Back on October 31st 2011, I started a tradition — the Halloween Gorefest series here on the Wrestling Arsenal. Each year on Fright Night, I write about the classic style of graphically violent, frightening, and bloody pro wrestling that was popular back in the 1970s when I was a youngster.
Gorefest celebrates the shocking images of injured wrestlers wearing the dreaded “Crimson Mask” — blood streaming down their faces and painting their bare chests, their faces twisted in agony and horror.
I wasn’t sure what to post on Halloween this year now that we’re not supposed to breathe on each other let alone bleed on each other! However, earlier this month, Cody Rhodes surprised me by battling Brodie Lee in a violent, bloody Dog Collar Chain Match which aired on the October 7th episode of the weekly AEW show — just in time to be featured in today’s Episode # 10 of Halloween Gorefest! Enjoy, you bloodthirsty wrestle-pervs!
The bell sounds and almost immediately, a wrestler is bloodied! John Silver was lurking on the ring apron, perhaps planning to help his pal Brodie assault poor Cody. But Cody runs over and smashes that steel chain into Silver’s forehead, busting him open and knocking him to the floor! (I guess they didn’t want the audience to have to wait the 5 or 6 minutes until Cody himself gets busted open…)
As Silver watches from ringside (of course never bothering to wipe the rivulets of blood off his face in the tradition of sleazy wrestling), Brodie Lee proceeds to torture Baby-Face Cody in the ring, dragging him around like a… well, like a dog on a leash.
A Dog Collar Chain Match is a rare occurrence indeed in our woke, socially antiseptic, and aesthetically polished modern world. Certainly we wouldn’t expect a cutie pie like Cody to tarnish his handsome Instagram-friendly appearance with the scars and scratches that a steel chain will inevitably cause.
Far more rare is a FREE broadcast of such a violent and bloody stipulation match on a federation’s weekly program, without any Pay-Per-View or subscription fee needed. Way to go, AEW — getting all controversial and inappropriate in Prime Time as any good Pro Wrestling federation should!
But I get the sense that AEW respects their Old School southern roots and wants to resurrect some of that classic Blood and Guts, Grunt and Groan style of rasslin. I mean, they also signed FTW — the epitome of Old-Timey throwback Bearish brutes! I sure would enjoy seeing more of the no nonsense, Hard Core style of sleazy rasslin that frightened, titillated, and aroused me 40+ years ago. I salute AEW and Cody Rhodes for resurrecting this kinky S&M brutality — two enemies chained together by their necks.
Why do I get the sense that Cody gets off on Classic Rasslin — maybe in the same way many of us get off on it? He seems to really have a boner for the old school style. Check out his sexy promotional photo for this match: looking dapper in a fancy vest and white dress shirt, but with that fetishy chain and collar around his neck. He’s like that 50 Shades of Gray pervert — well-dressed, refined, but hiding a dirty secret.
There is definitely some Clothed Male, Naked Male roleplay happening in this match. Brodie Lee wisely wore a black t-shirt, which gives us the sense that his body has some protection from the bites and scratches of the chain. But cute-boy Cody on the other hand goes full Torture Goon, boldly shirtless in his tight black pants.
Cody’s flesh is shockingly exposed to that cold steel. He risks having his chest hairs ripped out or his nipples pinched by those steel links as the chain drags and slaps across his body (and I suspect Cody likes it that way.)
If there is one thing Cody does best, it’s suffer like an 80’s jobber! But I’m sure I’m not the only one viewing this match who wishes he still wore those skimpy and colorful trunks that left so little to the imagination at the beginning of his career…
The two performers pull out all the stops in this grueling and painful kink-fest. They fight inside the ring, outside on the floor, and up on the turnbuckles, with that heavy chain snapping and dragging them the entire time. We see chain-whipping, chain-punching, body-slams onto the chain, and a good deal of strangulation. It’s delightfully brutal.
Somewhere along the line, Brodie Lee is busted open too (I think after he was Pile-Driven through the table) and his face becomes a total Crimson Mask — quite gruesome. But my very favorite moment occurred when Cody ruthlessly wrapped the chain around his opponent’s mouth, eyes, and face, the victim biting on the chain where it has parted his lips.
I definitely appreciated this reference to an epic match I’ve seen and enjoyed many times, further proof that AEW remembers and perhaps wants to resurrect aspects of 1980’s pro wrestling.
I wrote an article called “Chain Wrestling” about the classic Piper-Valentine Dog Collar bout back in July 2011 — just months before I first launched the Halloween Gorefest series — so you see, everything is tying together and linking up quite nicely.
You can watch the final minutes of the Brodie-Cody chain match and the aftermath on the AEW YouTube Channel. You can also subscribe to TNT On Demand to access this match or probably catch it on Hulu or somewhere. One big advantage that 2020 has over 1983: if you miss a hot, violent match, you can always go find it somewhere if you’re willing to pay a small fee.