This weekend our friend Gary emailed me to say, "I would be derelict in my duties if I didn't let you know there was a new Sexxxy Leon Saver video up." Thank you, Gary! I've been a Saver fan for almost two years now. The French-Canadian wrestler makes a habit of taking on and taking down heavier, more brutal opponents like Pitbull Brando, Tony Icon, and now this guy, Gorgeous Mike, men whose egos and waistlines stretch beyond Saver's but who lack that essential ingredient that puts Leon a notch above: elan.
Elan is the French-derived word for vivacious style that manages to be both brash and suave. Leon's got it--yet it's a rare trait in wrestlers, more typically associated with guys like Gabin, Gainsbourg, and Belmondo, twentieth-century icons of distinctively French masculinity, whom I admire with no hope of ever emulating. It's manly confidence cut with a comic sense of the absurdity of ... well, everything. It's a Dumasian quality not usually associated with pro wrestling. But if any current wrestler could portray one of the Three Musketeers, it's Leon.
Gorgeous Mike, 5'10", 215#, brings a lot of flash to the ring, too, in this June 1st event in Montreal for Les Promotions NCW. But underneath the pink boa, Mike is just another strutting brute. He lacks the intuitive easygoing manner of Leon, 5'8", 165#. He mangles, he sucker-punches, he barks insults at the fans. Meanwhile, Leon suffers all kinds of abuse at his hands, yet springs back to dance around his opponent, neatly slicing him down to size with one deft and easy-looking move after another.
While the match lacks the precise timing of Japanese wrestling or the sportsmanlike air of nobility of British, it succeeds through the force of Saver's high style. There's a touch of the smooth criminal in Leon's persona. He has all the audacity of a heel, yet he charms the crowd. He's like a glorified pickpocket, whose artfulness mitigates his antisocial behavior. Just when it looks like Mike's size, illegal tactics, and viciousness cannot be overcome, Saver enacts a rapier-like boot thrust to the oaf's nose that lands the bad guy on his ass and gives Leon a neat, heroic pinfall. Bien exécuté, vous beau coquin!