... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Monday, August 29, 2011

384: How I discovered King Kong Kirk

Our FreeSat box only works sporadically. I don't know if the problem is with the dish, the hugely extended cable stretching all around the flat and back again, or the cheapo box inherited from the flat's previous tennants. Once we found the box (in the airing cupboard) cleaned the sticky gunk off and plugged it in, it worked fine for the first few weeks but now drops out inexplicably for hours or days at a time. FreeSat is probably not as good as FreeView – there is a different set of channels available, and at the moment I am slightly swayed toward FreeView having the better selection. FreeSat does have the excellent news channel Al Jazeera in its favour, and today I discovered a big tick in its box.

Men & Movies, which I had never noticed before, today drew my attention by showing three consecutive episodes of World of Sport Wrestling. Classic British wrestling from the 1970s with an audience largely comprised of elderly gentlemen in brown suits and elderly ladies in flower dresses clutching handbags to their chests. I had genuinely forgotten how good this was. I was too enthralled and excited to take notes and as a result cannot remember the names of some of the wrestlers, most of whom were new to me. The first match I saw was an excellent one-on-one between two grapplers who new how to seamlessly string together a huge variety of holds and locks. The second match was the polar opposite – like bad tailoring all the seams were visible. The pace was sluggish, and many of the reversals were flubbed. The commentator even admitted that everyone was just waiting for the next match.

Worth the wait was a tag team battle of Mick McMannus and Steve Logan against The name-forgotten. Mick and Steve are well known tough guys; weird too-black oily hair, and a sort of ol' fashioned London-psycho look about them. The other two guys started wearing poncho things which they stripped of to reveal light blue panties. Mick and Steve battered them, whilst controlling masterfully the crowd reactions with their well-established heel personae.

I watched all three episodes – it was a lazy sunday afternoon, what was I supposed to do? - and to be honest a lot of it has blurred into one forgettable fudge of flabby pale blokes twisting arms and stamping on each other. One thing stood out above all others. I have a new favourite wrestler: Malcolm Kirk, aka King Kong Kirk. This guy is fantastic. He is one of the ugliest, most brutal looking wrestlers I have ever seen. He makes Vader look like Trish Stratus. His ears were swollen with cauliflower scarring, the back of his neck had a beer belly, his eyes were tiny, his teeth rat-like, and his snarl was terrifying.

He battered and tortured his lesser opponent around the ring with such ferocity that he was inevitably disqualified. Furious fans rose to their feet and surrounded the ring, beating their fists on the apron, flicking the Vs and screaming for blood. The quality of King Kong Kirk's heel sell was among the best I have ever seen, and I felt that surge of pure childish adrenaline one experiences when seeing perfection in the art and sport of professional wrestling. I, along with the audience present, yearned to see Big Daddy run in and square up to Kirk. Unfortunately this was not to be, but I understand they fueded long and hard. Tragically Kirk died in 1987 due to heart problems immediately after being hit with Big Daddy's big splash. Big Daddy was not at fault, and Malcolm Kirk died doing what he loved. A terrible cliche.

King Kong Kirk is exactly my type of wrestler - talented, hard-working, and monstrous.  Although the name is new to me, he instantly falls alongside my favourites, Abdullah the Butcher, Big Van Vader, Cactus Jack, Chris Benoit (despite the terrible sordid end to his life he was among the greatest wrestlers I ever saw), Sabu, Terry Funk, Stan Hansen....  God, I love wrestling - thank you YouTube.  Oh, and thanks to Men & Movies for introducing me to King Kong Kirk.

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