Friday, July 25, 2014

Coming to Blows




Make a fist. Make two. Hold those nose-busters up about a foot in front of your chest. Crouch slightly as if preparing for a collision against your left shoulder (or right shoulder). Bend your knees slightly. Look your opponent in the eye. Force your gaze into and through the hole of his left eye (or right eye), and put on your best fight face. Even collegiate wrestlers take this stance for yearbook photos, even though regular mat wrestling does not involve punching. It is the universal pose of manliness--and I find it more irresistible than biceps poses or pec pops. Truth be told, a big broad fist is more of a turn-on for me than a big cock. (Of course, the argument goes that the one may be a symbol of the other.)

Still, as a sport boxing has seldom interested me. (Boxers do, but I imagine them wrestling or brawling.) Jujitsu and karate do not keep my attention for long. I like gutpunching all right, but a gutpunching video that features gutpunching and nothing but doesn't go far with me. It's like a dinner of nothing but garnishes: microgreens, maraschino cherries, and carrot curls. But as garnish for a stiff, well-constructed battle between two catch wrestlers, punching, forearm thrusts, and flat-handed chops heighten the emotion and ring drama. I like that. Even the word "heightening" is suggestive of ... something bigger.

Punching should be used sparingly but strategically in ring wrestling. Of course, I speak as an outsider who is not in the "business." I'm a teacher, littérateur, and grammarian. For me, jabs and hooks are the punctuation that clarifies the action in the ring. It used to be that the first wrestler to take a swing at the other was the one who was the badass--or at least the one with less self-control. That rule doesn't seem to hold anymore. What blows still do, however, is add rhythm and pace to the story the wrestlers are telling.

The Japanese style is my preferred model: first scientific mat grappling, followed by some pulse-racing aerial acrobatics (moonsaults and hurricanranas and the like), climaxing with a series of sweaty slugfests, both in the center of the ring and against the turnbuckles, ending with a sudden (can't-hold-it-any-longer) pinfall or submission. (I like both, but I still prefer pinfalls over submissions, though I do understand and enjoy the theatrics of the latter. And with the pinfall you get the ref drumming on the canvas with the palm of his hand, while the loser squirms under the victor's body.) You can probably see through my metaphors here: foreplay to determine dominance, leading to thrusting and ultimately orgasm. Yeah, that's the drift of my thinking.

In my mind, the thrusting motion of punches and kicks suggests humping--or the attempt to penetrate the opponent. Too much punching without a jockeying for position before or a decisive payoff after just looks like rote exercise to me. I wouldn't even call it dry-humping, because dry-humping at least builds to a sticky finish. Intuitively, if not consciously and deliberately, my favorite ring wrestlers--doesn't matter if they're gay or straight or somewhere in between--know how to follow a good bump with a hard jab--and make it mean something I can feel, you know, in places.

Here are some photographs from the treasure trove of The Arena @BGEAST of slobber-knockers (Wrestling Arsenal used the term on Tuesday and I have needed to use it ever since) that capture the fine art of using one's fists (and sometimes boots) to raise a fight's innate eroticism to the surface.

Joshua Goodman pounding Marco Guerra in Wrestler Spotlight: Joshua Goodman

Jonny Firestorm tearing Marco a new one while Anthony Wayne holds him down in Wrestler Spotlight: Jonny Firestorm

Tristan giving it to Kieran Dunne in Fantasymen 29

Eli Black shows Z-Man who's the boss in Undagear 21

Archer (yes, THAT Archer) will come to blows with Jakeno Enzi in Undagear 22 (coming soon)

Kid Karisma takes the starch out of Ray Naylor also in the up and coming Undagear 22


1 comment:

  1. I feel much the same way about punches and strikes in a wrestling match. However, being a huge fan of squash matches (I realize the appeal of even matches with back and forth action, but nothing gets me going like a one sided beatdown) I love it when a heel goes at his jobber like a punching bag. The smack of fist against abs or a cheek, the jobber hunching over or stumbling punch drunk his head rocking back with each hit like a bobblehead doll; obviously out on his feet and it only being a matter of time before his knees buckle and he crumbles to the mat is erotic gold to me. There was a bg east match I unfortunately lost that I think featured either Kieran Dunne or Brad Rochelle getting repeated gut punches in the corner and as his body quivered, held up by his opponent's grip on his throat he kept gasping but couldn't catch enough breath to submit before another fist bashed his gut. I was quit sated by the time he was allowed to melt in a puddle of shivering muscle on the mat.

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