This week on Riverdale, the FBI investigation into the Lodges continued, the Southside Serpents were mad about something, and blah blah blah. Who cares? The highlights of the episode were the wrestling scenes, as Archie made his bid to join Riverdale High’s elite spandex squad and impress Veronica’s hot dad Hiram. The resulting sequences in “The Wrestler,” directed by Mysterious Skin’s Gregg Araki, are about as tense and homoerotic as Foxcatcher, which Kevin Keller of course references in the episode. While Araki wasn’t available to discuss “The Wrestler” in detail — Riverdale’s PR reps did pass along that “he wanted me to tell you the episode is the bomb” — we’ve decided to break down the wrestling scenes ourselves. So, what can Riverdale teach you about competitive wrestling? Let’s find out.
1. Always stretch beforehand.
Here we see everybody loosening up before practice, which is good because it’s important not to hurt yourself while wrestling. Archie is wearing a T-shirt under his singlet while other people are not, because nobody knows what temperature it is on Riverdale.
2. Flip people over a lot.
Apparently, wrestling is just about throwing whichever guy grabs you on the ground before he can throw you on the ground. Archie doesn’t seem to know how to wrestle very well, but Kevin definitely does! (He’s been obsessed with getting on the wrestling squad for the whole season. That’s why he “runs” in the woods, remember?)
3. Never wrestle with your girlfriend’s dad.
In our second wrestling sequence, Hiram volunteers to teach someone a lesson or two about throwing down on the mat. Kevin is very excited, but Archie is not having it. Archie, of course, gets chosen. (A key part of wrestling seems to be that you should sulk a lot. Duly noted.)
4. Practice your intimidation pose.
Before the match begins, make sure to do a lot of stepping back and forth to emphasize the drama.
5. Spin the other guy around in the air a lot.
Wham! Hiram flips Archie over and he is down. Like most things Hiram does, this does not seem to be strictly legal, but everyone seems to treat it as fair game. If you’re rich, you can get away with anything in the public-school wrestling program you apparently pay for yourself. Another wrestling lesson!
5. Choke your rival so hard it looks dangerous.
It helps if you have some grudge against them for sleeping with your daughter and/or trying to investigate you with the help of the FBI.
6. Always remember to flirt.
Another key aspect of wrestling is all the flirting you do before you wrestle. Oh, and if the wrestling gets very intense, then you need to take off your T-shirt and only wear your singlet. You will really succeed if you can find a way to get your skin to glisten, too.
7. Agree to mismatched fights.
Here, Riverdale teaches us that the best way to get onto a wrestling team is to face off against the buffest, baddest guy on the team, even if he isn’t in the same weight class as you. In Archie’s case, that guy is Chuck Clayton. It also helps if Jaden Smith’s “Watch Me” is playing in the background, as it is during this scene.
8. Push the other guy around a lot. Just push him!
This will be very effective.
9. Or just grab people and throw them!
Aim for the center of the mat for better cinematography.
10. Maintain eye contact.
Now, and this is key, once you’ve pinned the other guy to the floor, look out into the crowd and make eye contact with your true enemy. Hold it. Hold it for so long it becomes awkward and vaguely sexual.
Good work! You’ve finished the Riverdale guide to wrestling. Now go out, put on some spandex, and try sparring with a local rival.