Updated: Oct 10
Episode 1: Ohio Valley Wrestling
Pro Wrestling fans have a new reality show to attach themselves to available on Netflix and it’s simply entitled Wrestlers.
This show gives us a lens into what co-owner, booker, producer and all-around father to the wrestlers, Al Snow has to do to keep the famous indie wrestling promotion OVW alive.
While also butting heads with the other co-owners on what tactics will work to get more ticket sales and viewers to their product.
This spotlight on OVW will show us who can be the next wrestling stars in the industry.
A promotion that has an amazing history of having dream rosters during the 00’s, when they were a developmental territory for WWE.
Immediately, this first episode starts off by giving us a sample, just a taste, of what we can expect from the wrestlers that will be highlighted on this show.
Standouts like female wrestler Hollyhood Haley J. The 26-year-old started wrestling as a last resort to get away from a chaotic life and actually grew to love the wrestling business.
Al Snow is bringing all of his expertise as a highly respected trainer and equally successful in-ring performer, during one the biggest booms in wrestling history.
He intends to preserve the legacy of OVW and continue to have a platform for upcoming talent.
Al brilliantly explains the objective of a wrestler. A wrestler should always be to able create the suspension of disbelief for that fan at ringside or watching on TV.
A viewer should become completely immersed in that character, to the point where the audience is in awe of what they’re presenting. Simply put, It is physical storytelling.
This leads to a look back into the history of wrestling and how society over the decades has always dictated what we see in wrestling. And how OVW has always been a third-tier promotion that is one of the last regional promotions in the US.
You really get to see Al Snow’s everyday responsibilities with keeping OVW open and running. It’s not an easy task, but he does it because of his love for the business.
I love that Al Snow provides this kind of insight for this generation. His wealth of knowledge and care is needed.
Having a live television show is paramount for these wrestlers to learn on the job, how to handle the intense, fast-paced, strict, yet unpredictable world of live TV.
The babyfaces on the rise in the company are:
Mahabali Shera, known as the Indian Lion is the national heavyweight champion. He has the whole package.
Cash Flo is the veteran of the roster. He adds a certain level of experience to the group and seems to have a heart of gold.
The Reverend Ronnie is a charismatic wrestler who is experienced, more than others on the roster and really cares about the promotion's growth.
Leila Grey is the new OVW women’s champion. She started out in AEW but is in OVW to make some waves.
The heels of the company are :
Freda the Slaya. A heel on the women’s roster, who has height, strength and a mean attitude.
Mr. Pectacular. Has the shredded, douchebag persona locked in and has seen some success in Impact Wrestling. That experience and true conflict in his gimmick will take him far.
Eric Darkstorm seems like a no-nonsense guy that’s in his own words, wants to take out all the the boys in the company. He’s not that crazy about authority and is as straightforward as you can get.
Amon is a demonic character, who is cunning and downright evil.
The amazing Maria is an older female wrestler who feels that she has one more run in her. She’s also a segment producer for OVW behind the scenes and plot twist… Hollyhood Haley’s J mom.
Hollyhood Haley J is a heel, but she’s in that gray area where the fans actually love to hate her. You can’t really help it. She’s down to earth, with an attitude where she truly doesn’t care what anyone thinks.
Matt and Craig Greenberg are the other side of the owners for OVW. Craig is a business guy, who was also running for mayor in Ohio and loves wrestling. So he called Matt who has leveraged his spot in talk radio to promote OVW.
Jessica Sarven, Al Snow’s wife, who is very involved with OVW, feels that Matt and Craig didn’t take a moment to get to know how the company is made up. How it is different to run a wrestling promotion, as it would be a regular company and their lack of understanding of this, created a distaste in the mouths of the wrestlers for the new co-owners.
Craig and Matt nominate building up attraction for the promotion, by having a travelling summer tour.
Al Snow is skeptical of it, he thinks that the tour still won’t bring in enough money. Matt and Craig are losing every month. So they are demanding the tour. Matt and Craig want to attract a bigger audience, outside of wrestling nerds according to Matt.
If they don’t make it through the summer and break even, then OVW may need to close their doors.
You get a glimpse of what this company means to wrestlers like Cash Flo and Haley J. And why OVW could end their wrestling dreams if it cease to exist.
Sheba has a following in India, due to his time in Impact Wrestling. You can see how serious he is about getting to the next stage in his career.
Haley J and Maria work together at their daytime jobs at the hotel that Maria owns.
Wrestling brought them back together after having a hard relationship during Haley’s formative years. Maria was a young Mom. She was hard on Haley and had several stints in jail for dealing drugs. Haley was on her side own since 15, so under the hard attitude, you can see the vulnerability there. She doesn’t feel like anyone has her back.
I loved seeing the behind-the-scenes lens of what an agent like Maria and Al has to do to make the television show run smoothly. Lots of yelling, and even laughing when things go well and how much structure the ref gives to a match.
Once you get to the end of this episode, the viewers are shown the many obstacles ahead for this promotion, but also the wealth of talent that OVW currently has.