Monday, October 10, 2011


Of all Kevin Von Erich's regular adversaries, the best, I think, was "Gorgeous" Jimmy Garvin. Garvin was plump, hairy, loud, flashy, and cowardly, a perfect foil to lean, smooth, taciturn, methodical, and yet ever bold Von Erich. Nobody sold Kevin's quietly sadistic holds so well--and few heels so deserved them.

This is a title match from the early eighties. Garvin delays his entrance, keeping the champ waiting, signing autographs till the challenger struts in, accompanied by his valet Sunshine. The stills capture only a sliver of the drama--and Jimmy's groans as Kevin twists and squeezes have to be heard to be appreciated.

Young pro wrestlers should study all the Garvin-Von Erich bouts for their economy of motion and force. These are textbook examples of how to craft character within a match. If neither man had ever cut a promo, you could still see the contrasts in values, attitudes, and motivations just in the ring action. Without commentators, you can read the mounting drama from move to move. The stripped-down theater is all the more gratifying because the men actually know how to grapple, too.

(Captures from TheIronClaw1 Channel on YouTube.)

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