In Round 3 of Rock Hard Wrestling's latest DVD release, we get about two minutes of heaven, when the camera pulls in tight on Austin Cooper's bodyscissors on Jason Kane against the corner ropes, so close we can practically feel the steamy heat rising off their bodies. Coop is so wrapped up into Jason's long arms and legs that the thought crosses my mind that they may need outside assistance to untangle. (Back in the old days of TV wrestling, this happened: two or three refs might be required to separate two sweaty, hairy bodies before the match could go on.) This moment is the beginning of the end for Jason, whom Austin, shorter but burlier (and meaner), has steadily dismantled in the preceding minutes. It's a great moment dramatically, but mostly it's the moist sensuousness that wows me.
Too many times ring wrestling gives us a lot of running around, as if we fans want to see the opponents cover as much space as possible in 20 minutes. And while motion and speed can vary the pace of the contest and get the most bang out of the 12x12 ring and the surrounding ropes and turnbuckles, what I want out of pro wrestling is tight, groaning clenches like this one. That's real wrestling, as far as I'm concerned; the rest is just aerobics.
A couple of other features stand out in this entertaining match. At the beginning, Austin and Jake, in their first time together in singles competition, enter the ring in gym clothes, stripping down to their trunks to pulsating drum rolls of the sort one hears when Spartans clash with Persians or a circus acrobat prepares to jump through six flaming hoops. If Rock Hard has done this before, I have forgot it, but then I'm a mondo Austin Cooper fan, so this instance was bound to stand out for me. I smirked at first, I'll admit it, so obvious the soundtrack was in its prurient intentions, but then I settled back in my sofa, murmuring, "Damn that was smoking!" The other standout for me--and you can take this with a grain of salt if this sort of thing doesn't rock your world as it does mine--was Coop's pecs bouncing like water balloons as he drives his boot to Jason's back in Round 1, pretty much ensuring (1) that I'm feeling the miracle of life up against my fly and (2) that all 33 of Jason's vertebrae got a damn good workout.
It's a fairly simple match, pretty close to the standard formula for such bouts, but it worked for me. For the interested among you, this match is paired with another great contest, Ethan Andrews versus Will Stanley, which I wrote about last month here. Both matches are also available for download on RHW's new HD format.