Dissected, this April 2010 Ring of Honor match between Tyler Black and Chris Hero is about three things:

Hair. It's blond versus brunet, and I only wish the fight had raised the stakes to hair-vs-hair. Both wrestlers have beards and shoulder-length hair that gets swished and swooped so often that for half the match their faces are invisible behind it and I can practically smell the hot Pantene. I know that some fans have definite preferences in hair length, but for me it all comes down to what suits each wrestler's face and attitude. Most men look best with short haircuts, I think, and some with no hair at all, typically black guys wearing Armani. It's rare that men can carry off hair this long, and they're usually surfers, rock guitarists, bible characters, and, of course, pro wrestlers. What works for me here is the balance between these two, identical except for the color.

Thighs. Tyler and Chris are fully equipped in this department. Perhaps two-thirds of my fascination with Tyler was his smooth, tan, and hard thighs. I think it might have been Wrestling Arsenal that first drew my attention to how often wrestlers' legs get spread (splayed, yawning, agape) in a typical pro match. They're wide open when the wrestlers fall, when they're flat on their backs semiconscious, when they collapse against the corner ropes, and when they stomp their boots to the mat. And no wrestler spread his legs so wide or so often as Tyler Black. Funny how it's taken me years to notice that none of his opponents ever resisted the impulse to yank him backwards, thrusting his crotch to the camera, thighs wide open as a Walmart on Thanksgiving night.

The Finish. Many times I have expressed my delight in sudden, decisive finishers that radically and abruptly change the course of a match in about a second and a half. Again, Tyler used to be the king of this angle--suffering every form of abuse his sadistic opponents might think of, and then, miraculously and out of nowhere, often at his most whipped, turning their blind malevolence back against them or catching a lucky break, and then knocking the noisy bitch out cold. As this fight draws to a close, it looks like Tyler is a goner, with Chris seizing him by the chin for a "hero's welcome," until Tyler pulls himself around (pictured above) and suplexes Chris hard to the canvas and covers him for a pin. Chris is dazed, and the fans are screaming, and the only thing that would have made this better for me is if Tyler had locked Chris's head between his bronze thighs and pulled out some clippers and shaved the man bald.


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