A few years ago it was announced that WWE gained US distribution rights and worldwide remake rights to a little known French wrestling comedy, “Les Reines Du Ring”, or, “Queens of the Ring” as it’s known in the states. Being one who likes wrestling, comedy, and movies, my interest was piqued. The advertisements claiming that it starred CM Punk, Eve Torres, and The Miz piqued my interest even more. So much so that three years later I decided to watch and review it.

Now my expectations for any wrestling movie start out pretty low. There aren’t a lot of wrestling movies to begin with, and the ones that are there usually involve as many dumb gross out gags as they do actual wrestling. …Okay, I guess I’m just describing “Ready to Rumble”. But WWE’s animated adventures with Scooby Doo and the Flintstones were a lot of fun and this was endorsed by the WWE around the same time those came out, so going into this movie I thought it might not be all bad. I was wrong.

“Queens of the Ring” starts off with Rose, a young woman fresh out of jail, beginning her new job at a grocery store where she meets a bunch of wacky, suicidal coworkers. Her first day on the job consists of her literally talking an employee down off a ledge because she’d grown too large for her work uniform. What kids movie doesn’t start off with a fat joke tied to attempted suicide? Her other co workers lead similarly miserable lives, such as Colette, whose husband is cheating on her and kids don’t respect her, Viviane, a butcher who wants to be liked despite constantly being told she’s ugly, and Jessica, who loves the only man in the movie who doesn’t want to sleep with her.

While you could build a predictable Lifetime movie off of any of those scenarios, this is a wrestling movie after all, and the squared circle takes center stage once Rose finds out that her estranged (and fairly jerky) son is a fan of WWE wrestling galas. That’s right, galas. Throughout the whole movie they don’t talk about wrestling shows, just galas, like people wear black ties and drink champagne. Rose convinces her friends to join her in wrestling training after showing them a clip of Eve Torres twerking over an opponent at “4 Way Finale” and telling them it’s a good way to lose weight and attract men.

Wrestling is serious business.

Many montages are cued of wrestling training, which involves bouncing on hoppity hop balls across the beach, drinking shakes made of milk, eggs, and blood, and jumping on trampolines. Jumping on trampolines is a major part of their work out. Not to be outdone, there are also non-wrestling montages, complete with breathing in helium from balloons, dressing up as Lara Croft and accidentally shooting a gun, and Colette waiving her son’s lightsaber around his room, saying “Luke, I am your Mother, Darth Colette.” The real kicker though was Jessica walking down the street in a motorcycle helmet, causing an old man to somehow mistake her for a firefighter. He leads her outside of his smoke filled apartment building, where he convinces his bassett hound to jump out of the window. She’s supposed to catch it. She doesn’t. There you have it, a joke about a dog jumping to its death in the middle of this wrestling comedy. Nothing to do with wrestling. Nothing to do with comedy.

After a few breakups, reunions, and one pissing-on-a-duck contest, the Queens of the Ring end up in a wrestling gala where they take on their dreaded opponents, “the terrible lucha libre wrestlers from Mexico”. Actually that might not be their real name because they’re never given one! They’re referred to throughout the movie as “The Mexicans”, “The Lucha Libre”, and, more often than not, “The Tacos”. Plenty more jokes come in about turning them into Chili con carne too. Social justice apparently hasn’t made its way over to France.

The heartwarming conclusion or the start of a murder mystery?

As a kids movie, “Queens of the Ring” is pretty awful. I mean, it’s awful for anyone, but for a movie WWE marketed as family friendly, it features mature adult words like the “s” one and the “f” one and even shows some boobs in an impossibly unsexy locker room shower scene. A couple of the Queens even smoke pot. I watched the version on Netflix, so WWE may edit it at some point, but I would not recommend the movie that I watched to kids of any age. Honestly, it’s not just the “mature” content, but the movie is also boring at times and doesn’t feature a whole lot of wrestling. There’s plenty of humor about women being awkward and uncomfortable, but I just don’t know that it’s what kids want to see. Oh, and as far as featuring The Miz, CM Punk, and Diva Eve (as she’s called in the movie)? They’re just shown in brief clips when characters are watching TV. Not quite worth the top billing, in my opinion.

There are a few weird wrestling lessons packed throughout the movie too. The Queens’ gruff trainer yells at Rose early on for thinking that there are counters in wrestling. “It’s not Thai boxing!” he shouts, apparently unaware of wrestlers countering moves in every match ever. He also criticizes her for coming to him for training without any partners, so I guess having friends is a prerequisite for getting trained to wrestle in France. He also has no problems on directing the Queens through their first match right in front of a crowd of fans, including when people will tag in and out. And, in the main event of their one-card gala in the climax of the movie, the Queens wrestle the luchadors in what I can only guess was a Two out of Three Falls Tag Team Gauntlet match, as wrestlers entered the ring at random times and made several pinfalls.

In The Lucha’s defense, she was singing “La Cucaracha”.

“Queens of the Ring” wasn’t totally without merit. There was one scene I really liked where a young ballet student gave a pep talk to one of the Queens about how playing the heel in wrestling wasn’t a bad thing. Plenty of people enjoy villains like Darth Vader, Freddie, and the Terminator, the young dancer points out to Killie Billie, The Froggie Butcher. But yeah, that was pretty much it as far as things I liked in the movie.

On one hand, I appreciate that this movie tried something different by showing four women of varying ages try their hand at wrestling. The movie made sure to give time to all the different women to show that they had their own wants and desires. On the other hand, it really sucked. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the translation and dubbing were also terrible. Not only was the voice acting bad, but all of the wrestling stuff read like it was written by an alien robot who had never heard of wrestling before. “Are you trying to do The Elbow Drop?” Rose asks her son at one point, as if elbow drops were an official copyrighted name.

If anything, I think “Queens of the Ring” is a fantasy movie for wrestlers. These women are able to gain a fanbase of hundreds after only working one match. Before their big match at the gala they’re treated to a locker room with leather furniture, robes, and champagne. They even have their own special feature on the news, highlighting each woman and what her thoughts are heading into their match. Not bad for working at a grocery store during the day and jumping on trampolines at night.