Professional wrestling is as dumb as it is thrilling, but it’s long been a place where kids find their first superheroes, muscled titans who prove that good sometimes can triumph over evil. The illusion fades as we get older, of course, but there’s been some great art exploring the dark side of sports entertainment, from Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler to The Mountain Goats’ Beat The Champ to David Shoemaker’s incredible book The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling. Next up is Viceland’s Dark Side Of The Ring, a six-part docuseries that takes a true crime approach to some of the industry’s more infamous behind-the-scenes tragedies.
There’s the curious death of Bruiser Brody, for example, and the weird circumstances behind the overdose of “Gorgeous” Gino Hernandez. But the series will also delve into darkness that plagued the marriage of “Macho Man” Randy Savage and his manager, Miss Elizabeth, the latter of whom died after mixing painkillers and vodka. The infamous Montreal Screwjob will get an episode—though you should still watch the wonderful Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows documentary, which provides an in-the-moment look at it—as will the crushingly depressing allegations of sexual misconduct against women’s wrestling legend The Fabulous Moolah. If you haven’t had a good cry in a while, tune into the episode chronicling the “Von Erich curse,” which centers around the multigenerational Von Erich wrestling dynasty. The details of the suicide of one-time WWF star Kerry “The Texas Tornado” Von Erich are truly heartbreaking.
Hobo With A Shotgun director Jason Eisener directs, and wrestling mainstay Dutch Mantell provides each episode’s narration. The bell rings on the series on April 10.
Watch a trailer below.