Television Review | “Really hellish five minutes”: The training of those who intend to become show wrestlers is anything but fooling around

The legend of the wrestling school follows Ekku, Valtter and Alexandra, who intend to become show wrestlers.

Show wrestling is a species of contradictions. Its world has traditionally included a rough mood, pumped muscles and danger. At least as important elements are theatricality, showiness and overshooting. Ultimately, it’s all about the performance, the roles and the story.

The documentary series also hits on this contradiction Legend of the wrestling school. The six-part series follows show wrestling amateurs chasing their dreams. Ekk, Valtteri and Alexandra just building their wrestling roles: in civilian life they are a classroom teacher, a researcher working on a dissertation and a yoga instructor. They participate in a rookie camp, from which the most talented are selected for further training.

In civilian life, Ekku is a class teacher.

in Finland show wrestling is also a marginal sport, although it has been worked on for years. Its colorful world has been described, for example, in a documentary film Spandex Sapiens (2016). It followed the career of a professional wrestler Michael Majaniemäby the show name Starbucks.

The stories are surprisingly similar. Like Majaniemi, Ekku also carries the experiences of being bullied. Both of them were inspired to become show wrestlers by their beloved cartoons. For Eku, it’s also about showing off – to yourself and to others. As a show wrestler, Ekku plans to become like his heroes. The weight has also dropped considerably.

In the margin documentaries and reality series about people pursuing their dreams often have a warm look. It is easy to understand people struggling with difficulties.

At the same time, a tragic tone easily floats along.

Valtteri is a doctoral researcher.

Otto Heikolan and Jyri Huhtalan scripted by and Valtteri Munkin and Mikko Heinon guided by Legend of the wrestling school works quite skillfully on that border. If there is comedy, it arises in situations. The dreams and dedication of Eku and his partners are not to be laughed at. The fire and groping of the main characters are conveyed to the viewer at the same time.

The twenty-minute episodes are surprisingly physical wrinkles. In the series, a lot of time is given to the events of the training hall, as if to underline the fact that, although show wrestling is thought of as theater and entertainment, the training sessions are anything but fooling around.

“It will only take five minutes. It’s going to be a really hellish five minutes,” says the coach who trains wrestlers.

Alexandra is a class teacher.

Alexandra’s through show wrestling also opens up a different perspective. Men are still the norm in the sport of highlighted swagger.

For Alexandra, her own community can be found more easily in a group of friends who practice modern witchcraft than in men slamming each other to the floor in a wrestling gym.

Legend of the wrestling school, Yle Areena.

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