Friday, February 28, 2014

Connor Meets Aron







Connor Flynn, 6', 171#, and Aron Stokes, 6', 164#, are perhaps the glummest two wrestlers I know of--neither one is big on smiling ... or speaking--and, as a result, this new Movimus matchup verges on downbeat genius ... or, I don't know, something. In the video's intro, the scowling runs neck and neck with the muscle posing, the wrestlers looking as if they've both been dragged out of bed early on a Sunday morning to wrestle each other. 

Always fascinated by like-versus-like matches and by moody, tight-lipped fighters, I turned to this new release out of curiosity.  There's a glimmer of a smirk on Connor's face when the two shake hands and, without prelude or fanfare, start to wrestle. It's while wrestling that he and Aron come alive. They are serious about wrestling, and I like that. 

Right off, Connor deftly fends off the new guy's attack and takes a position of control. But Aron, though the (slightly) lighter of the two, is no pushover. The 21-minute match is in constant turnaround. It takes one of these guys roughly a minute to take Round 1, but then a rough Round 2 goes to the other, two and a half minutes later; one pulls ahead at the end of a nearly five-minute Round 3, then quickly gains a two-point lead in a relatively brief Round 4; the gap starts to close (3-2) in Round 5; in Round 6 the two fighters careen clear off the mat, where they finish their business on the hard blond wood floor; the match ends at seven rounds, with a mere one point separating the two. The fighting is intense but sportsmanlike: a handshake signals mutual respect at the end of particularly well-fought rounds. No words, just the terse handshake, and the two lock up again.

As I have said before, I like wrestling best when it starts to slow down, when sweat glistens on the skin, when the blood rushes to the head, when wrestlers cling to each other more out of instinct than conscious strategy. This is a terrific little match that ought to thrill fans of straight-up submission wrestling. But with these two guys, there's not much to listen to except for groaning and huffing and the erratic drumming of bodies against each other and the floor. Frankly, I don't miss the talk. Usually, this kind of focus and crunched intensity is (for me) much hotter than goofing around.

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