Monday, August 1, 2016

Breaking and Entering

Kurt Mendelsohn vs Sean Evans (LRW)

LRW (Living Room Wrestling) produces wrestling matches with healthy, good-looking guys tossing and tumbling in front of a fixed-position camera in, yes, a living room . The match I saw (the company's sixth) pits Sean, a slender guy with a trendy haircut, against a heavier, hairier, and more aggressive opponent, Kurt. Picture an artsy house-music type wrestling a sadistic lacrosse-player type on the cover of House Beautiful.

The video lasts seventeen minutes, including intros and post-match interviews. Sadly, there's not much in the way of storyline or wrestling moves.  Arm bars occur most frequently. Most of the other moves are those common to all youthful roughhouse: shoving and tugging and twisting. Personally, I prefer a mix of sustained athletic holds like scissors, figure-fours, chinlocks, and the like, but the wrestlers' spirit counts for a lot too, and these guys have it. 

Sean (5'11", 135#) and Kurt (6'2", 170#) put their hearts and kneecaps into the match. The wrestlers aggressively pursue victory with an anarchic recklessness I associate with backyard and basement wrestling of the 1990s. Hot, blond, "invincible" (he says) Kurt is eager to establish his bad-ass cred, berating Sean in the opener and even launching a (censored) tirade against the fans at home. His personality and energy carry the show. (And he likes to pull hair too, I'm happy to report.) Tight-lipped Sean puts up a better offense than I expected, given his size relative to Kurt's, but Kurt steamrolls over him time and time again. Both guys immerse themselves in the challenge and physicality of what ends up being a surprisingly close contest.

Now in its second year, LRW boasts a certain fringe mystique, capitalizing on the vigor and photogenicity of its youthful combatants. I haven't checked out the previous matches, which are reportedly more sedate and sportsmanlike than this one. I want to see more of Kurt and Sean and, please, a wider variety of wrestling holds, too. I would also like to see them take on adversaries with builds more closely matching their own. In this contest, the  untested but tightly focused grapplers sell the struggle with plenty of heart, and that's what contributes most to the success of Mendelsohn vs Evans.

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