On Monday, Netflix released a trailer for the streamer’s upcoming Wrestlers docuseries, premiering September 13.
Variety revealed the series’ synopsis, which will focus on Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, Kentucky.
Once a proud finishing school for aspiring pro wrestlers, the gym has since hit hard times. Acclaimed wrestler Al Snow clings to an old school wrestling philosophy with a heavy emphasis on storytelling, but in spite of the love of a few diehard fans, the gym struggles week to week to stay relevant enough to keep its doors open. Things have become so dire financially that Al has to sell a majority stake to a group of local businessmen including Matt Jones, the most popular radio personality in the state of Kentucky. Matt and the new ownership group have infused the struggling gym with much-needed cash but it still operates at a staggering loss. The new owners have given Al the summer to turn things around. Wrestlers chronicles the efforts Al and his band of aspiring wrestlers make as they struggle with their personal ambitions and each other while they attempt to come together to save this historic gym.
Here’s the trailer.
Wrestlers is the brainchild of Greg Whiteley, known for his work on Netflix’s Cheer and Last Chance U. Ryan O’Dowd, a writer and executive producer on the Jane Lynch-hosted Weakest Link, also serves as an executive producer.
Both Whiteley and O’Dowd touted the feature in comments posted by Variety.
“Before filming ‘Wrestlers,’ our cinematographer had recently invested in a set of vintage Minolta Prime lenses from the early ‘80s,” Whiteley said. “We loved their cinematic look and figured the aesthetics of the Minolta would be appropriate for the garish acts inside the ring. But moving to these lenses made the job of our camera operators much more difficult. If they wanted a close-up, they had to physically approach the subject. Our fear was that the wrestlers might begin to edit themselves in more sensitive moments — but that’s not what happened. Ironically, filming this group of fake wrestlers is perhaps the most uncompromisingly real thing we’ve ever filmed. It was as if this little gym tucked away in Kentucky and the vintage Minolta lenses were trapped in the same era — working together to not be forgotten.”
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Netflix to premiere our second docuseries together from our Los Angeles production arm, following up on our true crime break-out hit ‘Murder Among the Mormons,’” said O’Dowd and Valerie Bruce, general manager of BBC Studios Los Angeles Productions. “‘Wrestlers’ represents a bold, powerful and immersive new addition to our growing unscripted business. This series would not have been possible without the incredible support we received from the city of Louisville, where wrestling is a prized local tradition and the home of Ohio Valley Wrestling for the past three decades.”
The eight-episode series premieres on September 13.