Against the Ropes (2023) review: A perfect balance of comedy and wrestling

Against the Ropes (2023) follows Angela, an ex-convict who attempts to rebuild her relationship with her daughter by becoming a professional wrestler. The series is now streaming on Netflix.

Story

Angela leaves prison life behind after serving six years inside for carrying drugs that didn’t belong to her in the first place. She reunites with her mother and longs to meet her daughter, Rocio, who must have grown up.

Things don’t go easy for Angela as she learns that her mother relied on her ex-husband, Lalo, to raise her daughter while she was away.

Angela searches for Rocio and ends up finding her at a local Lucha Libre event, where a professional wrestler named Candy Caramelo is calling Rocio her daughter.

Candy is Lalo’s girlfriend who picked up the responsibilities of Rocio’s mother during Angela’s absence. Angela struggles to rebuild her bond with Rocio, who now sees her mother as a criminal.

When everything fails, Angela decides to win Rocio back by doing what her daughter loves the most. Angela opts to become a masked luchador, going by the name of Bride in Black.

Angela leaves an impression on her daughter as Bride in Black, but at the same time, tensions grow between her and a jealous Candy, who is a four-time Iztapalapa champion.

Angela and Candy engage in verbal fights in and out of the ring, hoping to go up against each other someday with the goal of bringing Rocio to their side.

Performances

For a comedy-drama, each and every cast member has given a decent enough performance. The show certainly doesn’t ask for anything out of the ordinary, apart from good wrestling performances.

Caralyn Sanchez, who plays Angela, comes across as a caring mother who is always there for her daughter when she needs her. Rocio calls her mother once, and Sanchez turns with those bulging eyes that are all about a mother’s love.

The chemistry between Sanchez and Scarlet Gruber, who plays Candy Caramelo, deserves high praise. Both of them have outperformed each other.

In wrestling, there is a certain tension that is created between opponents, where the audience decides who they want to support. Both of these women create an engaging rivalry that is bound to be followed by fans.

Their arguments are downright ugly, with great delivery from both of them. They are quite convincing as wrestlers, for sure.

Positives

Owing to the kind of story it has dedicated to the mother-daughter relationship, one might cross out Against the Ropes (2023) as an emotional watch. Though it has its melodramatic moments, the show is otherwise quite funny, with hilarious sequences.

There are many sub-plots and storylines dedicated to side characters that won’t slow down the main plot. These sub-plots are intriguing and ones to watch out for.

The show subtly hints at how Angela is fitter to be Rocio’s mother at the end of the day, but it is also hard to rule out Candy as an antagonist, considering how caring she is towards Rocio.

There are numerous twists and revelations towards the end that don’t feel overwhelming. Yes, there is drama, but it’s fun.

The main event between Bride in Black and Candy is a blast to watch. It’s a fast, athletic, and immersive competition. The show has tried its best to replicate the wrestling matches one would watch in Lucha Libre, WWE, or AEW.

The same match also suggests that creators have done their research right. Over the years, especially in the last decade, women’s wrestling has evolved to become something grander.

The show seems to have instilled the same notion with this main event match between Candy and Bride in Black.

Negatives

One good match doesn’t exactly mean that every other match in the show is done right with that wrestling spirit in mind. At times, especially initially in the show, the choreography isn’t exactly right and is a bit messed up.

The show does not depict the relationship between wrestlers who, despite being rivals, rely on each other to keep one another safe.

Angela and Candy do get the rivalry part right, but having them rely on each other could’ve put forth an interesting conversation, and it could’ve been more educational for the regular viewers.

Verdict

Against the Ropes (2023) is a hilarious and binge-worthy watch. The story is not something new; a mother struggling for her daughter’s love is a good old plot that won’t get old. The wrestling aspect is the only thing inserted here.

That doesn’t mean that only wrestling fans will be able to enjoy it. The show capably balances its drama and sports sides. The viewers will not struggle to understand the wrestling matches and what the characters are offering there.

Against the Ropes
Against the Ropes (2023) review: A perfect balance of comedy and wrestling 1

Director: Jean-Marc Rudnicki

Date Created: 2023-01-25 13:30

Editor's Rating:
4

Also Read: Against the Ropes (2023) ending explained: Does Angela win her daughter back?