GWAR and Gorilla Press Slams

This is the Holy Grail of moves for frail children.

This is the Holy Grail of moves for frail children.

I remember my first Gorilla Press Slam.

For those of you who didn’t grow up on wrestling, a Gorilla Press Slam involves lifting an opponent straight over your head with full arm extension and then just kind of dropping them. It was one of the signature moves of the Ultimate Warrior. Take a look:

If you didn’t grow up on wrestling, you might not know that 100% of kids who have watched wrestling have attempted a wrestling move. Hell, back in my day, they used to sell Wrestling Buddies for you to practice on. Granted, their stubby legs were tough to get into a proper figure four leglock, but they handled elbow drops pretty well and took great bumps (that just means they hit the mat—or in this case, the mattress—properly, not that they became sentient and started doing cocaine).

My frail frame could easily hit my Big Boss Man Wrestling Buddy with a Gorilla Press Slam, but that’s because those things only weighed like a pound. Being that I didn’t weigh much more than that, I had no chance of dropping an actual person.

That changed one October night in 2009. I was at the Worcester Palladium—possibly New England’s warmest concert venue—and against my better judgment, I went to the floor when GWAR came out. Or at least I was in the vicinity of where the floor should be, as my feet didn’t hit the ground until sometime after the end of the second song. The crowd was one giant mass, covered in blood and bile. Probably not the healthiest environment I’ve ever been in and certainly a violation of my “No Touching” rule, but a good time nonetheless.

Crowd surfers were out in full force as well, requiring one to stay vigilant lest they want some ridiculously ornate black boot upside the head. As annoying as it was, the crowd was mostly accommodating to this. I didn’t want to hurt anyone or—let’s be honest here—get myself hurt, so I helped out whenever someone was over my head.

Or I tried to at least. The crowd never really stopped surging, all vying for a spot in the line of fire of whatever fluid was being shot off of the stage, so it was tough to stay in one place for long, the population density of any given area never stable for more than a few measures.

And thus it was that some poor girl got dropped to the concrete during “Sick of You”, as the support of the crowd below her fell away in an unspoken, unacknowledged game of “Not it!.” While I can’t guarantee it was completely my fault that she fell, she dropped quickly after my arms gave way, so that’s how I choose to remember it. She got up soon after and went right back to crowd surfing. It obviously wasn’t the debilitating Gorilla Press Slam the Ultimate Warrior used to give.

Here's a picture of me immediately after the show, taken before cellphones were good at taking pictures.

Here’s a picture of me immediately after the show, taken before cellphones were good at taking pictures.

I ended that night sore, bruised and covered in fake blood and bile, which gave my mucus a bizarre purple tint for about three hours and for that I say:

Thanks Dave.




3 thoughts on “GWAR and Gorilla Press Slams

Leave a Reply