Thursday, September 29, 2011


The colorful (not to say garish) world of Preston City Wrestling, as photographed by Tony Knox, on the occasion of the crowning of its first ever champion, T-Bone, last Friday evening. (See the full set here.)

Kris Travis on T-Bone

T-Bone on Travis

Noam Dar on Joey Hayes
Dar on the mat, looking very Abercrombie & Fitch

Victory lifts the spirits of T-Bone, the new champion

Bone shares the moment with his opponent (Dar, out of frame)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Afternoon T

I am not caught up on my Thunder's Arena.  After a lackadaisical summer, one thing or another has kept me busy--with little time for coming up for air this past month and a half. But Thunder's Bodybuilder Battle 39 proved to be a superb way to bone up on what I've been missing.  (Yeah, you heard me.)

Scene 1: Diesel, 5'7", 200#, catches young Jackson, 5'8", 170#, snacking on some sandwiches Diesel was saving for himself.  Scene 2: What else can you do about a situation like this, except take to the mats and wrestle? Diesel returns to the Arena after a year's absence to show off his tremendous upper-body strength yet again, no less awe-inspiring now after twelve months away from the likes of Z-Man and Big Sexy, especially as he twists and ties Jackson like a balloon-modeler, all the while dangling the boy in midair.

Jackson looks like one of those juvie-delinquents-slash-Greek-gods from the 8-mm wrestling films from AMG, circa 1960.  He'd look right at home in a ripped T-shirt with a pack of Luckies rolled up in the sleeve. And he's every bit a mischief-maker like the tireless kid brothers in those AMG stories of sibling rivalry. Nothing Diesel throws at him--and the big dude throws a lot!--seems to faze the young stud.

Basically, we get a lot of huffing and puffing out of Diesel, while Jackson shoots one-liners left and right, prompting his testy tormentor to wrap him up in a camel clutch and strike back with a zinger of his own: "Say something cute NOW!" Jackson (one part Rusty Stevens, one part Guy Pearce) proves to be the smart-ass of my dreams when he chomps down on Diesel's Achilles' tendon to escape from an especially strenuous Boston crab hold. 

In protoypical Thunder's style, it's all in a good fun--horseplay of the beautiful and well endowed in central Florida's bright, clean sunshine.  But this match is more than a light snack. The moves are as big as the wrestlers' iron-cast muscles--and while the tone remains frolicsome (on Jackson's part, anyway) these guys pump out the sweat and put on a heck of a good show.


Here's one I remember from the summer of 1991, when it was brand spanking new: a semi-final bout between Steve Simpson and the Lightning Kid for the then-brand-new Global Wrestling Federation in Dallas. Twenty years ago I thought Simpson was the next Kevin Von Erich, and while he lacked Kevin's blond, all-American-jock looks and blithely entitled boss's-son swagger, Steve had attitude and the moves--Kev's brother from another mother, from another continent--and I liked him--how much because of or in spite of the Dee Snider hairdo, I could never decide.

And this was his best match, in my opinion, even though he was three or four years past his prime, I thought at the time, battling new wavy The Lightning Kid (back when Sean Waltman was barely nineteen). Just the suggestion that this was a heavy-metal-loving big brother teaching an overly aggressive punk kid brother a needed lesson--an impression mildly abetted by the commentator who says Steve is going to "put [the Kid] to bed"--was enough to jump-start me--and the image of Steve twisting and rolling the Kid in a circle immediately etched itself in my memory (a good thing since I had neglected to tape the show).

Thank you, sportjockma, for bracing up the moment for me by publishing the fight (along with many others) on YouTube (here).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Still Walters

And yet more and better shots of the Walters-Skyler fight on Saturday in Cornelia, Georgia. Walters was defending the belt, and he succeeded. (Photos: NWA Anarchy)


You have your man down on the mat, your arm around his head, your country ham of a bicep smashing his sweaty neck. The man squirms, resisting, kicking his boots in the air and slamming them on the canvas-covered plywood. You feel the damp heat rising off this guy like a Louisiana swamp in July. Then, with a sudden surge of resolve, he rolls you over on your shoulders, pinning you for one half of a second, but you right the situation and put him back where you want him. Under you. Your heart beats faster, knowing the man's got some fight in him, and you tighten your hold, just enough to make him grunt. Ah, satisfying, that sound! The power and dominance. Right now his chest has got a fairly clear idea of how much you weigh and his neck knows well how solid that upper arm of yours is. Still the guy thrashes and struggles, and you need to put an end to that. So you get up on your feet, hauling him up groaning with you. On his feet he's plotting escape, and he tries to pull his wet, stringy-haired head out of your armpit. The sorry SOB reaches up and grabs a fistful of your hair to pull. A neat toss and a body slam put everything back in perspective. For him and for you. Sweat streaks off your pecs and smacks him in the eyeballs as his butt reacquaints itself with the mat, where it belongs, where it's going to stay until you choke him out or else until the dirty so-and-so figures out a way to wriggle loose. 

Beefy Steven Walters and longtime adversary John Skyler demonstrate, in these captures from a video of Saturday's NWA Anarchy Wrestling match. You've seen the same struggle  in thousands of matches, only maybe not so much lately. You can watch the Walters-Skyler tussle in motion here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Three Divided by Three

Last night's three-way match at East Coast Pro Wrestling: JC Westler (in trunks) versus Rob Vegas (in singlet) versus Bandido Jr (in long tights). (Photos: John Gjoni)


Bill Melby

Dick Steinborn
Johnny Rougeau

Reggie Lisowski

Sammy Berg (Samson Burke)

Enrique Torres


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