Friday, August 9, 2013

Small Men in a Big Man's Sport










The screen shots are the best I could do, given the video quality and the time I was willing to put into the captures, but the match itself, beginning at minute 21:00 here, is my kind of match, rassling like only Southern boys are doing it these days. The NWA Anarchy Wrestling show from June 22nd pits Slim J, 5'8", 187#, from Georgia, against Corey Hollis, 5'7", 189#, from Alabama. Both are tough fighters who work the crowd in subtle ways. The fans are clearly behind Slim J. What I like is close tight clenches (i.e. actual wrestling), with headlocks, armbars, and scissor holds, the wrestling equivalents of salty ham, grits, and tea so sweet it could harden a hummingbird's arteries.

One of the commentators describes Corey and Slim as "small men in a big man's sport." I'm not sure the commentator's point is accurate for 2013. Outside of the WWE and TNA, the median height of professional wrestlers is between 5'9" or 5'10", closer to 5'9" internationally, the majority of US independents being under six feet tall*. And though these two wrestlers are under 200 pounds, they pack a lot energy and speed into their compact bodies, and for heart, stamina, and attitude there are few of the giants who can match them. (I am pretty well past my height prejudices these days, though I'm still especially thrilled to see wrestlers who are close to my height and weight. I tell friends I can now also appreciate hunks who are "portable" and "carry-on" size.) In fact, having a low center of gravity is an advantage in the sport, as I realized back in the 1970s, when I noticed that midget wrestlers performed more exciting suplexes and elbow drops than their taller counterparts.

Wrestlingdata.com lists 532 wrestlers at 5'6"  (e.g., Rey Mysterio at WWE); 875 at 5'7" (e.g., Petey Williams at TNA); 873 at 5'8" (e.g., Davey Richards at ROH); 1,121 at 5'9" (e.g., Austin Aries at TNA); 1,302 at 5'10" (e.g., Anthony Nese, independent); 1,087 at 5'11" (e.g., AJ Styles at TNA); 1,276 at 6' (e.g., Dolph Ziggler at WWE); 1,002 at 6'1" (e.g., John Cena at WWE); 803 at 6'2" (e.g., CM Punk at WWE); 552 at 6'3" (e.g., Mark Henry at WWE); 386 at 6'4" (e.g., Magnus at TNA); 199 at 6'5" (e.g., Antonio Cesaro at WWE); and 128 at 6'6" (e.g., Sheamus at WWE).


1 comment:

  1. Yeah! I've always preferred 'em short, built, and nicely bulging! The shorter the better! The smaller, stockier wrestlers have REALLY got it GOIN' ON! ;D

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