Documentary on One

The Champ

Sports people will tell you it's not a real sport and actors will tell you it's not acting - a look at the world of Irish pro wrestling, focusing on the rise of one of its biggest stars 'Sheamus'.

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4.6/5 (53 ratings)

Documentary maker: Brian Kenny

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Documentary maker: Sarah Blake

More Information

The Champ

Sports people will tell you it’s not a real sport and actors will tell you it’s not acting, yet pro wrestling requires peak physical fitness and theatrical skills to pull off effectively.

In a journey to find the next Irish superstar of the huge global Wrestling business, this documentary enters the world of Irish pro wrestling and tracks the rise of one of its biggest stars ‘Sheamus’ from the small community centres around Ireland to global fame entertaining 50,000 people at Madison Square Garden.

We see where it all began for him and find out that many are already following in his footsteps with little support from anyone outside of the tight knit wrestling bubble.

With several Irish men and women signed to America’s WWE brand this year, Ireland is now a hotbed of talent and as we meet those who knew our biggest success Sheamus, we journey through the hurdles of agents and promoters to try meet the man himself.

On the way there we find that the USA isn’t the only goal for Irish wrestlers as we meet Irishmen who are employed full time in Japan and Europe, and hear how another Irishman Fergal Devitt is a household name in Japan.

We hear how the wrestlers walk the line between sport and theatre, acting and athleticism whilst trying to develop their characters, tell stories and promote themselves to follow their dreams of making it to the next level.

From small shows in a community centre in Dublin’s Fatima Mansions to Donegal’s Ballyshannon we journey into the wrestlers world, backstage, into the ring and on to the canvas to see who can be the next champ.

Produced and narrated by Brian Kenny

Production Supervision by Sarah Blake

Sound Supervision by Mark Dwyer

This programme was made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Photographs courtesy of John Morrissey Photography and Design.

For more info on wrestling in Ireland - www.wrestling.ie, http://mainstagewrestling.net/, http://irishwhipwrestling.com/.
[RTÉ is not responsible for the content of external sites]


First Broadcast: Saturday 4th January 2014 @ 2pm

'Documentary on One is the home of Irish radio documentaries and the largest library of documentary podcasts available anywhere in the world. We tell stories in sound, mostly Irish ones, and each documentary tells its own story'

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