WRESTLING: Mapula Sibanda
THE evening started with screams of disgust at local boy “Hammer”, swaggering round the ring in neon-flowered lycra tights, throwing his spit in the air and swallowing it back again.
But it was all part of the entertainment at the international wrestlemania-type tournament at Turffontein’s Wembley Indoor Arena last Friday.
The five-bout event — each fight was granted 30 minutes — was the first to attract five internationals to South Africa, four of the 10 on the bill being former world champions.
The half-empty arena shouted “Vark!” at Hammer and urged his opponent “The Blade Runner” to demolish him. At first, it seemed the crowds’ wish would not be granted as Hammer bashed him a couple of times with the chairs outside the ring. He flung a woman spectator’s handbag at his opponent’s chest, spilling mascara, tissues and hairspray as it connected.
But his other tactic, of throwing white powder on Blade Runner’s face, backfired when Hammer ended as a white-faced loser in the 22nd minute.
An entertaining fight between Dirty Angel and Nigeria’s Black Bullit followed, as the audience joined the fun with deafening screams.
Accompanied by loud gothic music, and his face painted Indian warrior style, Angel looked like he was straight from hell. Although the bout was fought under a “no disqualification condition”, Angel’s dirty tricks saw him being carried out of the ring after handcuffing the Nigerian to the ropes and beating him senseless.
Referee Dean McGregor gave the fight to Bullit, who after being released from the cuffs, jumped onto Angel outside the ring until they were both restrained.
The third fight between Germany’s Dave Morgan and India’s Gama Singh was a smooth 20-minute affair. Morgan — who promised to put a beturbaned Singh in a coffin before the fight — got no mercy as Singh’s blows and kicks rained down on him.
And then the blood started to ooze: America’s “Giant Warrior” hammered Danie Voges’ head with a nail in the fourth fight. It was a David vs Goliath fight reincarnate, as the nearly 2,5m giant towered over Voges. The two wrestlers were tied together with a cord, Indian Strap- style, and one of them had to touch the four poles to win. Voges won after knocking the Warrior’s head into a pole and running for the posts.
The main bout was disappointing as the spectators pleaded with Danie Brits to fight back while the muscular American “Warlord” clobbered him. Wearing black scants with silver lightning designs, the biceps-bound Warlord flung the tired Brits at the referee. Warlord could not believe it when the crowd cheered as the referee disqualified him, and gave the fight to Brits, sporting Springbok-coloured green scants and yellow arm ribbons.
Then the families, with their kids mock wrestling all the way, packed themselves into their cars and drove home.