New documentary, Nail in the Coffin, is about a lot of things, but at its core it’s about a professional wrestler learning to be a great dad and a great man. Vampiro has been a wrestler since he was not even yet a man, but now – as a man whose taken more bruises and bumps than anyone should ever be able to take – he’s truly learning how to live his life differently and love his daughter in the way she needs. The transition away from the ring has led him to work behind the scenes in the industry, but he still gets pulled back into the ring from time to time. It’s a complicated life and a complicated journey, but this is who Vampiro is today.
Rewind to the start of things… the rambunctious upstart wrestler Vampiro (then known as Vampiro Canadiense aka “The Canadian Vampire”) found a home in the world of Mexican lucha libre, a wrestling world known for fast pace and high flying. The punk rock kid from Thunder Bay, Ontario sure was those things. He lived life fast in and out of the ring and he sure could fly. While he wrestled in the big leagues and all over the world, it was in the world of lucha libre that Vampiro cemented his legacy and will go down as one of AAA Worldwide’s most famous and important wrestlers of all-time.
Once Vampiro (otherwise known as Ian Hodgkinson) had his daughter, life became a struggle between his career and his family. Balancing life on the road and being a dad was always a struggle, but Ian cared for his family and always did what he could to put them first. Sadly, supporting them often came at the cost of not being there as much physically. This life on the road is a sad and common struggle for wrestlers. Watch a few episodes of Vice’s Dark Side of the Ring and you’ll see it as a common thread. The documentary really hammers home just how much of a struggle this can be for a man who loves his family very much.
The film speaks for itself, really letting the words and deeds of Hodgkinson, as well as the prominent role of his daughter Dasha in his recent years, be at the center from start to finish. Nail in the Coffin: The Fall and Rise of Vampiro is a must see documentary for wrestling fans, even if you don’t know who Vampiro is. For a great double feature of recent wrestling releases, pair it with You Cannot Kill David Arquette and you can experience a lot of the behind the scenes of wrestling, as well as a look at mental health, family, and men struggling with exactly who there are and who they want to be.