Saturday, May 7, 2016
Drew Gulak vs Xavier Bell, Secret Show (Beyond Wrestling)
Oh, the beauty of physically well-matched wrestlers in black trunks! These aren't the chiseled bodies of fitness gurus or bodybuilders. These are the rugged, muscular physiques of fighters. Though Drew and Xavier have similar builds, it is Drew, the seasoned veteran, who has the moves that matter. He's one of the best man-wranglers in wrestling, in contest after contest demonstrating a maestro's skills in manipulating his opponent's body--one half rodeo, one half jazz improvisation on the mat. His skill is most apparent midway through this match from last June, in which he ties Xavier into knots. You can almost see his brain ticking as he scoops his opponent up and rearranges the limbs into improbable shapes for maximum stress and torment. Xavier shines in big expansive gestures, as when he hurls Drew into the corner, using his body like a wrecking ball against Gulak's. Drew is at his best in the piecemeal work of grinding out a panic-stricken submission.