I had come to believe that the backyard wrestling phenomenon was over, that today's youth were far too sensible--or too protected by their "helicopter parents"--to engage in such a reckless and risky activity as amateur pro-style wrestling. Yet OCWOBackyard, a YouTube channel, features (at this writing) 29 videos, and, along with a Facebook page, is the online presence of Online Championship Wrestling Organization, a Miami wrestling company that debuted in 2009 (or 2010, depending on the information source).
The company's business aspirations are at this point unclear to me. The full-match videos, six to twenty-five minutes of rambunctious horseplay, are free for download from YouTube. No DVDs or downloads for sale, that I can find, no T-shirts, no comic books. And yet the battles measure up to a good 90% of the stuff you and I pay about $15 a pop to watch.
At this point, any attempt I might make to hype or analyze these performances would be an act of desecration. In my opinion, they capture the "drama of incipient manhood," the dawning awareness of two facts: life is a struggle, and sensuous energy is, in and of itself, ecstatic--and, for someone like me, a third fact: the combination of struggle and sensuous energy is life-affirming and (thus) erotic. But I should take the matter no further--mainly because I know so little about OCWO, its mission, its sponsorship, its politics, its business model, but also because saying too much more at this point might spoil its pristine simplicity and fantasy with the grizzled encrustation of my own romantic idealism and nostalgia.
The caps above are taken from a September match, featuring fighters Creed and Matt Steel.