This looks interesting, if only because my guy crush Zac Efron figures to spend most of the movie with his shirt off.
The Von Erichs (nee Adkisson) were a Texas wrestling family. The father and five of his sons wrestled. Three were major stars: David, Kevin and Kerry. World Class Championship Wrestling, their Dallas-based family-owned promotion, did huge business and popped internationally from 1981-85. Over 32,000 were at Texas Stadium when Kerry Von Erich beat Ric Flair for the NWA world title on May 6, 1984.
But things went very bad.
Four of the five wrestling Von Erich brothers died, three via suicide: Mike in 1987, Chris in 1991, Kerry in 1993. David passed in 1984, perishing mysteriously in Japan. Many in wrestling assumed drugs were involved. (A sixth Von Erich brother, Jack Jr., died at age six in 1959 when he was electrocuted, fell face first into a puddle and drowned.)
It’s a horribly sad story. Only Kevin survives, famously saying, “I used to have five brothers. Now I’m not even a brother.”
The sidebars are almost as bad: The father, Fritz, routinely exploited his sons’ tragedies to make money. But that’s wrestling.
“The Iron Claw” is a story that’s hard to tell. But it’s worth telling.
“The Iron Claw” will be in theaters Dec. 22.