Taking Pains

Anthony Gaines vs Gavin Glass, Fairground Fallout - 28 April 2018, Albion, NY (Empire State Wrestling)

How, I wonder, can somebody so apparently young as Anthony have so much guile and cold-bloodedness as to execute the baneful torments he unloads on poor Gavin? (Jim in Nashville forwarded this match to me last week. Thank you!) I'll admit that every bit of his innate nastiness thrills me to the core. Though he has a passing resemblance to The Miz, in technique Gaines reminds me more of our local (central NC) boy wonder Trevor Lee, whose assaults often verge on the murderous. Lee's style, however, is hairy mountain boy, befitting the region, whereas Gaines looks like a stocky Flock of Seagulls guy gone rogue. I might equally wonder how the presumably less experienced Gavin (a ringer for ZSJ from some angles) can convey such suffering so feelingly- and then spring back with some of the smoothest payback I've seen in all my years of watching wrestling.

For a mid-card match this is stunning.  I can't imagine that the Gangrel vs Gregory Iron main event topped this, but then I haven't seen it yet. Seeing this level of expertise from wrestlers this young reminds me how important good training is, as well as a taste for roughhouse and derring-do and some live theater experience. Again I'm reminded of the importance of timing and rhythm in ring wrestling. Musicality and dance are pervasive components in matches that bring the squared circle to life as Gavin and Anthony do. At appropriate intervals, Anthony interrupts his bludgeoning of Gavin to fuss with the fans and ref or simply to take a beat to let whatever dastardly thing he just did sink in. The sells by both these guys deserve some kind of award.

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