These are the 20 best screen caps I could get from this match that Eli Jav sent to me last week. The quality of the video is low, as you can tell from these shots, but for me the defect makes the match dreamlike. I'm reminded of the grainy, high-contrast images of Championship Wrestling from Florida I watched as a teen on a six-inch Sony I bought when I lived in Japan, crummy rabbit-ears reception and the volume so low I could barely hear it myself, just so my parents wouldn't know what I was watching through my locked bedroom door. I'm also reminded of the chiaroscuro of 1950s film noir, the visual styling of urban corruption and seedy malaise--still in my mind the best setting for wrestling.
Josh Daniels and Tony Nese go head to head in a rock-em, sock-em battle, that goes beyond the pale into the realm of choke-em, drop-em, bite-em, too (that sixth shot, right out of Silence of the Lambs). This was on October 17th, 2012, on Ace Pro Wrestling Overdrive, broadcasting out of Union City, New Jersey, than which an American can't get more crustily blue-collar. Eli says, "Josh Daniels isn't really my type, but I do love him being sadistic on Nese, that beautiful man." I might like Josh more than Eli does, and Tony a tiny bit less, though admittedly given the choice of either as my personal trainer, I would unhesitatingly go with Tony, that beautiful man.
But it is Daniels' sadism that makes this match. Nese plays to it beautifully, too, both in his anguish and in his defiant, justice-minded outrage (those gorgeous ninth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth poses, above--like a god). But check out Josh's maniac smile in the fourth picture. Then the way he straddles Tony's brawny body in the fifth shot, amazing the ringside commentators with the savagery of his blows. And when at last the ref shoves him off Tony's quivering body, he lunges back to bite the handsome kid on the top of his head! (The sixth picture.) In the tenth picture he stalks his badly wounded prey, with the slow, expressionless gait of Michael Myers in the original 1978 Halloween. Is it possible to deny the crazy in those eyes in the twelfth and thirteenth shots?
This match is incredible, despite (or, arguably, because of) the lo-def look of the video. I write this a day after the last time I watched this fight, and the second, fifth, ninth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth shots still porn me up. They will haunt my dreams, I hope.