Knapp Time

Calvin Knapp vs Alex Porteau*, GWF SUPERCARD, 15 January 1993, Dallas (Global Wrestling Federation)

A rematch between these two muscle apes is a welcome sight. This one is better than the one I shared in January. By the time 1993 rolled in, after months of feuding in 1992, Knapp (22, 5'8", #238) and Porteau (24, 5'10", #229) knew each other well enough to deliver a show of this magnitude, having had the time to fine-tune their animosity. The two were made for each other.

Their match three months prior emphasized the armbar, a favorite of mine. In this 9-minute match, sleeper holds are put in the spotlight, the fifth GIF above giving one example of Porteau's long and repeated attempts to put Knapp down. Twice the ref raises the young wrestler's arm to see if the guy has the strength remaining to hold it aloft--a cliché or an archetype, whatever, this crucial moment never fails to thrill me.

Speaking of clichés that work, the second GIF above has one of my all-time favorites. The heel (Porteau, in the case) could take an early win by three count but elects instead to interrupt the referee's count because he's not finished punishing the babyface yet. In almost every instance, this proves to be a grave mistake since it almost always foreshadows the heel's ultimate comeuppance, sweetening the deal for the babyface's fans. (This pro-wrestling commonplace and the arm-raise above are two strong examples of the role a referee can play in heightening a match's drama.)

And speaking of comeuppance (spoiler alert) the last GIF above is a fine example of the swift, sure justice I like to see in the final moments of a long, grueling fight. Porteau is not knocked out by Knapp's furious face-punch, but in the coming seconds he's going to wish he had been.

Calvin Knapp 1970 - 2013 (gone, but not forgotten)

* Knapp vs Porteau is the second match in the show, beginning just before the 06:00 mark on the video linked up top.


  1. I love when a classic pro match is reviewed on the Ringside blog -- it's going to be a good day. I watched this video too when it appeared recently on YouTube (our list of subscriptions are probably very similar) and I agree, this match really works. Alex Porteau was such a bully to young Knapp in all their encounters and this one was no exception. I loved your second GIF showing the pinfall interruptus by Porteau. The numerous Sleeperholds were also a treat -- the "muscle ape" slowly being subdued and tamed as Porteau relentlessly hugs his neck. So thanks for these great animations and well-written (as always) description.

    1. I appreciate the kind words, gahcha. I'm glad there's an audience for the old classics, which are favorites of mine too. I enjoy making the GIFs, especially when they turn out the way I want them to (too often they don't).


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