‘The Other Side of the Ring’: A different take on the wrestling documentary
The wrestling documentaries popular these days all end the same way: in tragedy. Jeremy Norrie, director of “The Other Side of the Ring,” goes the other direction, following the booker’s inclination to send the fans home happy.
“I’ve watched a lot of the other documentaries, and some of them are really, really good, but there is a little dramatization, and they focus on some of the real horror stories,” Norrie said. “I kind of liked the idea that this doesn’t have to necessarily be a bad thing, that everybody’s story is, you know, a personal journey, and there’s emotional tie-ins for everybody. Some are like, more harsh than others, right? But it doesn’t have to make wrestling into this horrible thing. It can be a great thing.”
“The Other Side of the Ring,” which will be available on Tubi TV, Vimeo on Demand and Google Play on May 20, features the stories of four women – Katarina Leigh Waters, Keta Meggett, Delilah Doom and Shelly Martinez – who are making it in the male-dominated world of professional wrestling.
If there’s a breakout star-in-the-making in the film, it would be Doom, 32, a star on the indy scene in SoCal who has had a couple of cups of coffee in WWE.
You definitely root for her throughout to get the shot that talents like Darby Allin and Austin Theory got from being featured on the Vice series “The Wrestlers.”
But to be honest, you root for all four, which is what Norrie was going for making the film.
“Seeing what women in wrestling are accomplishing, it’s really impressive. I thought, this is a great opportunity to highlight some of the accomplishments and just the journey that women are going through right now. Because this is a unique thing. It’s not going to be this way in 10 years. So let’s kind of document this and hear a little bit from their perspective,” Norrie said.
Martinez and Waters both had runs in WWE and TNA Impact, and though Martinez is just 41, and Winters is 40, they represent sort of the OG generation of women’s wrestlers, who had to blaze the trail, from when women in wrestling were an afterthought, then eye candy in bra and panties matches, to where women’s wrestling is today, main-eventing Wrestlemanias.
Meggett, 42, went down a different path, getting her start a little later career-wise – in 2013, at age 34 – and focusing her efforts with the all-female promotion Women of Wrestling, the promotion founded in 2000 by David McLane, the driving force behind the iconic 1980s “Glorious Ladies of Wrestling.”
More info on ‘The Other Side of the Ring’
- The Other Side of the Ring will be available on Tubi TV (where available), Vimeo on Demand and Google Play on May 20, with other platforms to follow.
- Trailer: youtu.be/EFxal1yIVZc.
In “The Other Side of the Ring,” Norrie gives each the chance to talk about how they got into the business, the challenges they’ve faced, what their goals are at this stage in their careers.
“They all had very different stories, but there were parallels, as life is, there’s certain things we can kind of share, and then there’s certain things that make our stories different. It was interesting to see how they kind of dealt with those things, and their personalities,” Norrie said.
One thing that stands out: “All of the ladies have this deep love for wrestling, and even with their journeys, being more or less successful, they all love it,” Norrie said.
That shows through Norrie’s work. He doesn’t take you down wrestling’s dark side.
He hopes you actually still want to watch wrestling after watching his movie.
“I think wrestling could be loved by more people,” he said.
Story by Chris Graham