Thursday, August 12, 2010
The Bronx Brawler
I attribute the great appeal of the fights on Krushco to the fact that Krush likes to pit himself against guys who like to fight for real. All of Krush's opponents identify themselves as straight, or such was still the case when Krush and I spoke a few months ago, but the rampant aggression--not to mention the grunting, sweating, and thrusting--carries with it a definite homoerotic charge, not the least because throwing themselves into this kind of sporting fistfight requires a great deal of trust and mutual respect between the competitors.
Where else do you find "gay" underground wrestling that is this raw? But realness comes at a cost--mainly to drama ... and speed. If these fights seem a bit drawn out and monotonous at times, that's because real fights are not choreographed to have beginnings, middles, and ends. In most cases, though assuming pseudonyms, the combatants are not playing characters, so there is no character arc to anticipate--no moment of tragic recognition or scenes of comic redemption. Krush never seems to invite us to side with either him or his opponent. We are free to choose which fighter we identify with, if either one. Quite simply, these are two dudes kicking ass and we are invited to watch.
In his latest video for download, Krush takes on a lean, hawklike fighter called the Bronx Brawler. What Brawler gives up in mass by fighting Krush, he makes up in nerve. In a series of short, brutal assaults, the two, wearing fight gloves, punch it out and grapple in front of a stationary camera. There is no pretense that these two are enemies, that they are in competition for any prize other than the rush that comes with vying for control over another man. When, in the heat of struggle, Krush accidentally smashes the Brawler's ribs too violently, he apologizes like a gentleman ... this is a sporting contest after all ... but then goes right back to the task of giving his opponent the good bruising he signed on for.
Krushco appeals to a different kink than promotions like BG East, UCW-Milwaukee, Naked Kombat, Pride Pro Wrestling, and NHB-Battle do, each of these unique in its own way and irreplaceable. The satisfaction that comes in watching Krush and the Bronx Brawler go at it may lack the allure of theater, porn, or myth, but it has an authenticity, a respect for grappling as sport, and an interest in the extremes of human endurance that play secondary or tertiary roles in the other operations.