Sleeper 16

Kenny Star vs Axel, Match 563 - Sleeper 16 (UCW)

Kenny Star lasted at UCW just over half of 2016. I don't know the backstory of his departure, and I don't need to know, but I really wanted the guy to be a UCW regular. I liked the smile, I liked the hairy chest, I liked the body and face in general. I even rather liked his low-key personality, which I  personally relate to. For my tastes, he could have been more aggressive. His self-consciousness and passivity on camera made it difficult to be as enthusiastic about him as I would have liked to be. But here he is again, happily, in a "lost video" (a custom-made video retreaded for the general public).

Perverse in its necrophiliac undertones, the 33-minute video (with the always game Axel) is actually quite seductive. It has a simple but surrealistic plot that falls neatly into three acts. In the first act, Kenny puts Axel in a sleeper right off the bat. With Axel unconscious for most of the first 11 minutes, Kenny gets to play with Axel's body - showing it tenderness and dominating it with an ease that supposedly would be impossible if Axel were conscious. In the second act, Axel awakes and fights back, putting Kenny through a series of punishments for the preceding roofie-like "date rape." With some give and take in the action, he gives Star a thorough thrashing, at the end of which Kenny is unconscious. The third act repeats the first act with the roles reversed. Now Kenny is the sleeping beauty quietly worshiped and manhandled by Axel.

The leisurely paced video has a kind of poetry or music to it. The blue jeans link Axel and Kenny as kindred spirits, even as they conceal the bodies from the waist down. My initial reaction to Kenny's caressing of Axel's unconscious body was, unbelievably, shock and revulsion - yet as the first act progresses, it casts a spell, sweetly portraying an intimacy that would otherwise be impossible, one assumes. Axel's revenge in the second act satisfies my initial sense that Kenny has done something he should not have, however charmed I might have been by it. Justice is done, or is it? The last act raises more interesting questions. Is Axel's roofie-tinged intimacy with Kenny's body now somehow justifiable? If so, as what? Revenge? Or does it suggest that such intimacy would have been possible even without the pretense of a sleeper hold? And doesn't it tacitly acknowledge the reality of the situation - that Axel and Kenny are conscious all along and fully aware of how their bodies are being used - and isn't that a harmless form of erotic play?

I can't judge the intent of the video. But the effect on me was strong, surprisingly so because it contradicts a lot of what I often say about wrestling. For its light touch and the sweetness of its eroticism, this lost video is definitely my favorite of Kenny's. It may even be my favorite of Axel's - and - hard as it is to believe - my favorite of UCW's! I doubt it's for everybody, but it's just unusual enough to be a classic.

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