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

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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 Avenger (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.
  • Back for the Finale: Al Thompson. He even "wrestles" in the last show.
  • The Bet: Steve Justice bets to Randy the Rocket that he can get himself out of the battle royal first. Justice ultimately wins $20 for doing so.
  • Blatant Lies: Steve Justice mentions the traditional after-match bar brawl; though he claims to be above the tradition, Justice actually takes part in them!
  • Bookend: Steve Justice started and finished the film as the champion, fittingly against Randy Tyler.
  • Brutal Honesty: The comment Randy says falls under Wrestling Doesn't Pay.
    Randy: The thing you've got to remember... is that these guys, they don't do it for the money. There is no money. They do it because they love to entertain. They love to go out there and make the people boo and make people cheer... they risk their necks and bust their ass, week after week. It's a shame, because... a couple of them... a couple of them work really hard, and they all get to the show. But for most of them, most of them, it's... back to carrying a lunch pail.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Todd Powers’ shoulder injury was what derailed his football career.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Marco Pain attempts to pick up some ladies with his ''pythons''.
  • Cheap Heat: Randy lives on this trope. His final match has him instructing the audience on proper hygiene before the match starts.
  • Comically Missing the Point: A few wrestlers have done this; the highlights include Casa “Super” Nova revealing that he doesn’t speak Spanish when Justice points out that his name could mean the ‘House of “Super” Nova’, Tomahawk Jacques insisting that he washes himself all the time when the pastor insists that they keep their wrestling clean and Steve Justice calling out The Cantaloupe Kid for leaving although he chose to leave because of seeing Casa “Super” Nova in the nude.
  • 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.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Tomahawk Jacques delivers a long-awaited promo to Steve Justice after taking one too many barbs from him following the last show. The wrestlers praise Jacques for finally standing up for himself.
  • 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. Lampshaded in a later match with Steve Justice.
  • 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.
  • I'm Your Biggest Fan: Cam Cunningham prides himself as being Randy the Rocket’s big fan.
  • 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.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Casa “Super” Nova, as he takes part in an interview regarding homosexuality in wrestling. While he does make it clear that he’s for it, he does make Randy, Steve, Todd and Al uncomfortable.
  • Ironic Name: "Lucky" Lupichuk, a man who has yet to win a match when the film started. At least his luck begins to turn in his final match in TCICWF.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Marco Pain’s comment on Randy’s roll of coins against Todd Powers.
    Marco: Looks like Tyler’s trying to cash in on Powers and take this match!
  • 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.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: In-universe. Randy "The Rocket" Tyler may be the most hated wrestler TCICWF has in their roster, but off the field, he's actually a kind figure who's just doing his job. Inverted with Steve Justice, as although he plays the face, his off-screen personality does not match.
  • 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.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Tomahawk Jacques’ gimmick involves him being a French Canadian Irish Native Wrestler. Randy the Rocket comments that the gimmick is eclectic.
  • Noodle Incident: Marco Pain mentions being knocked out by a potato. Several times.
  • 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.
  • Oh, Crap!: Randy is forced with one when Steve Justice eliminates himself in a Battle Royal from the word 'go', therefore losing The Bet to Justice.
  • Once a Match: Lucky blades himself, regardless of what kind of match it is. Steve Justice lampshades this in a comment:
    Justice: It's like wrestling a hemophilliac.
    • Lucky even casually demonstrates this to the interviewer.
  • Pixellation: Casa “Super” Nova, when he attempts to introduce himself to The Cantaloupe Kid.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: While TCICWF folds and the staff move on to greener pastures, Randy and Al intend to start the company back up in the stinger.
  • Religious Bruiser: Todd Powers is a Christian both in and out of the ring, complete with a wrestling singlet featuring Ichthys symbols.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Steve Justice argues to be the champion for the last show of TCICWF, but mainly because he wants to crush Randy Tyler. Randy ultimately does honour Justice’s wish during the match, and Steve’s accomplishment results in him becoming Steven Plunder in a new promotion.
  • 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.
  • Rousing Speech: Marco Pain delivers one to the disgruntled roster in the final show.
  • Rule of Three: Marco Pain as he is calling the finish to a match between Justice and a clean Lucky.
    Marco: Looks like he's got him, Jimmy.
  • Running Gag: Cam keeps forgetting the bell, leading to outlandish replacements.
  • Short Title: Long, Elaborate Subtitle: The title is "Kayfabe" followed by a nine-word subtitle.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Al Thompson. He favors the goddamn word 'goddamn'.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Steve Justice. He constantly demands squash matches when he is to do double duty and wants to be the final TCICWF champion, with him being a seasoned wrestler. Randy lampshades this by revealing Justice's masked alter-ego as his only major appearance outside the company.
    Randy: He's not a household name.
    • Al Thompson in the final show of TCICWF. In the match, he goes against the script between him and The Blue Avenger completely.
  • 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.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool: Al Thompson - a chain-smoking alcoholic veteran of the wrestling business - takes on The Blue Avenger in the final show. His clearly abysmal performance in the match shows that after being out of shape for a few years and instead favoring smoking cigarettes and drinking, chances are that you would be a mere shadow of your former self. Being as serious as a heart attack, Thompson opts out of the company.
  • The Stinger: Instead of ending the interview, the female interviewer and the cameraman follow Randy Tyler and find out where he gets his wrestling tights.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Al Thompson’s daughter Wendy, who is in a relationship with The Rookie.
  • "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.
    • It helps that Randy is taking courses in the marketing business, intending to resurrect TCICWF from the grave.
  • While You Were in Diapers: Al Thompson begrudgingly takes The Rookie under his wing in the latter's debut match and delivers a line from this trope after mentioning the Slingshot.
  • Why Did it Have to be Little People?: Steve Justice has not handled his first TCICWF loss ever to the Miniscule Mauler very well.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Discussed by Jimmy Swaggart and Marco Pain, with the latter going as far as to – alongside the crowd – provoke Al Thompson to hurt his daughter. However, he refuses to do so.
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: See Brutal Honesty above.

Call your grandma, baby, this list is over!