The tragic story of the Von Erich family is one that true blue pro wrestling fans know very well. One after another, the members of that family fell to illness, suicide or disaster, and the only member left to tell the tale is Kevin Von Erich, and he has told the story, over and over again for documentarians interested in the Von Erich story.
But now Hollywood has taken note. A film entitled Iron Claw, which will be chronicling the story of the Von Erich family in full is filming, and it stars none other than Zac Efron. He made news recently, pictures from the set being released, and many news sources went nuts about how he looked.
Efron is always in shape, and he is passionate about staying in shape, but as it turns out, pro wrestling shape is quite different. Pro wrestlers have no off-season, and for the few that stay in tip-top shape at all times, they need to work at looking good every time out. Your Bobby Lashleys, your Claudio Castagnolis, your Tony Neses, Dexter Lumis types; back in the day, your British Bulldogs and Ultimate Warriors of the pro wrestling world.
Kind of hard to maintain those physics in an era where the only things open was Waffle House, diners, service stations and McDonald’s. But they managed, and these younger talents also manage, and they look their best all year round, hitting the weights and cardio, all the while chomping down on double cheeseburgers for much-needed protein.
Well Efron managed to get that pro wrestler look. He’s in fact much bigger than he usually is, in actual fact looking more like Kerry Von Erich than Kevin in his prime, but it is Kevin he’s playing according to reports. Jeremy Allen White will be playing Kerry, and Harris Dickinson will be playing David. If you look at these three men, they’re perfect for the role, and the story is they’ve all bulked up for the endeavor. Here’s what Efron had to say about the process of bulking up:
“That Baywatch look, I don’t know if that’s really attainable…There’s just too little water in the skin. Like, it’s fake; it looks CGI’d. And that required Lasix, powerful diuretics, to achieve. So I don’t need to do that. I much prefer to have an extra, you know, 2 to 3 percent body fat…
At one point, that was a dream of mine — what it would be like to not have to be in shape all the time? What if I just say, ‘F— it’ and let myself go? So I tried it, and I was successful. And for all the reasons I thought it would be incredible, I was just miserable…
My body would not feel healthy; I just didn’t feel alive. I felt bogged down and slow…I enjoy pushing myself and really laying it all out, to the point where I kind of have to do it…Otherwise I don’t feel like myself.”via Men’s Health
Of course though, it’s not all about muscle. The Von Erichs became one of the greatest pro wrestling families and that was all without touching foot in WWE…Kerry had a small run there of course, but the entirety of the family made a name for themselves elsewhere and became the name of the industry—the heart of it—inspiring many that came later; stars like Steve Austin were inspire by the Von Erichs, as were so many others of his era.
The story takes a deep look at their rise in the industry and their fall.