Muscle Beast vs Butch-J, Paris Rough House War 12 (Wrestlingmale)
I missed this rematch when it came out in October, probably because I mistook it for the wrestlers' initial run-in in Paris Rough House War 8, which I reviewed in June. Muscle Beast requested the rematch, less than satisfied with the results of his first fight against the American, Butch-J. I'll admit I was hungry for more of these two, in large part because they are two gorgeous slabs of manhood, but also because Beast is German, and for several years I've been crazy for all things German.
Like the first, this ring match is set in a spacious, perfectly lit atelier that puts me in mind of Rodin's studio in Meudon. In physique and stance, Beast and Butch could pass as sculptures, bodies as dynamic and commanding in repose as they are in action. The bodies in conflict, though, are spectacular in a contest that supersedes the first in my imagination - both audacious and intimate, almost (almost!) too artful for its own good. I'm less impressed with the split-screen technique, but fortunately it is used sparingly and to reasonably good effect.
The classic wrestling stances - collar and elbow lock, bear hug, body scissors, backbreaker, and, ultimately, a consummate choke hold - evoke Olympian bas reliefs - or at least the glory years of Steve Reeves, Kirk Morris, and Reg Park. Yet they are not simply poses but natural and fully realized elements of a hard fight. Butch-J is no less breathtaking for being maturer than his opponent, and the less experienced Muscle Beast is as self-assured and menacing as Butch. I don't want to exaggerate the classicism of this war, but fans, like me, who find the grandiosity and pagan glamour of ancient mythologies inspiring, are certain to respond more strongly to these images than others will.
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