Smooth Operator

There's the moment (3:20 here from Ray D) Ravishing Rick Rude strong-arms his way out of Steve Simpson's reverse bearhug and then bumps his fine butt sassily back against Simpson's midsection. Now that is some moment. But there are two stars in the ring tonight, though one (Steve) is making his WCCW debut. Simpson's flying headscissors (3:53) is what the angels do in the only heaven I would ever want to go to. Then he just sits there, rubbing Rick's nose into the canvas.

Rude escapes and reverses, of course, clamping Steve in a 45-second side headlock, one of those luxuriously sustained holds I dearly love (one of several in this match) yet hardly ever see in pro wrestling anymore. Too gay, perhaps. And how about Steve's punishing chicken wing on Rude (starting at 4:36). He holds that motherfucker for 12 seconds. "He's giving Rick Rude all sorts of trouble," the commentator gushes.

(A well-built charismatic heel. A well-built charismatic babyface. Both wrestlers knowing what they're doing. Folks, that is all I am asking for. You can keep the vampire stories, the jello-pit fights, the rip-and-strip, the fireworks, the Jumbotron. All very nice, very nice, I'm not knocking them. Just give me this, please, just this.) 

Beginning at the 7:20 mark, I can barely hold my pee as Rude punishes Simpson in a 25-second abdominal stretch, after two frustrating two-counts have kept him from finishing his upstart opponent. Neither can the crowd, from the sound of it. I remember this match. In 1986, Rude was 27. Simpson was 22. I was 32 and teaching at the University of South Carolina. I was out as gay but secretive about my thing for wrestling, so I had nobody to tell this to, and now I am telling it to you.


  1. "Just give me this, please, just this." -- Me, too.

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