John Darnielle, frontman of The Mountain Goats, paid tribute to his favorite sport–professional wrestling–in the band’s latest video for the song “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero”. This song is the second track on the group’s mew album Beat the Champ, which is also wrestling-themed. The video harkens back to the 80s and 90s when wrestling was taking off in popularity, and megastars such as Vince McMahon were coming into their own. The old effect is achieved by using grainy video quality, loud ringside commentary, and oversized television personalities. Featured in the video are Rob Corddry, of The Daily Show fame, wrestlers Joey Ryan, Ray Rosas, and Ryan Nemeth, Darnielle, and the legend Chavo Guerrero himself.
The three and a half minute video, directed by Emmy Award winner Scott Jacobson, shows Ryan, Rosas and Nameth as cocky challengers who attempt to become the wrestling heroes of their time. They boast to Corddry and Ted Travelstead, who play ringside reporters. However, about halfway through the video, as the song picks up speed, Guerrero comes out onto the ring to show them who really is boss. As Chavo makes quick meat out of his competitors, Darnielle comes on screen with an old acoustic guitar and sings the story of the wrestling champ, as if he were a folk hero.
As reported by Under the Radar, Darnielle was extremely excited to get his hero Chavo Guerrero in the video: “I consider myself pretty decent with words, but I don’t think I can find the right ones to say what a profound experience it was to hear Chavo say ‘any time, brother’ over the phone from his home in Arizona, and to meet up with him in L.A. and get stories from him about his dad Gory and about the old days at the Olympic, and to finally shoot this video, in which he rescues me from a certain beatdown even though my character’s playing the heel. I don’t wanna stand between you all and Scott Jacobson’s awesome video much longer, but before you go check it out, please join me in raising a glass to Chavo Guerrero: champion not only in name but in his word and deed, and now a friend. The video features Chavo and me and Rob Corddry and Jon Wurster and Peter Hughes and was the most fun thing to make, as you’ll see, and not telling you all that I had actually met and worked with Chavo Guerrero has been total torture for the past month-plus, so please: enjoy!”