Sunday, September 8, 2013

Back Against the Wall








Krushco's latest release is a double header: Krush's rematch with Max in Philadelphia and a new match with challenger Kyle in New York. 

In the second time around, Max shows a level of spunk unseen at the first showdown, tying Krush into knots, even yanking the first submission out of the big K (and, a bigger surprise, it isn't the only one). Krush exclaims, "What, you get a crash course in submission wrestling since we last met?" 

Maybe it was only first-time jitters that made Max a whipping boy in the original faceoff. But Krush doesn't give up his whipping boys easily, and he comes back punching, with the dirty-sport edition of his game. Max protests. Krush claims a sharp low blow was not on purpose: "It's what happens when you wrestle, you little wuss." "Eat shit," Max replies bitterly. "Say it over here," says Krush, and the fight is on yet again.

"Good sound effects," Krush deadpans after a choke and stretch combo results in a bloodcurdling howl from Max. As noted in my review of the original brawl last month, Max gives satisfying soundtrack all around. It's that level of vocal responsiveness that was often missing from earlier Krushco releases, everybody being (I guess) too macho to scream a little now and then. Taking nothing away from the guy's wrestling skills, Max's elocutions add value and volume to an intense 18-minute contest. 

Next up, Kyle, another Philadelphia fighter. Unlike Max, Kyle commutes to New York City for his shot at Krush, who, he says, deliberately avoided him while the two were in Philadelphia at the same time. Kyle is a big man, bigger than Krush, with a Mr Clean dome and a Herculean beard.

Size matters in mat wrestling, and Krush is used to having the advantage in that department, so it's instructive to see what he does against a taller, heavier opponent like Kyle. Krush quickly takes the top bunk but fails to hold it for long. He then reverses, but a split second later Kyle slaps his back to the mat. Being on top doesn't mean a lot without moves, though. Kyle toys with Krush, baby-slaps across the mouth while he straddles the man's waist and towers over him, an approach that's only going to infuriate Krush, who is nobody's toy.

Twice Krush nearly chokes Kyle out. Kyle comes back at him roaring with even more vigor and determination. He bears down on our hero, slamming some stiff punches to the abs and the sides. The action escalates. Shirts come off and clenches tighten. 

What Max and Kyle bring to their respective contests differ in every respect but one: they both push Krush to his limits--in resilience and in strategy--and we get to see Krush more than once in a bind, having to play defense in a sport he usually dominates, often seemingly without effort. Here are two matches where Krush has to make a concentrated effort ... or else.

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