Posts Tagged ‘gimmicks’

max_moonI have been a fan of pro wrestling for as long as 15 years. It started off innocently enough with this character on World Wrestling Federation called Max Moon -supposedly a warrior from the future who wore this spiffy spaceman suit and made it clear that he really liked doing cartwheels and somersaults. It was silly gimmick and we, as silly fans, lapped it up. See…I thought this shit was real. Obviously, I didn’t know that pro wrestling was a multi-billion dollar empire that earned its moolah from merchandise sales and four hours of scripted programming.

The obsession began when I was introduced to the local store Ric Video’s vault of classic tapes of Bret Hart – a wrestler who wore pink tights, a black jacket with frills and ridiculously retro sunglasses, which he often passed on to some kid in the crowd as a gesture of goodwill. But he seemingly could wrestle circles around evil psychopaths in scary costumes who desperately wanted the gold belt he wore around his waist. I tell you, if only I had the acumen for iconoclasm then, I would have probably built a shrine in Hart’s honour. By then I also understood that this was scripted sports entertainment and nothing more…but it never bothered me.

hitman-dvd_pic6Mos of my admiration for Bret Hart’s stemmed from his ability to beat the shit out of his opponent’s leg and then lock it in a neat submission move. Years passed and so did my fascination, hatred and indifference for many wrestlers…and it still never bothered me. Back then, even a good film couldn’t make me feel any particular emotion towards its character as frequently as wrestling did with its characters and athletes. Even now, I would prefer watching a good storyline in wrestling culminating over time into a bloody mano-to-mano battle rather than watching a film’s protagonist defy the odds, gravity, theology, the Germans, physics and pretty much everything else in order to beat the baddie and hook up with the heroine.

img1Now I get my fix mostly from AJPW, BattlARTS, ROH, K1, European mat wrestling and mixed martial arts where sweaty, pissed-off, super gnarly bastards look to rip the limbs off their opponents or at least knock them, as the French might say, le fuck out. It might not be entertaining to those who pretend to be non-masochistic (everyone’s a masochist, goddamit), but for us, bloodthirsty hooligans looking for cheap thrills in ligaments being torn and skulls being knocked out silly enough to put tails on them and call them monkeys (Black Adder rip-off #2), this probably is the purest form of athletic entertainment. Watch this to understand the theatre of Japanese wrestling.

wrestler-aronofsky-promo-05And that’s 444 words of build-up just for me to say that I am not ready to review The Wrestler yet. Rather I don’t want to fully review it. I watched it a week ago and well, so far – film of the year. I might even go as far enough to say that it was better than The Dark Knight. A few of the epiphanies I had while watching this film still send glorious shivers down my spine. The nicest one I could think of centered around how only physical pain gave Rourke’s character a reason to live and possibly, to find love. But I am going to go with what William Macy’s character said in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia.

I have got so much love to give, but I just don’t know where to put it

So tremendously unpretentious that you almost want to call up Mickey Rourke right away and tell him that it’s all going to be ok.

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