In the mid to late '90s, professional wrestling's popularity was skyrocketing with a battle between two huge companies on Monday night television.
In order to win the ratings battle, among many tactics, both companies tried to up the ante of gratuitous violence. The use of chairs begat the use of barbed-wire baseball bats, which begat the use of fire, which begat the use of....
You get the point.
Eventually, the ante was escalated so high that the audience became desensitized to the violence, and what at one time caused a huge reaction became white noise in the middle of an innocuous segment. In short, performers were hurting themselves in career-limiting fashion for very little viewership payoff.
I hope that suburban swimming pool dunks aren't headed down that same road.
Over the past year, I've broken down several dunks where there's some element of danger (and I am totally hyperbolically using that word; the "danger" in pool dunks is as suburban and white as it gets -- stray knee to the head, clunking of a skull on the bottom of the pool, slipping and falling on the wet patio pavement). But nothing that is potentially hospitalizing or grotesque.
As Beavis and Butt-Head would say, "FIRE!....FIRE!!!"
Yes, we now have swimming pool dunks with FIRE. And not just some tiki torches or Yankee Candle air fresheners. I'm talking legit circus-style acrobat hoops covered in lighter fluid and flames. I would say, "Kids, don't try this at home," except these are kids, and they're presumably doing this at one of their homes.
Let's take a look....
And now, we Zapruder....
0:01 -- Okay, initial shot and we notice three pool dunk Zapruder firsts: 1) a dude who is coming in from an elevated position, 2) a dude with a magic marker tattoo-style message across his back ("#JamBroz") and 3) FIRE! Lots of FIRE!
0:02 -- #JamBroz fake tatt guy turns to the camera and gives a quick "hang loose" sign. Backwards lid and horn-rimmed glasses, he is clearly the trigger man and is getting this shindig started.
0:03 -- One side note -- I love the Christmas lights strewn across the top of the fence. If I were elected president, I would make Christmas lights a year-round, mandatory requirement in all downtown areas, bars, taverns, backyard pools, strip clubs and office cubicles. They just improve the mood. Pizza, bacon, midgets, Christmas lights. These four things always liven up every social situation.
0:04 -- First toss is to a jumping "dude in elevated position." You can't underestimate the amount of stamina this position requires as with every failed attempt, this poor sap had to climb back up on top of that structure he's on.
0:04.7 -- Sky King catches and flips to a dude who goes running down an aisle of fire. If WWE behemoth Kane were a pool dunker, this is how he would be guided toward the ring.
0:05 -- Kane flips to one dude who then flips back toward the fire aisle to a dude in a Speedo, who they should make put out the fire using his bare legs each time they miss, because Speedo.
0:06 -- Speedo Guy flips to the next guy, a whole lot of pool dunk weave being played here. (Pool dunk weave is when the dunk turns into a bunch of casual, meticulously timed flip passes where the hard part is avoiding the clobbering of your pool dunk teammates when you land in the pool.)
0:07 -- Flip, splash....flip, spalsh...flip....wait....
0:08 -- ....this is kind of an important flip here, you know...what with this kid bouncing off a mini trampoline through a ring of FIRE and all....
0:10 -- BOOM, finish. (And a minor miracle the dunker doesn't go flying into the wall. This dunk has a crazy high "stupid injury" factor, easily the dunk we've seen that's most likely to wind up on an episode of Jackass.)
0:11 -- Successful dunk and the trigger man gives us a Rob Van Dam "point at the shoulder blades" pose so we can all see "#JamBroz." Because it's all about your Klout score, kids.
And you're just not doing pool dunking properly if you don't give instant replay from multiple angles, like....
0:13 -- RIM CAM!!
0:17 -- DUNKER GO PRO CAM!!!
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Looking forward to the next pool dunk where some kid jumps through a barbed-wire hoop while getting thumbtacks sprayed in his face. Maybe throw three or four alligators in the pool for good measure.
Got to up the ante!
(h/t The Big Lead)