Matt Jones and Al Snow talk upcoming Netflix Doc series Wrestlers

Wrestlers docuseries on Netflix
Wrestlers docuseries on Netflix /

The creators of Last Chance U and Cheer have entered the world of professional wrestling with their latest doc series, Wrestlers. The seven-episode series debuts on Netflix on September 13, following the wrestling company Ohio Valley Wrestling.

Wrestlers step inside the squared circle of Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, Kentucky. This is the birthplace of superstars like John Cena, Bautista, and Randy Orton. However, it’s been many years since those superstars have walked out those doors, and the company is struggling to stay afloat.

For me, Wrestlers provided a lot of context that casual fans will learn and understand about the art of professional wrestling. The world of professional wrestling is often misunderstood with the idea that it’s fake (it’s not) or it doesn’t hurt (It does), and what Wrestlers delivers is showing this and an inside look at these talented men and women chasing their what might seem unattainable wrestling dreams.

We had the opportunity to catch up with Matt Jones (Co-Owner of OVW) and Al Snow (Co-Owner and Trainer) to discuss the rise and fall of OVW, how wrestling has changed over the years and what they hope audiences learn from the Netflix series.

Hidden Remote chats with Al Snow and Matt Jones about the Netflix series, Wrestlers

Hidden Remote: Did you have any hesitations on having OVW as well as yourself as part of this doc series?

Al Snow: No, I have no hesitation as far as that’s concerned, you know, I’m, I spent many years being in the public eye and being the center of attention and, you know, I understand what it is I’m getting into and, and know it pretty intimately and, and I know that the general public can be immensely cruel and very critical and I don’t mind. It doesn’t bother me, genuinely, it really doesn’t. I’ve come to grips with that.

As far as OVW, I always worry. Familiarity breeds contempt, and the more familiar you can make an audience with a show, the more contemptuous they become of it. I didn’t want to have, for the best metaphor I can give you is the Wizard of Oz. Everything’s magical, everything’s colorful, it’s fun, it’s an adventure, and then at the end of it, you find out it was just some guy, a little short old man standing behind the curtain pulling knobs, twisting dials, and pulling chains and you’re like, that kind of sucked. I don’t want that for wrestling.

It was my hope and still is that if you’re a fan, it gives you greater insight and maybe more appreciation and respect for wrestling and the wrestlers in how challenging it is to accomplish your dreams. Even when I was involved in Tough Enough, watching someone have a dream and then having to come to grips with the reality of what it will take to accomplish that dream, that’s always been fascinating to me because, you know, let’s face it, the people that we all idolize with have all went through that very same experience.

Hidden Remote: How did the deal with Netflix to make the documentary come about?

Matt Jones: So a couple of years ago, having been in the company for about a year, I sort of thought, you know what would be cool with this show? I was a big fan of Last Chance U. I thought they should make a Last Chance U, but wrestling. How do you even go about it? Then Craig, my co-owner, happened to have gone to high school with someone who worked at BBC America. We set up a pitch. I pitched it to him. Most of the people at BBC America weren’t interested. There was one guy that thought it was a good idea. He championed the show. He happened to know Greg Whiteley just a very like one in a million chance, right? He happened to know Greg Whiteley. We pitched it to Greg, and Greg said, I love it. He came out here, and his rule was we could have no editorial control over it, and we would just give it up to him. And that’s why I haven’t even seen it.

Hidden Remote: So you kind of give Al Snow that timeline of the summer to turn things around. Do you feel like you got what you needed from that summer tour to keep going? 

Jones: So, if we don’t make money in the summer, we’re dead because I can go to all these festivals and fairs and things, and they will give us a flat amount of money to come. So I can make money on those shows. We lose money every Thursday night, every Thursday night, with very rare exceptions. If we don’t do the summer tour, we can’t survive.

Now, do many of these wrestlers don’t love getting up and going to the county fair in Clinton County? Well, maybe not. But if they want to wrestle on Thursday night, I don’t know what else we can do. So a big part of it was we got through it. We made some money, and thus, we were able to get through December and March and now we’re sitting here in September, and we did it again this summer. We got through it.

But we’re not very far removed from where we were last summer. To be honest with you, it’s kind of continually trying. We’re still losing a lot of money, but if we didn’t do the summer tour, we’d be losing a lot more money, which wouldn’t be sustainable.

Hidden Remote: One thing I loved about the documentary was seeing you get back in the ring. How was it to step back in the ring? 

Snow: I was only hesitant to do it simply because I was not selling me. I’m really trying to focus on all the other talent and create this platform to sell them. Inevitably, it’s just human nature if I’m going to be on the show, and it’s very difficult for me to split my attention between now helping to sell everyone else and then making sure that when I walk out there, I’m gonna sell me. It was challenging, I think I did. Ok. But I’m always a little reticent to do it because my real focus and goal should be on everybody else. It shouldn’t be on me.

Hidden Remote: What do you hope people take away from watching Wrestlers?

Jones: It’s one thing to be Roman Reigns. I don’t know how much he makes, but he gets to walk out every night, and the place goes crazy. He’s a massive star. You can understand why that would appeal to somebody. It’s another thing to teach middle school like Tony Gunn during the day and then come wrestle at night in front of 60 people for $75. Like why does someone do that? But they do it because they love it. They do it because it gives them an innate sense of purpose.

Snow: I hope it helps increase the relevancy and exposure for OVW and the talent to an even greater audience. Foremost of all, I hope it opens up doors and opportunities for those talents to go and live their lives and achieve their dreams sincerely. I hope it helps not OVW just like it, and we’ve been doing survive. I hope it helps us thrive.

I hope it gives everyone a better understanding, a deeper appreciation, and a much greater respect for the art form that professional wrestling is and entices them and motivates them to want to become an audience member, whether it’s OVW, AEW, or WWE I don’t, I really don’t care. I want to see the sport, the art, and the professional wrestling business.

Wrestlers is available to stream on Netflix today.  

dark. Next. The last time each NFL team went to the Super Bowl (All 32 NFL teams)