Sunday, October 23, 2011

Regular Guy


I grew up on Gordon Scott and Steve Reeves--back in the days when their Italian Hercules films were showing on the big screens on the military bases of my boyhood, long before I knew the word "camp," except as a word often found with the word "bible" in front of it. So I have a nostalgic appreciation for muscle gods. And if today I have a tad less enthusiasm for beefcake than my pal Bruno at the hugely successful and successfully huge Beefcakes of Wrestling, the difference is minimal and a matter of degree. Big big big muscle interests me, even astounds me, but it is not a particular selling point with me, apologies to WWE and anyone over 210 pounds, however beautifully assembled.

My main (but not my only) thing is regular guys pounding the crap out of each other, preferably in even matches. By regular guy I mean the GIs I saw around those military bases I grew up on--fit, trim, young, clean-cut, masculine, outdoorsy, polite, pure and manly souls. Guys who liked to roughhouse, who felt at ease applying an impromptu side headlock on a buddy outside the BX. Guys who might not have been flashy or jawdroppingly cut, but who had miles and miles of virile authenticity.

At Explosive Pro Wrestling, Perth, Australia, no one on the roster is smaller and lighter than Gavin McGavin, 5'9", 160#. I figure that, in the semiotics of pro wrestling gimmicks, McGavin's beard and gradually receding hairline identify him as an outdoor type--a minimum-once-a-year camper in the Outback. The ear guards and singlet, of course, we all recognize as signaling his authenticity as a "real" wrestler. In the EPW promos on YouTube, Gavin is sometimes spotted doing cardio outdoors and sipping from a water bottle. A clean-living guy who takes care of himself and fights a clean fair fight. McGavin catches my eye as a prototypical regular guy, classic and genuine as Old Spice.

It's just natural, then, that such a guy would have a perpetual grudge against "Gorgeous" Garry Schmidt, the wrestler who discovered him and brought him into the pro ranks, but, alas, a wrestler EPW pointedly associates with "pink and green tights, flamboyant  jackets and unusual vocal style" [italics mine]. "Gorgeous" just does not mix with "The Shootfighter," apparently ... except at my house. And it's no wonder that a roughneck like this one would feel compelled to pull snappy-dresser Nate Dooley out of his suit and tie, exposing his undies to the jeers of the crowd--and then peel down the straps of his singlet to finish the fight because--I imagine--they so badly restrict the range of movement he needs to give Dooley the beatdown he needs. Just looking at his photo above and writing this description makes me sigh, "Real boy!" like Pinocchio, whose adventures I remember watching twice in base theaters long, long ago. By that I do not mean to characterize anybody's sexuality--puppet or human--anybody's, that is, but my own.





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