Friday, October 31, 2014

Trippy Treats






The Arena @BGEast holds a 50%-off sale on fourteen popular masked-wrestler VODs until Sunday night (November 2nd). You can watch the matches for only five VOD-tokens and get a further discount if you buy the DVD during the rental period.







CameronWrestler.com is offering its download-to-own videos at an unlucky 13% discount, also until Sunday night (November 2nd). Use the code "jobber123" to cash in on the discount. It looks like there are sixteen matches for you to take a bite out of over the weekend.






Thunders Arena has released its Halloween Havoc 2014, in three parts this year, featuring matches  between Mouth Monster and Skeleton, Droid and Borg, and the Pumpkin King and Zombie. Sale prices are available for all three matches. ThunderTV has an extra treat for members only.

Happy Halloween!

Oh, and even more treats ...

Wrestlemen.com is hosting an all-day meet-greet-and-beat in its chat room and free hot wrestling videos all day long, along with special prizes throughout the day. Lifetime memberships are available for just $35 (regular $75) until November 5th. This level of membership accesses all the site's premium features, with never another membership fee to worry about!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bob Geigel, 1924-2014




The passing of Bob Geigel, one of the all-time greats, calls for black crepe on every wrestling ring in America. In addition to being a fine wrestler, he ran NWA in the Central States from 1963 to 1986. On my wall of wrestling heroes, his 8x10 hangs next to that of Tony Atlas and right above George "The Animal" Steele.

Special Versus Awesome




 













The DOA Wrestling UK commentator says how refreshing it is to see fan favorites versus fan favorites, without the good guy / bad guy labels. A clash between babyface teams can be refreshing, especially when there's no clear sense of which side is the stronger and better prepared, as appears to be the case in this energetic 2013 battle between Special Edition (Brad Slayer and Kip Sabin, top photo) and Battle Squad: Awesome ("Adrenaline" Danny Chase and "Diamond" Dave Andrews, second photo, with their four-eyed alter egos). It's a match about (we're told) "respect," "honor," and "pride."

For the first half of the match, both teams vie for the fans' love and admiration. Midway through the match they still pause to give their opponents an appreciative handshake. Seconds later, however, BSA cedes the high ground with an unprovoked double elbow drop on cute young Kip and then a double dropkick against Brad, who rushes in to rescue his partner. On the whole it appears that teamwork, timing, and a willingness to bend the rules may triumph over matching aqua trunks and boy-band haircuts. At any rate, even the commentator has to admit that the match has just become much more interesting.

However, even with smart-looking bangs hiding his eyes, Kip knows how to spring a clean reversal and give Diamond Dave some bruises to remember the evening by. Special Edition also knows a thing or two about double-teaming and synchronized attacks, as Danny is the first to find out. I especially like watching Sabin "clean house" shortly after the sixteen minute mark, after Slayer's jaw-dropping counter to BSA's coordinated punishment. This is what makes tag team matches fun (this, and the sight of teammates' foreheads bonked together, which regrettably we don't see here--but, maybe even better, we do see Kip hang Danny in a "tree of woe" and then torpedo Dave into his midsection).

Even so, the commentators are right. This is a great tag team match. And, in the end, after all the hard feelings have been spent in one team's sweaty annihilation of the other, the winners raise the losers' arms in a "show of respect," demonstrating that, despite the balls-to-the-wall finish, all four men are still "a class act."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Le Lion de Lorraine



















The tall blond bad guy is Jack de Lassartesse. His blond partner, bodybuilder Robert Duranton, is the guy who looks like a cross between Kevin Sullivan and Ravishing Rick Rude. (Almost definitely one of Rude's entrance robes was modeled on the robe Duranton wears at the beginning of this match.) Both the heroes in the opposite corner have dark hair. The smooth-chested good guy is Bernard Vignal. His hairy-chested and lusciously stacked partner is the legendary Lion of Lorraine, André Drapp, the French Resistance Nazi-killer turned bodybuilder, wrestler, and connoisseur of Grecian sculpture.

This complete 44-minute match (from January of 1961) is available at last on YouTube in two parts. (Watch the first round here and the rest of the fight here. Thanks to bob ALPRA.) I like every showdown between hairy-chested Drapp and the effete Duranton, the most closely matched of the competitors, physically, and the most dramatically contrasting in character. Duranton and Lassartesse's double-teaming raises the fan heat to volcanic. Duranton's valet Firmin attacks ring announcer Roger Couderc and gets a slug in the jaw at the 26-minute mark of Round 1. The crowd also attacks Firmin, prompting the police to drag the interfering valet away (more for Firmin's protection, I suspect, than anything).

Duranton's dirty tactics gain him the pinfall on Vignal that ends Round 1, but also put him in the crosshairs for some tasty second-round payback. The crowd seems to want a Drapp-Duranton faceoff as much as I do. Duranton cagily avoids him and Vignal, letting his tall partner feel most of the good guys' wrath--the kind of just-asking-for-it cowardice I like to see in a heel. Then, the last six minutes give me everything I could possibly hope for. Firmin returns, and things get messy before justice at last is served.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fearful Symmetry















Many wrestling fans like mismatched contests--big versus little, seasoned veteran versus wet-behind-the-ears rookie, cowboy versus Indian, North versus South, dumpy versus muscular, daddy versus son. I like a lot of these contests, too, but my ideal battle consists of opponents who are closely matched in physique, experience, age, size, weight, and even geographical origin, yet unlike in character or attitude. 

Even from the beginning of my pro wrestling fandom I paid attention to opening announcements of the fighters' heights and weights. I liked ringside commentators to highlight even inconsequential points of comparison. Whether GI versus GI, brother versus brother, Korean versus Korean, masked man versus masked man, blond versus blond, barefoot versus barefoot, or midget versus midget, wrestler symmetry attracts my eye and delivers a quick jolt to my crotch even before the match starts. 

So naturally the showdown between two skilled baldies last month, as Krush faced Johnny O, was a sure hit with me. It was the second time for these two, three years after their initial showdown. Now Krushco has released a second rematch, shot with the company's newly acquired hi-def camera, and it's a beaut. 

If anything, the new match is tougher and meaner than the previous ones. Johnny O sets out to make Krush his bitch, and as improbable as that sounds, he is pointedly the aggressor at the beginning. He gains the first fall in just three minutes with a brain-scrambling headscissors. 

Krush is more wary of the guy as the match proceeds. But wariness is not enough to fend off Mr. O, who has not only improved his grappling skills since the first meet in 2011 but also acquired an aggressive side that borders on nasty.

There's no way Krush is gonna stand still for this. After Johnny flat-out tortures him on and off the mat, Krush suddenly slams the guy shut with an electroshock armbar that wins him the second fall in less than three minutes. The give-and-take continues, one wrestler inching ahead, only for the other to tie up the score several minutes later. 

The action here is more dramatic, the antagonism more vividly expressed, than any other Krushco match I can remember. I replayed some clenches till they were etched in my imagination. And the furious minutes before the suspenseful fifth and final fall make it clear that these two may yet have unfinished business to tend to in the months to come.

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