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The Wrestler Movie


Dead Crow

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The director of The Wrestler is an amazing man:

 

AVC: Speaking of Bull Durham, these wrestling leagues are kind of like the minor leagues.

 

DA: Yeah, definitely. That’s what it is. It’s guys who aren’t good enough to get into the WWE. At this point, it’s the WWE and everything else. And everything else is a bunch of these small promotions, the biggest one being Ring Of Honor, which is our final fight, at ROH. That’s the biggest promotion outside of the WWE. And we were able to work with them, because they need any exposure they can get, and they’re considered to be more about the wrestling. We worked with three promotions. The other promotion was the most hardcore promotion in the world.

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Source: F4Wonline.com via the UKFF

 

Director Darren Aronofsky's new film "The Wrestler" starring Mickey Rourke has been getting rave reviews and winning awards left and right. The recent movie premiere brought out a number of pro wrestling legends, including Ric Flair, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Gret Valentine, Brutus Beefcake and others. With all the attention the film is receiving, WWE chairman Vince McMahon contacted Darren Aronofsky and requested a private screening of "The Wrestler". So, what did Vince think about it?

 

Whatever Vince told the director to his face remains a mystery, however a source close to the WWE boss says, "the word negative isn't strong enough to describe Vince's reaction. [This is] no surprise because Vince's vision of the 2008 image of wrestling and even fading stars directly contradicts what The Wrestler accurately portrays." Others in Vince's close circle knew going into the screening that this was the kind of movie he was going to despise.

 

Heh, did anyone expect any different?

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Vince's idea of a good movie would embarass the devil. Keep on churning out sequels to that incredibly popular "The Marine" franchise Vince.
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Heh, did anyone expect any different?
The truth hurts?
Vince's idea of a good movie would embarass the devil. Keep on churning out sequels to that incredibly popular "The Marine" franchise Vince.
They may not be Oscar-bothering material, but every WWE film has made a profit. How many other (non-wrestling) ventures of Vince McMahon can say that?

 

Besides, 'The Marine' wasn't a bad film (same with 'See No Evil').

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....That knows nothing about wrestling. ROH bigger than TNA :roll
He knows nothing about wrestling? Can you explain why he has been getting plaudits for how accurately he captured the non-WWE level of wrestling by those in the business if he knows nothing of the wrestling business?

 

Sure, he won't know everything (even those who have worked in the busines don't know everything), but to say he knows "nothing" is, even for you, a retarded thing to say.

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Guest Jimmy Redman

TWP is right in that ROH is not bigger than TNA, no matter how much we all ridicule the latter.

 

Although all Mitch posted the quote for in the first place was for the amusement of the guy no-selling TNA, which I laughed at myself. Lets all relax.

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Guest Jayfunk
Sure, he won't know everything (even those who have worked in the busines don't know everything), but to say he knows "nothing" is, even for you, a retarded thing to say

 

Its was a figure of speech. Of course he may know something about wrestling but say that ROH is the biggest company outside WWE is stupid beyond measure.

 

He knows nothing about wrestling? Can you explain why he has been getting plaudits for how accurately he captured the non-WWE level of wrestling by those in the business if he knows nothing of the wrestling business?

 

its not hard, it's called researchers (although i might sack them if they thought ROH was bigger).

Edited by Jayfunk
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Guest Jayfunk
The thing is with ROH for there size and exposure they aren't doing to bad. but eventhough they have been in profit longer I would wager TNA's first year of profit was higher (alot). TNA's national TV deal helps alot with money and i would wager ROH would love to have 1.2 million people a week watch there show (of course its nothing on WWE but its still its not a bad figure)
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Guest Nemesis Enforcer

Typed out by me from PowerSlam (so sorry in advance for any mistakes), an interview with Necro Butcher abut his experiance on the film

 

PS: In last months issue of Power Slam, we published an interview with Darren Aronofsky, director of The Wrestler, a film in which you have a part, Aronofsky was full of praise for you; he even called you “a very sweet man”. However; it was not your personality - charming as it is - that won you the role in the movie.

 

Necro: I don’t believe so, no

 

PS: Aronofsky and his team knew you from your nutty garbage matches on Youtube.

 

Necro: They’d actually come to a Ring Of Honor show on Long Island a couple of years ago during the ROH vs. CZW angle. They’d seen me then and saw a few other guys as well. When the movie started falling into place, they came to a ROH show in Manhattan (on November 3, 2007) and they asked me and some other guys to read for the movie.

 

PS: You must have been thrilled.

 

Necro: Erm… Actually, no.

 

PS: Why not?

 

Necro: I was the first guy they talked to. This was when Nicolas Cage was part of the project. We were in the locker room for ROH, and everybody else was there fixing their hair and putting oil on and trying to look good for their matches, ad I was sitting on a couth, eating pizza. And then *(ROH owner) Cary (Silkin) comes up and says to me: “Nicolas Cage is here, and he wants to see you.” And I thought: ‘What the hell?’ Then, Nicolas Cage, Daren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin - who’s one of the producers - and a couple of other fellas come in and told me about the movie and asked me if I wanted to read for a role. I was really excited at that point.

But, then, they went to some other guys in the locker room and told them the exact same thing they had told me. These were younger (wrestlers), good-looking guys. When I heard that, I thought to myself, ‘There’s no way they’re going to pick me.’

 

PS: What happened next?

 

Necro: I wasthe last person to get called to go down and read for (the film). I had to go to Brooklyn, and I didn’t really want to go. Buy my mother and my wife yelled at me and made me go.

When I got there, I read, like, two sentences for (Aronofsky and Franklin) and then just sat and talked about what my opinions of wrestling were, the places I’d been and things like that for about an hour. After that, they said they would be in touch.

 

PS: Following your audition, did you think you would be offered a part in the film?

 

Necro: Of course not. I didn’t think I was even close. I just did it to satisfy my wife and my mother

 

PS: How much time elapsed between this meeting and confirmation arriving that you would be in the film?

 

Necro: It was three or four months. And that was three or four months without any contract, which was definitely long enough for me to convince myself that I was not getting a part.

After getting the role, I had to go back to Brooklyn again to meet the stunt coordinator. They then told me Mickey Rourke was part of the project and gave me the script, which was written by Robert Siegel. The character in the movie that I was to play was originally called the Hellbilly Cannibal: he was all scarred-up and wore jeans and no shoes, and wrestled with glass and thumb tacks.

 

PS: I can guess whom he was patterned after.

 

Necro: The second time I went to Brooklyn, Darren said: “How would you feel if we changed the name of the character in the movie to Necro Butcher?” I was like, “So, in the movie, I’ll be Dylan Summers as Necro Butcher? I love it! Yes, I’ll do that.” It wasn’t very long into it before they decided to change the name of the character.And later on, when they were filming the Randy Robinson vs. Ayatollah match in New Jersey, I got to meet Mr. Siegel and he did admit that the (Hellbilly Cannibal) character was totally based on me. ‘hat’s how I got the role,’ I thought to myself.

 

PS: In the film, Necro Butcher wrestles Mickey Rourke’s Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson in a weapons match, featuring tables, chairs, a barbed wire-wrapped crutch and other object.

 

Necro: Correct. There was all kinds of stuff in the match… As far as the story line goes in the movie, ‘The Ram’s’ past his prime, he’s not getting any high-profile matches, he’s not making much money, so he does this Death match with me for a quick payday… In the match, they had thumb tacks, a large sheet of glass, tables, ladders: too much stuff to remember. The ring was just full of stuff.

 

PS: Was it real glass or did you use stunt glass?

 

Necro: I was a mixture: some of it was stunt glass and some of it was real. When it was real, we were safe with it. Some of it was props.

 

PS: Did Rourke take any blows from you during the filming of the match or was it his stunt double who absorbed all the punishment?

 

Necro: If ‘The Ram’ is on offence in the film and kicking my ass, that is totally Mickey Rourke. If it’s me beating him with a chair or punching him in the face, it’s some poor fellah form Manhattan. I started to feel sorry for (the stunt double) as the match progressed, even though I’m sure he was well paid, because he took a horrible, horrible beating. His job was to take my beatings for hours and hours. You know, I would hit him with a chair, and they would say, “Ahhh… we have to redo that.” And then it would be, like, I’d hit him with the chair again on take three, then again on take four, and again (laughs)

 

PS: Rourke for the role of ‘The Ram’ gained a lot of muscl: he looks amazing for a man who’s 56 or thereabouts. At that size, and as a former pro boxer, poor as he was, I imagine he could really lay those blows in.

 

Necro: Oh, yeah. You could tell he took things very seriously: he got in shape for it

 

PS: Although he had some wrestling training under Wild Samoan Afa, Rourke could not be described as a proficient worker who knew how to make it look real without hurting his opponent.

 

Necro: It wasn’t like there was too much creative inpu from either one of us as far as what the match entailed. They filmed the match in ten-to-30 second clips. Everything was all scripted out, anyway: we were just doing what the director wanted us to do.

But (Rourke) had to do a lot of things that a person who was a new student of wrestling should not have been able to do. You know, a lot of rope work and high-flying stuff. You could tell he really worked hard.

 

PS: I know the act of running the ropes is not an easy thing to do properly.

 

Necro: Oh, Yeah: it can take people months, sometimes years (to learn how to do that). Some guys never get it. (Rourke) looked at home in the ring; he didn’t look lost. He didn’t seem intimidated by anything.

 

PS: Approximately how many days did you spend working on the film?

 

Necro: The whole thing was filmed in, like, maybe a month. It was a fast schedule. I think I was there for maybe five or six days. But some of those days were, like, 14- or 15 hour days.

 

PS: I assume you were paid for the performance in the picture.

 

Necro: I was, yes.

 

PS: Was it your largest payoff to date as a pro wrestler?

 

Necro: Indeed, it was

 

PS: Are you willing to divulge the amount?

 

Necro: Ahhh… I don’t think that would be fair. I’ve already spent all the money, though. I was rich for about a week. My wife and I bought a new car, and we’re back to being broke.

 

PS: The Wrestler has received excellent reviews from most critics who have seen advanced screenings at various film festivals, and there’s talk that Rourke will be nominated for an Academy Award. I’m told the film is a serious, emotional portrait of what is, of course, a tough, tough business. It’s unprecedented for a film on pro wrestling.

 

Necro: It’s a really sad movie. And it’s really true. With the exception of the steroids obviously, I can totally identify with everything this poor fellah goes through in this movie. This is out life and our world, and these are the things we have to go through… I think that’s why (the film was set) in independent wrestling because I don’t think any larger company would want to say what they say about wrestling in this movie. It’s very raw.

 

PS: Are you referring to the small payoffs, poor working conditions, constant pain wrestling have to endure: things like that?

 

Necro: Yeah. And the personal troubles he goes through out of the ring as well. They are very, very typical of the independent wrestler.

 

You’ve worked on the Independent circuit for nearly 11 years now. Much of that time has been spent falling on glass, drawing pins, barbed wire…

 

Necro: I started in Texas in the late 1990’s and then I moved up to the East Coast in 2000. I was really fortunate enough to start making a living off of wrestling maybe three years ago. Yeah, I guess it was about 2005 when I finally got to the point where I could work enough places and had enough reputation where I could make enough money.

 

PS: In the trailer for the film, the Robinson character is shown working in a deli. Does he work there to supplement his income while he’s wrestling or is it something he does during a break from the business?

 

Necro: I believe the story goes that he was strictly only wrestling at the beginning of the movie, and that’s why he’s having trouble paying his rent, and things are not going so good. And then, after the match with me, he sustains a very serious injury and has to retire. And while he’s retired, he’s trying to do something to pay his bills, and that’s where the job at the deli come sin. That’s very true for wrestlers. If we get hurt and we don’t work, there’s no insurance to pick us up. Unfortunately, sometimes we’ll wait for something very serious to happen before we’ll take time off.

 

PS: Do you think you will benefit from your exposure in the film?

 

Necro: I think I already benefited because it was really fun (laughs). And I think it will be really fun to take my kids to see it. Yeah, there’s some really rough language in it, but it’s nothing like they haven’t heard from me before.

As far as future stuff goes? I don’t look at it like that. I look at it like it was a really cool, fun thing I did for a few days with a great group of people, and I’m just going to go and watch it and see what happens.

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