July 8, 2004
Garvin DVD racy but unique
By GREG OLIVER - Co-Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
At times, watching Jimmy "Jam" Garvin's home video-turned DVD Behind the Scenes at the Bash, it seems like we're watching things that we shouldn't; that he has opened a door never before seen by the average fan and it is a little disturbing.
For one, seeing Road Warrior Hawk dominate the DVD was like seeing a ghost, but he's not the only one. Dick Murdoch drifts past at one point, like a specter that you're not sure you saw or not.
Shot during the 1987-88 Great American Bash tour, Garvin's home videos have just been released on DVD. The DVD is only about 30 minutes long, which is disappointing to the Gorgeous One. "I wish it was three hours long, but man, I was lucky to get what I got," Garvin told SLAM! Wrestling. He promises the next one, about a tour of Africa, will be much longer.
Right off the bat, Garvin warns viewers that it is not suitable viewing for children, even if the wrestlers on the screen sometimes act like children, especially during a rising rendition of the childhood classic Row, Row, Row Your Boat.
Garvin just warns of the strong language, but there are also homophobic comments, rude, sexual jokes and even a disturbing-but darkened-shot of a prominent star's derriere. Think of them as promos that wrestlers would like to do, but never could on the air.
You have to be familiar with the stars of the era to appreciate this DVD, however. There aren't any graphics telling you who is who; you have to pay attention and know your stuff. Among those prominent on the DVD are The Road Warriors (Hawk steals the show), Steve Williams (showing personality that he rarely did on real promos), Lex Luger, Sting, Arn Anderson, Ronnie Garvin, Dusty Rhodes, Paul Ellering and Jim Cornette doing a round of stand-up comedy.
Don't order Behind the Scenes at the Bash expecting top-notch cinematography. There is no menu and there are no chapters to be able to jump to your favorite spot. Some may even think that $24.95 is steep for less than an hour of footage.
In short, it's more like watching a home movie shot by your big brother and his rude, goofy friends. You get what you get, and it this case, it's access to one-of-a-kind footage.
Greg Oliver founded SLAM! Wrestling with John Powell way back in
1996, and has been writing about pro wrestling since 1985. He is the
author of the recently published book The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame:
The Canadians from ECW Press. Order it from the SLAM!
Wrestling Store. He can be emailed at email@example.com.