I love the way commentator Russ Davis says, "You've got a couple of beautiful boys here," and then proceeds to explain in what particular sense he means that. Today the statement would not be made at all except in sarcasm. Bill Melby and Sonny Myers are beautiful, both in the usual sense (Melby is often counted as one of the first to parlay competitive bodybuilding into a wrestling gimmick) and in the sense Dave declares to be the one he actually intends, "that they are both wonderful wrestlers," but then he naively yet suggestively goes on to characterize their rivalry as "hot and heavy."
Like Russ, I must put a lot of stock in wrestling skill as a standard of beauty. There are guys I can stare at all day, admiring the well-defined muscle or the dreamy eyes or the towering cock, impressed by their photogenicity or elegance, with hardly an impure thought in my mind. But when I say I would "like to wrestle" somebody, I pretty much mean that he's fuckable, as far as I am concerned, and that it's probably taking every ounce of will power in my body to stop me from jumping on top of him. Exhibit A, somebody I want to take a photograph of. Exhibit B, somebody I want to strangle on the ring ropes.
As far as I can tell from my hasty research, this match is older than I am, or just about right my age. Still it is triple-X porn to me. What puzzles me is how this kind of thing can turn me on, despite its lack of resolution in black-and-white kinescope, yet how often I am left cold by curly-haired Adonises and pouty-lipped twinks and musclebound demigods, shot in high-definition video, with practically 3-D closeups that distinguish every out-of-place eyebrow hair!
Could it be yearning for the very earliest imprints on my psychosexual makeup? Could it be nostalgia for an era when two big dudes wrestled for over fifteen minutes, most of that time grunting against each other on the mat, while the crowd looked on, dressed in their Sunday best, apparently oblivious to or in denial of the musky sensuality of it all? Or do I pine for lost days of "sportsmanship" when two contenders could shake hands and pat each other on the back after a hard-fought contest?
The 1950s is the decade that spawned me, but I was never really a part of it. I belong more to the 1960s and feel more affinity for the 1970s. But it's this era of pro wrestling on TV I would most like to see portrayed on film. (It's kind of what I hoped The Wrestler would be when I first heard that Darren Aronofsky was making a wrestling movie, though I like the film he did make very much.) The decade also lurks in my imagination and fantasy as something more authentic, even in its patent fakery and bland hypocrisy, than anything I see today, but then that's what nostalgia is: the illusion that what is past is somehow more real than the present moment, when the truth is quite the reverse.