Sunday, November 23, 2014

Evolve 35


To capture a match this thoroughly, Scott Finkelstein's camera shutter must click a dozen times a second. Finkelstein's website contains virtual fotonovelas of every match the photographer has covered. I haven't space for all 1628 of his shots of September's Evolve 35 in Brooklyn, but I want to show the three matches I would have considered giving up a toe to see. They are the last three matches of the event. (You can get lost in his inexhaustible maze of wrestling photos here.)







Biff Busick submits Zack Sabre Jr. In one corner we have hairy, manly, brutish Biff Busick, American. In the other we have smooth, boyish, yet sophisticated Zack Sabre Jr., English.  Zack specializes in detailed assaults--stiff side kicks to an opponent's ankles, agonizing finger stretches, slow elbow digs--combining the prolonged precision of Chinese torture with the morbid curiosity and fascinated sadism of idle schoolboys. Biff's approach is blunt, coarse, and catastrophic like dynamite and obviously, in this case, effective in subduing the hipster Brit and making him squeal.









Anthony Nese / Caleb Konley ("The Premiere Brand Athletes") beat the Bravado Brothers (Lance and Harlem) and AR Fox / Rich Swann. I'm happy to see that the muscle jocks took this one away from the arrogant and expressive brothers from North Carolina and the "ampliflying" acrobats Fox and Swann. Except for Nese, I've seen all these wrestlers live and in person. All have impressed me. State pride accounts for only part of my fondness for the Bravados. They are also cartoonishly agile and limber competitors, though often unlucky in the squared circle. Fox and Swann are amazing ring performers, fast, strong, and keenly intelligent, on paper the most likely winners of this match. But I'm happy that the gym bunnies took the victory. They're sexy and buff and more than that, charismatic wrestlers.








Ricochet pins Uhaa Nation. Ricochet has the hardest, roundest butt in wrestling. That should be enough to explain my interest in him. The rest of his body is chiseled to perfection too, topped with a face that beams movie-star handsomeness. He's a high flyer, not conducive to my erotic expectations of pro wrestling, but his moves exhibit such grace, energy, and force that I can't take my eyes off him. Uhaa, of course, represents an obstacle of mountainous proportions, all the better for Ricochet to spin around at dizzying speed and ultimately flatten his front-fender shoulders to the canvas. The match ends with a sportsmanlike hug between the contestants, something that always warms my heart not so much for the sportsmanship or homoerotic suggestiveness, oddly enough, but for memories of community theater and the intense feelings of camaraderie that follow a well-received show.

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