Listen to the sounds of Southern regional wrestling. The squeal of junior-high girls, whose cherries are a half-second from spontaneous combustion on the hard steel chairs. The thunder of bodies on a padded plywood floor. The words of the deeply concerned but often tongue-tied commentators, which, in Southern wrestling (and nowhere else), can sometimes fire me up.
"These guys used to be best of friends until a couple of months ago."
"The only way to win this match, by the way, ... it's not a pinfall, it's not a submission ... guy is going to have to say yes or no or I quit and that's the way it's gonna end, and that's the only way ... only way it can conclude."
"You can pretty much throw all that [the two wrestlers' wrestling styles] out the window in a match like this because it's all about making your man ... yeah beat him down ... beat him down and make him, make him cry out 'Uncle' and that's it. That's what it's all about."
"You can tell these two guys really just don't like each other anymore."
"I can feel the sting way over here, Danny."
"He's got him in a bad, bad way."The Southern wrestling ring is the national preserve of the long corner ten count, backwoods Apollos who can still pull off a pot belly, out-of-the-ring and on-top-of-the-turnbuckle slugouts, concrete floor suplexes, hair yanking, sweaty bearhugs, best friends on the outs who know only one way to settle it, and, naturally, steel chairs. I'm not saying you can't find these things outside the South, but just because you can hear Loretta Lynn singing her songs in Anchorage doesn't mean it is anything but Southern to the core.
I'm not saying Brown-versus-Kade is perfect. Every now and then the ref loses track of what an "I Quit" match is about, and a few of the segues are bumpy, but on the whole it does the trick for me. Before sending it to me, Ray watched it three times ("because I can't get thru it all without ... well you know"). Like butter on grits, my friends. Enjoy.