Friday, September 11, 2020


There is a weird stigma and shame that can come along with being a fan of professional wrestling. I’m living proof of this. As a child I was the only kid in my close group of friends that liked it. In high school there were a small few of us but people still thought we were stupid for liking it. And I can’t tell you how many disappointed looks I’ve gotten from certain adult friends in recent years when they discover that the guy who appreciates weird/interesting films & music (that also works on the corporate end of interior design) likes to watch jacked-up men beat each other up in predetermined fights.

Look...I get it. As much as I love the sport even I know it’s kind of silly. Even more silly when it’s out of context. I like to imagine people that aren’t familiar with the world of pro-wrestling flipping through channels and stumbling across something wrestling-related and being genuinely confused...

If you’re unfamiliar with this form of entertainment, what are you supposed to make of all this??

That’s part of what David Findlay’s latest short film Found Me is about. The stigma of liking something (pro wrestling specifically) that’s super niche. In this particular case it’s independent French-Canadian professional wrestling (which should explain why I used the term “super niche” as international indie pro-wrestling is a world unto it’s own outside of “Major” pro-wrestling that's scene on television).
Found Me also plays off of the commonly used phrase; “wrestling isn’t for everyone” (commonly used among people within the pro-wrestling business). It’s not. Even large people with giant muscle and great “looks” aren’t guaranteed success in the business. So you can imagine the additional hill that “smaller” wrestlers have to climb in order to make it. Smaller wrestlers are often told “no” and hear “can’t” so often that at a certain point they must become numb to the sound of those two words. That’s why when “smaller” physique wrestlers like CM Punk or Daniel Bryan finally become household names, it makes it just a little more special because they had to work slightly harder than a John Cena or a Dave Bautista (no disrespect to either Cena or Bautista).

The nameless main character in Found Me is a small-framed guy but he doesn’t want to be a pro-wrestler. He wants to be a referee. I think the reason why this film is a play on the phrase “wrestling isn’t for everyone” is because I think this nameless main character knows he doesn’t have the build to be a pro-wrestler but he can still participate in some way. Sometimes you love something so much that at one point you want to stop being a fan. You just have to find your lane. As long as you have the drive and respect for the business, there are multiple things to do in pro-wrestling outside of being the main attraction. Besides referees there’s managers, announcers, ring side assistants, ticket takers, bookers, etc.

That’s what makes this film so unique and additionally niche in that it focuses on a smaller and sometimes overlooked role (refereeing) within a niche world (indie wrestling) within a bigger niche world (pro-wrestling as a whole).
Found me is a short film so we don’t get in to the specifics of a referee’s job but the film does convey the importance of having one in a match (besides counting to 3 or calling for the bell due to a submission or interference, they sometimes have to keep time, enforce specific rules & stipulations and just maintain a general sense of order).

Earlier on I used words like “shame” and “stigma” because our protagonist keeps his love of wrestling a secret from his friends and significant other. He secretly goes to wrestling shows by himself late at night almost as if he’s ashamed (his secret is eventually found out in a scene that’s quite possibly one of the sweetest cinematic moments of this year).
I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn when I say that Found Me is one of the greatest films to focus on both the joy and shame of loving something like professional wrestling.
I’m not sure what David Findlay’s plans are with this after the festival season but I hope he makes this special film accessible to all. The execution of this movie is much more serious and heartfelt than most movies about Pro-wrestling but at the same time it would make for a great triple feature with Ready To Rumble & Fighting With My Family.


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