It’s going to sound strange but every so often I get approached for things involving wrestling due to the fact that I write this column and in the past have had other dealings with wrestlers. Most of the time it’s usually just crazy fans who have crazy ideas and want help in pursuing them. Whether it be running a promotion/convention or something altogether difficult. This last week I was contacted by the good folks at eyesoda.com about reviewing a documentary involving ?Gentelman? Chris Adams. My first reaction to this was that maybe it was a joke because I hadn’t really heard any rumblings about this documentary but after seeing the trailer and other information that was provided for me I became very intrigued and even though I was never a big fan of World Class Championship Wrestling and this might have been a better job for Hunter Golden than Jose Marrero I was going to step up to the challenge and review this movie? A ?Gentleman’s? Choice: The Chris Adams Story?you?re reading ?Wrestling Rumblings?.
Before I even get into the movie I just want to state a couple of things. First of which is I was not paid to review this movie so my opinions are completely unbiased. I was simply approached and asked to watch it and provide my opinion based on my expertise which I have to the best of my ability. So for those who would liken this to a film company buying commercial time I can 100% assure you that not to be the case. All I have been given and all that I have asked for was unrestricted access to view the film so that I can view it accordingly. As I said previously I have never been a big fan of World Class Championship Wrestling simply because I was just coming into my fanhood so to speak right around the time it was=2 0fading to black. So I never got to enjoy Chris Adams in his prime, but at the same time being a historian of the business I did get a chance to later on see and learn about him and see him as more than the wrestler who would go on to train ?Stone Cold? Steve Austin or the wrestler who popularized the Superkick. He was truly one of the last greats of the territories one of those who never received the chance to make the jump to the national stage when he was truly over (sure he was part of the blue bloods tag team in WCW but that was towards the end of his career). I was indeed very curious to see how this documentary filmed by Mickey Grant former producer of the World Class Championship Wrestling TV Show would paint him. Let me just say it didn?t disappoint.
More often than not in today’s era of wrestling when we watch something we are typically fed someone’s opinion as wrestling documentaries are typically very slanted toward whatever view the film maker tends to have on that particular wrestler/topic I can honestly say that Mickey Grant was unbiased in how he depicted the life of Chris Adams. You not only saw Chris at his best but at his worst as well with interviews that were conducted with Chris’s friends, family and wrestling personalities such as Kevin Von Erich, Tim Brooks, Bill Mercer, the late Gary Hart and ex wife Jeanie (AKA Lady Blossom AKA the ex Mrs. Billy Jack Haynes and Mrs. Steve Austin) there were even interviews conducted with those that would be considered enemies of Chris’s as well as interviews conducted at various points in his life with Chris Adams himself. This documentary was not a tribute to Chris Adams the wrestler as much as it was the story of Chris Adams the man so for wrestling fans who want a WWE style documentary that details all the angles Chris Adams was involved with I would suggest look elsewhere as this is not the film for you.
Mickey Grant does an excellent job of cataloging the various states of minds that Chris was in at points in his life from when he first came to the US as a promising National Judo Champion to his initial bouts with alcoholism to his drug use to his manslaughter case and his tragic murder in 2001. All the while sprinkling in old WCCW, USWA and even Chris’s independent wrestling company’s footage throughout the movie. Hear firsthand accounts of his arrest after assaulting a pilot on a flight from Puerto Rico, numerous20overdoses on drugs, thoughts on his most famous student ?Stone Cold? Steve Austin, his perceptions on his inclusion in the film Beyond the Mat and what happened the night that Linda Kaphengst his girlfriend tragically died and why Chris was blamed and indicted for her death. I personally guarantee you that after watching the film you will have a very strong opinion one way or the other the kind of person, the kind of man that ?Gentleman? Chris Adam’s was.
Without giving too much of the movie away I can personally say what I enjoyed most about the movie was the fact that while yes Chris Adams was a very well known wrestler his problems in the documentary are not blamed on wrestling nor should they be. More often than not especially in the post Chris Benoit era we often hear about how wrestlers are forced into certain lifestyles as if their choices are to be blamed on the profession as if they were forced into the profession when that is just not the case. Drug use is not rampant in wrestling but in the world we live in period and while some may argue that the wrestling industry makes drug use more accessible no one can make it more accessible to themselves than the individuals who partake i n this behavior. A ?Gentleman’s? Choice: The Chris Adams Story is the depiction of a man who had everything and lost everything because of his own personal choices and is highly recommended not just for wrestling fans but for any person out there who has dealt with a loved one wrapped in addiction.
For those who would like to see the trailer for this movie please I direct you to eyesoda.com or you can check out this link right here http://gentleman.eyesoda.com/film/34 and you can also check this link out for a special feature from the film- the last recorded interview with Gary Hart http://gentleman.eyesoda.com/film/377 the movie is available to view whether it be via one day pass online or via DVD at eyesoda.com and it is definitely a must have for any fan of WCCW.
Of course anyone who has comments about this week’s column, the movie, or anything else wrestling related can relay them to firstname.lastname@example.org as usual next week I will try to do better and until then I am out.