Thursday, 12 July 2007

The Chris Hamrick Shoot Interview - DVD Review

Red Church Productions recently released their first ever DVD, The Chris Hamrick Shoot Interview. Filmed in 2003 during the FWA’s British Breakout tour, the production crew filmed several segments backstage at the shows, as well as talking to Hamrick about his career in the wrestling business.
Hamrick tells of how, like many of us, became a fan of wrestling at a very young age. But unlike a lot of fans, Hamrick’s parents brought him a wrestling ring for his ninth birthday. It was in this ring that Hamrick basically trained himself, copying the moves he had seen on television, inspired by wrestlers such as Brian Pillman. Training yourself is something that the majority of those in the business today would discourage.

Hamrick tells of his start in the wrestling business, working the indy circuit at the age of 16, and of his time in the WWF, appearing as a jobber on early editions of Raw, putting over the stars of the day, before moving on to his time in ECW, and talking about the downfall of the company. Like everyone else who worked for Paul Heyman, he has nothing but good things to say about his time in the company.

He then moves on to his time in Rob Black’s XPW, although by the time this interview was filmed, XPW was on it’s last legs. Hamrick speaks affectionately of XPW, and his hopes that they can put their problems behind them.

Of course, the FWA is mentioned, and Hamrick puts over guys like the Zebra Kid, Jonny Storm, Doug Williams, and many of the other FWA wrestlers he’s met on the tour. He describes Alex Shane as “the fucking man!” when it comes to women and drinking. Yep, I’ve heard those stories too!

The downside of this interview is that because it was filmed in 2003, we don’t have Hamrick talking about his successful tag-team with Tracey Smothers. The team won the IWC and IWA Mid-South tag straps in 2004.

Backstage segments are aplenty. The Zebra Kid looks somewhat perplexed after their match, and looks as if he doesn’t know what to make of some of Hamrick’s antics. Zebra’s expression says more than words ever can! We also see the FWA crew travelling between shows, with Hamrick stealing Paul Travell’s shoe, and John Atkins becoming “one of the boys”. Did we really need to see Atkins’ boxer shots? Or a blurred shot of Atkins taking a leak by the road?

Match-wise, we see Hamrick against Raj Ghosh and Juventud Guerrera during the tour. Hamrick really plays up to the crowd, something we don’t seem to see much of from our American indy wrestling cousins, and some of the comedy spots in his match were a joy to watch. But despite acting like a clown, Hamrick showed that in both bouts he can really go, especially in his match with Guerrera, which is definitely the best bout of the two.

In conclusion, I wasn’t expecting much from this DVD, having not really been a fan of Hamrick’s work in the past, but it’s still good viewing, even though the footage is a little out of date as far as releasing it this year is concerned. It’s a good look into the life of a professional wrestler, and well worth watching, especially for those who want to see John Atkins’ underwear.