|Bodyslam breaks down this gorilla press to perfection!|
"Wow, dude!" Austin chuckles. "Guy's got a little mouth on him." Indeed, as Joe points out, this 3-fall match is a gorgeous and athletic rendition of the classic big-vs-little pro wrestling battle that's been told for generations. While the path has been well-worn, Austin and Eli walk it very, very entertainingly. Austin suggests opening with a game of mercy (aka, "test of strength"). Eli's ego is about 4 time bigger than his ripped to shreds body, so he of course (possibly foolishly) agrees. They lace their fingers together and flex their wrists. Eli pours out everything he's got, straining and huffing and puffing. Austin rolls his eyes and then looks at the camera, demonstrating that he isn't about to break a sweat. "Don't mock me!" Eli snarls through gritted teeth, his pride already injured a couple of minutes into the action.
|Austin hangs Eli from the ropes like laundry on the line|
|The agony and the ecstasy - The most gorgeous wrestling pic ever?|
|Crucified and just so much workout accessory|
The RHW camera work is, as always, incredible. The high definition close up of Eli's sweat-soaked face contorted in agony as he writhes on the mat with Austin circling like a lion toying with his lunch is nothing short of exquisite. Austin plays the possibly psychopathic split-personality heel to perfection, leaving you never quite sure if he's certifiable, or if he could really and truly possess a viscously sadistic sarcasm that dry. And although this doesn't quite turn out the way "the Shutdown" probably intended, I'm not about to doubt for even a second that Eli's soaking up his lessons in the school of hard knocks, conceding the battle in order to win the war and accomplish his explicit goal: to take over the underground wrestling world. It's Austin Cooper and Austin Cooper winning the match. But this is Eli Black's Month.
*My thanks to Rock Hard Wrestling for sending me some unpublished stills from this match to post here. All shots from RHW are used with permission, and as gorgeous as they are (that shot of Austin's crotch ripping in half with Eli looking on like an evil genius might be my fav homoerotic wrestling pic ever), they're just at taste of how hot the action-in-motion is in this match!