Saturday, August 10, 2013

Back At It

A month ago we saw the release of a classic showdown: mouthy redneck Jeff Gordoom versus the implacable Krush. I could have a bit of a thing for Gordoom, especially when he's sloshing a bottle of beer around and shooting videos of himself egging on Krush to kick his ass. From the start I saw the Kentucky grappler as a kind of virgin sacrifice to the New York god of submission wrestling. Jeff sees things differently, of course. He called for a rematch, close on the heels of the original contest, claiming injuries had prevented him from putting up his best fight. Gentleman that he is (and always ready to battle), Krush agreed to give him another shot. So now we've got one slightly used virgin re-approaching the padded vinyl altar. Can he do what only a small handful of challengers have done? Can he beat the unbeatable?

The two fighters don't waste time on preliminaries. A sportsmanlike handshake and they're at it. As expected, Krush dominates at first ... but Gordoom is a feisty devil, and the two roll around in fast motion like Johnny Weissmuller wrestling a leopard. Jeff complains about Krush's stiff jabs with a balled-up fist, not exactly textbook, but then the big baldy was never one for niceties like rules. Soon Krush finds himself tangled up in a real fight, with Jeff jamming his sharp elbow to the back of Krush's neck and delivering a series of crisp punches to the ribcage in an all-out effort to wear the heavier man down. The kid in the red singlet applies a tight headlock that has Krush moaning and grumbling like an old man. Adding hair-pulling to his list of dirty tricks, the old man regains control--and we're only five minutes into the match!

It's great fun watching Gordoom in fine form. He's a talker all right, announcing between rounds what kinds of holds he's going to subject Krush to, in none too technical terms ("some kinda choke"). (But damn if the wiry bigmouth doesn't get Krush to thrashing his legs and tapping out, just over a minute later.) Things get inneresting fast. Gordoom's far from the sacrificial lamb I took him for. The kid's tough and puts up a great fight. The two men exhaust each other over a 20-minute contest, and we discover that you can knock the wind out of Jeff and he keeps talking. This match offers more give-and-take action than the first challenge. The two wrestlers are well matched--the taciturn one-man blitzkrieg versus the strapping, loose-lipped Southerner. It's less the squash job that the original matchup was, rising to the level of some of Krush's liveliest challenges. 

Gordoom adds color to the Krushco company style, which up till now has consisted of straight-edge submission wrestling, with little to no attempt at characterization and drama. The company is experiencing a growth spurt at the moment--with new talent waiting in the wings (including a line of upstart challengers), a larger fight space, and a fund-raising campaign for purchasing a new and better mat. In close alliance with Lucien, former trainee, now certified "beast," Krush is actively engaged in beefing up the entertainment value of the matches, while sacrificing none of their authenticity, grit, and aggressiveness. The company's latest match is a big step towards realizing that vision.

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