, I mean it is, reads very well. Check this review out and read all the Burganesque stuff with a grain of salt. After all, someone needs to watch Foley’s sodium output. -Eric

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