The 2020 indie horror/drama Powerbomb was overlooked by this site when it came out. Time to remedy that.

Contrary to the name of the film, Powerbomb does not contain any actual powerbombs in it. Instead, it follows independent wrestler Matt Cross (played by himself, Matthew Capiccioni) who is kidnapped by a super fan who wants him to realize his championship potential. [Cross Wrestlers who act? Matt Cross(ed) to the other side with]

For a film named after a wrestling move and starring so many wrestlers like Matt Cross, “Rockstar” Roni Jonah, Gregory Iron (who also stars as himself), and Dr. Britt Baker, it is kind of disappointing that the movie only featured one scene with wrestling in it — other than a scene where the crazy kidnapper takes on a puppet. The in-ring action at the beginning is very well shot, and the moves are all done very well, making the match stand out in the movie. Austin Jenkins, better known by his in-ring name of Adam Cole was also in the movie — though only for a single scene, as a wrestling promoter (and he didn’t even drop a “BAY BAY”).

After the first part in the wrestling ring, we get a true introduction to our characters. Cross is struggling to support his family and home and is facing more and more pressure from his wife to call it quits with wrestling and to move back home and find a “normal” job. Cross’s manager, Solomon, is a shady and angry man, who we see steal money from Cross after collecting his payment for the match from the promoter of the show, taking bills out of the envelope for his own pocket before giving the envelope to Cross. We also meet the superfan/stalker, Paul (Wes Allen), as he harasses Cross for photos and merch as Cross is having a very heated conversation with his wife.

Powerbomb (2020) - IMDb

The poster for Powerbomb featuring Matt Cross

After finishing his phone call and having a heated exchange with Solomon, Cross is kidnapped as he is getting into his car. He gets chained up in a basement and we see the rabid fan from earlier who wanted his photo is the one that has trapped him. Paul, the kidnapper, is extremely unhinged and completely psycho. He rambles to Cross as he’s trapped, speaking with admiration and concern one minute, and then screaming and hurling insults at Cross the next. We learn part of Paul’s mental instability is due to being the sole caretaker for his extremely sick mother, feeling as if he has been dealt a bad hand in life having to care for her. Because of the self-pity he feels, he wants Cross to not waste the talent that he has by stopping wrestling. The more time he is stuck in Paul’s basement, the more frustrated manager Solomon becomes that Cross is “abandoning his responsibilities” and starts putting pressure on Amy, Cross’ wife, to un-retire and return to the ring.

The acting in the film is good, with each role evoking the emotion that they should — Paul makes you feel uneasy anytime he is on screen, Matt is someone you can empathize with and cheer for to escape, Solomon is grimy and easily detestable, and Amy and her struggles at home make the viewer compassionate to her struggles.

That being said, there are some parts of the film that aren’t that great. The shots are very dicey at times, with shaky handheld shots at times (where a tripod would be useable), as well as a scene where Cross is tasered but you never see it happen, just a taser in the hand of Paul and then a convulsing Cross on the floor. The audio mixing is shoddy at times as well, and the lack of background noise/music at times make the movie feel like it is lacking something. Overall, there are moments in the film that make it feel like a student project, and take away from what is being delivered on screen.

Looking at the film and appreciating the fact that it is an indie movie and filmed with a lower budget and less resources than big pictures, it is good. However, looking at it on the grand scale of movies, it is a middle of the pack to lower movie. Still, it is a fun watch for anyone who enjoys wrestling.

  • Rating and Details


Tag Line: Lights out!

Directed by: R. Zachary Shildwachter & B.J. Colangelo

Written by: Wes Allen, R. Zachary Shildwachter & B.J. Colangelo

Cast: Matt Cross, Roni Jonah, Britt Baker & Austin Jenkins

Runtime: 1 hour and 19 minutes