Film / Kayfabe: A Fake Real Movie About A Fake Real Sport

Kayfabe: A Fake Real Movie About A Fake Real Sport (also released as Kayfabe: Work Your Gimmick) is a 2007 Mockumentary about Professional Wrestling written and directed by Michael Raven and Michael Scully, and is a loving tribute to the fiction and reality of wrestling. The story concerns the TCICWF (Tri-City International Championship Wrestling Federation), which is ending due to their lease not being renewed. The individual wrestlers, ranging from the heel Randy "The Rocket" Tyler to his perennial face opponent Steve Justice to the jobbers such as "Lucky" Lupichuk (gang-banger, loser, and blader), El Roboto Magnifico (masked robot wrestler) to "Tomahawk Jacques" (Canadian-French Irish-Native American wrestler) to Casa Nova (Camp Straight muscle man) to Blue Blazer (the rookie, forced to use the most absurd gimmicks), are all trying to make their most of the final shows, and trying to figure out what more there is to life than wrestling.

Skewering multiple wrestling tropes, as well as indy wrestling in general, this film is a must-see for anyone in the wrestling business.

The film has been made available on YouTube in September 2016 after the original official website went down.

This film exhibits the following tropes

  • Arc Words: "Gimmick" is initially used to describe the gimmick used by the wrestlers, but is then used interchangeably to refer to blading, merchandising, kayfabe, and everything else in the business.
  • Camp Straight: Casa Nova is played up as fitting every gay stereotype up to and including portraying himself as a ladies man without a lady in sight. At the end of the film, we meet his hot fiancée Tatiana.
  • C-List Fodder: "Lucky" Lupichuk is billed in every match as having never won a match in his fourteen month career. He wins his final match against the "Idaho Assassin".
  • Cheap Heat: Randy lives on this trope. His final match has him instructing the audience on proper hygiene before the match starts.
  • Cool Old Guy: Al Thompson, owner of the promotion, steps into the ring for the final match to demonstrate the skills he was known for. He's just as old and frail as you might expect, but make up for it with dirty tactics and a refusal to run the match as called.
  • Fan Boy: Cam Cunningham does odd jobs around the gym, including rounding up props for them, in hopes that one day he can break into the business like his hero, Randy.
  • Finishing Move: The wrestlers establish before the match what the "finishing move" will be, and the wrestlers jealously guard their particular signature move.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: "The Ninja Assassin of Death" is a masked wrestler ostensibly flown in from Japan actually Randy Tyler. Lampshaded in that Marco Pain constantly makes fascism references as Jimmy Swagger, the other announcer, corrects him about how Japan is a democracy, and one of the USA's major trade allies.
  • Good Is Dumb: The faces always fall for Tyler's handshake shenanigans even as the audience yells out that it's a trap.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Todd Powers is not a fan of foul language and uses very minced oaths in the ring.
  • The Heart: Despite his heel persona, Tyler is the one who holds the wrestling promotion together when Al disappears. He even gives Justice the victory and the title in the last match, contrary to how he booked it, because he saw that it was what the fans wanted, and because he knew Justice needed it.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Casa Nova is a walking stereotype with how he's obsessed with his physique, is constantly naked in the locker room, and how he insists on maintaining holds that involve mashing wrestler crotches because "it's hot". The interviewer even explicitly asks about the link between wrestling and homoeroticism, much to the discomfort of every wrestler but Casa Nova.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: The announcers valiantly try to establish this when Justice decides to maintain a four-minute chinlock on Lucky to spite the crowd.
  • Improbable Weapon User: One of the matches is a hardcore match between Lucky and the "Idaho Assassin". The usual weapons come into play, from cookie trays to a steel chair to barbed wire. But the ultimate weapon that the "Idaho Assassin" pulls out after discarding several others? A baked potato.
  • Kayfabe: Beyond the name of the film, the plot makes clear that the audience expects certain tropes to be in play even as they mock them.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Several of the wrestlers are convinced that Casa Nova must be gay due to his aforementioned lack of pants in the locker room, an obsession with oiled physiques, and a tendency to maintain holds in the ring just a bit too long.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: Tyler's usual ending is to get his opponent and the referee off-guard with a crotch-kick or powder followed by him pulling a roll of quarters from this trunks to land the final punch. In this case, it's incredible obvious that he cheated because the quarters usually go everywhere.
  • Religious Bruiser: Todd Powers is a Christian both in and out of the ring, complete with a wrestling singlet featuring Ichthys symbols.
  • The Rival: Justice and Tyler, both in and out of the ring. In-ring, they play out the heel vs. face dynamic. Out of the ring, Justice wants to be recognized more while Tyler recognizes the value of having the audience hate the current champion and cheer for them to be deposed. Ultimately, Tyler gives Justice the victory and the belt in the last match because it's best for the business.
  • Running Gag: Cam keeps forgetting the bell, leading to outlandish replacements.
  • Squash Match: Steve Justice insists on this when he gets double-booked (which is apparently often) so that he can conserve his strength for the main match. It turns out that most of his opponents are his usual rival, Randy Tyler, under a mask. Both Lucky and Jacques suffer from this in their respective matches.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The ending credits scrolls over a final interview with Randy where he describes where everyone wound up, and his belief that they'll all come back to the TCICWF. His own epilogue is detailed, but his work uniform suggests that he was not one of the ones who found success.