One on One

I'm impressed with the gravitas that Wrestlingmale, one of the great debuts of 2018, brings to underground wrestling, typically a jokey, often disorganized affair for most wrestling sites in the USA. From the wrestling to the art direction to the photography to the editing, Wrestlingmale shows reverence not just for the art of wrestling but of cinema, as well.

Part 1 of Paris Rough House Assault was released in April. Part 2 has just this month been released. I saved buying 1 until I could also buy 2. Taken together, the matches ritualize genuinely competitive wrestling within a gunmetal setting and a muted color palette. There are six wrestlers - Muscle Beast, Etienne Erik, Derthal, Jean Karl, Celte Wrestler, and Adaptador. Each man has one leg tied back by an expert in rope bondage (a recognized art form in Japan) so that he has only one leg to grapple with. At the beginning of Part 1, each man pulls a number out of a bowl, determining the order in which they must fight. 

The first and second begin the ceremonial ordeal, the other numbers taking to the mat to face the previous victor. When not wrestling, the wrestlers constitute a sober and silently attentive audience of the proceedings. I would attempt to offer further details, but it is impossible to do so without giving away a lot of what gives the scenario a large measure of suspense. Even the screen shots above and below give too much away. (If you don't like spoilers, avoid looking at the screen shots below this text.) I will state that the first up are the two Wrestlingmale wrestlers I am the most familiar with, Muscle Beast (6'3", 231#) from Germany and Etienne Erik (6'2", 205#) from France. Theirs is the longest match, taking up the first half of Part 1.

There's no pretense that the guys dislike each other. Respect and camaraderie are the contest's preeminent virtues. The fighting is nonetheless vigorous and intense, emphasized by low camera angles. It's sexy without being actually sexual - an area Wrestlingmale does not shy from in its other matches. There's something almost churchy, definitely spiritual, about the matches' tone, played out as if they are of life-and-death importance and provided appropriately solemn respect.

More of this, please, Wrestlingmale, and I hope you inspire some practitioners of underground wrestling in the US, as well.

Visit Wrestlingmale here.


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