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‘Iron Claw’: The tragic story of Von Erich’s wrestling movie begins in upstate New York


A new movie starring Zac Efron and “Bear” actor Jeremy Allen White is based on the true story of the Von Erich wrestling family, including its tragic beginnings in upstate New York.

The first trailer for “Iron Claw” debuted Wednesday, starring Efron and White as wrestlers Kevin Von Erich and Kerry Von Erich, respectively. The biopic cast also includes Harris Dickinson as David Von Erich and Stanley Simons as Mike Von Erich Erich), Holt McCallany (Mindhunter) plays their father, Fritz Von Erich, the 23-time world champion and creator of the “Iron Claw” wrestling move pioneer. .

A24’s official synopsis states: “Based on a true story, the film tells the rise and fall of the Von Erich family, a wrestling dynasty that had a huge impact on the sport from the 1960s to the present day.”

According to D Magazine, Jack Adkisson was a football star at Southern Methodist University who briefly played for the Dallas Texans of the National Football League. In the 1950s, he began wrestling as the Nazi villain character “Fritz von Erich” and came up with the “Iron Claw,” in which he thrust his hands into his opponent’s face and squeezed them. As his profile grew, he went from a heel to a “face,” or good guy in the ring, while retaining the name.

But the family still struggled financially and lived in a trailer park in Niagara Falls, New York, where two of their six children were born. Their youngest, Jackie, died at age 7 when he touched a live power line while playing in a trailer park; he was electrocuted, fell face-first into a puddle of melting snow, and drowned. Fritz was on a wrestling trip at the time.

Jackie’s death was the beginning of the “Von Erich family curse.” The family moved back to Texas, and Fritz’s other five sons eventually entered the wrestling ring and adopted the name Von Erich. Four of them died in tragic circumstances.

David Von Erich died suddenly of enteritis, an intestinal infection, in a Tokyo hotel in 1984, according to NBC. Mike, Chris and Kerry Von Erich all committed suicide between 1987 and 1993; Mike Von Erich overdosed at age 23 and Kerry Von Erich Chris Von Erich was shot in the head when he was 22 years old, and Kerry Von Erich, the WWF “Texas Tornado” who was also born in Niagara Falls, was shot in the chest when he was 33 years old. . Fritz died of brain and lung cancer in 1997 at the age of 68.

“I’m kind of crazy after all this,” Kevin Von Erich told in 2019 on the 30 For 30 episode “The Curse.” “I want to die, but I don’t want to commit suicide. I want to fight in prison, I want to be punished for what I did. This is so stupid.”

Kevin – Von Erich’s only surviving brother – retired and moved to Kauai, Hawaii, where he raised two sons and two daughters, NBC reported. He recently moved to Texas, and his sons Ross and Marshall Von Erich joined Major League Wrestling in 2019, continuing the family tradition. They are the longest reigning tag team champions in MLW history.

The Von Erich family was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.

Written and directed by Sean Durkin (“The Nest”) and starring Lily James and Maura Tierney, “Iron Claws” will be released in theaters on December 22.


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