Clean Break

Chris Basso vs Damian Slater, Megaslam 2015 (Riot City Wrestling)

Anxious to get to it, Slater, 6', 215#, in red and black, and Basso, 6'1", 205#, in red and gold, tangle up in the corner at the beginning of this match. They make a clean and sportsmanlike break. It's the first such break in a contest that will see few more.

Minutes later a punch gets thrown, out of frustration because Slater's martial arts skills are spectacularly superior to Basso's ... or, the darker but simpler explanation, because the thin veneer of civilization collapses. Beasts are released: first, Basso, the weaker but more arrogant of the two, then, purely for survival, Slater.

Having cracked Slater's ribs against the edge of the ring, Basso takes every opportunity to wreak further damage with a backbreaker and a reverse bear hug. Slater breaks free and retaliates, but he's been weakened by the brutal series of assaults. Intent on utterly destroying his more skilled and more popular opponent, Basso drops Slater across the metal barricade between the fans and the ring.

The violence and drama escalate. The crowd is hypnotized by burst after burst of destructive energy. The finish is sudden and controversial. I am somewhat less pleased with the last quarter of the match because it doesn't lead to the kind of outcome I was hoping for, but it is by no means inconsistent with what precedes it. Despite my reservantions, this heart-stopper is wrestling drama at its best.


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