My good friend Jim was the only responder to my November 19th request for recommendations of Dave Calbrese matches at No Rules Wrestling. He said, "David vs. Viper would be one good choice." I found two choices (NRW numbers 366 and 370) and, after some deliberation, went with both.

The first (366) appears under the title "V." In it Calbrese gives and he takes, but mostly he takes whatever Viper decides to dish up on him, which is quite a lot of beating. Viper looks lighter than Dave and not as tough either, but looks, as they say, can be deceiving. His sleek, rather exotic good looks should not be taken as a sign of weakness. This viper strikes fast and hard and once he sinks into Calbrese, he sticks ... as long as he wants to.

Not that Dave is the sort to just roll over and take it. He puts up a fight, a good sweat-and-moaner. I might have preferred watching Calbrese take a clearly more dominant role here, but I have to tip my hat to Viper for efficiently working over his opponent. As some of the screen grabs above illustrate, this is very nearly a death match, with Calbrese experiencing something close to death throes for a good three-quarters of this 15-minute no-rules classic.

I'll say this much for NRW. The company knows that fast, stiff violence combined with prolonged sadistic struggle is innately homoerotic. Nobody even has to strip or grab dick to signal that, short of actual penetration, this fight is h-o-t.

In order of release, the next video (370) is a "rematch," but narratively it works better for me as a prequel. It's a submission match, in which NRW drops its "no rules" embargo to let the two wrestle for "real," loosely following collegiate rules. Viper feels he has an edge on Calbrese here. Calbrese feels otherwise.

He mocks Viper's ring name, saying it sounds like the name of a rollercoaster. In fact, Viper is a rollercoaster, thirty minutes nonstop. Viper later refers to Calbrese as a "good ride." I should think so.

"Real" wrestling works for me so long as the wrestling is intense and the wrestlers are hot. This match bull's-eyes on both points. Also, the two are thoroughly sweat-soaked by the midpoint, always a plus.


  1. I've actually watched only one NRW match, but I used to like to look at the photo spreads they used to do for almost all the matches and scroll through the roster, which used to list all the matches numerically for every wrestler. Calbrese was one of my favorites. I think Viper would make my favorites cut as well.


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