13 Wrestling Stories We Want After Iron Claw

With "The Iron Claw" garnering critical acclaim and already turning a profit at the box office, it stands to reason that the saga of the Von Erich Family won't be the last wrestling-centric story we see hit the big screen. And that's a good thing because there are plenty of wrestling biopics we'd like to see get the attention they deserve, entertaining both dedicated wrestling fans and laypersons alike. 

There's a uniqueness in lives dedicated to wrestling as a profession that appeals to the masses, whether due to an appreciation for the craft, simple fandom, or even a can't-turn-away-from-a-car-crash point of view. Some of the more iconic names on the list we're about to put forth — Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair — have all eclipsed the wrestling bubble and exist today as fixtures of popular culture. Even if you weren't following Savage against Ricky Steamboat, Hogan versus Andre the Giant, or Flair taking on Harley Race, Sting, or Vader, you know of these legends. But you might not know their life stories, and that's the draw to making films out of these extraordinary lives.

In those examples alone, we have a minor league baseball player who taught himself to throw with both arms after an injury before giving wrestling a chance; a music enthusiast convinced to try wrestling, undeterred at having his leg broken during his first training session; and an abandoned child, stolen from an orphanage and adopted to start life anew, who would later survive a plane crash in the midst of his legendary wrestling career.

On the heels of "The Iron Claw," we can't wait to see what — and who — is next. 

Here are our top candidates for wrestling stories we want to see in theaters before too long.

The Guerrero Family

With Chavo Guerrero Jr. already having served as wrestling coordinator for "GLOW," "Young Rock," and "The Iron Claw," and receiving accolades for all, nobody will have to worry about the in-ring proficiency in any film about The Guerreros. And that would be fitting, since technical excellence is what everyone from the family's patriarch, Gory, to his four sons, Chavo Sr., Mando, Hector and Eddie, all the way down to grandson, Chavo Jr., is known for.

The Guerrero family story would almost certainly start with Gory, known as a pioneer of Mexican lucha libre and the inventor of namesake moves like the Gory Special, what would ultimately become the Gory Bomb, and even The Camel Clutch. From there, details of his sons training would be laid out, including the debuts of Chavo Sr., Mando, and Hector, all between 1970 and 1975, and Eddie much later in 1985.

The Guerreros' story involves classic rivalries, including a familial battle with the Von Erichs and classic spats versus "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.

Eddie's story would take over ultimately, with "Latino Heat" achieving the highest level of success among the family members, winning the WWE Heavyweight Championship at No Way Out in 2004, but also ending in tragic fashion with his death in 2005. Still, a film about The Guerrero Family would be filled with tradition, pride, and honor, not to mention top notch wrestling action, and if done right, could be on par with "The Iron Claw."

Jim Ross

One might think this an odd choice, what with the majority of Jim Ross' career spent as an announcer but he's actually worn just about all the hats in the business (yes, including the iconic black one) and what his eyes and ears have seen and heard over his decades in the industry is a unique perspective fit for the big screen. From Mid-South to WCW, his lengthy tenure in WWE, New Japan, AEW most recently and several shorter stints elsewhere in between, Ross has just about seen it all.

Anyone who has listened to any of Ross' several podcasts knows that his stories and connections in the wrestling business are second to none and with that in mind, a Jim Ross biopic would probably benefit from his legendary voice serving as the narrator. And with a pair of autobiographies already in the fold, the source material from the man himself is there.

We see some of the important story beats starting with his youth in Oklahoma, where Ross was an accomplished athlete himself, his pairing up with Bill Watts as his wrestling journey began, trials and tribulations in WCW (notably butting heads with Eric Bischoff), his long saga in WWE (including multiple comings and goings), his personal life with his late wife Jan and his children, and various friendships of interest led by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Vince McMahon, and Jerry "The King" Lawler.

Dusty Rhodes

What are the odds this one would be called "The American Dream?" Dusty Rhodes' appeal to the common man was always his biggest asset and his enduring legacy, other than his family, centers around his contributions to the wrestling industry everywhere he went. Rhodes stuck out, thanks to his charm first and ability, and a body type that wasn't like most other wrestlers of his era, who worked toward hulking frames and chiseled physiques. Dusty's everyman body only added to his allure and his Bionic Elbow is an iconic move still invoked by many, including his sons, Cody and Dustin, today.

His rise to prominence included feuds with the likes of Terry Funk, Harley Race, and Ric Flair, and no account of Rhodes' wrestling career would be worth its salt without featuring his legendary "Hard Times" promo. But real life hard times would also be a focus of a Rhodes life chronicle, with Dusty falling on as much following his second WCW run, agreeing to shoot local car dealership commercials so he could keep his vehicle and pawning personal items just to pay a few bills. 

Paul Heyman and ECW came calling and Dusty resurrected his career to a certain extent, eventually starting Turnbuckle Pro Wrestling and toiling through the independent circuit before landing back in WWE where eventually, he would become a trainer in NXT, heralded to this day as one of the most influential forces behind a long list of today's biggest superstars, not just in WWE but across the international wrestling landscape.

From Mulligan to Wyatt and everything in between

A film about the life of the late, great Windham Rotunda (Bray Wyatt) would likely be a draw enough all on its own but his story begins long before his beginning, with a family lineage up there with some of the most revered of all time.

Robert Windham was better known to wrestling fans as Blackjack Mulligan, WWE Hall of Famer, one of the nastiest wrestling villains in history, and the patriarch of the Windham/Rotunda family of wrestling. Wyatt often attributed many of his mannerisms and in-ring abilities to Mulligan, his maternal grandfather. Windham's WWE Hall of Fame induction came as part of The Blackjacks, alongside Blackjack Lanza, in 2006.

Mike Rotunda, notably known as Irwin R. Schyster (IRS) in WWE, is Wyatt's father and the son-in-law of Mulligan, having married his daughter, Stephanie. Rotunda's other son, Taylor, portrayed Bo Dallas (and maybe/probably/although either way uncredited Uncle Howdy most recently) in WWE.

Barry and Kendall Windham are Mulligan's sons and uncles to Windham and Taylor, with the former obviously named after that famous side of the family. Barry was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of The Four Horsemen in 2012.

This family story largely tells itself on the grounds of a nearly unrivaled pedigree but given the timeliness of Wyatt's death in 2023, his overall popularity with fans, and the legacy that he leaves behind based on his uniqueness, creativity, and body of work, it could easily begin with a backstory and pivot to focus heavily on Windham Rotunda.

Brock Lesnar

Here's a guy whose list of accomplishments is simply hard to believe: National Junior College Heavyweight Wrestling Champion and two-time All-American; NCAA Division I Heavyweight Champion, two-time Big Ten Conference Champion, and two-time All-American; 7-time WWE Champion, 3-time WWE Universal Champion, two-time Royal Rumble Winner, and the youngest WWE Champion in history; IWGP Heavyweight Champion; UFC Heavyweight Champion; and oh yeah, in 2004, he left WWE to pursue a career in the National Football League, having not played since high school, and he damn near made the Minnesota Vikings!

Brock Lesnar's story truly is one of those you-couldn't-write-a-better-story situations, which makes it perfect for a movie. The only problem might well be getting Lesnar, a very private person by most accounts, to greenlight such a project. And when he tells you no, good luck getting him to change his mind.

In wrestling, his dominant debut in WWE as "The Next Big Thing" in 2002 — debuting in March, winning King of the Ring in June, and becoming WWE Undisputed Champion by August — forced the eyes of wrestling fans everywhere to lock in on Lesnar and they haven't turned away since. Despite several lengthy departures, you know, to win the UFC heavyweight championship, fans have always jumped out of their seats when Lesnar shows back up in WWE, main eventing all over the world and as consistent a draw as perhaps the company has ever seen.

Mick Foley

Mick Foley was able to do something a countless number of kids across the world have dreamed about in creating a wrestling character in his younger days and making it a reality as a professional when Dude Love debuted in WWE 1997. And that was after Mankind was already an established on-screen star, and before Cactus Jack was resurrected in WWE after years of prominence in WCW, ECW, in Japan, and several other promotions. And then he had all three personae participate in the same Royal Rumble in 1998. Three WWE World Championships and a 2013 Hall of Fame induction for a middle class Long Island boy willing to do whatever he needed to do to make it in the wrestling industry makes for a tale worth telling.

Perhaps it was Foley's ever-present penchant for adapting his character(s) that took his career as far as it did. Once settled back into the Mankind persona, Foley took a once-vicious and sadistic heel character and introduced a comedic side, portraying a kinder, gentler Mankind (until he needed otherwise) and introducing "Mr. Socko," to be adorned on his hand just before applying the Mandible claw finishing maneuver,.

And beyond all that, Foley the man has consistently shown his heart and talent outside the ring over the years, authoring 11 books, and being involved in several charities, mostly focused on benefiting underprivileged children. While hardcore wrestling fans quickly took to "Foley Is God" as a tag line for the legend, the man himself would much prefer to be remembered by the title of one of his books, "Foley Is Good."

The Hart Family

One of the few criticisms of "The Iron Claw" was the necessary evil it faced in having to cut certain events and characters (most notably, Chris Von Erich) from the cinematic version of the Von Erich story. If the massive Hart family is ever to make its presence known on the big screen, it'd be hard to avoid doing the same thing.

Wrestling legend Stu Hart is the patriarch of the family, the man behind the infamous "Hart Family Dungeon," and the founder of Stampede Wrestling, which yielded many future WWE superstars and other pro wrestling mainstays. All of Stu's eight sons — Smith, Bruce, Keith, Wayne, Dean, Bret, Ross, and Owen — wrestled professionally in some capacity, while all four daughters — Ellie (Jim Neidhart), Georgia (BJ Annis), Alison (Ben Bassarab), and Diana (Davey Boy Smith) — married wrestlers.

From there, the wrestling lineage only deepens with grandchildren Natalya (daughter of Jim and Ellie Neidhart), Harry Smith (son of Davey Boy Smith and Diana Hart), and Teddy Hart (son of BJ and Georgia Annis), as well as Tyson Kidd (husband to Natalya). And of course, there are unofficial relatives like Dynamite Kid, whose children were considered Hart grandchildren as well, as his first wife and Bret's are sisters; Roddy Piper, who at least claimed to be a cousin; and Brian Pillman — the only member of The Hart Foundation completely unrelated to the family.

Stu, Bret, and Jim Neidhart are recognized as WWE Hall of Famers and the Harts' former family home, known as Hart House, is protected as a heritage site by the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Trimming the Hart roster for any cinematic entity would be difficult but one name that cannot be overlooked is Owen, whose life was cut tragically short in May of 1999 in a stunt gone wrong during WWE's Over the Edge pay-per-view.

Randy Savage

Another story we'd like to see hit the mainstream is that of Randy Poffo, aka "Macho Man" Randy Savage, a bigger-than-life personality that transcended professional wrestling, coming from a family with exceptional wrestling pedigree as well. Savage's father was legendary wrestler and promoter Angelo Poffo and his younger brother, Lanny, was known as both "Leaping" Lanny Poffo and "The Genius" in WWE.

Randy was an exceptional athlete, starring as a catcher in baseball during high school, after which he was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals. Playing four seasons for the Cardinals' and Cincinnati Reds' minor league affiliates, Savage suffered a shoulder injury to his right (throwing) arm and taught himself to throw left-handed instead. But in 1974, having not emerged past A-level baseball, Savage decided it was time to move on to a new career, pursuing pro wrestling just as his father had done.

In an interesting touch of foreshadowing, Savage's first wrestling gimmick was under a mask as "The Spider." Of course, years later, he would have a memorable cameo in 2002's "Spider-Man," as Bone Saw McGraw, Peter Parker's wrestling opponent in a cage match. Beyond movies, Savage made various television appearances, was a spokesperson for Slim Jim, uttering the famous, "Snap into a Slim Jim!" line still invoked today, and even put out a rap album, "Be A Man," in 2003.

Savage's wrestling career was highlighted by two WWE World Championships, four WCW World Championships, arguably the greatest match of all time against Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III, and an on-screen love story for the ages with Miss Elizabeth, the real-life Elizabeth Hulette, whom he would eventually marry. 

In 2011, Savage suffered a fatal heart attack while driving and crashed into a tree in Seminole, Florida. He was 58 years old. In 2014, he was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by longtime friend Hulk Hogan, with his brother Lanny accepting the honor on his behalf.

Hulk Hogan

For what has seemed like forever, Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea has been a household name. Whether they love him or hate him, people know him, and his stature in the world of wrestling can't ever be forgotten. Hogan's story is beyond worth telling, as he went from being a bass player in Tampa, Florida, area rock bands in the mid-1970s to being the face of WrestleMania, the namesake of Hulkamania, and one of the most popular wrestlers of all time.

Hogan's wrestling career got off to a shaky start when, after being discovered by Jack and Gerry Brisco, he went to train with Japanese legend Hiro Matsuda, who, according to Hogan, intentionally broke his leg. After rehabbing his injury, Hogan continued to train with Matsuda and was off to the races. Following a short stint inthe then-WWF as a heel, and runs in both New Japan and the AWA, Hogan's return to WWF was shot out of a cannon when he defeated The Iron Sheik on January 23, 1984, for the World Heavyweight Championship and commentator Gorilla Monsoon proclaimed, "Hulkamania is here!"

Legendary rivalries with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Andre the Giant, Ted DiBiase, and so many more highlighted Hogan's time on top but all good things come to an end — as did Hogan's run as a good guy soon after his debut in WCW with the formation of the NWO alongside Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. As legendary as he was as a babyface, he matched or topped that as a megaheel, terrorizing WCW with his NWO cronies until that legendary storyline fell apart along with most other things-WCW.

Hogan returned to WWE, with the original NWO, in 2002, just in time for an all-time classic against The Rock at WrestleMania X8, where his return to Hulkamania babyface status began. Hogan is a two-time WWE Hall of Famer, inducted on his own in 2005 and as part of the NWO in 2020.

A biopic on Hogan was said to be in the works as recently as 2023, though delays have persisted.

Vince McMahon

While he's not without his fair share of controversy, rofessional wrestling wouldn't be what it is today without Vincent Kennedy McMahon, who purchased what was the World Wide Wrestling Federation from his father, Vince McMahon, Sr., ignoring the long-established unwritten rule of not invading other wrestling territories and ultimately growing the WWF/WWE into the global force it is today.

With that kind of takeover and the aggressive business mindset that McMahon has always had, making enemies along the way was inevitable, and stories abound from some of the old territory head conspiring to "get rid of" McMahon one way or another. Of course, that never took place, and until 2022, McMahon remained the figurehead of the professional wrestling landscape, like it or not.

There is no shortage of topics to cover in any sort of McMahon-centric film, but certainly the territorial takeover, the advent of WrestleMania, WWF's steroid scandal in 1994, 1997's "Montreal Screwjob," The Attitude Era, WWF becoming WWE in 1999, his acquisition of WCW in 2001, all the way up to his exit from the company ever-so-recently would have to be showcased.

Love him or hate him, right, wrong, or indifferent, a Vince McMahon biopic, rumored to be in the works time and again, could very well be a must-watch.

Stone Cold Steve Austin

Revered by fans and critics alike, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is right up there in terms of household wrestling names with any others on this list — or any other for that matter. His story is well-chronicled, with a biography or documentary seemingly around every corner, but to put it on the silver screen would make for pure entertainment, detailing his time in WCW, on the rise as "Stunning" Steve Austin and with Brian Pillman in the Hollywood Blonds, as well as a United States Championship run, and on the decline, bottoming out when fired by Eric Bischoff while rehabbing a torn triceps suffered during a tour of New Japan.

From there, Austin's former manager in WCW, Paul Heyman, now heading up ECW, gave Austin a short term deal to come in and largely do interviews and cut promos. In this scenario, Austin began to cultivate what would become his legendary "Stone Cold" persona in WWE, despite only having two in-ring appearances in his less than four months in ECW.

Beginning in WWE as "The Ringmaster," a protege of "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, Austin shed that gimmick in short order, winning the King of the Ring tournament a shade over six months later, defeating Jake "The Snake" Roberts and cutting the game-changing "Austin 3:16" promo afterwards.

The feud of all feuds, Austin vs. Vince McMahon would be the precipice of just about the entire Attitude Era, uniting laypersons across the world who lived vicariously through "The Texas Rattlesnake," wishing they could gut kick their boss and drop them face first to the floor with a Stunner of their own.

Though his career was cut short due to a plethora of injuries, most notably a broken neck suffered at the hands of Owen Hart at SummerSlam 1997, Austin's accolades are phenomenal: a six-time WWE World Champion and grand slam winner, the only three-time Royal Rumble winner, a 2009 inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame and, as evidenced by his WrestleMania 38 mudhole stomping of Kevin Owens, Austin Theory, McMahon, and Pat McAfee, still one bad SOB to this day.

The real Bloodline

"The Head of the Table" isn't just some gimmick that WWE concocted almost three years ago. There's a real table (well, figuratively) at which Roman Reigns sits at the helm, presiding over the elders, his peers, and those following in his footsteps. What Reigns represents is the figurehead of The Anoa'i Family, one of the most prestigious, glorified, and renowned lineages in the history of professional wrestling. "Young Rock" may have covered some of this already, but we want the whole thing. And so, if you thought the Von Erichs, Windhams, and Harts were a lot to take in ... behold, a familial wrestling tale for the ages that deserves a proper showcase:

"High Chief" Peter Maivia and Amituana'i Anoa'i were brothers and Anoa'i's sons, are known to wrestling fans as Afa and Sika of The Wild Samoans. Sika's sons are Leati Joseph "Joe" Anoa'i (Reigns) and the late Matthew Anoa'i (Rosey). The late Rodney Anoa'i (Yokozuna) was a first cousin, as was Edward Fatu (Jamal, and then Umaga), and Samuel Fatu (Tonga Kid) and Solofa Fatu, Jr. (Rikishi).

Maivia married Ofelia Fuataga, whose adopted daughter, Ata, married Rocky "Soulman" Johnson. They, of course, had a son named Dwayne, and he and then-wife Dany Garcia brought along Simone Johnson (Ava Raine).

Back on the other side of this very large tree, Afa's children include Samula Anoa'i (Samu) and Afa Anoa'i, Jr. (Manu). Rikishi's family tree extends down to twins, Jonathan and Joshua Fatu (Jimmy and Jey Uso), and Joseph Fatu (Solo Sikoa), with Jimmy, of course, married to Trinity Fatu (Naomi).

We've only scratched the surface of this story, as Maivia's first cousin is the father of Savelina Fanene (Nia Jax), and Jimmy Snuka married Maivia's niece, bringing along James Snuka, Jr. (Deuce) and Sarona Snuka (Tamina). Plus, Afa Sr.'s son Lloyd Anoa'i (LA Smooth) and nephew Sean Maluta, along with Samu's son Lance Anoa'i, Tonga Kid's boy Jacob Fatu, and Umaga's son Zilla Fatu are all just starting to make an impact on the business.

Got eight hours? Cause that's about how long this movie would likely run. But we're in.

Ric Flair

At long last, "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair. A movie for this legend has to be in the works, right? With a wrestling career spanning more than 50 years, more controversies than perhaps anyone on this list, more than one near-death experience, and oh yeah, having reached the pinnacle of the wrestling business everywhere he's been, Flair's life and career is probably more original than most scripts out there already.

Flair is recognized by WWE as a 16-time champion (eight NWA, six WCW, and two WWE), though he might tell you that number is as high as 20-something, and was also the first two-time Hall of Fame inductee (first in 2008 on his own and then again in 2012 with The Four Horsemen). But of all his accolades, of all his legendary rivalries — Harley Race, Randy Savage, Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes, Hulk Hogan, Sting, and more — perhaps what shines most about a 74-year-old Ric Flair is the fact that he long ago transcended wrestling, becoming a pop culture icon.

"Ric Flair Drip" is a thing (look it up). He still appears in rap videos, commercials, even on AEW television, where his "Wooooo Energy!" drink is a sponsor, and also promotes "Wooooo! Wings" at multiple restaurant locations across the country.

What hasn't Flair done?