Rule of Thumbnail

Back-ZybyzDid you ever see a little thumbnail image for a video on YouTube and that tiny image alone convinced you to watch the video?

That’s what happened to me when I saw this small close-up of a dude caught in a nice tight Sleeper.  I didn’t care who the wrestlers are, I had to watch THAT!

Back-Zybyz2Well after clicking that thumbnail image, the video rolled and I learned that it was from a match between Larry Zybyszko and Bob Backlund in 1980.

Larry was one of the top Dickhead Heels of his day, and Backlund was absolutely the #1 most beloved Baby-Face Champ.  The crowd is red hot for Backlund, screaming in rage when his suffering begins.

Back-Zybyz3Back-Zybyz4At 10:55 into the video, Zybyszko snap-mares his victim to the mat and slaps on the Sleeper Hold that was teased in the little thumbnail.

And I must say, I was not disappointed.  God damn this is a nice one.  Zybyszko grinds away on it, using his whole body for leverage, snatching Backlund side-to-side.

And Backlund sells it like the Champ he is, his face alternating from cringing agony to stupefied exhaustion.

Backlund was a handsome young rascal -- no wonder the fans adored him.

Backlund was a handsome young rascal — no wonder the fans adored him.

Here we see the dominant Heel just grinding away, throttling our poor Bob Backlund, who sags limp and dazed in that relentless embrace.  I love how Larry bounces it.  The camera gets right in Backlund’s sleeping face too, broadcasting his helpless suffering right into our living rooms, or bed rooms, or wherever you hang out when you jerk off to pro wrestling.


Oh no -- our beloved young champ is fading away!

Oh no — our beloved young champ is fading away!

After his limp arm is raised and dropped twice, almost a fatal third time, Backlund fights out.

However, Zybyszko (ever the dirty cheater) yanks him back down by the hair and clamps on a second fucking Sleeper Hold!  Backlund goes limp again and I remember why I loved pro wrestling in the 80’s.

larryzBy the way, I posted this magazine cover in an article called “Sleeper Porn” way back on 3/28/12.  Again we see Zybyszko (spelled differently on this cover) holding a snoozing Backlund in the Sleeper.

But this image is not from the same match I’m blogging about today.  Backlund is wearing blue trunks in today’s match, but wears red gear on the magazine cover.  Also Backlund is looking much sweatier on the magazine, his hair soaked in perspiration.

So we get the impression Zybyszko must’ve sleepered Backlund frequently, like it’s his fetish, and it looked amazing every time.


Back-Zybyz6The referee forces Zybyszko to release the second Sleeper Hold because he had pulled Backlund’s hair.  But that’s OK — Zybyszko simply slaps on a THIRD SLEEPER HOLD and the suffering continues!  Backlund continues to struggle, cringe, and fall asleep, while Zybyszko cranks it on tighter and whispers in Backlund’s ear.  Maybe something like, “If you’re enjoying this as much as I am, I’m staying at the Motel 6.

In total, the Sleepering continues, with two brief interruptions, from 10:55 until 12:25 — a nice 90 seconds of homo-erotic fan service if you’re into Sleepers.  (I just wish the ref would’ve gotten the fuck out of the way a few times when he obstructed the view.  Doesn’t he know we’re trying to get off here?!)

Back-Zybyz7Back-Zybyz8I haven’t blogged much about Larry Zybyszko because his name is hard to spell first of all, and second of all, I’m just not that into him.  He’s built too boxy for my tastes and his trunks were always too thick and full, covering too much skin.   On 1/2/12 and 6/27/12, I did write articles about Zybyszko wrestling in front of his girlfriend, mostly to talk about the sexual vibes when a female watches two nearly naked men go at it in the ring and they both want to “win” her.

In this match, Zybyszko was spectacular as the Heel, pulling out all the good old cheating bullshit.  He even pulls a foreign object out of his trunks to jab his victim with, concealing it in his fist and sliding it in and out of his trunks like a creep.

It hurts much worse with no padding on the turnbuckle.

It hurts much worse with no padding on the turnbuckle.

Earlier in the match, Larry had exited the ring to catch his breath (like cowardly bastards do) with the audience hooting and hollering at him.  While he was out on the ring apron, he loosened the strings on the top turnbuckle pad.

Later we see Backlund’s face driven into that exposed steel — how outrageously cruel and vicious of this cheater!  I love him!Back-Zybyz9Back-Zybyz10Larry’s mastery of ring psychology was evident in this match — he knew we’d love all those Sleeper Holds he blessed us with, and he cheated relentlessly, which is such a fun mind-fuck.  This match made me really appreciate this boxy Heel with the odd last name and want to revisit more of his classic bouts when he was the epitome of the hot-headed, selfish Dickhead — the kind of Heel I always fall in love with.

The creator of this YouTube video must share my appreciation of those long, close-up Sleeper Holds because that was specifically the thumbnail image he selected for the video, which reeled me in hook, line, and sinker.


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3 Responses to Rule of Thumbnail

  1. luvfightporn says:

    You, Sir, have eagle eye.

  2. RayAtL says:

    Great post on the Arsenal!!!

    I can’t count the number of times that a thumbnail image on YouTube made me watch the video… and more times than not the video has been great. Video ” thumbnails ” could be a continuing theme…

    Larry Zybyszko was a heel that always worked for me, I love his thick, hairy body and mean attitude… at first glance, I thought that was Curt Hennig in the thumbnail (since he faced Zybyszko in the AWA) but I’ll take Backlund any day.

  3. Mark says:

    I can remember a match from Madison Square Garden when wrestling was live from there on Monday nights I believe in the late 70s and some big brute had baby Backlund in a bear hug with Bob lifted off his feet and that butt in the air and it was so prolonged and his trunks (sheer black nylon) just disappeared into his crack that it looked like he was wearing a g-string. It was amusing how long it went on, must have been 20 minutes. Oh there was no referee obstruction of that view.