Sunday, June 12, 2016
Kenny Star vs Max Ryder, #473 (UCW)
It's hard to find a good oil match these days. Grip and control are practically impossible when the wrestlers are lubed head to toe, so wrestling purists avoid the genre. It's something of a novelty act, like pudding wrestling, something to draw crowds on off nights at the dance club and give the shirtless bartenders something to do. Fortunately, UCW is not big on purity or control and gives us this early summer treat: two of its hottest talents, all a-glimmer, slipping and sliding on the mat.
The pairing makes it almost impossible for me to pick a side, pitting two of my new favorites against each other. There's smiling, scruffy Kenny with the hairy chest. There's sullen, smooth Max with the meaty muscle. It's give and take for 30 minutes, with Kenny on top slightly more often than not. About halfway through, things get serious, just as I had hoped, and the two discover that whatever degree of control is lost, oil amplifies the pain rendered and adds some lewd and messy squish to the humiliation.
The eroticism of oil wrestling is undeniable. (I'd say that all wrestling is undeniably erotic, except that so many people seem bent on denying it.) Besides oil's seldom-mentioned similarity to bodily fluids, the sheen also draws attention to the body itself, catching more light, heightening the sense of its nakedness and beauty. The lack of friction tends also to isolate the bodies in space, all but erasing the presence of the mat ... or gravity ... as if the grapplers were weightless.
Max and Kenny are well matched, sadistic enough to keep things interesting, relatable enough to pull me into the action. Their distinct temperaments are strong enough to make for a plausible fight, even if mostly playful, and there's enough variety in the holds and assaults to save oil wrestling from its reputation for being jokey and tiresome.