Side Headlock: How It's Done

Anthony Gangone vs David Starr, Stage 1: New Game (Next Level Wrestling)

I am not an obsessive person. I lose interest easily. I can be fickle. But when I want to, I can focus, tightly, for a good length of time. The November 2015 match linked above lasts 21 minutes and 28 seconds. It's a great match from start to finish, but there are 56 seconds in the middle that mesmerize me. I love side headlocks, and the chinlock Starr (5'11", 211#) holds on Gangone (5'9", 189#) for almost a minute may be the best one ever; it's in the top ten, at least.

What's so right about it?

One. The camera angle. Long shot to full shot, pulling us in. Not exactly crotch level but close enough.

Two. The gamut of emotions playing across Starr's face.

Three. The way Starr settles into it, like it's a hot tub.

Four. Sweat.

Five. Gangone's stillness through most of it, like a contemplative sage lying on a bed of nails, but the sense that somehow through the pain his brain is ticking like a clock.

Six. The way Starr, dick that he is, arches his body, putting Ganone's neck at a perilous angle, upping the pressure.

Seven. Though you don't know it at the time, the way this hold--at the match's midpoint--subtly foreshadows the jaw-cracking finisher.

Eight. The beauty of Starr's undulating body.

Nine. There's no hurry to move on to the next spot. The patience of it, trusting the crowd to bear with a minute of  the near immobility of both performers, choosing intensity over energy.

Ten. The escape. Worth the wait.


  1. Hot hold by a handsome wrestler. He really seems to get off on clamping down on that head/chin lock and working over his opponent, which makes great viewing for us. David is a Starr

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