Sign of Respect
Two friends face off in the squared circle in this April 12th match at Anarchy Wrestling, as one friend bids the other farewell as he heads up to the "next level" at WWE. There's lots of talk of respect by the commentators, in reference to the two men in the ring, the fans, and the Anarchy wrestlers who vacate the locker room to set up front-row seats for themselves.
Corey Hollis, 5'7", 189#, and Steven Walters, 5'9", 207# (a bit more nowadays, I would guess), are my two favorite southeastern regional wrestlers, epitomizing (as I have said on this blog before) the sort of roughneck heroism, sense of honor, and prolonged skin-on-skin grappling that I love in pro wrestling and see too seldom in mainstream wrestling.
Corey and Steven give it all they've got inside and outside the ring. A knee-to-knee slugout (and headbutting) closing the first five-minute overtime period (of two) is the sort of thing I see too seldom in today's wrestling venues. This paves the way for the all-hell-breaks-loose fist-flying that brings us (the match, I mean) to the climax. I was worried that the match would end in a cop-out draw, but instead it ends, satisfyingly enough, in a frenzied back-and-forth nailbiter and a clean win for the one I rooted for.
I have watched both these wrestlers in live matches and have never been anything less than 100% satisfied with every aspect of their performance. I'd even go to another live WWE event just to see either one of them in the ring--and that's saying plenty (the one WWE show I did see live was and still is the worst wrestling show I have seen, live or televised).
This is a long tough 23-minute match (especially as it gears up), no less exhausting for being friendly. And bittersweet, too. More than once I felt a little verklempt watching these two burly guys play off each other and to the fans. They are definitely "good-looking," as one commentator notes, but the personality they exude in the ring is what endears them to fans, fans in the South anyway. Hence, the respect.
Watch it here on nwawildside's YouTube page.