World exclusive coverage of bogan punch-ups.
We get off to a cracking good start as the receding hairline announcer, wearing what looks like a rented prom suit, voice cracks his way through introducing the second...one. If hearing "here comes another one" while a middle-aged man's voice finally changes doesn't get you hyped I'm not sure you're considered legally alive. We introduce the lame good guy, whose a bit too on-the-nose name is "Kung Fu." He's wearing a karate gi with a wrestling jacket over it and believe it or not that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fatal flaws with what you'd think would be a fairly straightforward good guy archetype.
Fortunately his opponent is the best rassler I've ever seen. No really, let me make the case. In the first thirty seconds he gets introduced as "Rollerball," comes out to some AC/DC which brings back countless joyful memories, hops over the ropes to demonstrate agility, gives his "baby's first marital art cliches set" opponent the Stockton Slap, avoids a lame kick attempt, menaces his rival with what looks like a falconer's glove and points aggressively to a bandana he's wearing. "Look at that on me head!" as the announcer puts it.
Rocco 3:16 says I just pointed at my own forehead.
The bottom line is that Mark "Rollerball" Rocco kicks serious backside, even if I find his gimmick kind of confusing. We've got references to a James Caan film. bird-training accessories, a stars and stripes wrestling outfit and, of course, that thing on "me head." Is he a roller-skating violence sport competitor? A self-hating Brit? An empty hand fighting master that's even lazier and more poorly researched than "Kung Fu" or perhaps the inspiration for Rex Kwon Do? I don't know and I don't care.
If I was born in Suffolk or West Port or whatever I would have grown up idolizing Rocco instead of Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, no doubt causing a massive alteration to my life trajectory. I'd be pimp-slapping fools and pointing at the space between my eyes instead of taking vitamins, praying, training hard and hijacking planes and crashing them on the way to Wrestlemania.
My spiritual leader.
Rollerball is holding one of the thousands of world titles that exist in this Sport of Kings and promptly uses it to whip his opponent but gets countered and taken down. "Kung Fu" demonstrates his mastery of ancient Chinese animal systems by going headfirst into the champion's crotch and then throwing the bizarrely patriotic villain into a corner so heavily padded it suggests the wall of an insane asylum more than the turnbuckles of a ring. Then Rollerball invents "hardcore" wrestling by throwing a chair in the ring and promptly getting hit by it because tossing a weapon to your hated enemy makes good sense until it goes wrong on a technicality.
Fortunately our hero regains the advantage and ashcans the pajama-clad loser because being head-butted in the pills and then hit in the head with a chair is the kind of thing you just shrug off when you're the Hero the United Kingdom Deserves but Doesn't Need.
"This in incredible wrestling" we are told, at the same exact moment Rocco punches the man who holds the secret of the orient in the face.
The art of fighting without fighting.
We're going to skip ahead a bit. Yes, it is compelling stuff, watching two grown men perform prat falls and pretend to choke each other with cords, but we were promised a "punch up" at the end and there's only so many ways I can tell you one brave gladiator simulated an awkward hit on the other or threw him with his "opponent's" full cooperation. The match ends with "Rollerball" hitting his devastating top rope elbow, which is of course not the finish. Instead he does a vertical suplex, a transition move here in the land of the free and the home of the brave, and then gets the pin.
The announcer actually has the stones to instruct the crowd to cheer "the loser," earning some tepid applause. Sadly that was never a thing here in The States. "Let's all give it up for The Loser, Scotty Too Hottie!" Meanwhile our winner raises his hand and yells his own name. Best. Wrestler. Ever.
"Not popular here, Rocco!" says the announcer as the boos rain down. Well, he's popular where it matters, on a 2016 blog written by a deeply troubled human derelict.
Let me tell you something, brother!
It's time for an amateur hour interview with the Man of the Hour, complete with a microphone that only works selectively and some of that Blair Witch camerawork. In spite of these considerable obstacles the victor lays down the law, claiming what looks like a bowling trophy then stuttering through a shortlist of his nicknames including "The Man with the Plan," "The Master of Disaster" and "The Maniac." If they made a star-spangled shirt that had any or all of those slogans on it I would buy it and wear it until either it fill apart or I did, just sayin'.
Still, we were promised a real fight and boy do we get one as the man who lost clean as a sheet in the center of the ring attempts his revenge and obviously pulled punches are exchanged. This quickly ends, since we have to go to the "fight of the month" in New York. "And look out for Cyndi Laupher!" Truer words have never been spoken.
What a load of time wasting crap Electric power cables allowed in the ring Ref allows safety padding to be removed This was a farce right from the start
I did watch 5 minuets... what a load of rubbish.
That is NOT I reapeat NOT wrestling. The wrestler is punching and kicking and that is not allowed in wrestling so it is FAKE!
in a REAL fight there are no rules and YOU CAN DO ANYTHING to survive an attack on your life even kill the person trying to kill you.
Oh dear. I wouldn't have watched that then and didn't really enjoy it now. :-(
Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.