West Virginia Wrestling

by Dr. Bill Welker, Ed.D.

Life is often not fair. And sometimes one is dealt a bad hand of cards growing up. Such is the case with Matthew (Charlie Dreizen), whose mother died prematurely and his father was overseas serving his country in the military. Thus, Matt was thrown from the city life he had become accustomed to and sent to live with his grandparents in a rural community setting. Matt was not at all happy with the change in environment. He felt lost.

But then the family unit, the strength of our country, begins intruding on Matt's self-pity by asking him to challenge his own self-worth by joining the high school wrestling team. Thus, his internal anger is redirected in a positive way - on the mats - thanks to the urging of his cousin Frank (Brian Chenworth).

The workouts are grueling. The wrestling, the running, the lifting, and the monotonous, but all-important drilling have taken their toll on Matthew, who ponders turning in his wrestling shoes near the season's end. His grandfather (Phil Amico) would have none of that; quitting is not an option in his family. He explains to Matt that life is filled with sacrifice, and how Matt's father sacrificed for him.

The Hardest Six is a wrestling film that demonstrates what mat men have to endure just to make the team. It brilliantly stresses that wrestling is a sport of self-sacrifice and self-reliance - you win or lose on your own with no help from anybody else.

I was particularly impressed with the team's coach (Ryan Thomas) who emphasized the basics of the mat sport. The movie exposes the viewers to the fundamental skills of wrestling, unlike other wrestling films I've seen that failed to stress this important aspect of the mat sport.

If you are a wrestling aficionado who is looking for a realistic film on the subject, you don't want to miss The Hardest Six.

The Hardest Six is a must for your DVD wrestling library!
(Check out www.HardestSixMovie.com for more details)

Reviewed by:
Bill Welker, EdD
1987 & 2013 National Wrestling Sportswriter of the Year
Wrestling USA Magazine

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