Even if you look past the slickly-produced, near-flawless offerings by WWE, there are probably a few dozen wrestling documentaries on the market today. They range from game-changing (Beyond The Mat, Wrestling With Shadows) to highly-watchable (Forever Hardcore, Omega: Uncommon Passion) to just plain forgettable (WWE Unauthorized, 101 Reasons Not To Be A Pro Wrestler). So it's a mixed bag.
Card Subject To Change was a documentary produced in 2010 by Tim Disbrow and takes a unique look at the often misunderstood world of independent wrestling. Some 20 years ago, the indy scene was a legit proving ground for wrestling's future stars, but it's now (largely) a chance for young grapplers to gain experience and earn roughly the equivalent of gas money, combined with appearances by former stars trying to capitalize on past glory.
What I really like about Card Subject To Change is that it doesn't try to be something it's not. In other words, the production values may not be top-notch, but they still try to tell a very clear and organized story.
Someone obviously took a step back when editing this doc and made sure it was easy to follow. In my book, that goes a long way.
The film looks at several different indy shows and follows the career paths of up-and-comers such as Ring of Honor's Rhett Titus and Lacey Von Erich as well as tragedies such as the late Trent Acid. It also talks to a generous number of grizzled veterans, including Kevin Sullivan, Kamala (who sings during the final credits!), Sabu, Terry Funk and Superstar Billy Graham.
If I had one criticism, it would be that there's not enough subtle humor in here. If you look at the indy scenes in Beyond The Mat, for example, poking fun at the often-shady world of the indies was one of the film's highlights. It wouldn't have been easy to accomplish here, but worth a shot for sure.
Overall, I would absolutely recommend this (and I understand it's available on Netflix in the U.S.). A simple, but enjoyable film that could be used as a primer for aspiring wrestlers.
Card Subject to Change
Pro Wrestling's Underground