Wrestlers That Deserve A Biopic

Last Updated on December 29, 2023

The Iron Claw is hitting theaters and tells the tragic story of the Von Erich family, who dominated the wrestling world for two decades. We learn about the triumphs and the tragedy of one of the most significant families in professional wrestling. They are not the only interesting characters in the often time wacky world of tights and arm bars. A lot of wrestlers led exciting lives outside of the ring. Their stories are just ready for the big screen treatment. Wrestler biopics could be an interesting subgenre we didn’t know we needed.

Wrestling Films

Gorgeous George

The name Gorgeous George is known by hardcore wrestling fans, but many casual fans may have no idea how big of an impact he had on the wrestling industry and pop culture in general. He wrestled for 30 years, from the 30s into the 60s. George is perhaps known as one of the greatest heel performers of all time. When he debuted his Gorgeous George character, he would act very feminine and flamboyant, which would cause the audience to boo him mercilessly.

When wrestling became a national phenomenon due to the emergence of television, he was as much of a household name as Lucille Ball and Milton Berle. Because of his character, he received a lot of death threats and had to hire extra security wherever he went. Muhammad Ali based his brash persona on him after meeting him during a radio interview. George advised him that people would pay a lot of money to see someone shut his mouth if he kept bragging about how great he was. He passed away at the age of 48 due to cirrhosis of the liver.

Wrestling Films

Chris Benoit

This one may be a controversial choice due to how his life ended, but Chris Benoit was one of the best in-ring workers in the business during the 90s and 2000s. He gained a large following despite being of more diminutive stature and not a natural on the mic, he gained a large following. His ability to freestyle grapple earned him a large following and the respect of his fellow wrestlers.

Unfortunately, after years of taking chair shots to the head, it is believed he began to suffer from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (more commonly known as CTE). It’s believed this can cause depression and even dementia. This is believed to cause him to have paranoid thoughts and massive brain damage. Ultimately, he would end up killing his wife, their son, and himself over a weekend in June 2007. When his brain was tested, it was reported he had the brain of an 85-year-old Alzheimer’s patient.

Wrestling Films

Eddie Guerrero

He wrestled all over the world and numerous times lost everything to have to start over again. When he made it to the top of the profession, he ended up with a nasty drug habit and alcoholism. This cost him everything, and he had to start over by wrestling on the independent circuit. He was able to change his life around so that he could return to the country’s top promotion and become its world champion. This story is amazing for what it shows about his life outside of the ring. To literally lose everything only to fight back and win it all back.

Wrestling Films

The Fabulous Moolah

Moolah is known as the greatest female wrestler of all time . . . although that also comes with a lot of controversy. Accusations of Moolah enslaving other female wrestlers with her wrestling school and even straight-up pimping them out to other wrestlers have surfaced over the last decade. This put a big shadow over her legacy. Many would claim that if you went through her training, then she would have clauses in her contracts that the wrestlers had to pay her part of their booking fees going forward. Some even went on to say that after Moolah tallied up expenses, they didn’t get paid for two years after they started wrestling full-time. The stories about her could fill out an entire series rather than a movie.

Wrestling Films

Bryan Danielson

A feel-good story would come out of this story of the still-active wrestler Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan in WWE). He went from being one of the best wrestlers on the independent circuit to being the world champion of the biggest company on the planet. While on top, he received the horrible news that his neck injury would never allow him to wrestle again. He was forced to retire from active competition but would remain an on-screen character as he would become the General Manager for WWE’s Smackdown brand. Behind the scenes, he would begin to work on repairing his neck injury with different neurosurgeons and doctors. After four years, he was cleared by three independent doctors to return to in-ring work. Going from someone who was forced to retire to being back on top is very compelling and would make a great film.

Wrestling Films

Bret Hart

One of the greatest wrestlers of all time started out with his famous wrestling family in Canada and became one of his generation’s most well-known performers. That didn’t keep controversy from finding him. He was the subject of a very famous incident where the owner of the WWE (then WWF) legit screwed him over in his last match before he left to join the WWE’s rival, WCW.

He left, and while wrestling elsewhere, his younger brother died by falling from the rafters after his harness broke during a stunt to lower him to the ring in WWE. His career would be cut short after taking an accidental kick to the head caused a concussion. Later, he would suffer a stroke, and then after 12 years, he would return to the WWE to make amends. The ups and downs of his real life would be very compelling.

Wrestling Films

Randy Macho Man Savage

One of the most brash personalities in wrestling was built for a biopic. Randy Savage was born Randy Poffo and decided not to go into the family business of professional wrestling. His father, Angelo Poffo, wrestled from 1949 and didn’t officially retire until 1991. Instead, Randy was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals and sent to their minor league team. He played catcher, but his career eventually stalled, and he took up professional wrestling with his father and brother.

His over-the-top personality made him a perfect fit for the world of pro wrestling. He would be at the top of the industry alongside Hulk Hogan. The two started out as friends but ended up having a tense relationship over the years. He married his wife, Elizabeth Hulette (Miss Elizabeth), and included her into his performance. Their marriage would fall apart, but he would still use his position to get her work so that she would be taken care of. His antics inside the ring and out of the spotlight would bring a lot of drama to the screen. Plus, he even released a rap album!

Roddy Piper

One of the best talkers on the mic and biggest heels of his day, Roddy Piper, started living on the streets at a young age. He would do odd jobs and help around a gym to make money. Eventually, he would become a good amateur boxer and finally jump in the ring to cover for a wrestler who didn’t show up. He quickly took to the sport and became one of the biggest heels in the business. Having met him in person, I can say he was an intimidating guy, as he came up during a period when wrestling was taken seriously. He was stabbed by fans three different times after shows.

During his career, he would show up at some of the biggest events in wrestling history. One of the things that was both a blessing and a curse for him was that he had no problem standing up for himself and saying what was on his mind. This would cause him to move around to different wrestling promotions on a regular basis, but most promoters would know he was a big draw and welcome him back. He was definitely controversial but always a joy to watch on TV.

Wrestling Films

Ric Flair

Rick Flair is heralded as the greatest wrestler of all time. During his early career, he was in a bad plane crash that killed the pilot and paralyzed fellow wrestler Johnny Valentine. Flair would break his back in three places and was told he would never wrestle again. After a tough physical therapy regime, he would step back into the ring only three months later. From there, he would become one of the biggest draws in the industry.

Outside the ring, he would end up married five times and suffer tragic family losses when his son died of an accidental drug overdose. Through multiple squabbles with different promoters, Flair would move to different companies and even be the subject of lawsuits. Throughout it all, he would put on matches that many still consider some of the greatest of all time. His achievements and behind-the-scenes antics would make a very compelling film.

Wrestling Films

Hulk Hogan

Regarded as the most important figure in professional wrestling. Comparing him to Babe Ruth is not a stretch. During the 80s, wrestling was pushed even higher into the mainstream. Hulk Hogan carried the whole thing on his shoulders. Without him, the industry wouldn’t be what it is today. He has had a less-than-sparkling time after his days in the ring wound down.

He had a very public divorce that led to him being caught on tape having sex with his friend’s wife. During this exchange, he also would say some racist things about some of the men his daughter was dating. He would be pushed out of the business for a few years. He would have to rehab his image and make a comeback as an on-screen persona. Meanwhile, his family would have their own problems. With reckless and drunken driving, failed music careers, and reality show appearances that gave away secrets about his home life. We would almost need a series to cover the life of Hulk Hogan. A film starring Chris Hemsworth as Hogan was in development for years but seems to have fizzled out.

Who are some of your favorite wrestlers that need a biopic? Are you excited for The Iron Claw? Let us know in the comments.

Source: JoBlo

About the Author

Bryan Wolford is a feature writer for JoBlo, and also writes scripts for both JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals, including a multi-part retrospective on the Highlander franchise. When not writing for the site, he’s an avid podcaster.