Sunday, January 22, 2017
The Second Coming of the Clawhold
Viggo vs Ronaldo, Hunkbash 18 (BG East)
Viggo's sophomore video for BG East and Ronaldo's debut is a sure-as-shootin' clawhold revival, along with a few other classic but too rarely seen bodily assaults. I hate seeing the same old wrestling holds trotted out over and over and run into the ground, but I do like it when wrestlers dust off some of the all-but-forgotten oldies as a nod to tradition.
There's probably a good reason for letting the clawhold (or nerve pinch) drift into obscurity. For one thing, it's one of the most obviously kayfabe holds in professional wrestling. I'm not sure I ever bought into it, and I am one of the most gullible fans you're ever likely to meet. But it is also one of the sexiest holds, and not just because of the distinguished line of wrestlers who have employed it: the Von Erichs, Baron von Raschke, Blackjack Mulligan, the Wild Samoans, Mankind, and The Great Khali. In every case, the claw represented exotic and unrestrained savagery on the one hand and a salute to science on the other. More importantly for me, it makes for some intense and prolonged body contact, too.
A sudden out-of-nowhere attack on the tan and well-built rookie identifies Viggo as the heel, despite that hard-to-hate baby face of his. Psyching out his opponent is only part of the heel's strategy. Viggo draws upon an array of villainous moves--hair-pulling, chokes, and viselike scissor holds among them--to which he adds unambiguous displays of sadistic delight in the resplendent Ronaldo's agonies. Tucked between Lazlo Kohl's bitch-slapping of the ever-suffering Biff Farrell and Jonny Firestorm's award-winning evisceration of Calvin Haynes, Viggo vs Ronaldo is a gem not to be overlooked--especially if the sight of fingers kneading sweaty muscle does for you what it does for me.