Monday, October 8, 2007

Southern Discomfort – Wrestling on the Indie Circuit

This is a documentary about an independent wrestling show held in Alabama. I was hoping it’d explore the mythos and zeitgeist of that particular culture and time. Instead, it confirmed all of the general populace’s worst fears and stereotypes about wrestling fans.

There’s some text that starts off the program, featuring the following line that is in reference to independent wrestlers, “the Outlaw Wrestler, a vanishing yet determined breed of gladiator.” Seriously? You’re telling me slobs that don’t pay their child support and work a five-minute match once a month are some superior determined group? I don’t think so. We open to footage obviously shot by someone with a wobbly grip holding a camera outside a car window as it drives by rural Alabama. During the first full-shot of the car look towards the foreground to see some roadkill.

We then see an old man as he staples a wrestling flyer onto an old, abandoned wood and tin barn. He calls this, “wild posting.” Which is illegally posting propaganda. My question is, who the fuck’s going to see a flyer on a barn when they’re driving 45MPH in the woods?

We go through a sequence introducing us to a lot of the roster. The first time we see Iron Sheik he’s wearing suspenders and a WrestleMania VII t-shirt with Sid Justice and Hulk Hogan on it. Then we see the crowd, which sadly, is a rather excruciating experience. They’re all sweaty, several are toothless, and many lead me to find inbreeding as a potential cause. One tells the camera, “I want to see the good ones” referring to wrestlers, not “jerks off the streets.”

Our first match features “Nasty” Steve Lane, adorned in a Jim Beam t-shirt, versus Shanghai Pierce. Lane lives his gimmick, that of a loudmouthed asshole. Wait, they busted out a Cactus Jack clothesline over the ropes in front of 225 people? Lane takes a hiptoss on the basketball court floor, to boot.

Next, we see The Flame versus “Bullet” Bob Armstrong. During the rest of his time away from the ring, The Flame is a mild-mannered older man, who enjoys working at Jack’s, a restaurant he takes great pride in. He says it’s a “senior store” and that they sure do “like fresh vegetables.” But, in wrestling his persona is a vile prick, and here he shoots a fireball that dissipates in mid-air yet the referee mysteriously sells like his face was scorched. Nothing of note during the match, sans Armstrong dancing like Fred Astaire on horse tranquilizers and Flame flicking a booger on the crowd.

Peggy Lee Leather versus Bambi was next. As far as all the locker room chats recorded with the wrestlers, Bambi came off the most genuine. She grew up watching wrestling, loved it, and became one herself. I can respect that. They’re match was definitely the best of the night, and pretty stiff to boot. Out on the floor, both girls deliver and eat some nasty open hand shots and clotheslines. Afterward, we see Bambi away from her adoring fans in the back, clutching at potential cracked ribs forlorn.

Also in the back, Armstrong tells a tale of being in a gym lifting waits when Ted DiBiase entered, and Bob’s not sure if he did it jokingly, but Ted kicked the bench and Armstrong dropped a ton of weight, nearly ripping his entire face off, including all of his nose. Armstrong says now his nose is grafted from skin elsewhere, which he’d rather not speak of. To quote Ron Simmons, “damn!”

Iron Sheik’s in the back, says, “I just want to tell American kids don’t do drugs”. So, I guess its do as he says, and not as he does, because I saw his Howard Stern appearance recently, and Sheik was higher than Eddy Guerrero on his darkest day. Discussion of Japan by some of the workers, agreeing that over there they’re more polite and respect ability over cheering and jeering heroes and villains.

Iron Sheik versus Power Raider another old, fat man, this one dressed up as a red Power Ranger, donning also a red motorcycle helmet and red mask. Oh, that’s disgusting! What’s wrong with Sheik’s bellybutton? It looks like a fucking nutsack. I hate it. Sheik won with his patented camel clutch, stunning the pro-Raider crowd.

The last match was a big battle royal, featuring ten or so competitors, mostly guys who didn’t compete earlier with a couple exceptions. Some new faces are Shane Anderson, who’s easily 350lbs. or bigger, and Big Boss Hoss, a Ray Traylor rip-off, who looks like somebody that lives down the street from me. This was largely awful, minus a couple sick spills out of the ring onto the hardwood floor.

This can all be summed up by a kid’s t-shirt in the crowd near the end of the program that stated, “PRO WRESTLING IS REAL, EVERYTHING ELSE IS FAKE”. Amen, you dumb bastard.

1 comment:

Adam said...

I love how the Shiek always shows up in the most random of places. What in the world was he doing in Alabama?