Tough Old Birds in Black Trunks

On Sunday, I commented on the detail work Zack Sabre Jr. executes on his opponent Biff Busick. I would bet money that Zack learned the finger stretch and knee dig by watching pre-1980 television wrestling matches. 

When I was 16 and watching matches similar to this Bob Geigel and Cowboy Bob Ellis blowup in St. Louis (in two parts on YouTube, here and here), I liked the moves but thought the wrestlers were old and gross. (Both Bobs were in their forties when they fought this 1969 match, 16-21 years younger than I am today.) I wondered what it would be like to see young, buff athletes perform the same moves. 

Today I face the opposite problem: gorgeous bodies in the ring (especially in underground wrestling) but very little body contact. I wonder what it would be like to see these young, buff athletes perform the slow, grinding moves of the old-timers. With the exception of the brief shining moment of Kevin Von Erich 35 years ago, I still haven't seen a sustained convergence of pretty muscle and up-close and detailed grappling. 

If I had a wrestling promotion, I'd sit my young studs down in front of the TV set for two or three hours every Friday night to watch pre-"attitude era," pre-WWF, pre-Superstation wrestling. The old stuff wasn't perfect, but there's plenty the younger generation could learn about working an opponent from these matches, which packed erotic heat just by emphasizing the intensity of male aggression and not trying too hard to be overtly "sexy."

As a teenager I would spot somebody like the red-shirted rock'n'roller, arms crossed
 against the chest, and imagine him in the ring. Even now, I hope he was thinking,
"I'd sure like to try that hold on this yellow-shirted kid on my right."

Ellis works every inch of Geigel's arm, slowly, attentively, deliberately.

Arm bars and arm locks always bone me up, the longer and closer they are held the better.

If you watch the video, notice how long Geigel deliberates whether to punch Ellis in the kidneys.
He makes sure everybody in the house sees his reptile mind ticking away.

Geigel grabs Ellis's hair, holds it ... holds it ... and then he yanks.

Is that a bulge? I think that might be a bulge!

The arm bar is full-on sex when you pull the arm up against your warm body.

The slow, painful elbow dig to the back of Geigel's neck. Yes!!!

Eight-pack abs can take that punch and not feel a thing.
A round gut is just begging for that punch because it will SO feel it.

Some ethicists say that what you would do in secret determines your character.
In wrestling, what you do to an opponent on the ring apron determines
your character.

Always, always, always take advantage of the ropes.

Pretty sweet O-face, Cowboy.

Ellis grinds his knee into the side of Geigel's head.

Wrestling Arsenal is right about so many things, but especially
right about this one thing: nothing suggests the surrender of your
"man card" quite like having your "legs spread open like a two-bit hooker."

Geigel blocks the ref's view while he goes for a tight right jab to Ellis's face.

Get your man in a corner.

Again, always, always, always take advantage of the ropes.

Geigel presses his hairy body to Ellis's and yanks back the Cowboy's
curly hair at the same instant!

The side headlock reminds me of dorm room horseplay.
It just gets sexier the longer it is held.


  1. Sadly, they WERE old and gross.

    The first era of TV wrestling I can remember was the late 50s and early 60s. It was a period of transition. Saturday afternoon wrestling was, I think, actually on the networks. At first, there were still young newcomers, but it's popularity was fading and by the end a high proportion of the wrestlers were well past their prime and they looked it. Then TV wrestling went away.

    Until the late 60s, but they were rebuilding the stables and many, who were the young stallions at the end of the previous era were now aging and had a low level of fitness. By the early 70s, more fresh blood was entering the ring, especially in the Southern promotions. Generally, more fit, handsome, and sexier than ever and tending to be traditional and old school in style.

    Then the expansion of the WWE occurred. Better bodies and there was still a lot of technicians. Suddenly, things got flashier and high intensity. Through the 90s and 00s, style trumped substance more and more though physiques got hotter.

    Today, WWE still has so many faults in the scripts and quality wrestlers abused in one way or another that I can barely watch it. Things are better in the indies and the WWE feeders.

    As in most things, even at its best about 90% of what you see is at most mediocre and too often dreck. This is the way it's always been, though it does fluctuate over time and place. You have to cultivate patience and try to tolerate so much wasted time and talent. Several times I've actually timed how much good wrestling you can actually see per hour. Generally 5-7 minutes.

    Of course, when it's good it's often very good.

  2. It's odd the things that one remembers when reminiscing about one's personal relationship to wrestling.

    The thing that foreshadowed the return to people admitting to liking wrestling in the mid to late 60s was the several appearances of a wrestling bear on the Mike Douglas Show. He and his trainer kept returning as guests because of his growing popularity that seemed to feed a taste and demand for pro wrestling.

    While his human partner was big and burly, he was, of course, no match for the bear. But I liked to fantasize about imaginary opponents who beat him. And after a hiatus of four years, after quitting in second grade, I rediscovered the joys of masturbation.

    Now, in those days of pre- and early adolescence, I, of course, didn't jerk off to sexual fantasies, but to wrestling and occasionally super-hero fantasies. One of my favorite protagonists in those days was a neighbor who was a contractor-builder. His body was impressive and his arms were very muscular. He had "gunz", as we'd say today.

    Naturally, he featured in my imaginary bear vs. human matches.

    He eventually faced human opponents, like my gym teacher, though he faced guys he beat, too. Also, Clint Walker, Robert Conrad, my sixth grade teacher of Greek ethnicity, one of my scoutmasters and an Eagle Scout in my troop who was nearly 18, a couple of the college-age counselors at summer church camp, etc., etc.

    By the time wrestling was fully back, I'd finally began the shift to sex, though being reluctant to commit to the admission of being gay, it was straight sex for the most part. At about this time the family took a cross-country trip and men I saw or met became fantasy surrogates for myself.(

    Which is why I've never understood why straight men tolerate ugly and/or gross men in straight porn. As surrogates, why in hell would I want someone as plain or plainer than I am. I'd want to be a sex god that women wanted without blindfolds, so I'd want to look like one.)

    I was a typical horny kid and beat off in gas station restroom stalls all the way to the West Coast and back. I also discovered the hunks in physique magazines. I can clearly recall a Mr. Teenage Tennessee who became a service station mechanic on a low traffic road that serviced lovely (though given my proclivities, rather generic) women.

    But always in watching wrestling the experience was erotic. Even my "straight" sex fantasies often include a man-on-man wrestling match as a preliminary. And just as I had before my post-second grade hiatus, I'd watch the revival shows and head right to my bedroom for release of the sexual tensions they aroused in me.

    It wasn't until Playgirl started publication and the early Chippendale appearances on Phil Donahue that I started to skip all the extraneous "gurl" stuff and go right to the "guy" meat of the matter.

    My whole life I've always associated wrestling with penile pleasure.

    And it all restarted with a wrestling bear on Mike Douglass.

    This is likely more than you wanted to know, but there's not many places where I'd share such a recitation.

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