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Shooter vs. The Champ, part II

Okay, sure! Let's dig into Malenko vs. Guerrero, minute two.





The bell rings. The wrestlers circle each other before locking up in a classic collar and elbow tie-up. This move is the most basic of basic, common conventional holds to begin a pro wrestling match. It serves as a preview, a microcosm the whole match to follow; the lock-up may look like an intense competitive struggle, but the sole purpose is to illustrate the dynamic between the two wrestlers.


Malenko powers Guerrero into the corner. The referee warns the fighters to get back into the center. Malenko breaks the hold, creating the opening Guerrero needs to do a single leg takedown. As Guerrero transitions to a leg lock, Malenko not once, but twice shoves the sole of his boot into Guerrero's face. Malenko cruelly kicks him in the jaw. Nothing fancy, plenty effective. They separate, stand and circle each other.


Malenko snatches Guerrero's wrist, twisting his elbow and shoulder. How does our hero stuck in a similar predicament escape the hold? Somersault, spin, flip! Dazzling, acrobatic and lightning quick. Back to his feet, Guerrero gains wrist control with a spin, hooks Malenko's arm, flips him to the mat and applies an arm bar submission hold.


In sixty seconds, both wrestlers have established the basics of their respective wrestling styles and how they clash. It's a dance where one has the upper hand, allowing the other the opportunity to fight out and deal comeuppance. They separate, then switch roles. Lock up, upper hand, escape and comeuppance.


How they choose to display their fighting style remains consistent with their character. This is all in service of building an interactive relationship with the audience. This Heel fights plain, simple and mean. This Face is flashy, gymnastic and charismatic. The audience reacts negatively to the flashy good guy getting kicked in the face. They react favorably to the mean bad guy getting slammed on his back.

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