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The New Iron Claw Movie Explains the Von Erich Brothers Story

By Orgesta Tolaj


27 December 2023

New Iron Claw Movie Explains the Von Erich Brothers Story

© A2K

Drama, pressure, and success. This is everything that the Von Erich brothers had to go through. However, as we have grown to learn, each success deriving from pressure comes with a tragedy. And that is the side that the new Iron Claw movie wants to show to the public. The movie delves into the captivating story of the Von Erich brothers. It focuses on shedding light on their remarkable journey in the world of professional wrestling. This highly anticipated film portrays the Von Erich family’s legacy and the enduring impact they have had on the wrestling industry.

Who Are the Von Erich Brothers?

The Von Erich brothers were a famous American wrestling family, known for their contributions to professional wrestling. The family patriarch, Fritz Von Erich (real name Jack Adkisson), was a professional wrestler and promoter. He had six sons who became professional wrestlers, and several of them achieved notable success in the wrestling world. The Von Erich brothers are:

David Von Erich

David was the first of the Von Erich brothers to achieve significant success in the wrestling world. Tragically, he passed away in 1984 at the age of 25 while on a wrestling tour in Japan. The exact cause of his death remains a subject of debate.

Kevin Von Erich

Kevin is one of the most well-known and successful members of the Von Erich family. He had a successful career in various wrestling promotions, including World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), where the Von Erichs were a major attraction.

Kerry Von Erich (The Texas Tornado)

Kerry achieved considerable success and is perhaps best known for his time in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), where he wrestled as “The Texas Tornado.” Like his brother David, Kerry faced personal challenges and tragically died by suicide in 1993.

© A24

The two other brothers, Mike and Chris Von Erich both struggled with health issues, Mike ended up having toxic shock syndrome, which affected his wrestling career. He retired from wrestling in the mid-1980s. Chris also faced health challenges and tragically died by suicide in 1991. Jack Jr. was the eldest son but did not pursue a career in professional wrestling.

The Pushy Father

“The Iron Claw” follows the Von Erich brothers, as they pursue professional wrestling careers, driven by their father, Fritz (Holt McCallany). Fritz, originally born as Jack Adkisson, laid the foundation for the family’s wrestling legacy. Adopting the stage name “the German Giant from Munich,” he embraced a villain persona, notably during his wrestling career starting in 1952. Fritz gained popularity as a Nazi-inspired bad guy, and a stint in Japan led to the development of his signature move, the Iron Claw—grasping the opponent’s head and squeezing.

© A2K

Despite retiring from wrestling in 1982, Fritz remained involved, serving as the president of Dallas’ World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW). Fritz, portrayed by Maura Tierney in the movie, was married to Doris Von Erich and had six sons: Jack Jr., Kevin, David, Kerry, Mike, and Chris. Sadly, all of Fritz’s children except Kevin passed away before their parents, as reported by Parade.

The Von Erich Curse

Despite achieving remarkable success in wrestling, the Von Erich family became marked by tragic events, leading to the infamous “Von Erich curse.” The first tragedy occurred in 1959 when Doris and Fritz’s eldest son, Jack Jr., died at the age of six. He drowned in a puddle after being electrocuted by a shorted wire on a neighbor’s trailer.

Iron Claw Movie shows von erich brothers story
© A24

In the biography “Fritz Von Erich: Master of the Iron Claw” by Ron Mullinax, Fritz expressed blaming the wrestling business for his son’s death, while Doris shared the constant fear of losing another child, becoming overly protective of their sons, as reported by Texas Monthly.

The Iron Claw Movie Shows the Pressure for Success

Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, and Lily James star in A24’s biopic “The Iron Claw,” depicting the Von Erich brothers’ dominance in 1980s professional wrestling. The film explores the brothers’ journey to establish themselves in the competitive world of wrestling, shaped by the pressure from their demanding father. The narrative delves into the family’s struggles with personal tragedies, providing a poignant portrayal of their experiences in the public spotlight.

Will you be tuning in on the new Iron Claw movie?

You might also want to read: What Does It Take to Win Toe Wrestling Championships?

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!