Many wrestling fans like mismatched contests--big versus little, seasoned veteran versus wet-behind-the-ears rookie, cowboy versus Indian, North versus South, dumpy versus muscular, daddy versus son. I like a lot of these contests, too, but my ideal battle consists of opponents who are closely matched in physique, experience, age, size, weight, and even geographical origin, yet unlike in character or attitude.
Even from the beginning of my pro wrestling fandom I paid attention to opening announcements of the fighters' heights and weights. I liked ringside commentators to highlight even inconsequential points of comparison. Whether GI versus GI, brother versus brother, Korean versus Korean, masked man versus masked man, blond versus blond, barefoot versus barefoot, or midget versus midget, wrestler symmetry attracts my eye and delivers a quick jolt to my crotch even before the match starts.
So naturally the showdown between two skilled baldies last month, as Krush faced Johnny O, was a sure hit with me. It was the second time for these two, three years after their initial showdown. Now Krushco has released a second rematch, shot with the company's newly acquired hi-def camera, and it's a beaut.
If anything, the new match is tougher and meaner than the previous ones. Johnny O sets out to make Krush his bitch, and as improbable as that sounds, he is pointedly the aggressor at the beginning. He gains the first fall in just three minutes with a brain-scrambling headscissors.
Krush is more wary of the guy as the match proceeds. But wariness is not enough to fend off Mr. O, who has not only improved his grappling skills since the first meet in 2011 but also acquired an aggressive side that borders on nasty.
There's no way Krush is gonna stand still for this. After Johnny flat-out tortures him on and off the mat, Krush suddenly slams the guy shut with an electroshock armbar that wins him the second fall in less than three minutes. The give-and-take continues, one wrestler inching ahead, only for the other to tie up the score several minutes later.
The action here is more dramatic, the antagonism more vividly expressed, than any other Krushco match I can remember. I replayed some clenches till they were etched in my imagination. And the furious minutes before the suspenseful fifth and final fall make it clear that these two may yet have unfinished business to tend to in the months to come.