The Trade

Synopsis: Ten years after his retirement, 'death-match' wrestler Nick Mondo is distressed to find a new generation mimicking his former self destructive antics. Based on a true story
Director(s): Matthew T. Burns
Production: Status Media & Entertainment
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
60 min


Dude, give me your chair!

Give me your chair!

And this is

what CZW is all about.

This is exactly what CZW is all about.


This is gonna be insanity.

Bam, excuse me!

Oh, that's it!



F*** him up, Mondo.

I definitely don't

think wrestling itself

is inherently a bad thing.

I mean it's exciting, it's entertaining,

it's artful, there's some

serious athletics involved.

But wrestling does tend to pull

a dark side out of me

and it tends to push me

toward taking risks, and I'm

not sure exactly why that is.

It's just, I have an

aptitude for surviving

and thriving in a violent environment.

And death match wrestling

is that sort of environment.

You're willingly going in a

ring in front of a live crowd

and injuring yourself.

Drawing blood, breaking bones,

having concussions.

You know all these

things are gonna happen,

yet you still willingly participate.

It's dysfunctional.

I mean, there is a fun factor for sure,

but there's obviously something

not quite right going on.

And Sick Nick Mondo in there

being tortured by these two,

being absolutely tortured.

He's like a Japanese World

War II kamikaze pilot

with no regard for his own body.

And I said very plainly,

I was like, listen man,

every day because of the stunts

that you're remembered for,

CZW gets new fans.

Every day, without question.

If you search crazy stuff

on YouTube, you know,

stuff that we're kind of infamous for,

and you will see that guy.

Somebody could

get seriously hurt.

This is.

I just can't fathom how he does that.

Two stories, all the way down, boom.

Nick Mondo has been thrown

off of this balcony to the floor

some 20, 25 feet through

a table covered in...

That was crazy sh*t.

Un F'n Believable.

To this day, the stuff

that the man did in the ring

still holds weight and is

still comparable to anything

that has been done.

He has so many fans all around the world

and even in countries like Turkey.

The guy was insane, he was sick.

People still hold onto what he did

because of how revolutionary he was.

He had the biggest balls ever, ever.

The whole atmosphere when

Nick Mondo came to the ring

was just, I would say mind blowing for me.

Absolutely mind blowing for me as a kid.

He could do spots that

nobody's even heard of.

I mean, the first time

I saw the weed whacker.

Oh, my God, I don't know

how he took that much risks.

I mean, getting hit with a weed whacker.

The weed whacker.

I'm closing my eyes.

I'm closing my eyes.

When I saw that, it was, whoa.

As a fan, I would go back

and watch that over and over

and over again and be like, what the f***?

He's amazing, and he's just that aura.

You know, that superstar

persona supposed to have

that he had, that he presents

himself when he's in the ring,

that's who you believe in.

You know what I mean, that's

somebody you wanna be.

That's who you believe in, he had that.

And I think point-blank,

half the roster is here

because of him.

I cannot believe this,

this guy is some kind of god.

We've seen that

kid get dragged through

light tubes, fall off a

table, fall off of a balcony

and get back on his feet.

The man is superhuman

with the amount of pain

that he can endure.

The only thing that really bothers me

is to dismiss somebody and simply say,

that guy's crazy, or that girl's insane.

If you trace bad

decisions back far enough,

you will find somebody who

originally was well intentioned.

So if you write somebody off

that way, not only are you

missing out on empathy and

compassion, you're also

gonna miss out on some

pretty interesting stories.

Most pursuits begin with a role model.

The desire's already inside of us.

We just need somebody to

show us how it's done.

His name was Wifebeater.

In a world of bodybuilders

clad in underwear,

tanning bed lobsters, fake tough guys,

he was the real thing.

A filthy jeans wearing,

potato chip eating,

weed whacker carrying,

politically incorrect son of a b*tch.

When Wifebeater was on the

card, fans knew what to expect.

A legitimate U.S. Marine

who could walk through anything.

Panes of glass.

200 light tubes.

You could not stop this man.

No matter what you put him through.

What you hit him with.

Bam, with that VCR.

Drop him from heights.

Bash his head in.

No matter what, he'd get back up.

He was not human.

But I do wanna mention

that the fans are supplying

the weapons in this contest.

A marching, undead soldier.

And when his music hit,

you better damn well be ready.

No, no!

A man so adept at violence.

So naturally abusive.

Carrying out actions,

had they been anywhere

but a wrestling ring,

would have landed him in prison.

Oh, my God!

Never in my life

have I seen anything like this.

Standing next to Wifebeater

made me feel like a kid

in a Halloween costume.

He was the real monster I

could only pretend to be.

Look at this right there.

One day, as Wifebeater and I

were preparing for a match in the back,

I asked him, what is it that makes you act

the way you do in the ring?

He frowned at me and said,

"You mean cut myself?"

I said, "Yeah."

Wifebeater blinked a

couple times, then said,

"Bad childhood, what about you?"

Surprisingly, I wasn't

ready for my own question.

But what came out was, "Guilt problems."

Wifebeater nodded, satisfied.

And from there, we went out to have

one of the bloodiest

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Matthew T. Burns

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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