Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Five Side Headlocks by Danny Duggan

In the '70s and early '80s, the side headlock was a hold I saw perfected (as a dramatic device as much as a grappling tactic) by professional wrestlers like Jack Brisco and Kevin Von Erich. Manitoba wrestler Danny Duggan comes to mind as a fine 21st-century practitioner of the lock, especially in the last couple of years as he's grown a herculean beard and sprouted some very attractive hair on his chest and belly. Just watch him in the fourth GIF below, confidently in control of Thomas Walton III.

Duggan on Animal Sam, 12 April 2014 (Elite Wrestling Initiative)

Duggan on Tommy Lee Curtis, 26 September 2014 (Elite Wrestling Initiative)

 Duggan on Travis Cole, 14 March 2015 (Elite Wrestling Initiative)

Duggan on Thomas Walton III, 24 October 2015 (Elite Wrestling Initiative)

Duggan on Andrew Lockhart, 16 April 2016 (Minnesota Extreme Wrestling)

Monday, May 30, 2016

Wrestling Videos I Watch Over and Over and Over (Part 15)

John St James vs Wyld Child, Canadian Musclehunk Oil Wrestling 4 (Can-Am)

For me the expression "guilty pleasure" brings one thing to mind, first and only: Wyld Child in CMOW4. I can't even put my finger on why this is so, but it is. Is it the long hair? His vague resemblance to Danny Pintauro? Is it the oil wrestling? For the life of me I can't imagine why any of these things would put me off. But then the trouble is none of them do--which is the "pleasure" part of the phrase, and I value pleasure highly. So why the "guilt"? I'm stumped. Still, if there's a corner of my wrestling fetish that still generates a modicum of guilty feeling, it is right here in this match, as St James and the Child flip and flop and moan and bone up in Tang-colored bikinis. I'm not worried about the "guilt" because, like many other ex-religionists, I realize how powerful an aphrodisiac it can be. WC frequently stars in the wrestling fantasies I work up online (for seven or eight years now!) with an Internet pal, who also finds pleasure in Wyld, though with none of the guilt. The gogo boy knows how to wrestle (so does St James), but few wrestlers have an affinity for oil matches that the Child beautifully demonstrates in this contest.

Ivan Gromov vs Iron Wolf, IWF Danger Zone #54 (Independent Wrestling Federation)

The polar opposite of Wyld Child's dancerly body is the lumbering bulk of Russian wrestler Ivan Gromov (6', 231#), for me the bigger boner-upper. Although this match against Iron Wolf (6', 216#), one of many run-ins between the two from 2009 to 2011, ends with outside interference, the struggle between youth and experience is as mythic and dramatic as it gets. This is the first Gromov match I saw, and it has haunted my imagination in positive though sometimes startling ways. Gromov proved himself more vicious in later matches, but his slow and taciturn approach to heel-playing introduced a new archetype into my wrestling fantasies: the burly young man as the portent of doom. His body and his movement (impressive, though hardly graceful) mesmerize me to the extent that I remember little about the other bodies in the ring except to the degree that they experience the impact of his. The Russian cross around Ivan's neck reminds me of Bobby, this Italian-American guy I used to roughhouse with in our twenties, whose cross would jab me as we tussled, even when his only other covering was briefs. That too came to symbolize something for me: the annoying pinprick of my gradually diminishing faith as I was coming to terms with my kinky sexuality.

Impact vs Mogly, Battlespace 34 (Thunders Arena)

Speaking of my memories of Bobby, you know who reminds me of him? Impact at Thunders Arena. Not so much in the face, but in his super-cool attitude and his solid physique. Others, wiser than I, might have predicted that his little brother Tak would eventually eclipse him on the Arena mats, but four years ago I thought Impact was the company's next big thing and, at best, Tak had a Frank Stallone and Stephen Baldwin career in store. Little did I know. This match opens with a prologue, which is a point in its favor, surprisingly, since talk is not my favorite thing in wrestling. Impact breaks down the third wall, sitting on the edge of a bed in just his baby-blue Diesels and, in his sleepy-time voice, inviting us to join him as he stretches and picks through a drawer of microscopic bikinis in preparation for his match with Mogly. Cut to Mogly, in his Arena debut, complaining about his opponent's lateness, flexing and dissing Impact's girlfriend. Impact then bursts onto the scene, and the fighting begins with a high takedown ending in a thigh-stretch on Mogly. Mogly isn't and never was much of a wrestler, but he did have a bland sort of cockiness that made me want to beat him up, which action Impact enthusiastically performs on my behalf. If Mogly has a hope spot in this match, I don't remember it, just a series of bear hugs, scissors, and chicken-wings through which Impact demonstrates how he got his mat name. As his chest gets sweatier, he pauses to show off the deliciousness of his well-defined muscles--perhaps the main reason I watch this video again and again.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

"R.I.P. Laws of Physics"

Will Ospreay vs Ricochet, Best of the Super Juniors, Night 6 (New Japan Pro Wrestling)

There was probably talk of this being the Match of the Year even before it took place this past Friday. No wonder, too! I can't even decide whose side I'm on. I've been an Ospreay man for four months, but a Ricochet man for over five years. Ricochet is, bar none, the most beautiful athlete in pro wrestling worldwide, but Ospreay's attitude and smart mouth are hump-worthy too.

Within 24 hours, the online buzz was euphoric. One SB*Nation headline ran "This jaw-dropping Japanese wrestling match looks like a dang action movie." Another writer predicted, "It's the kind of match folks will be talking about - starting with folks stating that Ricochet & Ospreay gave us an example of where the artform of pro graps is heading, leading to a backlash of those saying it was acrobatics over psychology, all sizzle and no steak." Given my preference for sweaty lugs rolling and squeezing, I might even be prone to agree with the naysayers ... a little ... but this is god-damn Ricochet up against god-damn Ospreay, and the combination is no mere "sizzle"; it's 700-calorie sizzle! Body slams, stiff chops, and muscle bouncing off muscle for miles!

Japan outstretched the USA in televised pro wrestling a decade ago, yet American stars like Ricochet and UK studs like Ospreay shine their brightest over there because the competition cannot be clocked. News.com in Australia cooed, "For all of its storylines and historic battles, nothing the WWE will ever script can compare to the dazzling choreography of the New Japan Pro Wrestling," and as for the main event in particular, "it doesn't get much better."

On Facebook, No Holds Barred Wrestling sighed, "Just fucking wow." That about sums it up for me, too.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

30 Candles

Seth Rollins turns 30 today. I wish him a happy birthday and a speedy return to Tyler Black at Ring of Honor.


Matthew Palmer vs Aaron Eagle,  (Full Effect Wrestling)

Here's some entertaining footage of well-built Aaron Eagle (yellow and black trunks) in action (2008) against "Male Centerfold" Matthew Palmer. Eagle's five-year ring career ended the next year due to concussions, a reminder of the risks pro wrestlers take in putting on a show. Though ultimately unsuccessful against Palmer, Eagle shows off some muscle, knocks the chip off the whiny heel's shoulder, and deals with outside interference from Palmer's buddy (that's Robert Evans in red at ringside, who is unduly instrumental in the match's outcome). The Centerfold is still active in Texas regional wrestling.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Dark Lord Plunges Narciso into a Maelstrom of Pain

Nico "Narciso" DeMarco vs Dark Lord, 7 February 2016 (LDN Wrestling)

It's all there in the facial expressions and body language. Young, agile Nico (6'3", 190#), representing the Bologna Wrestling Team, is seemingly helpless in the grip of the Dark Lord (6'3", 238#), who commands the proud babyface for 90% of this February match. The contest marks the Italian's weekend-long debut in the UK, and the 11-minute match puts him through the ringer, almost literally. Happily, the camera of Mathieu Beaury records every last drop of agony for us sickos. But don't write the kid off. He has spunk, perhaps only one lucky break away from turning this match completely around--or, at the very least, making a big impression before going down in flames.


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