15 Minutes of Raising Cain
No long rants at the microphone, no muscle posedowns, no feather boas, no razor-drawn blood, no florescent light tubes, no interference from silicon-enhanced "managers," Zane Silver and Chase Burnett, two of the best fighters at Beyond Wrestling, here in a Blue Collar Wrestling Alliance match from two months ago, just give me what I expect of a pro wrestling match: a full fifteen minutes of nonstop, grueling, impassioned combat.
Watch it here.
Midway through the melee, Silver and Burnett pause briefly--if "pause" is even the right word, when two men, reduced to quivering, sweating heaps, gasp for air--to shake the cobwebs from their heads, and then resume the slugfest, fiercer than before. Both men give and take a pounding. The story they tell has its beginning, middle, and end in the ring, so even if you've never seen these two guys before, never heard a word about who is cheating with whose girlfriend or who backstabbed the other in a tag team contest long long ago, you get everything you need to relish their aggression right here in a quarter of an hour.
The pure, succinct, and riveting storytelling of classic pro wrestling, right here, in the moment. The "two boards and a passion," the essence of great theater--what these two guys do is like Burton performing Hamlet in street clothes or Hitchcock shooting a war movie on a lifeboat in the middle of the Atlantic--no razzle dazzle, no showy muscle, just grit and agility and pulse-quickening pacing.
Don't get me wrong. I love the pretty muscles, you know I do, and I love the classic cheekbones, aquiline noses, and square jutting jaws, I even love the high flowery camp of arena wrestling spectacle, but here, in this snarling mess of human emotion, rage, and will to power, is the essence of what grabs my balls in pro wrestling.