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.