Gabriel vs Rhodes
Justin Gabriel vs Cody Rhodes, WWE (2012-2013)
Full Disclosure: I know nothing about what I'm sharing with you today because I don't watch WWE as a rule, but I cannot deprive myself of a fight between Cody Rhodes (6'1", 227#) and Justin Gabriel (6'1", 213#). Multiple fights, because apparently they had a feud four years ago. Everybody else knew this four years ago, I know.
I had to watch. I am weak. And what steam-presses my trousers has to go on this blog. I'm sorry.
First, we see Justin rushing to the ring to rescue 4'4" Hornswoggle, whom Rhodes is unjustifiably picking on. For the heated slugout at ringside I am literally dying. The good parts of the rest of the impromptu match follow: Justin slugging Cody in the corner (very artistic the way the camera zooms in for the punch), Justin slinging Cody over his shoulders (now if only the camera would zoom in on the crotch), and Cody pinning Justin.
One week later, Cody kills Justin again, preceded by some high-flying shit I don't care for. (Besides, the video quality is disappointing: the detailed still up top is better: Cody's incredible back, Justin's incredible thighs--also I've always been fond of Gabriel's cheeseburger-friendly abdomen.)
Sixteen months later, the two meet again in singles competition. A struggle atop the corner ropes is one of the few instances when I tolerate wrestlers' feet being anywhere but on the mat (another instance is fisticuffs outside the ring). More high-flying shit ensues: I can deal with that since it leads to an ultra-wiggly two-count and Cody bloodies his nose in the process of hurling through space--or, to be more exact, landing. Again Cody kicks Justin's ass, this time aiming it towards the camera.
I'm old enough to be turned on by Cody Rhodes sporting the '70s clone look in the WWE Main Event rematch five days later. Justin Gabriel looks confident, following a series of wins that WWE helpfully recaps for us as the wrestlers idle in their respective corners. Cody tries to put the kibosh on Justin's strong kickoff with a tight neck lock that Gabriel ingeniously escapes. The finale is, alas for Gabriel fans, all too familiar.
Except for a few spots, all of them addressed in this posting, the wrestling itself impresses me but does not excite me. They might have just as easily juggled lit torches. So long as they were still in tight, low-hugging trunks, I would have been entertained. Whether it's nostalgia or the prolonged body contact, it's still old-school grunt-n-groan grappling that punches my particular ticket. Not even Japanese and Mexican strong styles, which never fail to wow me with their aggressiveness, get me as wet as a couple of sweaty daddies with hard prominent bellies heaving down on each other for uncountable minutes at a time, their limbs so intertwined you'd swear they won't be able to disentangle themselves.