Super Chico V
Bryan Alvarez puts out a pro-wrestling newsletter (Figure Four Weekly) that is without a doubt the funniest thing going in the world of rasslin’ today. That’s not to say that Bryan doesn’t also deliver when it comes to news, but his style of writing and quick wit make FFW~! a must read for anyone, like myself, who are obsessed with the world of hairless, oiled-up men who pretend to hit each other. For information on how to order FFW~!
Now, unlike most people who cover the “squared circle” (©Gorilla Monsoon), Bryan is also an active participant as indy wrestler Super Chico. Alvarez primarily wrestles in small feds up in the North West (driving distance from FFW~! HQ no doubt) and when I say small, I mean SMALL. Some of these matches look like they were taking place in someone’s basement. And no, I’m not talking about Stu Hart’s “Dungeon.” This is a far cry from WrestleMania at SafeCo field in Seattle, but we are also talking about a group of people who are wrestling not for the money, let’s face it -there is none, but because they absolutely love it. That type of raw enthusiasm overcomes the lack of 20,000 screaming fans and 15 camera angles. Does anyone really give a damn in the comics world that Cerebus and Milk & Cheese are in black and white? No, because they are obviously a labor of love and that comes across the page. The same holds true for Bryan in his matches.
Those who read Bryan’s FFW~! will be familiar with some of the names that Bryan wrestles on this disc. You’ll be glad to finally see Buddy “The road will own you kid” Wayne and Shoulders Torelli (a.k.a. Bryan’s friend Vince), two names that almost show up weekly in the newsletter. I’ll be honest, seeing those two guys was something I was looking forward to in the same way that I couldn’t wait to see the WWE bring up Doug Basham or Shelton Benjamin by what I was reading about them in Bryan’s write-ups of Ohio Valley Wrestling. Reading about someone every week gives me a mental image of what I expect to see and it’s usually quite the shock to actually see that person for the first time.
The match list on the DVD is as follows. Super Chico vs. Buddy Wayne, Disposable Youth (I love that name), Shoulders, Teenage Dirtbag (another great name and you have to see this kid as he looks like the love child between American Idol’s Justin Guriani and Jack Osbourne), Shoulders 2, a Fatal Four Way & Buddy Wayne 2. Keep in mind that when I write “Shoulders 2” it just means there is a second match with the same guy, not that Bryan is wrestling some sort of wrestler “sequel.” Although that would make one hell of an angle up there in the Temple Theatre. Imagine, a future version of Shoulders Torelli going back in time to avenge the One Big Loss in his past BEFORE it happens. Although we would probably need twins for this angle and I certainly hope there isn’t another Bryan’s Friend Vince~! running around.
Each match also has the option of having commentary by Bryan which I can not recommend enough. Bryan gives an in-depth look at each match along with many humorous anecdotes. Alvarez tells one story of how Disposable Youth was called “Disposable Douche” by a wrestler in the back, and that name stuck. Poor kid. Bryan also tries to explain why much of the camera work in some of these matches is beyond bizarre as the cameraman was his uncle. Alvarez never tells if his uncle is Jake The Snake Roberts coming off a two week bender, which would explain why the camera shakes so much at times.
Bonus Features: There are two extras on Super Chico V, the first being the most horrible match you will ever witness from Bryan’s former wrestling organization, the Youth Wrestling Federation. The match is between “The Hitman” and “The Gymnast” and goes into the it’s-so-bad-it’s-bad category. Alavrez admits this before the match though. The other special feature is the series of takes that Bryan needed to do in order to get the introduction done for the above match. This is some great stuff here, reminiscent of the deleted scene from Boogie Nights in which Mark Wahlberg keeps blowing all his takes. It takes a lot of self-confidence to be able to allow yourself to look so foolish on your own DVD, but I’m glad he did because after the third or fourth time Bryan screws up his delivery you can’t help but start laughing.
Bottom line, if you are a reader of FFW~! you must own this disc. If you are an avid wrestling fan I would highly recommend checking out Super Chico V to get a better look at the non-WWE wrestling world in which 95% of wrestling in the United States takes place. Alvarez’s commentary is a fantastic behind-the-scenes type look at wrestling and is an invaluable lesson for every fan.
DVD Score: (7.0)
Derek Burgan reviews SmackDown for PWTorch.com along with doing the tremendously successful Cheap Pops! comic strip every Thursday Night. He can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org and welcomes any and all comments, except the ones that tell him
the movie "Lost In Translation" was truly worthy of Oscar consideration.
Copyright © 2005 Derek Burgan. All rights reserved.