"The Dimpled Wrestler" by Michael Chin

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1.

When they said she had potential, they weren't talking about her dropkick or her abdominal stretch, though she'd tirelessly perfected both.

 

They scanned her up and down, hit the brakes to cruise carefully around curves. The one promoter smelled her.

 

He smelled like cigar smoke and rot.

 

But she got opportunities. Worked indie shows. Worked more experienced girls. Girls with crisper move sets. Saw them graduate to big leagues and saw this as a natural progression.

 

2.

She had to eat in the meantime. She accepted the offer – a hundred bucks for a photo set, all stills of her and a model who had no wrestling training, posed in submission holds.

 

Apparently, guys got off on this.

 

So, there were videos, too. Some of the worst wrestling with some of the worst wrestlers she'd seen. But guys would pay as long as the girls wore two pieces and smothered each other with their breasts, their asses, their armpits, their bare feet.

 

3.

It's not that guys like feet, her opponent – the grad student in psychology who moonlighted with her – explained. It's the girl beneath her feet. They like the humiliation.

 

4. 

She goes by Dimples McGee. 

 

The dimples are what fans notice first, so why not drive it home? Besides, she figured she'd better use a different name to separate this kind of work from more serious wrestling pursuits. She didn't know how the big companies would look upon her tickling her opponents’ soles to escape a cross armbreaker.

 

But it was too late. 

 

The videos got out and, the Internet being what it is, her every identity is linked. Everyone knows everything and even the indies have stopped calling.

 

But those boutique promotions – the ones that pay her in cash more often than not, the ones the psychologist calls fetish studios – still do call.

 

She filmed one last week against a much bigger girl, booked to dominate her. She smiled hard at the camera, dimples as pronounced as could be. Before her face turned to all pain and fear and tears and defeat.

 

It's the transformation they want to see. How beautiful turns to ugly. She misses her first dropkick on purpose. The next minute, she's locked in a figure four leg lock, screaming for her life.