Lio Rush vs John Silver, By Popular Demand (Beyond Wrestling)
Here are a few GIFs of real grappling combined with pro-style showmanship and theatrical lighting. This sexy-strenuous contest from two weeks ago pushes nearly all my buttons. It's a true work of art, illustrating the connections among the many forms of wrestling. Pretty much anything that could happen in a wrestling match does happen here.
Lightning-fast Lio (5'6", 161#) is ROH's Top Prospect of 2016. His frenetic acrobatic style is not my preference in pro wrestling, but I cannot deny that it's invigorating to watch, and this show gives the style context I had not seen before, not like this anyway.
John (5'7", 178#) grounds the match in old-school brute force, offsetting Lio's sylph-like lightness and pinpoint technique with earthbound muscle and sweat. If Rush represents the glimmering future, Silver pays homage to pro wrestling's sideshow past, with his strongman physique and bushy Gilded Age beard.
The result is a merger of spectacle and authenticity any serious fan of pro wrestling needs to see. A nearly perfect post-modern take on wrestling.