Squash Match Version
Hi! My name is Jason, and 3 Count Movie Reviews is where I review movies by comparing them to pro wrestling! In every review, I use wrestling terms and references while looking at the movie’s use of the same 3 qualities that make pro wrestling matches great, which I call the 3 Count!
To learn more, read the Iron Man Match version of the 3CMR below, check out the 3CMR Glossary, or just start reading the reviews! Find out if a movie you love is a Hall of Famer, Main Eventer, Midcarder, or a Jabroni. Thanks for checking out 3 Count Movie Reviews!
Iron Man Match Version
Hey, yo. I’m Jason. I’m a huge fan of pro wrestling and movies. One day, a few years back, I suddenly realized that great movies are a lot like great pro wrestling matches. Yes, really! That’s why the greatest movie of all time is “Ready to Rumble”!
Okay, not really.
What I really mean is this: inside the anatomy of every movie with mass appeal, high rewatchability and high recommendablity, is the same skeletal structure of storytelling found in the best pro wrestling matches. Yes, pro wrestling, an extremely niche form of entertainment, uses the most commercial storytelling methods as a rule, and movies that mimic those methods are better off for it. The three most important parts of that skeletal storytelling structure are what I call the 3 Count.
Regardless of production budget, release year, genre, special effects, director, actors, cinematography, twist ending, or anything else, the 3 Count is the common element within the best movies of all time, the movies that are rewatchable, recommendable and enjoyable for more people. This means, at 3 Count Movie Reviews…
I only review movies for the 3 Count!
To help tie together the storytelling methods wrestling and movies share, each review is packed with wrestling terms. Every term is underlined and defined by hovering your mouse over the term, or you can visit the 3CMR Glossary. Also, the movies I review are all a few weeks to decades old, so you can watch them before I spoil the hell out of them. But wait! Let’s take a closer look at the 3 Count and how it applies to movies.
The 3 Count
1. Babyfaces vs Heels
John Cena vs AJ Styles. Dusty Rhodes vs Ric Flair. Daniel Bryan vs the Authority. The best storylines pit a kick-ass babyface against a cheating, selfish, piece of trash, heel. The first element of the 3 Count I discuss is if the movie has two opposing forces, one you love vs one you loathe. “The Lion King,” “Schindler’s List,” and a million other great movies show the age-old battle between good vs evil, which is a good start to making them timeless.
Babyfaces are heroes. They inspire the best in us, showing us how we can fight for what’s right. They make us want to be better people! Here, I discuss if the movie has a babyface who sells the pain and frustration of their struggle to reach their goal, and fires-up to kick ass in their comeback. A great example of a movie character with those ideal babyface qualities is Diana from “Wonder Woman.”
Heels are villains. Dastardly heels can turn even mediocre babyfaces into our heroes as long as the heels get heat, and plenty of it. Here, I discuss if the movie has a heel who gets heat by lying, cheating, stealing or killing to gain the advantage over the babyface. Are they a chickenshit heel or a monster with a mean streak? An iconic example of a killer heel is the silent slasher Michael Myers from “Halloween.”
2. Top Talent
Top Talent is the most important feature of the 3 Count.
Even though pro wrestling is filled with larger-than-life personalities, Top Talent are the largest larger-than-life personalities that draw the most money at the box office and the most emotional investment from the fans. Whether babyfaces or heels, they’re the most popular wrestlers with the most quoted catchphrases, the most imitated mannerisms, the most cosplayed attire, and their matches are must-see events. Steve Austin, Eddie Guerrero, The Rock and Randy Savage are a few examples of Top Talent. The cream rises to the top!
Similarly, the most popular movie characters are quoted and imitated by fans for generations. Here, I discuss if the movie has any Top Talent. One of the greatest Top Talent characters of all time is the legendary sharkslayer Quint from “Jaws.”
3. Ring Psychology
Do you think wrestlers just go out to the ring, climb the turnbuckle and dive onto each other? Well, yeah, some do. However, the best wrestlers use Ring Psychology. They don’t teach this kind of psychology at your fancy-schmancy Freud University, pal.
Ring Psychology is the term for the storytelling technique great wrestlers use in their matches to create emotional peaks and valleys for the viewer. Each section and spot helps to tell a logical, well-paced story with escalating intensity that maximizes the emotional build for the loudest pop from the crowd at the end of the match.
Ring Psychology is also applicable to movies that more people love to rewatch and recommend to others. Here, I dissect the movie’s Ring Psychology. One of the reasons “Jaws” is so awesome is its exceptional Ring Psychology, which definitely saves the big “pop” for the end.
Act 1: Entrances
The first 25-or-so minutes of a movie is Act 1. The babyfaces and heels enter the story like wrestlers entering the ring for their match. We learn who to cheer. We learn who to BOOOOO!
And somewhere in Act 1 is also where we learn what the characters have to lose or gain in this story. This is exactly like the referee holding up the championship belt just before a wrestling match begins so the crowd can see what everyone’s fighting for.
Act 2: Ring the Bell!
In Act 2, the main conflict begins and builds as the babyfaces and heels battle for control of the story’s momentum. This is where it gets good, see? I’ll break down the Ring Psychology as it builds toward Act 3: The Go-Home.
Act 3: The Go-Home
In Act 3, the final moments of the story, the energy is the most fast and furious, as both sides close in on victory. At this point, if you’re either on the edge of your seat or standing on your feet, the Ring Psychology is working!
Finally, the battle ends, somebody wins, and you can start breathing again. You can happily hug the person next to you because the babyfaces won, or punch them in the face because the cheating, SOB of a heel won.
The Blow Off
Finally, here is where I wrap up the review with a short summary and give the 3 Count Movie Review Rating. The 3 Count Movie Review Ratings are:
- Hall of Famer: A Hall of Famer has a strong 3 Count and a legacy that reaches beyond its industry. I’m talking about a time-capsule stuffer, and shoot-it-into-space-for-aliens-to-watch crusher that made an Andre the Giant-sized cultural impact, like this one.
- Main Eventer: A Main Eventer has tremendous mass appeal due to its strong 3 Count. Like a main event wrestler, a Main Eventer movie is many people’s favorites and may be a Hall of Famer one day, like this one.
- Midcarder: A Midcarder has moderate appeal due to its modest 3 Count. Midcarders are missing qualities that give a movie more mass appeal, like this one.
- Jabroni: A Jabroni has minimal appeal (at best) due to its minimal or nonexistent 3 Count because it sucks, like this one.
So, that’s what 3 Count Movie Reviews is all about!
But why even make 3CountMovieReviews.com?
Because pro wrestling is awesome! And I want to give the pro wrestling industry the credit it deserves for having figured out how to tell commercially appealing stories the best. How did it do this?
Wrestlers beat the hell out of themselves for their art, so their art should appeal to as much of the ticket-buying public as possible to make all the bumps, bruises and breaks worth it.
Meanwhile, the movie industry blows through billions of dollars every year making movies with various agendas: profit, awards, art, politics, whatever, and barely half of it is better than passable. That’s a shoot.
Thankfully, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, and Pixar studios are a few examples of movie-makers who know how to tag team art and commercial drawing power so well BECAUSE their films have more of the 3 Count. At the very least, this site can explain why your favorite streaming service’s new original movie is so damn boring.
Thanks for checking out 3CMR!
The Honky Tonk Man. No, I’m not him. I’m Jason, and I’m just a huge fan of pro wrestling and movies with a Bachelor degree in English. Through my formal education, I studied English (obviously), communication, creative writing, screenplay structure, storytelling from around the world, and a lot of other writer-y stuff. I love writer-y stuff. So, I’m a student of storytelling of all kinds. But it was something Honky Tonk Man said that made me start connecting the dots between movies and pro wrestling.
Although Honky Tonk Man says a lot of things in interviews that shouldn’t be listened to seriously, what he said in one particular interview years ago hit me like a guitar over the head. He described the final scene in “The Terminator,” where the T-800 cyborg had been burned and exploded, and was slowly dragging its damaged body along the floor by one good hand, struggling to reach its victim.
Honky said, “Even the Terminator was selling.”
Suddenly, I felt like a dam had burst in my mind, and a torrent of wrestling terms flooded every aspect of every movie I had seen. The one-time longest-reigning WWE Intercontinental champion changed the way I saw movies forever.
With every book, podcast, and interview with veterans of both industries, I saw more similarities in their respective storytelling methods. Over time, I realized that movies with mass appeal, high rewatchability and high recommendability have more pro wrestling in them than movies with cult status or that the public eventually forgets about entirely. The 3 Count is the key to a film being a great, popular movie instead of a forgettable flop.
Whether you’re a wrestling mark who loves movies like me, or you have no idea how the hell you got to this site, click around, follow 3CMR on social media and enjoy!
P.S. I couldn’t find the life-changing Honky Tonk Man video I mentioned, but someone used part of it to make, um, this…