"Brutal" Bob Evans has survived seven consecutive days of hell in the form of Iron Week. The consensus? Brutal Bob is a bad man.
Year-end awards season is drawing near. Unfortunately, the most impressive accomplishment in professional wrestling may also become the most overlooked. This would be sadly befitting of Iron Week's chief subject, who was twice unable to forge a meaningful career in WWE.
At 40 years of age, Evans and his doughy physique aren't exactly the model of toughness. In fact, at first glance it becomes clear that he is not a model of any type.
But on Dec. 1, "Brutal" Bob Evans earned his namesake by competing in a series of seven Iron Man matches over the past seven days.
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Ring of Honor is a staunch supporter of Iron Week. ROH wrestling school was the site of multiple Iron Week matches. ROH has carved out a niche over the years as the last pure wrestling promotion on a national stage. Nothing says pure wrestling like the vaunted 60-minute Iron Man match. In this rare match type, the winner is the person who scores the most pinfalls in the allotted time period.
Iron Week added Multiple bells and whistles were added to amplify the storytelling and drama, including a 10-minute "sprint" period with no rest between pinfalls.
And drama they got. Each wrestler scored double-digit pinfalls in every match except Friday's penultimate showdown between Brutal Bob and and Antonio Thomas. That match ended in a 8-8 tie.
Evans is a lifer on the unglamorous independent scene, now at the tail end of his career. Proving himself has been the story of his career. Accordingly, the quality, quantity and conditioning put on display by the aging warrior was remarkable.
Evans' moxie was also captured in a week-long span of competition that has the makings of an award-winning documentary if the right strings are pulled.
Professional wrestling is a marathon run at a sprinter's pace. Evans competed in a septathalon at double the pace and still managed to cross the finish line. Iron Week is sure to stand the test of time as folklore, similar to Wilt Chamberlain's non-televised 100-point performance.
Brutal Bob went 2-2-3 in his fleet of Iron Man matches, scoring 82 pinfalls while doing 82 jobs. How's that for Even-Steven booking?
Legislature needs to be passed to grant exclusive ownership of the "brutal" nickname to Bob Evans and Bob Evans only.
Viewing Brutal Bob's quirky and carefree style in the ring is a task in and of itself. This series of matches may have demonstrated one man's undying love for wrestling just as much as it showcased a modest proving ground.