The Main Event

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
The Main Event Movie Poster Image
Fun underdog story features comic wrestling moves, mayhem.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 101 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 4 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

Life isn't about being strong physically; emotional and mental strength are what matters. Building confidence in oneself can be as powerful as magic. Cautions against arrogance and reminds that loyalty and trustworthiness are essential. Grieving is complex and must be addressed with love and good communication.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lead character, timid and struggling with his mother's abandonment, learns important lessons about courage, loyalty, and resilience. His dad, though loving, is fearful and uncommunicative initially; he evolves into a more capable parent. Stereotypical bullies aren't redeemed. Ethnic diversity throughout.

Violence & Scariness

Wrestling throws, falls. Bullies torment and threaten kids.

Sexy Stuff

A flirtatious grandmother.


"Butt;" some name-calling: "nerd," "loser," "little worm." One gigantic fart.


World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is featured. References to Lyft, Instagram.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Main Event pits an 11-year-old wrestling fan named Leo (Seth Carr) against an army of gargantuan grapplers in a competition for a life-changing prize. A recently departed parent (in this case by abandonment, not death) sets the stage for the story. Be ready for lots of wrestling: It's exaggerated, ring-pounding comic mayhem. Contestants, including Leo -- whom kids will root for and identify with from the get-go -- are thrown, slammed, pinned, and careen through the air (no one is hurt). Insults like "nerd" and "worm" are used, and there's one gigantic farting session. School bullies intimidate, chase, and tease the heroes. Featuring an array of WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) performers, some heart-tugging moments, and a hip, flirtatious grandma, this is an old-school, low-budget production. The "special" effects are pretty basic, but, in a way, that adds to the fun in this warmhearted middle-school fairy tale.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAurelius206 April 18, 2020

This should NOT be rated-G

My daughter (11) & I love watching love budget Kid Movies together but I was forced to turn this junk off in the first 20 mins. The Grandma played by Ti... Continue reading
Adult Written bySolidfoot April 12, 2020

Language? How is this rated G?

C'mon Netflix... I don't mind the violence. It's a wrestling movie. But Grandma keeps calling men "sexy" and there's a song on the... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byRedtime April 14, 2020

Great Film

REVIEW COMING LATER - I rated it 8 as that’s when I started watching WWE
Teen, 14 years old Written byTeal April 10, 2020

Awesome Movie!

This is a great movie about a kid wanting to be in the WWE, after constant bullying he finds a magic mask that gives him super powers. It is a bit violent, and... Continue reading

What's the story?

Poor Leo (Seth Carr), nothing’s going right for him in THE MAIN EVENT. He’s 11 and small for his age; his mom has recently abandoned the family; the household finances are at a low point; and three obnoxious bullies are out to get him and his two nerdy friends. The only bright light in his life is his passion for wrestling. So, when he’s on the run from his tormentors and finds a legendary (and very smelly) wrestling mask at an “estate sale” where he's hiding out, it’s the perfect recipe for a little magic, actually, a LOT of magic. And, just in time for an amateur wrestling competition with a prize of $ 50,000 cash and a WWE contract, Leo is transformed into the fearsome "Kid Chaos." 

Is it any good?

In this familiar story, there's enough adorableness (hero and friends), excitement (outrageous wrestling matches), and magic to engage young audiences who love watching underdogs soar. In The Main Event, all the usual elements are there: the bright, pretty girl who the whole school has a crush on; three bullies who pump themselves up by deflating the nerds; a Goliath-wannabe wrestling opponent; and a dad who doesn't quite know how to bond with his son after the devastating departure of his wife. Leo even has his own teachable moment when he gets too full of himself and almost blows his chance at being a budding school star.

The movie has a "homemade" feel -- rudimentary special effects, less-than-stellar acting from some -- but there's lots of rooting interest, some funny moments, and the audience is right there with Leo when he realizes he doesn't really need the mask to be special.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The Main Event addresses bullying. Did Trevor and company ever pay a price for their behavior? How did Leo, Caleb, and Riyaz effectively deal with the bullies? How does your school or community advise you to deal with bullying? What can bystanders do to help discourage bullying? Why is that important?

  • Movies intended for families feature grieving about a recently-departed parent, in this case a mom who has abandoned her son. How does that element immediately help identify the emotional place in which we find a character? How does it help set up the relationship with the character's surviving parent?  How was Leo's relationship with his dad dependent based upon their recent grief? How did the story help resolve that relationship?

  • What is the meaning of the word "underdog" as it applies to movies? Why are underdog movies so appealing? What emotions do they inspire? Name a few of your favorites, both animated and live-action. Create your own underdog character. Write about or draw the character and show how he or she ultimately "wins."  

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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