The latest film to be produced by WWE studios makes its way onto Netflix. The (very) child friendly The Main Event tells the story of a young, passionate wrestling fan who comes across an old wrestling mask, but he soon discovers this is no ordinary mask. It grants him special powers. Superhuman strength, agility, and a new level of confidence which he so desperately needs. Coincidently, at the time of his discovery, WWE’s baby company NXT, happens to be offering a spot on their roster for a newcomer by hosting a try-out tournament in his hometown.
This is the Like Mike for the next generation, and it’s not even remotely subtle with its similarities. A youngster who’s had his fair share of family related neglect, seen as a punching bag to a group of troubled individuals, who happens to come across a form of relic that grants him the ability to excel in the one thing he’s most passionate about. Yeah, certainly not the most original of concepts.
It’s no secret that the world of wrestling is as fake as the alias’ many of them take on (sorry wrestling fans), but the level of absurdity that this film takes in order to appease only the youngest of viewers, makes for the cringiest of viewing experiences for those old enough to understand just how painfully inept the whole thing is.
It almost feels unfair to bash a film that has so much young talent attached to it, but they are not responsible for this movies general stink. Director Jay Karas has opted to provide something that keeps its latest generation of sports entertainment fans invested, but leaving anyone over the age of around 10 feeling furiously uncomfortable.
Admittedly this is a kids film, and so that puts me out of the intended audience, but the likes of Disney and Dreamworks have been producing films for the same age range, whilst also drawing the attention of adults thanks to their more complex narratives. That’s the issue I take with The Main Event. Its pure simplicity and lazy attempt at filmmaking makes this WWE studios project feel much more like a belly flop than it does a body slam.