Max Landis’ new video explains why pro wrestling is amazing


See the video every wrestling fan can’t stop talking about, but don’t be surprised if it also leaves you green with envy…

For the past two days I’ve had people asking me over and over again if I’d seen a certain YouTube video. So let this post definitively state that YES, I have indeed watched Max Landis’ Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling essay, and think it’s pretty great. But first, why not give it a watch yourself if you haven’t yet.

Hollywood wunderkind Max Landis gives a lengthy rundown of Triple H’s career, and casts dozens of cool people to help him drunkenly retell it all from memory. He fills the video with a huge group of friends to recreate wrestling history, simultaneously explaining why sports entertainment has the capacity to be the greatest long form storytelling in American fiction. There’s also some great mini-deconstruction of folks like Undertaker, Daniel Bryan, even the unmentionable Chris Benoit. Landis’ brief bit about how the boring perfection of John Cena is spot on, all the way down to an hilarious parody of Cena’s entrance theme.

And the casting is choice, gender-swapping the actor for almost every major role, and packing the film with cameos from celebs and non-WWE wrestlers alike. You may even see previous Laser Time guest DC Pierson in there. However, I hate to admit that I didn’t recognize any of the young women who star in it, and even a subsequent Googling didn’t get rid of all my confusion. Frankly, I felt old as hell, thinking “Are these who the kids like on their Disney shows these days?” The credits helped a little, but not much:

Along with dealing with befuddlement, I also had to parse out some feelings of frustration and envy at Landis’ production. Much like in his Death of Superman video, Landis is retelling a very long, complicated story from memory, stories I know all too well. Whenever he gets something slightly wrong, my nerdy defenses go into overload. “That’s now exactly right about how Trip and Stephanie got married! Why does he get to have all these famous people star in his video when he keeps getting the minutia wrong!?! Waaaah!” I start missing the larger points of his video, all because I’m more than a little jealous of him. How come the son of legendary filmmaker John Landis is also an expert in comics, wrestling, and everything else I love? Subconsciously, I can’t help but think it’s a little unfair.

If you’re feeling the same thing too about Landis’ work (I can’t be alone, right?), I suggest taking a deep breath, counting to 10, and letting go of every tiny flaw you spot. Because even if he gets a few things wrong – which he openly admits to in both essays – he makes great, overarching points about some of my favorite entertainment. And if I ever need to explain to normal people why wrestling is so special, or why Superman comics can be boring, I now need only pull up YouTube. Though maybe I’ll watch alongside them, just so I can point out how that’s not exactly how Superboy’s origin worked…

By the way, if you’re looking for lengthy more discussions of wrestling and comics, check out these awesome podcasts Cape Crisis and Cheap Popcast!


11 thoughts on “Max Landis’ new video explains why pro wrestling is amazing

  1. This was disturbingly watchable. This is coming from someone who doesn’t watch wrestling anymore but never misses an episode of Cheap Popcast.

  2. I actually got chills during the last couple minutes where they had the montage with all HHH’s wrestling crews. So fantastic.

  3. I know nothing about wrestling, I’ve never watched a single round. This was extremely entertaining and makes me want to watch wrestling.

  4. I feel you on the jealousy bit.

    When i first saw his Death and Return of Superman video i was surprisingly bitter.
    I’ve been a broke-ass indie filmmaker for nearly 10 years and it’s been like running a 10K through knee high mud. The fact that he gets to run on the cusshy astroturf because his last name is LANDIS infuriated me.
    I think it may have even stung MORE that his videos are actually really good. The bitterness eventually passed and I’m able to enjoy his (pretty awesome) work.

    At least it’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one who went all irrational on Max Landis and his ytube videos lol.

  5. That was pretty fun to watch!

    I don’t follow wrestling directly, but man, I honestly wouldn’t mind watching more Wrestler’s storyline recaps if they were recreated like this XD

  6. This was really well done. I didn’t expect to stick around and watch the whole thing, but it kept my attention and was pretty entertaining. More entertaining than any Triple H promo for the past few years

  7. This video made my wife, whom is not a wrestling fan, stop what she was doing and watch the entire video with me. Very well done video.

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