Thursday, November 7, 2013

the last book I ever read (David Shoemaker's The Squared Circle, excerpt eleven)

from The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling by David Shoemaker:

It must be said that scaffold matches were, in retrospect, real almost to the point of boredom. The wrestlers were so consumed with safety—both their own and that of their opponents—that most of the combat took place in prone positions, and the punches and kicks were decidedly low-impact. But twenty or twenty-five years ago, through the semicredulous eyes of the premodern wrestling fan, those matches were stunning. To win the match, you had to knock your opponents—allow me to italicize—off the platform and into the ring below. You can see the kids and adults in the audience standing in awe, necks craned. The act was one part monster movie and one part Marvel Comics, and plainly very, very dangerous: No suspension of disbelief was necessary.

I first watched “Night of the Skywalkers” belatedly, on a homemade VHS compilation tape a buddy of mine had put together. The rolling lines of static only served to up the ante: I felt like I was watching a bootlegged copy of Faces of Death. It might not have been much of a match, but it took place thirty feet in the air, and it ended with the nefarious Midnight Express duo falling from the scaffold into the ring (each was hanging from the underside of the platform, monkey bars style, to minimize the distance of free fall). They were followed in their plummet by their insufferable manager, Jim Cornette, who stupidly climbed the scaffold after the match to escape the Warriors’ manager, “Precious” Paul Ellering. Cornette—nowhere near the experienced stuntman that his Midnight-ers were—blew out both knees when he landed in the ring.

No comments:

Post a Comment