Movie Reviews

The Perfect Wrestling Documentary TV Show To See After The Iron Claw

the dark side of the ring

After watching The Iron Claw, audiences need to check out a hard-hitting wrestling documentary show that gives new insights into the movie’s story. Directed by Sean Durkin, The Iron Claw is a profoundly poignant biopic that focuses on the series of tragedies faced by the wrestling world’s renowned Von Erich family. The film’s tear-jerking drama is further elevated by the compelling performances of its cast, which includes Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Maura Tierney, Stanley Simons, Holt McCallany, and Lily James.

The Iron Claw is not the first film that uses the wrestling world as a narrative device to tell a deeply emotional and multi-layered story. Before The Iron Claw, Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler achieved something similar by portraying an old wrestler’s struggles to come to terms with his life outside the ring. A 2019 documentary also dives deep into the personal lives of many renowned wrestlers and, like The Iron Claw, even dedicates some of its runtime to exploring the Von Erichs’ true story.

Although many documentaries have covered the inner workings of the wrestling world, Dark Side of the Ring stands out because it walks through some of the darkest and lesser-known stories of the sport. Instead of merely reciting these events from the sport’s history, the documentary features everything from accurate reenactments to moving interviews with well-known figures. In each new episode, the documentary focuses on a specific event or controversy that shook the wrestling world and presents a well-rounded perspective towards it instead of inclining towards any biases.

Produced by Vice Studios, Dark Side of the Ring started airing in 2019 and has five seasons so far. It has a total of 50 episodes, with many featuring narrations from renowned wrestlers like Dutch Mantel, Mick Foley, and Chris Jericho. Similar to The Iron Claw, Dark Side of the Ring attempts to shed light on the truth behind some of the most infamous and tragic moments in professional wrestling history. It neither judges the ones involved in its historical accounts nor does it shy away from providing a candid look into some grim realities that dawned on the sport.

From Bruiser Brody’s murder to Adrian Adonis’ tragic fall, Dark Side of the Ring recounts many incidents that shook the wrestling world. In its first season’s episode 4, titled “The Last of the Von Erichs,” the documentary series also walks through all the milestones in the Von Erichs’ wrestling journey while highlighting their biggest challenges and tragedies. Featuring reenactments and real wrestling footage of all the major events in the family’s wrestling timeline, the episode also presents Kevin Von Erich’s account of everything he remembers about his family’s history.

Like The Iron Claw, the episode takes viewers on an emotional roller coaster by initially highlighting how the Von Erich brothers rose to fame in the world of professional wrestling. It juxtaposes their triumphs and wins with heart-wrenching personal tragedies that befell the family. The episode can be distressing and hard to watch, especially after seeing The Iron Claw‘s account of the wrestling family’s harrowing past. However, it balances these moments of intense sorrow with Kevin Von Erich’s narration, who keeps a positive outlook towards his life and feels grateful for the experiences he shared with his brothers.

The first four seasons of Dark Side of the Ring are available for streaming on Hulu and Vice TV. Two seasons of the docuseries can also be streamed on The Roku Channel, Tubi, and Spectrum. Viewers can also watch Dark Side of the Ring’s season 2 on Hoopla Digital. All five seasons of the wrestling documentary series can also be purchased on Amazon, Google Play, Fandango At Home, and Microsoft. Apple TV+ also provides a buying option for all five seasons of Dark Side of the Ring. The Iron Claw, on the other hand, can be streamed on Max.