It’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade since the world was introduced to Randy 'The Ram' Robinson in Mickey Rourke’s career-defining performance in The Wrestler.
The movie was a huge milestone for pro wrestling on the big screen and one of the first depictions of the sport that wasn't a total embarrassment or a gross misrepresentation. Mickey Rourke provided the performance of his career as Randy The Ram and showed the world a darker, more realistic side of an industry often looked down upon with dismissive condescension and contempt.
Brought to life by director Darren Aronofsky, the movie gained universal applause from the wrestling world for its realistic representation of the business - which is no easy feat in itself. Succeeding where many others had failed, The Wrestler exorcised the demons of past wrestling movies and undid the comically unfunny damage of Ready to Rumble and Nacho Libre.
The overall project itself is also an Aladdin's Cave of trivia for both movie-goers and wrestling fans. As a result, the amount of interesting facts behind the camera is almost as interesting as what was recorded in front of it.
"Like what?" we hear you ask. Read on and find out...
10. Wrestler Cameos
With a name like The Wrestler, it should come as no surprise that the movie is littered with legit personalities from the world of sports entertainment. While some of these are obvious and weaved into the main thread of the film, there are countless well-known names present in the background as well.
Two of the three bouts in the movie contain well-known faces, recognisable to many fans. During the "Death Match" scene in CZW, Randy The Ram squares off with CZW regular, Necro Butcher, while the final bout of the movie features the fictional Ayatollah, played by former WCW mid-carder, Ernest 'The Cat' Miller.
In addition to these characters, several other wrestlers make cameo appearances throughout the movie, many of whom are now regulars on WWE TV. Ron “R-Truth” Killings even has a brief speaking part, while Cesaro and Austin Aries also make background cameos. Eagle-eyed fans will also notice appearances from The Blue Meanie and Jimmy Valiant, while veteran announcer Kevin Kelly is also listed on the films credits.
As for other memorable cameos, the venue used for the CZW bout was, in fact, the legendary ECW Arena in Philadelphia (then known as the New Alhambra Arena). An extreme bit of trivia if there ever was!