Is the Wrestling Singlet in Trouble?

2012 Team USA Media Summit

The singlet…the modern uniform and arguably the most recognizable aspect of amateur wrestling (folkstyle, freestyle, and greco-roman).  However, the sport may be getting a new look in the coming years, which may not include the iconic one-piece.

Ever since the IOC (International Olympic Committee) announced the removal of wrestling from the 2020 Olympics in February of last year, it sparked a wildfire of wrestlers, fans, and supporters from across the globe.  It also shook up the governing body of FILA ( Fédération Internationale des Luttes Associées or International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles), who replaced their president and started to put forth proposals to help “modernize” the sport as well as make it more appealing to the masses.

Some proposed changes include modifications to the scoring system to award more aggressive wrestlers and prevent long boring matches prevailed by clinching.  A different mat color to appeal better to television viewers, is another proposal.  A few ideas come from MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) including, but not limited to flashy lights, entrance music, and…gasp…no singlets!

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The thought of no singlets in wrestling is not a new idea.  The idea has been floating around for much of the past decade.  Many former wrestlers have vocalized the need to update the uniform for the 21st Century or eliminate it all together.  The reasoning behind the notion is to attract more athletes to the sport.  Many complain the uniform is too revealing, embarrassing, or just plain silly looking.  Now with the recent scare with the IOC it seems there is only more fuel for the fire to do away with the singlet.

Ancient Olympics

As we all know wrestling is one of the oldest sports in the world.  The uniform was far from modest in the beginning. Loin cloths were common but in the Olympic games men wrestled in the nude to prevent woman from participating in the sport.  Since ancient times the clothing of choice for the sport has varied from the nude to undergarments to tights.

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What we know today as modern organized wrestling started wool or cotton trunks for brief time but switched to full length tights with an outside trunk or supporter.  High school and collegiate and international wrestlers wore this standard attire starting in the 1920’s and overall in the 1930’s. Shirtless wrestlers was also a very common aspect of the  uniform.  As time went on some schools went on to adapt a shirt or jersey to the uniform, the classic “shirts vs skins”.  According to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) the ruling about whether wrestlers should wear shirts or skins at a wrestling meet was left to the decision of the hosting school.

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In the 1960’s the singlet started to make an appearance at the Olympics.  However, according the the NCAA the singlet was not allowed at all collegiate and scholastic level competitions, but instead adopted the standard three piece uniform.  In fact, the singlet was not allowed in all competitions until 1970 when it became the standard attire.

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Now the singlet.  The singlet itself has undergone many changes over the years, from short legged to mid thigh length, to the modern FILA, high, low, and more recently super low cuts.  Polyester to lycra the singlet has changed in style almost as many times as fashion in the decades.

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In the past few years the singlet has gained widespread attention in the gay community with singlets becoming part of a erotic fetish market.  People using the singlet to fulfill certain sexual fantasies and making the singlet sexy again.  Though one could argue that the singlet never stopped being sexy.

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Even several companies known for their swimwear have been touting singlets as the next big swim fashion for men, more so in Australia and Europe.

Finally, on a personal note, I myself love singlets.  Many of you who have followed me on Facebook know that I have a slight fetish for wrestling and fight gear.  I like the way singlets look and feel.  I use singlets for multiple things besides wrestling.  I have used them for costumes, biking, running, lounging, weight lifting, and sleeping.  Not too mention that singlets show off the goods, if you know what I mean.  However, I do understand the need for wrestling to adapt and change if it wants to still be considered a relevant sport in today’s schools and global domain of competitive sports.  I myself don’t want the singlets to go away from wrestling, but I also want the sport to survive and flourish for another century, and if that means the uniform has to change then so be it.  I wouldn’t mind seeing the shorts used in REAL PRO WRESTLING to become the new standard. Or hell lets just go back to nude lol.

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And so my fans concludes another blog here at SINGLETS AND STUFF.  Let me know what you think of the possible changes in store for our favorite sport.  What do you think should and should not change?  Would you be sad to see the singlet erased from wrestling? Any older readers wrestlers remember the tights or three piece uniforms?

Fight on my fans!

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Oh Captain, My Captain

Many of you by now have heard the sad news in Hollywood this week.  They say everything comes in 3’s and it this week was no exception with the loss of 4 notable actors.  Ed Nelson (Peyton Place),  J.J. Murphy (Game of Thrones), and silver screen legend Lauren Bacall. However, while those three died from natural causes, it was the actor who lost his life long battle with depression that gave us the boot to the gut.  I speak of course of Robin Williams.

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The news of Robin Williams suicide shocked many of us including myself.  How could the man who made us laugh so much, be unable to go on with his own life?  I won’t spend the time in this blog speculating on William’s depression and what pushed him over the edge.  Instead I want to celebrate his life and career.

“Oh Captain, My Captain” may be RW’s most famous quote from arguably his most recognizable role in the great movie Dead Poet’s Society.  His career spans from the small screen where he broke out in the popular tv show Mork and Mindy to the movie screen and an Academy Award for his role in Good Will Hunting.  He entertained children both young and old in movies like AladdinFern Gulley, JackFlubberHappy Feet, and the Night at the Museum series. He made us laugh with his stand-up, most notably his award winning Live on Broadway special, and guest appearances on Louie and Wilfred.  Williams dabbled in scifi and fantasy with movies like Bicentennial ManThe Final Cut, Hook, and Popeye.   Historical dramas like Jakob the Liar and Lee Daniel’s The Butler showed us a broader range of his abilities. He made us cry with dramas like What Dreams May ComePatch Adams, and Awakenings.  Disturbing and villainous turns in InsomniaOne Hour Photo, and a guest appearance in Law and Order: SVU were memorable enough for nightmares.  Of course there are so much more to celebrate, Good Morning Vietnam anyone?

It’s safe to say that even if a movie wasn’t great, Robin Williams brought life to whatever role he played and played it to the best of his ability.  He was even a contender to play the Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman!  In fact, he had the role until Jack Nicholson said that he would do it.  Imagine Robin Williams as the Joker!

Williams was not stranger to wrestling either!  Some of you may remember his role as a wrestler in The World According to Garp. However, most of you may not know that he was also a wrestler during his high school career as well.

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On a final note I do want to address is depression and suicide.  There are certain personalities in the news lately who have been quick to call Robin Williams and his suicide “cowardly” or that “liberalism was to blame”.  To that I want to say this.  Depression and suicide has no political allegiance, it isn’t even a political matter, its a HUMAN matter.  To use his death as part of a political agenda is downright despicable and lower than low.  As for cowardly, this person clearly skipped out on his psychology classes in school.  Maybe he has never even known someone with depression.  I myself have battled bouts of depression in college and even earlier in my youth.  My good classmate and friend in high school took his own life after battling depression.  Depression is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly and its not something that can always be cured via a magic pill.  It sucks, no matter what the reasoning behind it.  The sooner everyone can learn and accept that depression can cause serious pain to the inflicted, the sooner we can work together to help one another.

If you know anyone or you yourself are battling depression and considering suicide please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 1-800-273-8255.

Thank you Robin Williams for making us laugh, cry, and escape our own troubles in life.  I only wish we could have helped you more. RIP my captain and may your heaven be whatever your imagination brings you.

 

Pro Wrestlers in Movies

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As I was scrounging the internet today I came across this article from Entertainment Weekly.  With the huge critical and financial success of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the pop culture mag has released a list of what they consider to be the best and the worst performances by pro wrestlers in movies.

FYI Dave Bautista is truly great in the role of Drax The Destroyer in GOTG.  The movie is definitely worth the price of admission and in 3-D too!

Some of you may not realize this, but pro wrestlers are cast in movie roles quite frequently.  Most of the time they are cast into roles that are caricatures of what they already play in the ring.  Other times they are the “muscle” in the movie with very few if any lines of dialog.  The movies are a very different beast compared to the live audience and the squared circle.  So naturally the outcomes of these performances vary from movie to movie.

Check out the link below.  Do you agree with the list? Are there any other performances or movies you would recommend to see or skip?

 

http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20483133_20837446,00.html#30191123

JOTD (Jam(s) of the Day) – “Happy” & “Tacky”

Rather than write out “Jam of the Day” in the title of each related blog, I will from here on out simply refer to it at “JOTD”.  For today’s JOTD I thought I would give you two for the price of one…you lucky people.  For TGIF (Thank Goodness Its Friday!) I thought it only appropriate that I showcase Pharrell William’s smash hit “Happy” along with Weird Al Yankovich’s parody “Tacky”.

 

And here is Weird Al’s paradoy “Tacky” featuring (in order of appearance) Weird Al Yankovic, Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal, and Jack Black.

 

TBT – My First Time at Rock Hard Wrestling

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Not too long after UCW was successfully up and running back in 2009, I began to get so much unexpected fanmail.  Keep in mind I had never before 2009 been told that I had looks and skill that could make me a popular figure in the world of internet wrestling or modeling for that matter.  As such, I decided to start a fan page on MySpace (it was still relevant in 2009).  A few months later around winter I got a message from gentleman who said he was starting a new wrestling company and was interested in using me on the site.

2 job offers in one year? UNHEARD OF! So I did my usual questions and research and he finally sent me a few videos of their first tapping. I watched and gave my critiques of what I liked and didn’t like.  Many of you may remember the first videos were shot in a boxing ring in the middle of a 24 hour gym so there was a lot of background distraction.  Thankfully they found a private ring to use by the time I got down there.

After some time to think and plan, I decided to accept their offer and fly down to Florida for the next filming.  I remember making the 3 hour drive down to Milwaukee and staying the night at Bodyslam’s place.  Then going to the airport for a morning departure.  After saying my goodbye’s to Bodyslam I walked down the terminal and it hit me.  The sweating, the shaking, I swear I almost had a panic attack. Moreso than the first time I joined UCW.  With UCW I had my car and the luxury of driving back if I ever wanted to opt out of the wrestling.  Here I was going to be flying by myself for the first time. Staying in a state and city that I had never been too.  Not to mention, at the mercy of a guy I had only conversed with over the internet and phone doing wrestling in a ring against guys WAAAYYY bigger than me!  WTF was I thinking?

Thankfully my worries were put to rest once I landed and met the owner, and checked into my AWESOME hotel room.  Later that night I was able to check out the ring and get a few lessons from the owner on how to do some of the basics, like running the ropes.  Up to that point I had never stepped foot in an actual wrestling ring.  I had only wrestled in the basement of my friend James “The Never Give-up Kid” on a wrestling platform that was hand constructed.

The next day I was taken to the ring with the other wrestlers where we were given our gear and the match list for the day. To my surprise I was first on the list against another wrestler I had known from his days as a model and on NRW…Zack Jonathan.

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Seeing Zack in person was intimidating to say the least.  After seeing the list of match-ups for the next few days I knew that I was going to have to face every single guy there at least once.  Just my luck they would give me their top guy as my first opponent.  It was almost a “welcome to RHW bitch” moment.

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However as many of you already know I certainly wasn’t the bitch in that match. (Side note, this match was released 2nd but in reality it was my first.  The videos don’t always come out in the order they were shot sometimes for various reasons).

My next match was against the Czech wrestler Tyler Reeves.

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This match is definitely where I came into my own as a heel.  Many of you wonder why go by so many different names.  Well like many other pro wrestlers we take on different names to separate ourselves from other companies or to highlight a new persona.  The owner here wanted me to drop the face attitude and tap into the inner street punk to take down these big boys. And that’s exactly what I did.

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Throughout my time there in that first filming, I went on to also face both of the Nelson brothers and with/against Brody Hancock. All of the matches were a learning experience whether I had won or loss.  Its obvious that I enjoyed myself during that time because I keep coming back for more.  Its hard to find big guys to wrestle at UCW, so its always a challenge for me whenever I go to RHW because so many of the guys are the jacked up muscle heads I see in the gym, the ones that get on my nerves, or they remind me of the ones that picked on me in high school.

Another side note, I will be visiting Wisconsin in 2 months for my high school class reunion. I can firmly say that most of those people who picked on me in school for being scrawny are no where near as in shape as they were in high school.  So I like to think I played the long game and won compared to them. Lets see if they want to try and pick on me now. ;)

Back to the story. Upon my return I could not stop talking about my experience with RHW.  It was a learning experience and it opened me up to a new side of me that I had largely ignored for most of my life.  So rather than try to bury it and let it fester, I decided to embrace it.  Hell, call it therapy. RHW is my anger management program. lol

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UCW #355-#360

Now let us get up to speed with part two of my UCW recap…

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#355: Eli & Hunter vs Johnny & Michael (Tag Team) – I haven’t reffed many matches in the past, so I do apologize if I get in the way of the camera sometimes…SORRY BODYSLAM!  This match in particular was one giant clusterfuck of a match-up.  So much so that I had to pick my jaw up off the ground at the sheer brutality that went into this match. Literally no love lost between these opponents. Vets with rookie partners(if you consider Johnny a rookie compared to Hannigan), and me in black tights. ;) It may be a while before we see Johnny or Hunter again so be sure to pick this one up to satisfy your cravings.

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#356 Jax vs Quinn Harper – Man, newbie Jax just gets thrown right to the wolf himself Quinn Harper and all of his dirty tricks.  It had to happen sooner or later, sooner in this case.  However, I do believe that if you can survive him it only makes you a stronger wrestler.  It also teaches you to tighten those glutes whenever he starts to wet a finger.  Another fine example of why Jax deserves to be in the UCW.  Just like me he can take a beating and dish out one when the opportunity arises.  I can’t wait for the rematch.  As I had mentioned in the previous post Jax is becoming ripped on his new job.  We shall see how the mighty Quinn can handle a rebooted Jax in their next outing.

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#357: Ice Burg vs Hiro – The match starts out with these two guys challenging each other to some boxing…a first for UCW.  Me being a boxing fan I was genuinely interested to see how this would turn out.  Unfortunately this is not Underground Championship Boxing so naturally it doesn’t take long for the gloves and the trunks to come off.  The wrestling takes over, which is not a bad thing, we get to see Hiro with a more defined body, accented by a thong!  I though I was the only one that looked good in one, well Johnny too, but damn Hiro has an ass that rivals mine.  Ice Burg is his usual loud mouth self, and still as brutal as ever.  Though he could take a few exercise and dieting tips from Hiro.

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Match #358: Quinn & Jax vs Eli & Oliver – The promising tag team of Eli and Quinn seems to have fallen as fast as it rose.  The two are at odds over who gets to wear the patented purple that they so very much adore.  Each seems to think that they own the color and apply it to their new tag partners.  The new tag partners are surprising to say the least though I can’t see them lasting beyond this one match.  Ice Burg steps in as the ref and does a mediocre job at best at his job, seriously we need to find a full time ref.  As is with most of our tag matches its total discord.  Who will come out on top between these two feuding heels?  The ending may surprise you.

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Match #359: Oliver Wood vs Nick Diesel – Resident bondage expert Nick Diesel returns to tie up bandanna wearing, crotch stuffing, bad boy Oliver Wood.  The key to beating Nick is to not get trapped in the ropes that he always brings to the match.  Even better if you can get to the mat room before he starts setting up.   I can never really tell what side Nick is on.  Is he a bad boy heel, or one of the good guys like me, or is he there just for the pleasure of tieing up other guys?  I may never know.  For as much as I hate rope, I am always curious as to what new ideas this guy comes up with.  It also is good study material for me should I ever have to take him on again.

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Match #360: Marcus Ares vs Axel – Its become tradition around here for newcomers to face me in their first official UCW match.  Rightfully so since Bodyslam can trust me not to paralyze or kill any of these guys.  Its only fitting here because I have been training newbie Marcus Ares, by far one of the biggest guys UCW has ever seen.  I think he would have given Corporal Punishment a damn good run for his money.  Marcus already has the belt in sight and so do I.  I plan on getting back that belt, and after this match I can see that Marcus is definitely a legitimate threat to that goal.  Get ready for one hot, literally, sweat soaked match (It was 93 degrees in the room)!

There we are.  Up to date with all the latest matches at the UCW mat. Now head on over to the website and download any that you might have missed!

http://www.ucw-wrestling.com/index.html

 

T-Minus 1 Month and Counting…

Attention all my fellow Whovians.  In case you have been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, the first full length trailer, for the new season (series) of Doctor Who, was released and with it the date.  Ausgust 23rd will be the first story of season (series) 8 featuring Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.  If the trailer is any indication it looks like we are in for a dark ride.

So polish off those sonic scredrivers, wash you DW apparel, and start sending out your viewing party invitations, because we are one month away from a new season (series)!

For those of you that are new to the show…don’t fret!  You have one month to watch 113 episodes (plenty of time).  All, except the last two episodes, are available to stream on Hulu Plus and Netflix.  And all episodes are available on iTunes, Amazon, and most other media outlets.

Any guesses what the Doctor’s new catch-phrase will be? Fantastic, Allonsy, Geronimo,…

Ethan Axel Andrews blogs about himself as well as the world of modelling, wrestling, combat sports, current events, news, and pop culture.

Ethan Axel Andrews blogs about himself as well as the world of modelling, wrestling, combat sports, current events, news, and pop culture.

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Ethan Axel Andrews blogs about himself as well as the world of modelling, wrestling, combat sports, current events, news, and pop culture.

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Ethan Axel Andrews blogs about himself as well as the world of modelling, wrestling, combat sports, current events, news, and pop culture.

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