The new A24 Film “The Iron Claw” is not just about wrestling.
It chronicles the story of the Von Erichs, Dallas’ first family of wrestling. But it’s just as much a tragedy about the family dynamic and the brother’s love for each other than it is about action in the ring, according to its writer and director Sean Durkin.
However, wrestling still is a central part of this movie. And to get it right, the filmmakers turned to Chavo Guerrero Jr. – one of sport’s brightest stars during his time in the ring, and a member of another Texas wrestling dynasty.
He spoke with the Standard about getting the actors ready for the ring, his own part on screen, and the joys of being from one of El Paso’s great wrestling families. Listen to the interview above or read the transcript below.
This transcript has been edited lightly for clarity:
Texas Standard: Before we get into your work on the film, for those who don’t follow wrestling, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family’s background in the business?
Chavo Guerrero Jr.: Yeah, man. So I am from a third generation professional wrestling family, Texas wrestling family. So, you know, wrestling has really been feeding my family for 85 years, I believe. And we’ve made our living wrestling. Still making my living off of it just in the different aspect. But, you know, I wrestled with the WWE for over a year, WCW for 20 plus years.
So I’ve been around a little bit, you know.
What was it like growing up in a family that is just steeped in wrestling?
For us, it was different back in the day. You know, that’s how we paid our bills.
We had my grandfather’s wrestling promotion and, you know, everyone had a little something we had to do in there: you know, sweeping up, or selling popcorn or selling 8x10s. The older men in the family wrestling on the promotion, and that’s really how you made your money.
And it wasn’t like they made huge crazy money. Wrestling wasn’t like that back in the day. We were celebrities in El Paso, Texas, and that little area. But once you got out of that, sometimes, if you weren’t a wrestling fan, no one knew who you were. You just kind of had a regular job, you know?
Right. There was no TNT to watch you guys on.
Yeah. TNT, USA… There was no cable back in the day. It was all, you know, very small. You know, little local networks.