Throwback Thursday: Chip Sands vs John Jay












Chip Sands vs John Jay, Arena 4 (BG Enterprise)

When I think of me 30 years ago, I imagine a person not very different from the person I am now. It doesn't seem so long ago that I lived in Pensacola and was at the beginning of a great love affair. But this 1988 match looks like something from an altogether different era from today's. The stills remind me of the soft textures of academic paintings of the nineteenth century and the match itself, in its tingling awareness that lines are being transgressed, of early Andy Warhol films.

The wrestling was different.  There was then an expectation that anything could happen, even something humiliating or perverse. The underground wrestling scene today is more polished, more calculated, and more commercial, but, on the whole, less daring. The guys back then were charging into relatively unexplored territory. Today's underground wrestler follows designs and templates that the guys back in the 1980s had to invent.

I'm not saying that BG Enterprise back then was better than what we have today. It wasn't. I feel lucky to have lived to see the underground wrestling of today. It's a golden age we live in. But the old stuff is radical in ways the new stuff isn't and perhaps, because of differences in historical context, can't be. 


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