Thanks, Eli, for linking me to this outstanding tap-out match from the summer of 2003. This is Matt Stryker, 5'11", 217#, and Chad Collyer, 5'11", 230#, wrestling at Ring of Honor, two burly wrestlers closely matched in physique and tight-lipped attitude. I love this kind of pure technical contest, sportsmanlike at first, then heating up as the competitors tire and frayed nerves cause tempers to flare. It never goes out-and-out wild; the drama is contained in the drive to win, and the moment-to-moment decisions each man makes about which moral boundaries he is willing to cross to make the other man submit. This modest kind of drama--professionals who are intent in their work--is probably my favorite pro-wrestling scenario, nearly a non-scenario, tightly focused on bodies and strategies.
Stryker and Collyer fought a series of similar matches throughout 2003, beginning with Stryker's ROH debut at the beginning of the year. This match is the sort that used to open shows, establishing the rules of fair play and demonstrating the techniques of orderly catch wrestling. The heavy-handed hysteria and drama would come later in the evening. Perhaps it's my introverted nature and Germanic self-possession that draw me to this kind of scientific exercise of knowhow and endurance. I can appreciate the Jumbotron Sturm und Drang as camp, the "male soap opera" that came to dominate American wrestling, but my heart and cock favor concentration on a single task: methodically dismantling an opponent. This match harks back to the early days of wrestling, when grim, burly men took on the task of wearing each other out--nothing personal or emotional until frustration or fatigue pushed them to seek shortcuts to victory.
When I imagine the perfect wrestling build, this is what comes to mind: all shoulders, thighs, and ass, like these two wrestlers. When I imagine the ideal match, I think of two well-matched rocket launchers like Stryker and Collyer aimed at each other, free of allegiances, emotional baggage, and even animosity, steelily calculating each other's downfall.