Pro wrestling is one of the great mysteries of our day: Men in showy spandex suits tumble around in a padded ring, groping, lunging, and acting like human missiles. From my angle, it's a lot like a progressive, homoerotic modern-dance piece. From an adolescent boy's perspective, it's the ultimate in testosterone-driven showmanship. Give it a title like "Total Carnage!" and you've got the epitome of American machismo.
The afternoon at the Ukrainian Club started with a death-battle between Jake'n'Bake and Colin Olsen, who sported fluorescent orange pants. Total Carnage raged on through a harrowing Five-Way Free For All, with D-to-the-icky S-to-the-anchez hammering his way to the win. Later, Mean Marcos put the hurricanranna in motion and it looked like the end for Chad Collyer, but just when it counted, Collyer pulled out a Texas Cloverleaf and pounded Marcos into submission.
Forget comparisons to traditional wrestling. You don't go to NWA Upstate Wrestling for legit competition. You go --- and so do middle aged women, sassy high-school girls, scrawny boys with big Adam's apples, and guys who look like my dad --- to work yourself into a frenzy over the sight of your favorite wrestler executing a flawless pile driver.
Jake'n'Bake, who currently trains at Kayfabe Dojo, has made it an art.
How long have you been involved in wrestling?
Four years. I was 15 when I started --- I just found a training school and got going.
How's the training?
Rough! It's very hard-hitting. You've gotta learn how to take your falls --- it's not fake at all, really.
What's your favorite move?
Oh, I like it all. Probably submission holds, though. Things on the ground.
What do you say to the next generation of up-and-coming wrestlers?
Be careful and don't try anything too stupid.