It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Yes, it’s Voices of Wrestling Secret Santa time again, everyone. The brainchild of JR Goldberg (@wrestlingbubble), VOW Secret Santa sees all participating website contributors give their fellow contributors, the greatest gift of all: wrestling matches!

VOW Secret Santa Archives:

Antonio Inoki vs. The Destroyer
May 19, 1971

Reviewed by Kelly Harrass (@comicgeekelly)

Gifted by Steve Case (@coachcase44)

I don’t like to be mean. Well, that’s not entirely true I guess. Being mean is fun sometimes. I enjoy being mean to strangers on the internet if we have different opinions on something. How dare you not like the same movie/wrestling/book/media as me! But here’s the thing, I don’t like to be mean to people I know. Especially on the holidays. Here we go. 

I thought this match was horrible and I feel horrible saying that. Someone from the VOW family thought that I would enjoy this match enough to send it to me as my Secret Santa gift and I’m about to shit all over it. Hopefully, they sent me this because they thought I would hate it and that would be funny. Honestly, I would be fine with that. 

This match really had nothing that I enjoy about wrestling in it. Initially, I was excited because Inoki and Destroyer brought an intensity that made this feel like a fight… then the grappling started. From there the match moved at a leisurely pace. The wrestlers exchanged holds in such a cooperative fashion that I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief. The crowd was laughing about stuff more often than they were cheering, so maybe it a comedy match that that was lost on me. 

Destroyer and Inoki rolled around the ring a whole bunch. They rolled and rolled and rolled. They rolled so much that they rolled out of the ring when they were tied up in a Figure Four and got ouchies on their feet. They were on the ground for a long time while everyone looked at them. Then they got in the ring and sold for a while. Destroyer took off his boot for all the foot perverts. Finally, they squared off to start the match again, but seemingly decided that they were too hurt to continue. The referee called the match off and declared it a double count-out at the 21-minute mark. 

What are we even doing here?!

I kept waiting for this to kick into gear and show why I was watching it, but that never happened. They rolled around, they sat around, Destroyer told some jokes, and it was over without any sort of satisfying conclusion. I feel bad saying that I hated my gift, but whoa baby did I hate my gift. It reminded me of the time as a child that I buttered my bread before I was going to put it in the toaster. Then to try to rectify my mistake, I put the bread in the microwave. My snack was kind of warm, mostly floppy, and not at all what I actually wanted. Ah well, not every gift can be a winner. Into the closet it goes for my next round of white elephant.