‘Over the Top’ is one of the most underrated sports movies of all time

There is just something about 1980s sports movies that has me hook, line and sinker.

It doesn’t matter if it’s “Rocky IV,” “The Karate Kid,” “Major League,” “Field of Dreams” or the obscure wrestling movie “Vision Quest.” If I see any of those flicks on the guide on my archaic 2007 LG flatscreen TV, I’m not going to change the channel until the closing credits appear on the screen.

One of my top picks of the 1980s decade is a movie many have never heard of. “Over the Top,” an arm wrestling movie that was released in 1987 starring Sylvester Stallone, was a movie I loved to watch not only during my childhood but throughout my entire life.

After watching Stallone, who played the role of truck driving arm wrestler Lincoln Hawk, I begged my parents to buy me the arm wrestling setup from Toys R Us in Silverdale when I was 6 years old in 1988. Much to my surprise my dad, who was a staunch disciplinarian, bought me the arm wrestling set-up shortly thereafter.

For the next few years, my buddies and I partook in a multitude of one-on-one arm wrestling matchups at the kitchen table of my parents house in Belfair. My mom was never a fan of the battles at the table but my dad relished the competitive showdowns. Even though I loved the sport of arm wrestling as a kid, I didn’t think much about the sport for the next few decades.

That all changed when one of my best friends entered a local arm wrestling tournament at the Belfair Log Plaza in 2012. One of my best friends Robert Masaniai, who stood 6-feet, 3-inches tall and weighed 370 pounds, defeated all of his competitors with ease. After Masaniai’s performance, one of my buddies nicknamed him “Bull Hurley” — Hawk’s opponent in the finals in “Over the Top.”

Arm wrestling is similar to boxing and mixed martial arts. The one-on-one aspect of arm grappling is just fascinating to me. “Over the Top” is a hidden gem in the milieu of 1980s sports films.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

Courtesy of Calder Productions
Girls basketball: Mt. Si beats Issaquah in conference action

Mount Si High School beat Issaquah 68-59 at home Jan. 5 in… Continue reading

file photo
Health department: COVID outbreaks linked to high school wrestling tournaments

At least 80 cases are tied to the events which included attendees from multiple counties and states.

Photo courtesy of Panthers Youth Rugby
Panthers Youth Rugby rolls into action

Panthers Youth Rugby is encouraging boys and girls in middle school and… Continue reading

Photo of Eastlake Little League’s All Star Team. From L to R: (Back row) Jackson Wheeler, Kellen Kinney, Sanath Chari, James Ort III, Sule Tian, Eli Jones, Pryce Eadon. (Front row) JJ Hamiltion, Sawyer Todd, Ryder Oswalt, Walter Steinbok, Logan Rausch, Harrison Militello. Photo Courtesy of Jeff Steinbok.
Eastlake’s time at Little League World Series comes to an end

The boys of Eastlake Little League’s 12U all-star team’s time at the… Continue reading

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.

Teaser
Eastlake all-stars score spot in Little League World Series

Eastlake Little League’s 12U all star team was crowned Northwest Regional Champions… Continue reading

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Screenshot
Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

t
Issaquah notches girls soccer victory

Issaquah’s girls soccer team celebrates a goal during its 4-0 victory over… Continue reading

t
Registration open for Panthers Youth Rugby

By Sophie Demandolx Special to the Reporter If you are a teenager… Continue reading

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports