12. The Legend Of Chavo Guerrero
Killer Lyrics: Old man Gory could pop like a live grenade / Raised his boys in the way of the trade / Hector and Mando - young Eddie G / but Chavo meant the most to me.
A joyous number that manages to be a low-key headbanger tied together with indie guitars, and percussion with a Spanish flair. The lyrics are full of both celebration and condemnation. The former for Darnielle’s childhood hero Chavo Guerrero (Sr.), the latter for his stepfather.
Chavo is portrayed as a religious saviour - the “Defender of the Downtrodden” who descends from the top rope. We can all relate to idolising a wrestler as a child, even if we didn’t “pray nightly” for the death of our hero’s enemies.
As both children and adults, we have all had to deal with people disparaging our wrestling heroes, and often the sport itself. For Darnielle it was his abusive stepfather, who would mock Chavo in an attempt to upset his stepson.
The heel in Darnielle’s real life was his stepfather. Chavo is the figure in Darnielle’s life who makes him believe in justice. Wrestling provides a form of escapism where good eventually triumphs over evil. By the song’s conclusion, the stepfather is dead, and Chavo enjoys retirement with a glorious legacy.