A wrestling school that helped launch the careers of some of the sport’s biggest names is the subject of a new Netflix documentary series from Cheer and Last Chance U creator Greg Whiteley.

Wrestler, premiering September 13th, centers on ex-WWE star Al Snow as he helps the next generation at Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, Kentucky. Snow, who previously appeared as a trainer on the reality series Tough Enough, has worked tirelessly to continue OHV’s rich history from founder Danny Davis.

Names like John Cena, Brock Lesnar, The Miz, Mickie James, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, Dave Bautista, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes and countless others have honed their skills there at some point. New stars like “Mr. Pec-Tacular” Jessie Godderz from Big Brother and Impact Wrestling can be seen, among others.

Throughout the series’ seven episodes, cameras follow Snow as he and a group of up-and-coming wrestlers with big dreams attempt to pull the company out of its recent financial woes. With the respected veteran forced to sell a majority stake to a group of businessmen including Matt Jones, the new owners have given him the summer to turn things around.

Here, Snow talks about the high stakes and talks about some of OVW’s biggest success stories.


Were there any concerns about agreeing to this project?

Al Snow: I was a little worried because there is an agreement with the audience. We don’t want to rub it in your face that pro wrestling is preordained and we want you to have a good time watching shows. Everyone here was very open and gave the crew 100% access in every way. It’s a tricky line where you don’t want to overexpose the things behind the curtain. I know this is the most popular thing these days. You balance all of that with the benefit of exposure, notoriety and increased interest. That has prevailed. Much like when I did Tough Enough and even British Bootcamp, people are grappling with the reality of what it takes to achieve the dreams they desperately believe they want. I hope it gives wrestling fans a greater appreciation for the wrestlers and their talent. For non-wrestling fans, I hope it might pique curiosity and interest.

You will be given a schedule to turn things around for the gym and OVW. How bad was it during filming last summer?

You will see the reality. We work with almost zero budgets. Our job is to use our television show as a commercial. This is a wrestling show. Sell ​​our product to motivate people to pay for tickets and then generate a television audience to monetize our television show. It is an ongoing endeavor. We’re still fighting and doing everything we can to make things work and achieve our goals, while at the same time trying to produce a television product that looks and feels like a national experience at a regional level. We are doing what we can to achieve these goals.

Among those featured is Jessie Godderz, who was a real-life OVW champion and even recently made a cameo appearance Big Brother this season. Who else will we see?

Each brings a different story. Jessie because he was there on a bigger platform and is rebuilding himself. Ca$h Flo exists because he has a wife and kids and is trying to make it while pursuing his dream. Haley J because she is so young. Mahabali Shera literally left his homeland to pursue his dreams. I think everyone has different aspects of what it takes. I tell people all the time: If you want to live a life that others don’t live, you have to be willing to do things that others won’t do. This is a good insight into all of this.


It’s fun to see old clips from former stars like John Cena, Dave Bautista, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton and more. It highlights how important it is to have places like OVW.

I had individual experiences with everyone when they made it to WWE. Cody Rhodes, we really took him from the ground up too… There were so many others who had a significant impact on the WWE and the wrestling business as a whole. I think it proves how important a place like this is. The real goal of continuing education is to learn how to become a star, an attraction. Learn what makes you special and present that to an audience. You’ll learn about working on television, which is completely different than working on a live event, and live television, which is different from post-production television. There are very few places these days that give a person the opportunity to learn all of these skills and enter a WWE fully prepared for their time in a microcosm of what they will experience.

John Cena has definitely made the most of his time in OVW. What do you remember about working with him in his early days after graduating from WWE?

He worked tirelessly with John Cena. The guy holds the record for the number of Make-A-Wish wishes granted. He was willing to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You see the success. We recently had a film made about the life and times of Mildred Burke, Queen of the Ring. We had the studio here. They rehearsed and coordinated the stunts at OVW. In came Charlotte Flair and Andrade. Charlotte was originally slated for a role in the film. They worked on stunt coordination. They were here four or five days. She and Andrade would ask if they could train in professional wrestling. This went far beyond what she physically did in the film. That showed exactly who she is and where she is and what she is like. You never stop working, pushing and doing your best to achieve more. The same goes for Cena, Lesnar, Bautista and others who learned that work ethic in places like OVW.

You worked with Cody Rhodes. How do you rate his success today?

I’m very proud of Cody and not surprised. I could see he had that in him. This drive. I didn’t know where Cody would go or what he would accomplish. That he would be at the level he is at now. However, I knew he had the potential.

Another famous OVW alum is the polarizing CM Punk. A very strong-willed and stubborn person. How do you think his return to the ring went?

Most of the really successful wrestlers you see have very strong confidence and will. You can see that with CM Punk the first day he entered OVW. He had both qualities. You urgently need all of this to survive in this business. Not even to thrive, but simply to survive. A strong personality, strong opinions, strong will and strong mind lead to some conflicts.

They inevitably happen. They happen everywhere. Not just AEW. They appear in the WWE, OVW, three letters together with a w. Here, as a talent, you have to learn to find your way in the backstage area. As a promoter or booker you also have to navigate talent in the backstage area. From what I know and what I hear about personality conflicts and such in AEW, I know there is still some unrest in Punk. I really hope they can get through all of this. Everyone experiences growing pains. I hope they can avoid all of this to not only survive but thrive because the wrestling business and wrestling fans desperately need them to continue to thrive. We need this alternative for so many reasons for the fans, the wrestlers and the wrestling business in general.

What is your main takeaway from the filming experience and what will we see?

I’m excited but scared. When you’re in the public eye and the center of attention, people notice that you develop a very thick skin. All the attention won’t be on you, and if it is, it won’t always be good. I just hope I’m not the center of attention on this show. I want to focus more on the talent I’m trying to sell each week. I hope it gives OVW and these talents a leg up in terms of recognition, exposure and interest. If they support me in this, then so be it.

Wrestler Premiere, September 13, Netflix

Source : www.tvinsider.com

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