Monday, April 29, 2013

I'll Take Sweden








Found by chance on Tumblr, Trygve Finkelsen's dynamic photographs drew me to a European wrestling promotion I had not heard of: GBG Wrestling (site under construction), based in Gothenburg, Sweden. They advertise themselves as "Sweden's most professional, extravagant, and impressive wrestling federation." I haven't had time to explore the company's YouTube videos, but based on the photographs, the matches are smoky high-contrast spectacles, dramatically pitting (as they say in their marketing copy) good against evil, speed against strength, and cunning against honor. The match pictured above, from Saturday's show, must portray the conflict between spirit and machine. STEINBOLT (apparently all the caps are required), also known as the "Austrian machine," wrestles his handpicked opponent, Scandinavian Shiva, one half (with Bad Buddha) of the team Masters of the Mystical Arts and dubbed an "esoteric warrior-ascetic who walks the path of pain towards spiritual enlightenment" (thank goodness for Google Translate). Shiva, the tattooed longhair here, is the crowd favorite, poised against the blond, brawny, and clean-cut heel.

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