“What makes a man wanna bash another man's brains in?” crazed wrestling aficionado Paul (Wes Allen) asks pro wrestling superstar Matt Cross (FKA Son of Havoc from Lucha Underground) during one of many monologues in the Ohio-made thriller Powerbomb, directed by B.J. Colangelo and Zach Schildwachter. Powerbomb is equal parts Misery and The Wrestler, with a healthy dose of family drama thrown in for good measure. The film made its premiere in the Toledo area this past Friday, March 1st, and it is set for a video on demand release later this spring.
Matt Cross is a wrestling superstar, having traveled the independent scene for well over a decade. His manager Solomon (Aaron “Pants” Sechrist) keeps screwing him out of his earnings, making things all the more difficult for Matt’s family life. His wife, ex-pro wrestler Amy Cross (Roni Jonah) holds things down at home for herself and Cash (Cash Allen), but Amy firmly believes that something has to give, and soon. Helpful as her old friend Kelsi Roxx (All Elite Wrestling’s Britt Baker) is as a nanny and confidante, money is running out, and patience is wearing thin.
Following an independent booking, Matt is drugged and kidnapped by a black-clad stranger in a luchador mask. This stranger turns out to Paul, wrestling superfan and momma’s boy, who keeps Matt chained up in his basement. His motive? Keeping Matt Cross in the wrestling business, so that Paul has someone to root for, an escape from his otherwise mundane life. Meanwhile, Solomon is less concerned about Cross and more concerned about the bookings he’s missing, to the point where he harasses Amy to get her back in the business.
This film is by wrestling fans (and wrestlers), for wrestling fans. It’s far from the PG product that modern “corporate” wrestling has become today, and that is far from a bad thing. Keen-eyed fans will spot cameos from CZW’s Rickey Shane Page and even WWE NXT’s Adam Cole (bay bay!), making this a treat for the fans. Non-wrestling fans will appreciate the darker tone of the film from the kidnapping on, broken up by some of the more insane moments afforded to the viewer by Paul and his wrestling mania.
Powerbomb was a hell of a ride that thrilled me, as both a wrestling fan and a horror lover. Paul was the highlight of the film for me, with his in-too-deep energy and his live by the sword, die by the sword mentality. Wes Allen’s portrayal was everything I hoped it would be, right down to the Dusty Rhodes-inspired promo in the mirror. This independent project even had gorehounds like Last Podcast on the Left’s Henry Zebrowski as IndieGoGo backers, and it is very safe to say that the project, like its fundraiser, was a rousing success.