The 15 best wrestling movies of all time, ranked

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Mickey Rourke plays Randy “The Ram” Robinson in “The Wrestler,” in what many consider to be the best performance of his legendary career. A megastar in the 1980s, he now performs at weekends while working the deli counter at a grocery store during the weekdays. Randy is old and tired, but he still loves the wrestling business. He forces his way through gory hardcore matches, shooting staples and shoveling for tiny crowds. He is in love with stripper Cassidy, whose age in her own line of work mirrors Robinson’s age. After a heart attack that would end his wrestling career, Randy tries to mend his relationship with his estranged daughter while also trying to convince Cassidy to settle down. Offered one last big payday in a retirement match, Robinson must decide what’s important in his career and life.

The Wrestler had to be at the top of that list. The best wrestling movie of all time, without exception. Director Darren Aronofsky and screenwriter Robert D. Siegel have put together a heartbreaking look at an older performer on the indie wrestling scene, and got many beloved aging wrestlers playing versions of themselves in bits and pieces throughout the film. The Guardian raves about Mickey Rourke, saying he delivers “an incredibly engaging, likable and even vulnerable performance”.

Make no mistake, this is not a fun watch. This is a serious character study, featuring fictionalized versions of many of our wrestling heroes after their time in the spotlight has ended. It can be difficult to keep up, and maybe for some people, just watching is enough. As a wrestling fan, you owe it to yourself to watch The Wrestler.

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