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.