The Essence of Wrestling

Davide Stefano vs Case "CT" Thornton, The Rematch (Movimus)

As Stefano and Thornton face off for a second time, I'm reminded how elegantly Movimus captures the beauty of wrestling. No promotion does it as well, which is all the more remarkable because the matches are not choreographed, so decisions about camera positioning and movement have to be made on the spot without the luxury of retakes for missed details and reaction shots. (I am less impressed with the company's Vegas events, but then these are a relatively new addition to the expanding Movimus family, requiring some time to find its proper niche.)

Stefano vs Thornton, like most of the company's output, is mesmerizing, intense and relaxing in the way only the sight of two strong young men wrestling or the sound of ocean waves hitting rocks can be. The soundtrack features no screaming fans, no smack talk, only the involuntary moans of bodies under duress and the backbeat of skin and muscle rocking against each other and against the mat. Saturated colors make the flesh tones pop like those in a painting by Titian. I've not actually done it, but it occurred to me, watching the rematch, that I could turn off the sound and watch the action to Saint-Saëns' "The Aquarium."

As for the fight itself, well, expect to be riveted. Very quickly Stefano has proved himself a force to reckon with, and in build, strength, and resilience he finds a near equal in Thornton, who never fails to impress, one of the most controlled and effective grapplers on the Movimus roster. To say that the contest is gentlemanly and sportsmanlike, which it is, should not be mistaken to mean that it lacks ferocity. The wrestlers are almost 22 minutes into the 27-minute brawl before one is able to wrench the first submission from the other. Two minutes later, they are tied 1 to 1. The last three minutes is a trial by fire for both, as they untiringly push for that third and decisive fall.

The first time these two fought in April, it was clear that Davide and Case bring up the best in each other. This rematch seemed inevitable then. Now, given the tightness of the rematch, nothing less than a longstanding rivalry seems absolutely necessary.


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