Friday, May 16, 2014
Shit Got Real
I am embarrassed to admit it, but I always suspected that Josh Steele (the extra "e" means that he positively is NOT the "Josh Steel" we know from Rock Hard) got his break in the underground wrestling business only because he's hot as fuck. Lithe or, as he is now, brawny, he has never failed to warm up my khakis. He is a mesmerizing presence in the squared circle and exudes a certain air of hipster arrogance, mixed with sex appeal, that would make almost anyone with two nuts in his sack want to pounce on him. Without a lot of gimmicky tricks, Josh sells choreographed moves and pro-style holds with intuitive brilliance and subtlety, acting-wise, the Ryan Gosling of ring aggression and torment. But who knew the guy could really wrestle? Movimus, apparently ... and Josh's energetic debut against fellow newb Jayson Dolan suggests big things to come.
Both wrestlers are well matched, to the inch the same height, with only three pounds' difference in weight, yet they look distinctly different. Jayson sports a buzzcut and chin patch, which lend his thick neck and shoulder tattoos a back-alley realness. He's squarely built and durable as a duffel bag, the kind of guy you expect to be tenacious, just looking at him. And he is. His round, blunt face might be a cast-iron fry pan except for his piercing I-don't-give-a-fuck eyes. Josh, however, looks a bit stiff in the warmup and moves, wincing, like he's sore all over, already before the match begins--or else (yawning) he just got out of bed. His laid-back, easygoing demeanor does nothing to prepare viewers for the sparks he kicks up for the next twenty-plus minutes. Friendly smiles and a handshake start things up. Both guys are new to Movimus, so understandably a little nervous perhaps, but it doesn't take long for the grapplers to heat up.
Jayson starts out strong, initiating body contact, but Josh is hard to control. Jayson can't get him down, and in a flash Josh springs on the guy and wraps himself all over him like an octopus on a horseshoe crab, yet, by my count, only the two arms and two legs doing the work of twice that many. He speedily gains the first point of the match with a body scissors and rear choke combination. Josh starts taking the initiative and forces Jayson to play defense for most of the six rounds. Josh favors arm bars, full nelsons, rear naked chokes, classic submission holds. Jayson does not want to submit, and he's strong, at one point lifting Josh from prone to airborne while Steele still has him locked tight in an armbar. That's power--and tenacity on Josh's part, who eventually submits Jayson for a second time, despite Jayson's show of brute might. Jayson aims for the ankles and joints when he has the chance, but Josh does his best to keep those opportunities to a minimum. Both wrestlers make each other work hard for every inch gained on the other, scoring up some mat burns in the process. By the finish, both are gasping for air.
Both these new wrestlers are exciting additions to the expanding Movimus roster. Josh doesn't overplay the sexy and exhibits a previously unseen toughness as a mat grappler. I'm still taking my pants off for my next viewing--Josh does have a way of greasing my pistons, even when he isn't trying--but I don't think grappling purists will find much to carp about in this gritty, intense, but strictly sporting contest.