Friday, February 6, 2015

Give Till It Hurts

Aron Stokes, 6'1", 174#,  and Trip Townsend, 6'1", 151#, alike have faces and bodies that pretty much scream "beatific suffering." Either might have served well as a model for a painting of the martyr St. Stephen by El Greco, the Renaissance painter most skilled in depicting a sense of seraphic masochism. Gaunt, elongated, dark-eyed, and desaturated flesh tones, Aron and Trip would look at home in Franciscan cassocks or naked as self-mortifying 14th-century flagellants.

Had Movimus the budget for it, the production might have staged this battle  in a monastic cell. Like the majority of Movimus releases, and like authentic submission wrestling in general, this match offers little by way of dramatic or acrobatic action. Its enjoyment depends on the viewer's patience for the long strain of body picking at the bones and tendons of another body. We must read the mental strategizing in their faces because they are silent and close to expressionless, not unlike monks who have taken a vow of silence. 

Both Aron and Trip are highly capable wrestlers, even though in the end the score card favors one over the other, and in appearance if not in experience or training, they are well matched. The match goes for three falls by tap-out, but nothing comes easy for either winner or loser. There's lots and lots of suffering--agony for miles--and their deadpan ritualistic striving is best appreciated in a meditative frame of mind (so long as a boner or two won't kill your bliss).

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