SA's Strongmen Can't Stop Foreign Invasion

WRESTLING: Matlhodi Malope

SOUTH Africa’s strongmen were thrashed on their home turf in last Saturday’s wrestling championship at the Sun City Superbowl, but the fans had a wonderful time.

American wrestler Steve Austin succeeded in exposing one South African wrestler’s long-hidden identity after beating him in the 11th minute. Tornado II, who has been a wrestler for 16 years, took off his mask for the first time in his career to ask his fans to forgive him for letting them down.

Though Tornado pleaded with them, the quietness of fans in the packed Superbowl told its own story—disappointment was written on almost every face.

But patriotism failed when Matador, a Mexican, taught the South African Pink Panther a lesson. The audience showed their passionate dislike of the Panther by booing him every time he hurled the Mexican to the ground.
In the end they cheered from the bottom of their hearts when the Matador conquered in the 13th minute.

The most comical fight of the night was between the American Night Breeder and Canadian Apache Renegade. The Night Breeder strolled into the ring wearing a smooth fur cape and protected by petite long-legged girls. But he removed his cape to show bulging muscles that could have sent a chicken back to its barn.

Apache was not one to chicken out, however. Riding in on horseback, with ruffled multicoloured feathers for his headgear and shoulders squarely positioned, he entered the ring bearing the pride of all the Apaches. Lifting his hands, he gave out a loud cry, as if calling for the gods. Then he danced to finish the ritual off.

The dancing was repeated when the Apache succeeded in throwing the Night Breeder down on rare occasions. But it was the American who stole the audience’s hearts, and they could not resist shouting “Eddie Murphy beat him!” and “Teach him a lesson Eddie Murphy!” because of his striking resemblance to the movie star (except the muscles). He defeated the Apache in a bloodless war and proved to be a very good student when he celebrated his victory by dancing.

The audience screamed bloody murder when notorious world wrestling champion Giant Warrior took a piece of wood and slowly but surely tortured the South African-based American Lance von Erich in the longest fight of the night.

Von Erich looked helpless for the first 15 minutes when the world champion played with him like a toy. Every time the Warrior raised his fists to the audience with a broad smile, expecting excitement and cheers from the audience, all he got were thumbs down signals and boos.

The Superbowl was turned into a bloody war zone as these two broke the rules and fought outside the ring. Camera crews and spectators fled as the Warrior flung Von Erich into the barrier separating the ring area from the audience.

But Von Erich gained momentum when the audience cheered, regardless of the damage done to his forehead by the Warrior’s piece of wood. Cries of “Kill him, Lance, kill him” could be heard from all angles when Von Erich got his chance and banged The Warrior’s head against a metal pole.

Blood oozed from this tap on the champion’s head. The referee disqualified both wrestlers—but Von Erich and the audience enjoyed sweet revenge as he escorted the Warrior backstage with punches that made the dizzy Goliath stagger.

One old woman leapt out of the audience and hugged and squeezed Von Erich to show her happiness.

The night’s excitement ended with the doubles. Rage and Fury, the American Wrecking Crew, showed our South African pair of Danies how it’s done by first hitting the referee to give the paramedics some work. This pair was not disqualified and went on to destroy Danie Voges and Danie Brits.

Though the local boys disappointed the audience, their foreign favourites made the night worthwhile—except for one dissenter, who was heard to mutter in Tswana: “Wrestling is a dirty game. I won’t be coming back.”

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