I apologize for the recent inaccessibility of the Wrestling Arsenal in the first week of February. I thought I had completed the annual domain name registration but I hadn’t. So I nearly lost ownership of the URL wrestlingarsenal.net! After paying some fees, everything is restored now and we are back in the ring. Enjoy today’s article below and the usual flow of new content every few days…
Years ago, I met a guy on a wrestling personals website who enjoys classic pro wrestling as much as I do — in the same way that I do. We can call him “Buddy.” I used to meet up with Buddy fairly regularly to watch DVDs of our favorite sport together. We have very similar tastes in wrestling, so our watch parties were always a blast. Unfortunately Buddy had to move away several years ago for work.
Recently my old buddy was in town, so I invited him over on a Sunday morning to rassle around a bit on the living room floor and watch videos, which is far more fun than going to church. I must say, my guy sure looked fine in his pro trunks, just like one of the strong, beefy, Dad-Bodied wrestlers I grew up fascinated with in the 1970s!
Buddy and I watched several DVDs from my collection and this old squash match filmed in black-and-white was the final match we viewed — a video of Australian pro wrestling from the 1970s featuring Mario Milano against the evil and devious Tiger Singh. The match is available on YouTube in two parts.
It’s a fairly brutal squash match. The foreign Heel fights dirty — gouging, choking, and hair-pulling poor Mario Milano, clawing into his eyes to blind him and into his shoulder muscles to paralyze him. Buddy and I were both very interested in Milano’s abuse and prolonged suffering. However, in my opinion, it was actually the Heel’s manager, Big Bad John, who stole the show. He is watching his client Tiger Singh from ringside (and cheating every chance he gets!)
Big Bad John has a thick beard and metal helmet and he carries a walking stick, which he uses to beat jobbers with. I guess he’s a cross between a German prison-camp guard and a Hell’s Angel. One of my favorite moments was when Big Bad John unfairly drove his big stick into Milano’s soft belly on the ring apron, see below…
I’m not gonna lie, the more Big Bad John interfered in the match, tripping and punching poor innocent Mario Milano behind the ref’s back, the more I was enjoying this match. I could tell Buddy was really digging all this dirty cheating too — like I said, we have very similar tastes.
Then the sadistic Heels dragged poor punching-bag Milano out of the ring to really punish him out on the floor! My visitor’s enthusiasm seemed to go up another notch and of course so did mine. And then the below scene is what finally did me in…
We see the cheaters confer for a moment, plotting what they’re going to do next to hurt this submissive pussy. Then Tiger Singh jumps out of the ring (much like a tiger), grabs Milano by the hair, and violently smashes his head into Big Bad John’s helmet! Oh man, that did it for me! Milano is knocked silly — how outrageous! It’s really campy cartoon violence, something we might expect from The Three Stooges. But for some reason, it really triggered me. I was done for.
The beating and punishment continued back inside the ring as my visitor kept watching with mounting interest. He clearly has more stamina than me, but he’s older than me as well.
The cheaters now target Milano’s damaged skull. Singh runs him face-first into the turnbuckle. The dazed jobber collapses out to the floor, so Big Bad John then spikes his face into the corner post to concuss him (see below). Why oh why is Big John permitted to do this and nobody stops him!?
They are bashing Milano’s head in, bouncing his skull on every hard object they can find — what cruelty! I comment to Buddy that this situation is very unfair and brutal, but he didn’t look away from the TV and just sort of grunted (or growled?) in response. He seemed very fixated on Milano’s body sprawled out on the arena floor (much like Buddy’s own body was sprawled out on my living room floor.)
Then Singh clamps on his dreaded “Cobra Hold” — which is an Oriental Spike to the throat. Milano sells it beautifully, his heroic face slowly passing out — and that’s what did it for my visitor. The commentator’s spirited and emotional description of this situation probably helped send Buddy right over the edge:
“Straight to the throat, the Cobra Hold! Underneath he’s come with the Cobra Hold! That first and second finger cutting off the air supply to the head of Milano and Milano is going down! The oxygen has been eliminated and he’s going down and going out as the Cobra Hold is dug in! Look at the reaction as he goes down and now Singh has let go.
Nobody can survive the dreaded Cobra Hold — not even my pal Buddy!
And that was the end of our watch party — Buddy packed up and left. I found it amusing that it was this humble Australian studio match filmed over 40 years ago that we enjoyed the most — not a full-color, high-def video from a Pay-per-View extravaganza created using state-of-the-art equipment. And also not an Underground video either, acted, directed, and filmed specifically to serve as pornography. No — it was just an old, low-budget televised studio match, not even in color.
And it was two regular Joes with dad-bods and old-school trunks that we enjoyed so much — not model-quality body-builders with shredded abs and big biceps wrestling in bikinis as one sees so often today. It seems that for me (and for my buddy), it is the wrestling action, the ring psychology, the brutal punishment that is more important and stimulating than the actual production quality.
And Buddy, if you’re reading this, be sure to let me know the next time you’re in town!