After Dark

It's been too long (over three years) since I last reviewed a Chris Steeler match. Sweetening the pot for this Warriors of Wrestling outdoor show from Saturday is Anthony Nese in full-on heel mode. Nese wastes the first third of the YouTube video keeping his distance from Steeler. The coward slithers out through the ropes to leer at the pissed-off fans. Meanwhile, the pacing Man of Steel can't wait to get his hands on the Premier Athlete. Then Nese hits the trifecta of heel perfection when, done stalling, he opens the match with a low blow. The cheap shot sets him up as the perfect foil for the rough-and-ready Steeler, all the tangier because of both men's silky, unreinforced trunks.

I have never caught Steeler in the act of being boring. I like the man's energy, his toughness, and his way with a crowd (as heel or hero--he can play both). Nese gets overconfident, and Steeler righteously explodes all over him outside the ring. Fighting on the grass and at night, the wrestlers tap two more details from my wrestling fantasy playbook. I can almost hear the crunch of stiff blades of grass under the soles of their boots. Then Steeler hurls Anthony back into the ring and mounts him in the corner for a ten-count punch-a-rama that reverberates through the crowd. 

But this is an even match, and there's plenty more fight left in Nese. The mayhem mounts to (a favorite of mine) a knee-to-knee slugout and then, standing, an exchange of side kicks to the kneecaps. A belly-to-back piledriver gets the fans "on their feet" (as best as I can tell they were already standing, but I quote the ringside commentators), followed by (wow! did I write this scenario?) a vicious, tongue-lolling choke session against the turnbuckle. When the ref tries to stop the illegal choking ... but wait! ... there's only seconds left to the match ... and what happens next is gold, pure gold ... so I won't spoil it for you ... though I do so badly want to. (Seriously, gents, you HAVE to see this ending! Get on it.)


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