Friday, June 7, 2013

Punks Gotta Fight

The way Josh Steel pushes Alex Waters' buttons reminds me of the dumpsters behind the boys' showers in junior high school. That's where the badasses cornered new kids in hopes of starting something when I was fifteen. All Josh needs is a spark of a reaction, and it's on. He badmouths the rookie's mom and dares him to do something about it. The leer on his face means he knows he can take this guy. The swagger in his stride means he can't wait to. Alex knows he's being baited. He's not afraid to fight back. He's just biding his time. He scopes the longhaired surfer's pale physique for tender spots to target first.

The awkward posturing of two young men, not quite sure of themselves in front of watchful eyes but anxious to get their hooks into each other, can sometimes be more exciting than the confident professionalism of veterans. Youth and good looks tip the scales in situations like these--well, come to think of it, in practically any situation I can think of. Josh and Alex are so young and muscular that, just looking at them, I can smell jockstraps and Dial soap. They even look like the kinds of guys who would be gunning for each other. Scruffy Josh looks like he habitually picks fights with strangers, for the fun of it. Alex looks like a straight-arrow type who has, more than once, dutifully put a scruffy punk in his place.

The guys start with a test of strength, an arm-wrestling contest, their bellies and chests on the mats. Of course, the competition doesn't stop there. Arm-wrestling is a great way to see the hard pop of biceps--these are beauts, too--but it's outcome is too cut and dry, not enough to scratch a young man's itch for roughhouse (or a fan's). Blond Josh establishes dominance from the beginning. He calls the shots. He shows Alex how much hurt he can expect out of a tangle. At Rock Hard Wrestling, the mere existence of a promising new wrestler like Alex is enough to sentence him to a certain amount of agony.

Then Alex, getting the point, fires back. He's no pushover. The rest of the match is give-and-take and runs for the full three rounds. We get body slams, punches, clotheslines, chokes across the top rope, suplexes, chin locks, scissors, and hammerlocks. Good stuff. These are moves you have seen performed with maybe more assurance and with smoother transitions in mainstream wrestling, but these young guys put their backs into them. You feel something just watching them work each other over. I have been a Josh Steel fan from the moment he picked a fight with Ethan Andrews. What was that? A year ago? Ten, eleven months? And Alex, the "fratboy," impressed me in his debut against Brodie Fisher. Together they have all kinds of chemistry. I've been aching to see this fight for four weeks. I'm not only not disappointed, but I can't wait for a rematch.

1 comment:

  1. Remove the damn tattoo and Steel would satisfy my Kevin Von Erich lust.



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