Based on my viewing history, YouTube recently recommended an upload called “Great American Pro Wrestling Instructional Video.” The thumbnail for the video depicts Sam Houston in a grappling pose amid vibrant red and blue text and graphics.
I always enjoyed watching Houston in action with his long legs jutting up from his big tall cowboy boots up to his speedo-cut trunks, so I decided to check it out. I must say, YouTube really gets me!
The video was produced by Slammers Wrestling Federation, a California promotion which sold VHS tapes of their young wrestling studs by mail order in the early 1990s — before you could access stuff like this online (before there even was an online.)
I blogged about Slammers: The Original Underground Wrestling Fed back in 2017, explaining what it was and how I found out about it. One thing I still can’t explain is how much the producers (and wrestlers) were aware of the homo-erotic appeal of their products. Did they realize that many buyers were ordering their videos, depicting young men rolling around in underwear, to use as pornography? Today’s featured video still has me scratching my head, wondering what Slammers intended when they made and sold these tapes.
Setting aside the queer sub-text for now, the premise of the video is for this experienced grappler, Sam Houston (who began his career in 1983), to instruct us on how to apply various holds while using pretty-boy rookie Bill Pearl as his wrestling dummy. Houston demonstrates over a dozen classic holds (Headlock, Full Nelson, Chicken Wing, Bearhug, Figure 4, Indian Deathlock, Airplane Spin) while explaining exactly where to hook your arms and legs and how to exert pressure to increase the pain.
Houston is a very professional and earnest teacher. He does a great job explaining exactly how to apply each hold then transitioning quickly to the next one. If you want to better understand some of the classic moves, perhaps to apply them on your buddy the next time you guys hook up for a hotel match, this video will help. There are no breaks in the film — it’s a single take — so Houston begins to glisten with perspiration and get out of breath because he’s trying to talk and lock on holds at the same time. He is sincerely trying to provide us with a quality educational video.
The video also treats pro wrestling as a legit competitive sport. Houston reminds me of a Senior Varsity wrestler eagerly teaching a Freshman on the team some of his techniques. Houston never mentions that it’s typical in pro wrestling for the “victim” of these holds to play along and allow himself to be tangled up. By not talking about jobbing, by ignoring the subject, is this video truly educating the viewer on how to do pro wrestling?
Houston is also very gentle with Bill Pearl, explaining on several occasions that he would pour on the pressure and hurt the kid if this were an actual match. Thus he maintains Kayfabe, implying that pro wrestling is real and he is only being gentle here for educational purposes. Again, this doesn’t seem to be teaching the viewer about how pro wrestling really works, so this video must be intended for some other, perhaps prurient, purpose.
Bill Pearl essentially plays a docile jobber, allowing Houston to lock him in whatever holds he wishes. He sells many of the moves, cringing and gasping and remarking about how much it hurts. Usually a jobber is a bit more competitive, trying once in a while to take control, but I’ve seen some matches (especially from wrestle-porn producers) where the jobber is every bit as compliant and obedient as Bill Pearl in this video…
So let’s get back to the homo-erotic sub-text that permeates this video, making me wonder if this was meant to be a turn-on more than a learn-on. I had better use bullet-points or this will be a very long article, because there is a lot going on here:
- The attractive young men are dressed in pro gear, including tight trunks. Wouldn’t you just wear t-shirts and sweat pants to film an instructional video?
- Pearl is locked in each hold for an extended period as Houston lectures at length. This presents the young man’s body and trunks for the viewer’s salacious inspection while also fetishizing the hold by prolonging it and analyzing it.
- The lesson covers many of the most intimate and gay-appealing holds that involve plenty of body contact and suggestive positions.
- Speaking of contact, Houston often rests a hand possessively on Pearl’s shoulder or the top of his head between holds as he’s making a point — casually, like lovers do.
- Houston bosses Pearl around, ordering him into various positions on the floor — and Pearl readily obeys. (I’ve seen THAT happen in plenty of porno videos…)
- Houston’s narratives include colorful trigger words and graphic descriptions of pain and punishment, which is like dirty talk to many wrestling lovers
The sexiest scene for me was probably the Headscissor Training Module which begins at 1:05 into the 90-minute video. The camera zooms in on Houston’s tall cowboy boots several times to show us exactly where to place our legs…
So I still can’t figure out if the video was intended as gay porn or if it just comes off that way. It’s a common fantasy to have an eager and comely pupil like Bill Pearl willingly submitting to your every hold — something I sure fantasized about! I can’t figure out if Houston and Pearl are aware that many viewers will be masturbating to them or if they believe thousands of guys bought their tape to brush up on our ring skills.
How ever they intended this video when it was produced, it sure came off pornie to me (and so did a lot of other Slammers videos.) Check it out on YouTube and let me know if you are finding yourself hot for teacher (and/or pupil). I apologize to Slammers if I’ve misused their product outside of its intended purpose.