After awakening from a coma,
an out-of-shape American businessman confronts the past -
and an army of oil wrestlers -
to become the most unlikely gladiator
in one of the oldest sports in the world.

 

World Champion pro wrestler Colt Cabana narrates the story of Gokhan Mekik, a middle-aged American businessman who becomes an unlikely gladiator in one of the world's oldest sports: Turkish oil wrestling.

Virtually unknown outside the region, oil wrestling is Turkey's mesmerizing "national sport," dating back almost 5,000 years to ancient Egypt and Assyria. The sport not only is difficult and dangerous, but its rules and rituals are unique: wrestlers wear leather trousers made from the hide of water buffalo, and they douse themselves in olive oil before each match.

Gokhan, turning 40, is having a terrible year. His second marriage falls apart, and a family emergency spurs him to walk a thousand miles across the entire country of Turkey. Then, after he returns to America, he gets into a motorcycle accident, leaving him in a coma for two weeks and his leg in shatters. So when he wakes up and suddenly announces his intention to become a Turkish oil wrestler, his friends and family think he has suffered a brain injury.

If Gokhan truly wants to become an oil wrestler, he faces almost insurmountable obstacles: at 40, he is far too old; he is extremely overweight; his accident has left him with metal in his hips; he lives in America without proper facilities to train for oil wrestling; and he has never wrestled before in his life.

But with a combination of grit, determination, and naiveté, Gokhan radically reshapes his body, wrestling first with his own demons, and ultimately, against hulking opponents. And as he starts to win, he discovers a new commitment to family, roots, and tradition. Finally, against all odds, this modern-day gladiator finds himself about to step out onto the field of Kirkpinar, the massive festival known as the “Olympics of oil wrestling,” to douse himself in oil, and to learn what it is to be a champion.

 

The Oil Wrestler is narrated by WWE wrestler and former JCW / NWA World Heavyweight Champion Colt Cabana, and features animations by VFX wizard Steve Ziolkowski (Life of Pi; The A-Team; Men in Black II; Fast & Furious; Night at the Museum).