How wrestling worksGuillermo Rebollo Gil
Shane Douglas vs. Flyin’ Brian Pillman
[WCW Saturday Night, 10/17/92]
You know the elbow drop is coming because a good
six seven seconds before, Pillman
tapped his right elbow twice
You imagine Shane, recognizing this, would move
out the way, but that’s not the way
The way wrestling works is—
What are you, chicken?
Stan Hansen vs. Carlitos Colón, bull rope match
The rope is for you to strangle your opponent.
There’s a cowbell attached, you can hit him over the head.
To win you have to drag him across the ring and touch
all four turnbuckles. If you let go, it’s an immediate disqualification,
for cowardice. The biggest difference between pro wrestling and real life—
in wrestling, only bad guys get to be cowards. How you know you’re a bad guy is
somebody challenges you to a bull rope match because you’ve been avoiding them,
the rope is meant to bring you together so they can strangle you
and hit you over the head with a bell fair and square. How you know
pro wrestling and real life are the same— cowards
can withstand all sorts of pain.
Arn Anderson vs. The Great Muta
[NWA Power Hour, 1/12/90]
Muta has his face painted,
looks like a boy back
from a long night of trick
His signature move
is a Moon Sault
Anderson is the dad
who listens to his son
late at night.
Grabs him by the neck,
pushes his face against the mat.
Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels
[WWF SummerSlam, 1993]
Scott Hall died. He was sixty-three. He became famous on nineteen
nineties television as Razor Ramon, six foot seven, two hundred
eighty-seven pounds, oily hair, buttoned-down flowered shirts
opened halfway to show gold chains. He said he ‘oozed machismo’,
would call his opponents ‘chico’ in an accent that was fake
and thick but also fitting. Is that okay to say? —
How there can be beauty in white privilege.
I can’t say that, I don’t think, if I want to be critical
in commemorating this man’s life. Not his life.
Pro wrestling isn’t real. It simply borrows from real life.
It burrows through real life. For what? For me,
the image that came up, as a boy splayed on the ground
in front of other boys, of what brave was was him.