I reviewed Russ Russo's first contest against Krush at Krushco a year ago, here. Since that match is listed on the site as one of the Top 5 downloads, it's only right that there would be a rematch, and there is, just released (I think) this past weekend. Like last time, Russo puts up a bigger fight than anyone might expect of a man his size, considerably lighter than Krush, but like a number of other tough scrappers, he proves that the size of the fight cannot always be judged by the size of the fighter.

It's a two falls out of three contest. Amazingly, Russ forces Krush to submit first, at the end of an eight-minute first round. Russ is lithe and aggressive and looks like he might be ready to choke out a submission only a minute into the match. His tight and tenacious headlock, however, puts his own head in a position for Krush to reciprocate, enabling Krush to peel Russ off. Russ then targets his opponent's arm, lighting on it like a mosquito and trying to twist it behind the man's head, but Krush clasps his hands together, preventing the hold's completion. Undaunted, Russ clamps down on the head again.

Russ's toughness and resilience remind me a little of Lucien's, another Krushco favorite, but he also reminds me of guys like Skrapper at BG East, Tak at Thunder's Arena, Axel at UCW, and Eli Black almost everywhere. These are slim, well-built guys with hearts made out of punching-bag leather, guys so passionate about wrestling that they take on bigger opponents eagerly, without hesitation. Even though Russ is sturdier looking than those guys, against Krush he looks small, yet the wonder is that he is most definitely not overwhelmed by him.

About a minute into a second headlock, Krush rouses, perhaps suddenly realizing he might actually lose to this guy. He punches Russ in the ribs, but Russ's grip is not weakened. The two wrestlers are clamped together chest to chest, with thighs entangled. Krush succeeds in opening the lock, but Russ does not vacate his top position and thrusts a few jabs to the big man's chest before clamping his arms again around Krush's neck and digging his goateed chin into the top of Krush's skull. 

After a minute, Krush thrusts and reverses, straddling Russ's waist as the two exchange gut punches. Surprisingly (again!--Russo is full of surprises), the smaller wrestler breaks free and then successfully plows into Krush, though Krush's brawny thighs hold him firmly in place by his slim waist. The two again trade jabs, stiff, meaningful blows that suggest an intense animal struggle, with Darwin a kind of invisible ref. More fisticuffs and slaps, then suddenly Russ pounces, again cinching tight the head, forcing Krush to at last give up.

Round 2 is just as intense and tough as Round 1, with Krush intent on proving his dominance. He does, but it takes him longer than I would have imagined, and at the end of the round both men's singlets are so drenched with sweat that the wrestlers must change into new singlets for Round 3, which you see, in part, in the screen captures above. The match from start to finish is mesmerizing. If you have the patience for real submission wrestling and can enjoy a bout without the theater we expect of pro wrestling, this is a great match to take on. It's 25 minutes of classic grappling that offers no high spots but maintains a slow, often sensuous burn for the duration.


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