Wrestling was shot in the Montreal Forum, where major bouts were staged, as well as wrestling parlors where would be wrestlers learned and practiced their craft.
The filmmakers had intended to make a film exposing, in slow motion, the fakery of professional wrestling, until a chance encounter with French philosopher Roland Barthes changed their minds. Barthes was appalled by what they were planning to do, and spoke urgently about the beauty and social role of pro wrestling in the lives of ordinary people. Persuaded by Barthes, the filmmakers set out to make a film that captured the spectacle of the sport, without judging it.
The film shows the wrestling arena to be a sort of modern day shrine, with wrestling and its rituals taking the place of religion in the then-recently secularized Quebec.