Vol. 2, No. 1: "Drop Shot Valley" photo

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

then aimed.


You imagine Shane, recognizing this, would move

out the way, but that’s not the way

wrestling works.


The way wrestling works is—

What are you, chicken?




Stan Hansen vs. Carlitos Colón, bull rope match

[WWC/NWA, 1/6/1987]


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 

or treating.


His signature move 

is a Moon Sault

that misses. 


Anderson is the dad 

who listens to his son 

sneak in 

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.