The Iron Claw: What Really Happened to the Von Erichs?

We take a look true story behind The Iron Claw, examining the rise and tragic fall of the Von Erich family.

In the immortal words of Lord Byron, the truth is often stranger than fiction. No timeless adage better applies to The Iron Claw, Sean Durkin’s riveting and emotionally fraught biographical tale of the Von Erich brothers, professional wrestlers who rose to prominence in the early 1980s. Based on the true events that shaped the Von Erich family, the film careens down a path of such unmistakable triumph and unthinkable tragedy that one can only sit back and wonder how much, if anything, was embellished or fabricated to increase the dramatic stakes of the story. In particular, the movie explores the lasting effects of “The Von Erich Curse,” which affected the lives of each family member in different ways through a profoundly unfortunate set of circumstances that downright defy belief. 

Although the film has received unanimous praise for its stark realism and gritty authenticity, it’s worth exploring the minor and major differences between what transpired in reality and what is depicted onscreen. After all, some crucial aspects of the Von Erich story have been glossed over, downplayed, briefly touched upon, streamlined for the sake of time, or omitted entirely in the film. Between the curious absence of the sixth brother, Chris Von Erich, and the origins of the Von Erich Curse to the accuracy of the wrestling matches, and more, it’s time to hit the mat, separate fact from fiction and find out once and for all, What Really Happened to The Iron Claw? Check out our video above for the full story!

About the Author

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Jake Dee is one of JoBlo’s most valued script writers, having written extensive, deep dives as a writer on WTF Happened to this Movie and it’s spin-off, WTF Really Happened to This Movie.