Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Whole World Is Watching Trevor Lee










I gotta love the World Wide Web. Earlier this week I got an email from UK wrestler Mike Martin, asking what I thought of US wrestler Trevor Lee and linking me to this championship match from August, in which the then-20-year-old Lee challenges the CWF Mid-Atlantic champion Roy Wilkins. So, here's Mike across the cold, gray Atlantic informing me of a fantastic match that I missed even though it occurred just 40 miles from where I live. But Mike makes the save and leads me to the newly loaded video on YouTube. It does not get more 21st century than that.

Even though he's a heel, Trevor is the hometown favorite, practically growing up in the Mid-Atlantic Sportatorium ring. CWF Mid-Atlantic is one of those regional wrestling promotions that act like WWE never happened, and God bless them for that. I've been to wrestling shows at the Sportatorium, and they are one-part Fight Club and one-part Pentecostal Tent Revival.* This main event is fought in 100-degree heat between two good-looking and indefatigable wrestlers. 

I have seen both in live shows, and they are well trained and talented ring performers. Trevor, as the hyper-excited ring commentators proclaim, is the "more animalistic," "meaner," and "vicious" of the two. He's also drawing the attention of promoters across the USA to Gibsonville, North Carolina. Roy is the champ, but he lacks Trevor's star appeal (and notoriety). He is the "cool-headed" champ, "smart," "workmanlike,"** with the stronger background in collegiate/folkstyle mat wrestling.

"In wrestling," one commentator declares, "perspiration can be one of your best friends." That's a good thing since, given the sweat-lodge situation, both wrestlers are slippery within seconds of entering the ring. The first two-thirds of this 30-minute battle is textbook "scientific" wrestling of the sort the McMahons tried to eradicate back in the 1990s. Then the final third explodes into the kind of toe-to-toe punishment circus I mostly associate with Japanese "strong style," with Trevor at one point manipulating Roy's thumb and finger joints against the laws of human physiology.

I wish there were more wrestlers like Trevor Lee and Roy Wilkins (and Mike Martin) in the world--rugged, fearless, daring, and smart, as well as hot and sweaty. And thanks again, Mike, for the link.

* I haven't been to any live wrestling shows in about 15 months, and that's bad on me, though it's hard being the only one of my close circle of friends who is actually into wrestling. My friends are so obliging, though, that I started to feel guilty about dragging them to shows that they have little real interest in.

** "He takes people apart like a mechanic," says one commentator.





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