Breakerbaker on The Wrestler:

The Wrestler just started coming on HBO, and I decided to give it a try (even though I've really never thought much of Aronofsky). I couldn't make it through. It felt like a long format, less overtly depressing version of the later life of Jake Roberts as compiled from clips of the 90s doc Beyond the Mat.

I only highlight this to highlight my own joy. I thought I was the only old school wrestling fan, who didn't much like The Wrestler. I didn't hate it. But I felt like I knew the whole script about a third of the way through. The thumb in the meat-slicer was telegraphed a mile away.

It's the weirdest thing. For all the blood and violence in The Wrestler, I found Beyond The Mat much more haunting. Isn't that the one with the scene where Mankind is damn near killed by The Rock? Don't they show his family watching? That was just brutal. I never actually connected with the protagonist in The Wrestler. I felt like he was there more to send a message, then to be a person.

But it should be said that that's just me. Apparently, men who've actually been in the ring love it.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.