Under the Ropes

By Phill Feltham with Victor Penney

Flamboyant spandex outfits. Larger than life personalities. Outrageous interviews. Scripted manoeuvres. Fixed outcomes. These are the trademarks of professional wrestling, a spectacle somewhere between sport and entertainment with a fan base as enthusiastic as it is scorned.

Pro-wrestlers and their enthusiasts have long been criticized by the rest of society for the passion and enthusiasm they devote to an obviously rigged contest. For some, pro wrestling mocks a legitimate sport. For others, professional wrestling is the Spam of athletics – the spectacle of millions willingly worshiping what is an obvious sham one of the many horrors that pop culture has inflicted on good sense.

And yet, many of these same critics have no problem passionately extolling a scripted television show set in an unlikely leftie White House, drooling over a computer generated retro talking ape, or watching steroid ridden football players earning $1000 a minute to pace the sidelines. Still, mainstream society shows nothing but complete disdain for wrestling and its trappings. New York Post sports columnist Phil Mushnick sums it up, writing in a 1998 column that, “Pro wrestling isn’t good-guy-versus-bad-guy theater anymore. It’s bad guy versus worse guy, and both are instructed to attract and sustain an audience through shock appeal. On any given night kids are ‘entertained’ by warfare between racially segregated gangs, ethnic stereotyping, degradation of women and wrestlers who wave toward their crotches – a signal to kids in the live audience to chant vulgarities and hoist signs bearing profane messages.”

But the myriad legions of wrestling fans have their own perspective.

Paul J. MacArthur co-editor and co-publisher of the website ww.wrestlingperspective.com responds to the many naysayers in the media vs. wrestling war. In “Fake This” Wrestling Perspective #74, he writes, “You’d think these media mavens would at least express a journalistic interest in how this programming – for which they express only complete disdain – manages to be such a consistent money-maker on the tube. Instead, they take long, rambling drives through irrelevant side issues like ‘real vs. fake’ and never come within hailing distance of comprehending wrestling’s new found crossover-demographic appeal.”

What MacArthur knows and mainstream critics refuse to realize is that fans of wrestling have never cared about its so-called fakery. In fact, the opposite is the case: it is wrestling’s blatant mockery of the entertainment illusion that makes it so accessible and appealing to so many. What the mainstream media – and even mainstream wrestling organizations like theWWF – don’t realize is that the fans’ love for the fake spectacle of wrestling is not about the violence, the personalities, or the bottom line. Devotion goes far beyond the televised spectacle of arena cage matches and fans chanting bad Seventies rock and waving foam-fingers. The true appeal of wrestling lies in its simplicity: it is an entertainment easily imitated and contorted. Its simple plots and cheap aesthetic make it the ultimate in interactive culture. To be a fan of wrestling is to be part of something that can be endlessly replicated and referenced in everything from suburban backyards to websites to high-art videos.

Pro wrestling goes in and out of style. The ratings drop, the kids turn to extreme skateboarding over broken glass, but the restless core remains dedicated, forever enacting the primaeval comic book battle between good and bad that gives wrestling both its popular appeal and its subculture longevity. Like punk rock and Kung-Fu, wrestling is an idea, a lifestyle, a way to be, as much as it is entertainment or sport. It is a spectacle whose paradigms have permeated our culture, infiltrating other subcultures and spawning their own bastard traditions. From comics to art to music to videos, wrestling’s aesthetic provides style, inspiration, and devotion.

E-Wrestling
For the last three years, I’ve built up and elaborated my own Internet-based fantasy-wrestling league called Royal Canadian Wrestling (http://www.geocities.com/Phill_Feltham). I have invented my own characters and written weekly scripts. Some characters are fictional, others are based on real-life people whose personalities are copied, reshaped and melded into an rCw character. At times when my friends or I get into fights, have problems in school or at work, I arrange a wrestling match in the rCw to solve the problem. Real life conflicts and stories are transcribed into a world of wrestling fiction. The scripts of the rCw are a twisted journal of lumps, bumps and body-slams. The weekly scripts are published on the rCw Website (and referred to as the “weekly television show”). Though the matches are complete fantasy, I often rely on everyday life to provide me with minor inspiration for major mayhem. For example, I turned my brother Mark into the character Jamie Malcolm. Jamie’s character traits are similar to Mark’s except that they’re blown way out of proportion. Mark is sometimes egotistical with a touch of charisma, so Jamie becomes a widely exaggerated version of my brother. My brother became engaged a year ago. Two months later, in the rCw, Jamie became engaged to a brand new character introduced as Angie Dylan. Obviously, her character is loosely based on his fiancée.

The climax of these weekly shows is one big event to end old stories and begin new ones. This show is called a “Pay Per View.” Whereas WWF fans end up paying thirty dollars a month to watch three hours of wrestling, visitors to my site are able to read detailed descriptions of the matches for free.

But beyond providing what I hope is cheap entertainment, for me, the rCw is an escape. It’s an escape from the bland world of professional wrestling, but also a way to turn the seemingly uncontrollable trials and tribulations of everyday life into something I have just a tiny bit of power over. In the end, I write the rCw primarily for myself. There is no audience with a three second attention span to lose interest in my work. Through the rCw I refuse to allow my craving for wrestling to rest in the hands of an aspiring billionaire and his hordes of catch-phrase minions. The rCw allows me to explore options in a way mainstream wrestling can’t. For me the experience is equivalent to the many who seek to reclaim the terms of pop culture – make their own rap album, shoot their own documentary, produce their own zine. Though wrestling is my particular oeuvre, I consider my endeavors to be on par with others who explore the limits of pop culture through independent action.

The rCw is similar to many other fantasy wrestling leagues found on the Internet. One of better-known E-leagues on the Internet is the Internet Wrestling Federation (IWF/WOW). Founder Chris Jurkschat has run the IWF/WOW since 1996 and currently has 25 members actively participating. Jurkschat started out roleplaying in e-leagues, but then turned to co-owning his own league with Chad Ishikawa. The way the IWF/WOW works is the more you roleplay, the more your wrestler has a chance at winning. Roleplaying is done by creating interviews for your wrestler. These interviews are compiled together and sent through E-mail. Jurkschat calls this “Trashtalk”. “Trashtalk” is a forum for e-wrestlers to bash each other and are inserted into storylines. IWF/WOW has one weekly event known as Monday Night Mayhem. The “weekly show” is a series of scripted matches written in detail by the E-fed owner and its members. The matches are usually scheduled when other members challenge each other. These scripts can average between 30 to 75 pages for an entire card.

Jurkschat’s desire to run the IWF/WOW was similar to mine. Sick of watching wrestling on television, he decided to start an E-wrestling league to try out his own ideas, as well as help others with theirs. On Monday nights, Jurkschat will have wrestling on TV, but it primarily acts as background noise while he works on the IWF/WOW. Jurkschat says that “it’s a good hobby and a good way to get creative.”

Roleplayers in the IWF/WOW share common views and a dedication to e-wrestling.

“Everybody loves to participate and it’s so easy to get involved. If you dish out an open challenge in some feds, you’re likely to get completely ignored, but the handlers in the IWF are so eager to strut their stuff that somebody is always watching your moves the moment you join. It’s not hard at all to find angles,” says one of its members in a recent IWF/WOW poll.

“E-wrestling,” says Jurkschat, “is here to stay. Just like ‘real’ wrestling, it will have its up and down periods (like right now, with ‘real’ wrestling in a down period, e-wrestling is in a bit of a down period). But it will be here for a long time to come.”

Backyard Wrestling
Backyard wrestling is another facet of wrestling subculture. As in the E-leagues, people will create an entire wrestling league to appease their wrestling cravings. Only unlike Internet wrestling leagues, in backyard wrestling, people actually physically grapple. Some leagues simply stage the matches and go home, while others video tape the matches and put them up on websites in episodes, effectively attempting to create their own indie wrestling channels. Some backyard wrestling owners will buy their own wrestling rings, others will wrestle on old mattresses, on the grass or even on the concrete. From a fan’s perspective, backyard wrestling is a way for them to become a part of the action.

WWF superstar Mick Foley is revered in backyard wrestling circles, since he got his start as, essentially, a backyard wrestler. As the story goes, one night, Foley attended a wrestling event in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Foley had skipped a day of college just to see his favorite wrestler, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. A cage match at this event between Snuka and The Magnificant Muraco was one of the defining moments that influenced Foley to choose a career in professional wrestling. In the match, Snuka dove 15 feet off the top of the cage and landed on a vulnerable Muraco sprawled out in the ring below. This move influenced Foley to shoot a wrestling video called The Legend of Frank Foley. In this video, Foley jumped off a neigbour’s house and landed on a mattress below.

Of course, not all backyard wrestlers take things as seriously as Foley. (And most will never become WWF stars.) Nevertheless, backyard wrestling is still highly controversial. As backyard wrestling has increased in popularity and become a very active part of the North American wrestling subculture, it has been increasingly vilified, with injuries and even fatalities attributed to the past-time. The most famous incident blamed on backyard wrestling was the death of 19-month-old William Sweet in Yakima, Washington. Sweet was killed when his 12 year old cousin performed a wrestling move on him known as the Jackknife Powerbomb: you put the person’s head between your legs, you lock your hands around their lower stomach, pull them up onto your shoulders and slam them onto their back really hard.

Despite its bad reputation in the media, the backyard wrestling community is generally very careful to decry violence. One web site, the Backyard Wrestling Spotlight (http://byws.cjb.net/) is totally dedicated to individuals interested in becoming backyard wrestlers. The site answers questions and concerns ranging from performing moves correctly to creating a good wrestling character. This site also discusses “garbage wrestling” which is defined as mere fighting. Instead of applying regular wrestling moves, teenagers will hit each other with baseball bats wrapped with barbed wire and other weapons.

The site’s operator, Psyko Dreamer, states on the site that garbage wrestling is frowned upon by others in the backyard wrestling subculture because its main objective is to hurt, not to have fun. Dreamer writes that “it’s all about hitting your opponent(s) over the head with a plastic wiffle bat, or hitting your opponent(s) with a trash can lid while wrestling on top of a car or something.”

The “real backyard wrestling”, according to Dreamer, is the traditional wrestling match with storylines and protocols to make sure things don’t get out of hand. “The objective is to have a good match, not to kill one another.”

Though most backyard wrestlers wrestle for fun, not money, there have been instances where backyard wrestling has been profitable. In August 1999, 17 year old Andre Verdun, who ran his Real Wrestling Federation from Ventura, California, signed a deal with Dead Alive Productions to produce 36 hours for 8 videos which are sold across the US in stores and on the web. The Mississauga, Ontario-based Backyard Wrestling Federation (BYWF) has received a lot of media attention, including articles in the National Post and USA Today. (Ed’s note: See the adjacent story on the BYWF this issue.) But despite the boom, they keep their federation a non-profit venture. In the end, Dreamer and the folks at the BYWF operate their websites and federations solely for the love of wrestling.

Still, no one can deny that, of all the wrestling subcultures, backyard wrestling is the one most likely to turn parody into amateur mayhem. People do get hurt, particularly in leagues where the emphasis is placed less on style and story and more on violent manoeuvres. At the same time, the appeal of actually wrestling is undeniable. Once upon a time I was just another backyard wrestling hopeful, inspired by the glory and glamour of my WWF heroes. As a kid, my brother, our pals and I would gather around and knuckle it up in the backyard on the grass. Soon it turned serious. We would schedule matches that would last no longer than 60 seconds. My dad even made championship belts for us. The belts were made from black rubber and the face of the belt was made from thick bits of ply wood. The fronts were spray painted — yellow for the World title and Silver for the Intercontinental title. No different from the kids who played endless games of shinny hockey or pick-up basketball all while dreaming of the big leagues, I still remember our innocent optimism, the sun setting on a make-shift ring.

Apartment Wrestling
Perhaps the seediest and strangest of all the counter-culture wrestling phenomenon is”apartment wrestling.” Traditionally involving two buxom women battling it out in a domestic setting, the scenario is irretrievably linked to porn and perversion. One can’t help but picture a ragged apartment where a group of perverted men huddle around two barely clothed women who are trying to claw out each other’s eyes. In fact, that is the very scene depicted in the many apartment wrestling stories found across the Internet, where, in these digital days, most apartment wrestling fans go to get their fix.

One such site, Apartment House Wrestling Gallery, run by an individual who calls himself DrChin, collects the old apartment wrestling magazines, at once providing lurid images for fetishists and giving the curious spectator a look into on of the longer running underground wrestling traditions. DrChin’s site has been on-line since November 1999, but his passion for apartment wrestling subculture goes way back.

“I stumbled across apartment wrestling in 1975,” he says, “when I saw the May ’75 issue of Sports Review Wrestling on the local newsstand.” He created the site when he noticed there was a number of people constantly trying to get a hold of the old Apartment House Wrestling images on newsgroups. His webpage was designed to share his collection with those people.

DrChin, however, says that he doesn’t merely appreciate apartment wrestling for its graphic sexual content. When it comes to what he refers to as “original apartment wrestling”, DrChin says that he appreciates it on a number of levels. “My attraction is the style, the presentation. >From the overwrought, overly dramatic text to the look and composition of the pictures.”

DrChin also says that he understands there are negative stereotypes that surround fans of apartment wrestling. But, he says, people who are usually attracted to what his site has to offer are those who remember the apartment wrestling magazines from their youth and appreciate them for their nostalgic value. Though many would consider the content on the site and others to be, at the very least, sexist and offensive, DrChin defends old-style apartment wrestling, its black and white grainy newsprint pictures and excessive prose, as just another facet of a b-movie era we look back on with nostalgia and a fair degree of irony. He also notes, correctly, that wrestling has always been used as an excuse to put women — and to a lesser extent men — in compromising poses. “If you search around the web,” he says, “I think you’ll find many other female fighting sites that use wrestling as an excuse to put women in sexual situations.”

The attraction of apartment wrestling is a combination of comic-book like scenarios and lewd in-your-face action. Despite DrChin’s rationalizations, apartment wrestling mixes old-style stereotypes with the worst kind of sexism. Here’s an excerpt from one of DrChin’s Seventies mags, called Apartment House Wrestling: Battling Girls: “Their bodies move with a sensual fury which can only be suggested beneath bikinis and halters. The women exude an electric excitement when they realize the last vestige of civilized restraint has been eliminated. Without clothing, women revert to their basic craving for sensation. They are wild, magnificent, jungle beasts, desiring only the satisfaction of ego and seeing their wonder reflected in the gazes of admiring men.”

The Parkdale Wrestler
Stacey Case and his Toronto based band, the Tijuana Bibles, formed in 1997 and use Mexican wrestling, known as Lucha Libre, as the inspiration for their band’s antics. In Lucha Libre, the wrestlers have secret identities, and never remove their masks. The five members of the Tijuana Bibles each have their own Lucha character, and wear Lucha Libre masks.

On stage, the Tijuana Bibles look like a cross between axe-murders and super-heroes. This is appropriate, as wrestling has always occupied a territory somewhere between the comic and the menacing. Lucha Libre-style wrestling in particular has its own corny protocol and aesthetic, and its merging with North-American pop culture lends an air of exoticism to what many see as strictly trailer-park fare. Certainly, Lucha wrestling makes the parallels between wrestling and comic-book/super-hero culture undeniable. Indeed, the legend and protocol of Lucha is a mixture of pop cliche and indie pathos.

One of the earliest masked Mexican wrestlers was Rudolfo Guzman, who, influenced by a masked American wrestler named Cyclone, dawned a silver mask and adopted ring names El Santo (The Saint) and El Mascarado de Plata (The Man In The Iron Mask). When Guzman died in 1984, he was buried in his mask. Losing a mask destroys a Luchadore’s career. When the mask comes off, the wrestler is revealed as a normal human being, not a super hero. The mask can be lost in a “mask versus mask” retirement match which involves the loser “unmasking.” When the mask is removed, the wrestler is not able to ever fight again. Many of the song titles in The Tijuana Bibles’ music are influenced by the all-or-nothing notion of unmasking, with songs like “Mexican Courage” and “Las Momias de Gt” [The Mummys of Guanajuato] chronicling a bygone era when wrestling stood for something more than just action figures and pay-per-view.

Stacey Case is something of a subculture wrestling guru. He not only performs as part of the Tijuana Bibles, but he has also made a series of Super-8 movies chronicling the exploits of “Arriba the Parkdale Wrestler”, for which the band did the soundtracks. The short Charlie Chaplin-style 3 minute films show an overweight wrestler in a mask fighting and losing in almost all the videos. In Terror In the Park the Parkdale Wrestler (played by Case’s friend Carlos Cabellero) arrives in a park on his motorcycle only to see an evil character named The Feeler feeding pigeons exploding food. The Parkdale Wrestler sees this cruel injustice and attacks the Feeler. The Feeler retaliates and beats down on our hero. The Feeler leaves the Parkdale Wrestler practically unconscious and begins an orgasmic pigeon stomping frenzy. Being the hero, the Parkdale Wrestler saves the day and finishes off the Feeler with a steel chair.

Case has also put together a comic book in which different cartoonists chronicle the often blood thirsty antics of Arriba as he battles against his arch-enemy Chupacabra. Well known talents ad diverse as Fiona Smyth and Christopher Hutsul contributed drawings to the book.

Not surprisingly, Case’s love for wrestling dates back to when he was a kid. He recalls watching NWA wrestling Sunday afternoons when he was younger. He also recalls ordering a role playing wrestling game from the back of a comic book. The game became addictive to Case when he replaced the stock wrestlers included with his own characters. “In a week we made up our own wrestlers and played this game. There were six of us, we played every day after school, from September to June, creating our own wrestlers. It’s like being someone different. It never got boring.”

The Art of Wrestling
With its mixture of nostalgia and drama, the art world has always been drawn toward wrestling. This is hardly surprising – at its best, wrestling seems like a cross between performance art and b-movies; and wrestling’s worst aspects – violence and sensationalism – are qualities the art world desperately aspires to.

Wrestling fan and Toronto artist Germaine Koh has hosted several wrestling-inspired fundraisers for the art community. “I once organized a now-quite-legendary wrestling party in my studio,” she tells me, “so people seem to think that I’m the queen of wrestling.”

Curious, I attended Koh’s second wrestling fund raiser, held April 6th in a warehouse in Toronto’s west end. The first thing I saw walking inside was an art gallery showcasing wrestling-inspired art. One display featured a series of wooden blocks that were constructed by Carolyn Rowney. They were no more than three to four inches tall, with words associated with wrestling on them like, “victory”, “no love lost”, “score and points”.

Toward the back of the warehouse, a makeshift wrestling ring was constructed between four poles. It was made out of a series of futons and mattresses covered by a blue tarp that was duct-taped together. The four poles were wrapped in thick foam. The artists had a dressing room separate from the all of this. Behind the curtain and through a dark room, the wannabe wrestlers could be found in an industrial-sized closet. Here, they prepared for their matches. Crowded close together, everyone was sweating, but reveling in the night’s festivities just the same.

The wrestling part of the event, from a technical standpoint, was far from spectacular, but that was hardly the point. The melee of gangly artists on the blue tarp tried out simple arm drags, hip tosses, and awkward grappling holds. Some matches had a serious feel to them, but mostly they were just about having fun. In between the matches, two janitors, The Germinator and “Phil’er up Klygo”, would come out onto the mats and try to clean it up for the next match. They would bump into each other and fall over, getting the crowd going.

One of the participants, Steve Kaklumanos, a writer for Spill Magazine, wrestled that night as The Canadian Wolfman: a character that he also inhabits during the Rawkin’ Ray’s “Radio Therapy” program on the pop music station CFNY.

Kaklumanos described the Wolfman as a beast and an animal who knows what he wants and how to get a wrestling belt. “I’m a mean, crude asshole, who’s filled with rage and hate and jealousy.” Kaklumanos likes how flexible wrestling is because he is able to adapt his Wolfman persona any way he pleases. “It’s the ultimate creative outlet.”

“Think about any art form — fashion, makeup, music, audio/video, comedy, drama, oratory, pyrotechnic art, visual art, purely physical expression…no matter what it is, it can be (and always is) utilized in wrestling. So, it’s really an all-encompassing art form that you can do anything creative with.”

To Kaklumanos, wrestling is “modern mythology.” “Just like people always liked to hear stories about Hercules or Isis or Thor or whoever…wrestlers are the modern equivalent of legendary heroes,” he explains. “And the stories they tell are the epics of today.”

Kaklumanos says wrestling has “colourful pageantry” and a carnival atmosphere. “It subverts the sometimes sad state of the world and gives power to the people. In wrestling, all the kings and aristocrats and mean, rich assholes can be turned into a joke, and a charismatic common man can make fools of them and beat their asses, while everyone cheers.”

That night at the fund-raiser, you could clearly see the way wrestling’s populist charm drew a usually factitious group of artists together. Organizer Koh described the event as “a bunch of artists, who might normally think of themselves as pretty cerebral, getting down and dirty.” A communal appreciation of wrestling as a pop culture platform for make believe aggression allowed the artists and audience to move in and out of wrestling’s conventions, reinventing and parodying as they went along. Koh wasn’t concerned that the artists would shirk from all the attention: “The art crowd is always ready to act out, so I knew we could pull together a good show, even with our all being rank amateurs.”

Kaiju Big Battel
While most forms of subculture-wrestling, surprisingly, stick pretty close to the tv formula we know and love, the merging of art and wrestling can lead to much stranger fare. Take the performances of the Boston based Kaiju Big Battel. Kaiju’s video-tapes are closer to Godzilla in a wrestling ring than professional wrestling. Kaiju Big Battel is a concoction of Japanese monster movies and pop-advertising cultural ephemera spiced with a dash of pro wrestling. Founded in 1995 with the simple desire to make a video of monsters fighting, in Kaiju the characters are larger than life and range from foam monsters to giant sandwiches. A match, or battle, consists of two characters throwing each other around the ring that is scattered with cardboard buildings about five feet or so in height.

The main connection between professional wrestling and Kaiju Big Battel is that scheduled bouts occur in a ring, and some basic manoeuvres are implemented by the performers. But that’s where the comparisons with professional wrestling stop.

“Very few people see Kaiju Big Battel as wrestling per se, I think they enjoy it for the mayhem and spectacle of the Battels, not tight wrestling moves,” says David Borden, who handles sales of merchandise form the website, (http://www.kaiju.com). Randy Borden, one of the original co-founders of Kaiju Big Battel, doesn’t consider Kaiju to be on the same level of professional wrestling, “We don’t look down on wrestling but do see it as funny. We think we are a joke and I think it shows. The WWF is like a soap opera/ action show. We try to be more like an action/comedy. We take it seriously but not completely. We make fun of every thing including ourselves.”

Since its conception, Kaiju has accumulated a passionate audience which doesn’t just consist of people who are fans of professional wrestling. There are fans from the anime crowd, Godzilla fans, rock and rollers, little kids and 60-year-old grandmothers. About one month ago, they did a free show at Northeastern University and 1,000 people came out on a Monday at noon. They have sold out their last three shows, drawing crowds from 600 to 800 people. At one show, they had to turn away 150 people to comply with fire codes, but most waited at the doors in case someone inside left. To explain Kaiju’s popularity, Randy Borden cites the now familiar explanation of nostalgia, saying that fans seem to respond to the act as a way of reliving their childhoods. “It’s different and strange but familiar at the same time. A lot of people tell me they have a sense of nostalgia. Different people see it from a different angle depending on what they grew up watching on TV as a kid on Saturday, be it wrestling, Japanese monster movies or even Pokemon. It takes them back.”

Conclusion: Under the Ropes
Kaiju Big Battel’s popularity has attracted the attention of management companies, publicists, television executives, and independent comic companies who wish to, as David Borden puts it, “make Kaiju a star.” Without going into details, David admits that while he’s unsure of how things will work out with all of these new offers, one thing is for sure, “We’re prepared to brave it alone. We’ve made it this far on our own, and we’re prepared to go all the way by ourselves if need be.”

The corporate courting of Kaiju Big Battel, like the courting of backyard wrestling and even wrestling bands — New York based Lucha-inspired band Los Straitjackets have been on Conan O’Brien four times! – suggests that subculture wrestling, as it is with so much indie activity, percolates just under the surface of the mainstream. At the same time, the innocence and, strangely enough, purity that much indie wrestling evokes would not likely survive extended mainstream exposure. These various subculture wrestling phenomenons play on irony and nostalgia, on our desire to reclaim pop culture’s creative spirit without being undermined by its reliance on dehumanizing mega-stars and ad dollars.

Standing near enough to the flame to get heat, but not get burnt, the wrestling subculture communities use obscurity, shock value, and amateurish enthusiasm to inspire their alternative wrestling antics. In subculture-wrestling, the inventors use wrestling to create their own worlds. The fans standing ring-side in these worlds are the creators themselves. Neither ignored nor famous, the protagonists of the wrestling subculture crouch barely noticed under the ropes, only occasionally running onto the canvas to perform the cultural equivalent of the pile driver.

Searching for the Soul of a Wrestling Subculture

17

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