Monday, July 19, 2010

Wrestling Documentary takes on ESPN, AOL, Youtube, and eBay

Washington DC (PRWEB) July 15, 2010

STRONGHOLD: In the Grip of Wrestling, which recently made its Hollywood premiere in the All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival, cites ESPN, AOL, Youtube, and eBay for their involvement in the dissolution of wrestling in America.

ESPN's website is noted for not having a dedicated page for college wrestling. "Go down a list of sports in search of wrestling, and it's probably not there," states the narrator. Though ESPN televises the NCAA wrestling finals, you won't find the sport listed under their College Sports page.

The documentary cites eBay's 2006 decision that "all amateur-made wrestling videos (those not shown on TV) must be listed under the Mature Audiences section—even if they contain no sexual content—because they are intended to arouse." Yet the filmmaker recalls a year later seeing dozens of listings of scantily-clad female catfight and mixed wrestling videos in the General Audiences categories: "So according to eBay, girl on girl wrestling, OK. Girl on guy wrestling, sure. Two guys wrestling? PORN."

Youtube is noted for either removing homemade wrestling videos, or warning that they are "not suitable for minors," no matter what the content. Even one of the film's trailers was removed from Youtube. As with all Youtube removals, a specific reason for what part of a clip violates their Terms of Service is never given to the uploader.

AOL also temporarily removed the filmmaker's online profile in 2005 for including a picture of himself in a standard wrestling singlet. According to the email sent by AOL, such photos "clearly outline male genitalia." In a screen graphic titled, Battle of the Bulge, eighteen states are listed where it is illegal to have an erection in public under clothing.

All of these examples are part of a segment on the often homophobic perception of wrestling in America, and subsequently, the acknowledgment of wrestling's homoeroticism. A 15-minute section of the documentary includes examples of wrestling homoeroticism in the arts, advertisements, and movies. Both gay and straight-identified men describe being sexually attracted to wrestling since childhood, either while watching early pro wrestling, or participating in it themselves. A psychologist attests to this as a normal part of sexual development. The question is presented to the viewers by the narrator, "Have we created a culture of fear and shame for how nature made us, how we are as men, that is ultimately hurting wrestling?"

The two-hour documentary also covers the history of wrestling, the effects of Title IX on amateur wrestling, and how WWE altered pro wrestling (Vince McMahon meets an untimely death in the film). The growing sport of Jiu-Jitsu is also examined as a much-needed outlet for grown men to grapple. The film takes you back stage at a pro indy show, inside amateur wrestling tournaments, a jiu-jitsu school, and several wrestling events specifically geared for adult men. Award-winning filmmaker, Victor Rook, even pulls strangers out of bars and truck stops to wrestle in a portion of the film noted as The Great Wrestling Road Trip.

For additional information and to order Stronghold: In the Grip of Wrestling on DVD or online Pay-Per-View, visit the film's official website at