At the border of fact and fiction is pro-wrestling: a clandestine world in which athletes agree to a sacred code so as to keep the secrets of the industry as safe as possible. But with the downfall of kayfabe probably occurring long before the sport’s heyday in the 1980s, who has the right to say what is “the truth?”
The history of wrestling documentaries is complicated, especially because so many are filled with outright lies. That being said, some films on the subject can at least help explain the bizarre appeal of these combat spectaculars.
We’ve narrowed down a list of 12 fascinating documentaries that don’t exactly make the boundary between reality and fantasy more firm — but at least help elucidate certain aspects of the industry. From openly gay icons to superstars battling addiction: here’s our list of the best movies exploring this mysterious business.