I have been waiting it seems like months for Movimus to release this match. I can't remember when I caught the preview on YouTube (or was it a photo on Tumblr?), but it was pretty far back. Unusually for Movimus, which offers an array of typically straightforward sporting contests, this event is packed with drama. For me it is anyway, as here is a submission contest between a new personal favorite and an old favorite. Not just an ordinary contest either, but what the marketing copy claims to be a feud between these markedly different wrestlers, who reportedly detest each other.
Max Anderson is just a tiny bit bigger than Josh Steele, but he's been wrestling these mats (earlier on the roster of NHB-Battle) since Josh was a kid. According to the online product description, everything Anderson knows about submission wrestling has come to him by natural propensity and over ten years' experience in front of the NHB and Movimus cameras. Steele has wrestling experience from high school and at a number of pro rings regularly covered in these pages. He made an auspicious start at Movimus about two months ago. As for Max, lately his win-loss ratio has not been what it should be.
Josh is in tiptop physical condition, having recently packed on some new muscle. The same can't be said for Max, unfortunately, who's still strongly built, but softer than he used to be, softer, though apparently no weaker. When he's competing, Max's emotions are unreadable. He's a workhorse, solid and professional, not an entertainer. Josh is cheerful, expressive, and bristling with energy, on the mat and off.
That energy is conspicuous at the beginning of this match, scheduled for three rounds. Josh mounts an aggressive and speedy offense. He effectively overwhelms his opponent, latching onto him from behind and rolling him clean off the mat in the first 30 seconds. Max thrashes and thrusts but can't break free. He finally taps out at the end of a 97-second opening round.
Max gets a stronger start in Round 2, nabbing Josh in a side headlock and dragging him down to the mat. Josh muscles his way loose, peeling Max's arm away from his head. Josh quickly moves in on Max, gaining momentum, but the more experienced wrestler hunkers down, rolling himself into a tight ball, making his body virtually unmovable. Evidently the strategy is to let Josh wear himself down as he repeatedly attempts to roll him over. But Josh's persistence pays off, and through great effort he rolls Max over.
For a while it looks like Round 2 may be a slightly longer replay of Round 1, with the two bodies inching towards the edge of the mat. Josh handles Max roughly, asserting his dominance, but then suddenly the current changes, and it's Max heaving Josh onto the hardwood floor, deftly locking on a figure-four choke hold that forces Josh to tap out. With a 1-1 score, we are set up for an exciting and grueling Round 3 that fills half the 19 minutes of the video.
I won't give away more, except to say that I'm torn in my emotions during the final round. On one hand, I'd like to see Josh build a strong winning streak, establishing himself as the man to beat at Movimus. On the other hand, I'm rooting for Max, too. He was the one NHB wrestler who sustained my interest in that promotion. His presence now at Movimus has great importance to me. I will say further that the third round is grueling and unpredictable to the very end, by which I mean "to the very last second." It's a sudden and opportunistic victory, and to his credit the loser is gracious and sportsmanlike in defeat--feud or no feud--just as I would expect at Movimus.