El Mero Mero

Iniestra vs Anakin, 16 December 2017, Woodstock, Illinois (Premier Pro Wrestling)

Here are Iniestra and Anakin in the fourth of their five 2017-18 faceoffs on YouTube (not counting tag-team matches). Jim in Nashville sent the link to this fight as part of a half dozen videos he's shared with me over the last week. Work, life, etc., have temporarily pushed GIF-making to the margins of my schedule (kayfabe word for chaos and poor time management), but this one caught my eye - and looked like a fine source of speedy inspiration.

What most draws me in is the idea of two young athletes going through their paces as old-school wrestlers - heel and babyface roles clearly defined; enough headlocks, hair-pulling, corner-pummeling, and body slams to make me (almost) believe I'm watching Championship Wrestling from Georgia, circa 1977; the dramatic arm lift to determine whether a wrestler is conscious or unconscious; and, near the end, a burst of multiple climaxes to keep me guessing who will ultimately triumph. Old stunts like these never fail to bring me back to my youth.

The match appears to confirm my theory that wrestlers who have wrestled each other frequently tend to put on a better show. Iniestra sees the upstart Anakin (a Matt Vine protege and tag partner) as just a pushy little "worm" that stands in the way of Iniestra's becoming PPW's number one contender. In a lengthy pre-match diatribe, the self-proclaimed El Mero Mero (Spanish for "the greatest") promises to destroy the kid, but for most of this 20-minute battle, the "worm" appears more than capable of handling himself against the brute, though it's a long uphill struggle for Anakin the whole way. The match is not perfect, but it's on track far more often than off, and individual spots are so perfectly timed as to almost take my breath away.

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