I’ve been admiring the classic Hardbody Calvin Knapp in some matches recently available on Youtube. Someone on MySpace is also clearly a fan of the Hardbody, with a pretty loving collection to share. Knapp’s job against Alex Porteau is a thing of beauty. The hardworking bodies in the ring in the 80’s and early 90’s are just qualitatively different than today. Knapp is one solid mountain of man.
The haircuts are themselves a priceless moment in time. The mullet was (God forgive us, “is”) such an intentional train wreck, you have to admire it. It’s an amazing symbol of threatened masculinity, with the potential femininity of long locks “neutralized” by the close cropped (in Porteau’s case, shaved) sides and/or top. In the ring, I don’t think there’s a handier cut than the long locks trailing the back of a mullet.
The commentary on this match is, as always, weakly disguised body worship. The monotone wrestler on the mend lending color comments on a weak-ass cover by Porteau has clearly thought long and hard about the size of Hardbody Calvin Knapp and what it takes to keep him on his back (so have I). “You’ve got to wear that big man down a lot more than that before he’s going to lay those shoulders down, I guarantee you.”
Calvin has a fantastically sincere ferocity when simply squeezing out an arm bar. Frankly, I think he dominates better than he suffers, but clearly I was not calling the career shots for the Hardbody. In any case, I love the solid men with shoulders a mile wide and thighs like tree trunks, with mullets down their backs, and trunks pulled up to their belly buttons, catching some air and making the ring bounce with high impact work. Classic.