Bass Wallace vs Flying Tyler Collins, Motel Madness 1 (BG East)
In the first of the Motel Madness series, Bass Wallace and Flying Tyler Collins go toe to toe on a canvas of mattresses while the unseen radio blares on about dinosaur exhibits and bug sprays. Tyler was news to me when I first saw this match decades ago (on VHS tape), but he stuck with me ever after. So did Wallace, who was for many years my go-to guy for rubbing myself off--and I go back to him from time to time even now. Both guys are good for lots of squirming and pressing, punctuated with low blows. The radio is part of the show with weirdly appropriate but unplanned ironies: a woman’s voice cries out “Honey, are you all right?” right before Bass digs his knee into Tyler’s crotch, Tyler wrings out a submission from Bass as Phil Collins croons “Well if you told me you were drowning I would not lend a hand,” and the two square off for the second fall as Lenny Kravitz sings “Baby it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” The fight, the situation, the wrestler’s bodies, all get me hard just thinking about them.
Jack Brisco vs Dory Funk Jr, World Championship Title Match (AJPW/NWA)
This is the oldest match of the three, but the newest discovery, thanks to YouTube. It took Japan (bless it) to bring these two mortal foes, Jack Brisco from Oklahoma and Dory Funk Jr. from Texas, into the squared circle for a one-hour sweat and bruise fest in 1974. It is classic: Brisco the Native American, Funk the Cowboy, both men approaching the midpoints of their pro-wrestling careers. Like most gaijin (foreign) wrestlers, their most respectful and appreciative fans were in Japan. Through the 1970s Brisco was my main man and nearly the only reason I was watching wrestling on TV. At the microphone he was as tightlipped as Gary Cooper, but he knew how to work an opponent, on the mat, against the ropes, on the cold concrete floor. He knew how to take (and give) a headlock and an armbar like nobody else. In my late teens my idea of a perfect death would be to have my skull crushed inside his armpit while I clung to the waistband of his sweaty blue trunks. (If possible, I was more a sicko as a teenager than I am today.)
Kid Leopard vs Buddy Justice, Live at Phantom 1 (BG Enterprise)
I’m a tiny bit uncomfortable with the fact that real fights often turn me on more than mere sporting competition or choreographed spectacle, no matter how tough or realistic, but there it is, I won’t deny the truth. Buddy Justice embodies 1970s-style clone prettiness with a touch of street. Maybe two or three touches of street: note the pornstache and blankish eyes. His moniker and snowy white trunks are pure babyface, but those eyes spell trouble. Kid Leopard works a mini-mullet and black leather for miles, and unsurprisingly he has a big cheering section. The moves are familiar boilerplate pro wrestling, but Leopard and Justice add enough hellfire to make the showdown feel like an old-fashioned alley fight with punches barely pulled at all. Leopard has admitted to some real-life bad blood between him and Justice back then, in the glory days of BG Enterprise, before, I believe, the formation of BG East. The added spark of genuine spite makes my short hairs bristle. At one point, somebody in the rowdy crowd shouts out, “You’re giving me a hard-on!” No fucking lie.