Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Dominant Male

Natural selection has hardwired males for dominance. This drive manifests itself in different ways--financial success, careers in the military or police, competitive sport, oneupmanship in social settings, intellectual achievement, even spiritual transcendence--striving to rise above, to be tops.  For some of us it enters our sexuality in obvious ways: for players, as notches on their belts to record the night's conquests; for power brokers, as trophy wives (or boy toys) who symbolize vigor and clout; for others, it's the push and pull of rough sex in the sack. Think of those 180 million sperm cells jostling their way to the target egg--the population of Pakistan in a single splooge, and yet only one can succeed! As men, our sexual natures are that minuscule yet epic struggle writ large.

Tommaso Ciampa, 5'11", 199#, wrestling's self-proclaimed "Dominant Male," turns 27 today. Saturday night's Ring of Honor TV broadcast started off with the long undefeated heavyweight facing sexy challenger Matt Taven, 27, 6'2" 212#. Could Matt pull off an upset? Tommaso attacks Matt from behind in a sneak attack, suggesting that he's a man willing to take short cuts to the top. His nemesis of the moment, Jay Lethal, pulls up a folding chair to watch the action close to ringside, tempting Tommaso to take the action outside the ring, and into Jay's face. An attempt to smash Matt down on the uncushioned concrete floor backfires when Matt reverses the hold, an exchange that leaves both men temporarily incapacitated. Back inside the ring, Tommaso and Matt slug it out, and Matt proves he has the power and the moves to take Tommaso down, if only luck will stay on his side. A couple of two-counts tease us that the match can go either way. But Ciampa is a slippery devil, with a taste for making his opponents suffer, at one point chicken-winging Matt in the corner and bashing the man with his bare, unpadded knee. It's a fine, respectable match, if somewhat predictable and typical first-match fare for a TV broadcast. Still, the match lasts a good eight or nine minutes, perhaps the total amount of time spent on ring action in some other hour-long wrestling programs. And both competitors are young, hot, skilled, and bent on domination.

Watch the entire ROH show here.

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