The Wrestler's Body

Jesse Vane vs Stockade, All Killer 8/31/2013 (Beyond Wrestling)

The wrestler's body is both vulnerable and durable. It's neither too hard nor too soft. At any given moment, it suggests energy spent and energy in reserve. It is well-hydrated and shapely. Ideally, there's not a mark on it--not counting birthmarks and tattoos--more specifically, it seems to be in need of a mark on it. Like a good steak it should be mostly red meat, with just enough fat for flavor. It should bounce. It should thump. It should shiver on impact.

That's my opinion ... as an aesthete, not as a wrestler, certainly not as a trainer.  I'm well aware that great wrestlers come in different shapes and sizes. Variety is the spice of life, and wrestling requires a large cast of body types to be interesting. I'm talking about "what I like." But whatever the build or body mass, it's quality is revealed at certain moments in a match ... under duress, at rest, in rebound. The quality and, let's say, pitch of the wrestler's body are most pronounced at those moments (as in the screen grabs and, especially, the GIFs below) when the wrestler's situation is dramatically changing.

Earlier this year I spotlighted Jesse Vane as an ideal on this point. I hold to that opinion still. His smooth physique is solid with a wee hint of chubby. It's that almost-baby quality that's all but indispensable to pro wrestling. In MMA you can be built like a wasp or Mr. Universe. In boxing it's useful to be built like a sledgehammer. In the wrestling ring, however, a body needs a little wobble and a little frailty, for the sake of the drama.


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