Alex Reynolds and John Silver vs Tony Nese and Jesse Vane, Sideshow (New York Wrestling Connection)
I was hungry for more Jesse Vane and stumbled upon this NCWC tag team championship match from January 19, 2013, a month after Jesse's pro career started. All four wrestlers have made an impression on me over these past five years. This match in particular is not to be missed, and everybody in it is as fantastic as he should be. (There are no spoilers in this post. The full match is on the Cieri Media channel on YouTube.)
The match follows a familiar pattern for tag-team matches. It's one of my favorite storylines in pro wrestling. Each team consists of a big guy and smaller wrestler who's a sidekick or protégé of the big guy. Here the babyface big guy is Tony, Jesse's mentor. Their opponents are the Beaver Boys: Alex (big guy) and John (little guy). The match starts out with Tony taking on the opposite team's little guy, John, a violence-hungry little sadist. Then they trade off and the big heel goes toe to toe with the little babyface. When the two big guys face each other at last, there's a deliberate lull in the contest, as if to underscore the gravitas of the moment, and then, to everybody's delight the giants go at it like King Kong and Godzilla.
For me the most delicious part of the match is yet to come: the faceoff between the two smaller wrestlers, Jesse and John, similar in size and appearance, but polar opposites in character. In the days before I came to appreciate tag matches, I always reconstructed matches like this, making it a singles contest between the two guys most interesting to me, and I couldn't resist doing it here, too, pitting Vane and Silver against each other, one on one, in my fantasy re-edit of the battle. Ultimately, of course, we get all four wrestlers in the ring at once--and, at one point here, Jesse and John slug it out at ringside as Tony and Alex fight inside the ring. There's also a point when Tony is temporarily incapacitated and Jesse has to face both Alex and John on his own. This could be bad news for the good guys.
The crowd favorites Jesse and Tony approach the ring (02:09).
The champs Alex and John flaunt their belts as symbols of their masculinity (03:49).
At first, the new kid Jesse performs exceptionally well against the big heel Alex (07:34).
But everybody but Jesse knows that beginner's luck expires fast (08:30).
Tony's scissorhold on Alex's head has all the elements I want of headscissors: Alex futilely kicking his legs in the air, Tony arching his back to increase the pressure to Alex's head, and when Alex tries to power out of the hold, Tony bashing his head to the mat (10:20).
Every match needs a touch of chaos, when the wrestlers go after each other off script, employing whatever real grappling skills they have in tow (10:43).
As punches get thrown, aggression junkie John cannot contain himself on the ring apron (10:54).
Hot heel John at last gets a crack at the buff-bodied Jesse (12:59).
Silver's little I-just-hurt-you dance (13:16).
Jesse fighting back only heats John up for more (13:30).
John is ready to finish the little stud off. Jesse looks like a goner, but there's eight more minutes of match remaining (13:57).