NBC’s Young Rock has quickly emerged as one of the highest-viewed television programs on cable. Journeying audiences through the upbringing of the People’s Champion, Young Rock appropriately has a large pro wrestling focus.
Speaking with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman on the Wrestling Inc. Daily, Chavo Guerrero detailed his experience working on the series as the wrestling coordinator. Due to pandemic precautions, Chavo revealed that he had to teach just about every main actor how to take bumps, as stunt doubles were not regularly available.
“Nobody was a wrestler there, except for a couple of the extras,” Chavo said. “All the main actors had no wrestling experience whatsoever. It was up to me to teach these guys what I could do, and we were on a time crunch. It wasn’t like on GLOW, where I had these actors for a month before they even started filming. So, everyday, five days a week, three hours a day, two classes a day, I was training these girls. This, we were on a time crunch.
“A lot of times I would’ve at least had a double there for these actors. We were in one city in Australia, and with that pandemic and with that lockdown and the quarantine, I had nobody to choose from. So a lot of times I was like, ‘Hey guys, unfortunately you guys are doing all your own bumps. You guys are doing all your own moves.’ You’re going to see some super great stuff, and it’s all these actors doing everything, because there were no doubles. We couldn’t have doubles there. If it was in LA, yeah I would’ve had doubles for them just in case, but this was the actors doing everything.”
Considering these actors were not familiar with wrestling training, the aches and bruises followed many of the physical shoots. Chavo noted that he helped the actors recover by giving them CBD cream, not realizing it was illegal in Australia.
“There was a lot of Icy Hot being passed around,” Chavo joked. “I had some CBD cream that I had taken to Australia that I didn’t realize was illegal there. I had this CBD cream that you just rub on. There’s no THC, just straight CBD. It’s really great, and I use that a lot for joints and muscles and stuff. So we used that a lot, and I passed that around, and I get texts saying, ‘Hey, Chavo, I’m coming up to your room for some of that CBD cream. My knees are killing me.’ So that was getting passed around a lot.”
Chavo emphasized that his CBD smuggling was completely unintentional.
“I didn’t know! Literally when I got there it was like, oh, CBD’s not legal here,” Chavo said. “I was like, ‘How is CBD not legal here? It’s not a drug. There’s no mind-altering effects in this thing. It’s CBD cream! I can get it at a CVS here. I guess I smuggled it over (laughs), but it was not intentional.”
Chavo has had his fingerprints on just about every pro wrestling-related series’ development, including Stephen Amell’s upcoming Heels.
“I was the wrestling coordinator on Heels, and then that shut down for the pandemic,” Chavo said. “Then we were just kinda waiting there, like, what’s going on? Then I ended up going to Young Rock, and I don’t know who’s the wrestling coordinator on [Heels now]. I’m still in touch with some of the actors there. They’ll text me every once in a while. That was a cool little project too, and I’m sad I didn’t get to finish that one. But everything happens for a reason, and now I’m on the #1 show on TV.”
Aside from Young Rock, Heels, and Glow, Chavo teased he could be involved in the upcoming Blue Demon Jr. Disney Channel series.
“Nothing’s set yet, but we’re talking about it,” Chavo said. “It’s a natural progression. You think about Lucha Libre, Hollywood, you know, Chavo Guerrero the wrestling coordinator. It’s a natural progression.”
With all the wrestling-centric projects popping up in Hollywood today, many have wondered where they have been all these years. Chavo says he believes studios are finally coming around on pro wrestling and its drawing power, thanks to the numbers the product and their biggest stars do at the box office.
“What I think happened was Hollywood realized what we already knew,” Chavo said. “Wrestling is super interesting. It’s not just getting in the ring and falling. The behind the scenes of wrestling is so interesting, like with Dark Side of the Ring, which I was apart of also. All of that stuff with GLOW, and Young Rock, and Heels, wrestling is really, really interesting. It’s so dynamic and so different than anything else that Hollywood is starting to realize that. And they’re starting to realize too that these wrestlers, it’s not just Hulk Hogan and Dwayne Johnson, but you got Batista killing it. You got Cena killing it. You got a lot of these wrestlers coming in [to Hollywood] and just becoming huge box office stars.”
Young Rock airs every Tuesday night at 8/7c on NBC. You can follow Chavo on Twitter @MexWarrior. The full audio and video from Chavo’s interview can be found below: