Ivan Gromov vs Serg Sullivan, 27 June 2015 - Opasnaya Zona #92 (IWF)
Something about him makes me think of the cold meats section at the supermarket. He's ungainly and stiff - his moves suggest robotics - passionless to the point of being slightly creepy, but creepy-sexy, if you catch my drift. There's no warmth in the man, a point underscored by his gear: trunks seemingly made out of tarpaulin. Hair cut close to the skull might suggest either military or Solntsevskaya Bratva. His attacks are spasmodic and terse. Violence often occurs in unprovoked spurts. Between attacks, he merely looms and glowers. He lumbers - if John Wayne had wrestled, perhaps this would have been his style. He'd make a terrific henchman for a James Bond villain - or an extraterrestrial lout in the Marvel Universe.
Ivan Gromov has fascinated me for years. I can't really tell if he's any good at wrestling, but he most definitely makes an impression. In this 2015 singles match he takes on Serg Sullivan, a masked hero slightly younger and taller than Gromov, but significantly lighter. Ivan tosses him around, like the Frankenstein monster among torch-bearing villagers. Serg, like Ivan's other Russian opponents, have similar styles - staccato, clumsy, ursine - a similarity which leads me to think that the style is less specific to Gromov and more generally a Russian style of professional wrestling. I've watched only Gromov's matches, so I can't hazard an opinion on other Russians, only a hunch. Though I've seen Gromov win and lose matches, in all of them he commands my attention, eclipsing the work of his competition.
I'm a fan, I think. I'm most definitely dazzled.