Big Apple Grapple | Village Pourhouse
When we heard that the Village Pourhouse in the East Village was hosting the Big Apple Grapple, a professional arm wrestling tournament, we grabbed our Metrocards and headed straight downtown for an afternoon of brawny-armed bouts of strength. The scene of bulging biceps and straining forearms did not disappoint.
Fans came out to watch, and some to participate in the amateur rounds, but the real showdown of the day was between steely-faced pros Georgi Gelashvili--New York's reigning "King of Arms"--and Martin Ruman, with Gelashvili holding on to his title, ultimately proving unbeatable. Competitors grips and elbows were closely supervised by referees Bobby Buttafuoco and Frank "Iron Hands" Malis, with commentary from the crew at New York Arm Wrestling Association and its founder and President, Gene Camp. We spotted a few surprise faces in the crowd. Some of our favorite pizza slingers from the Artichoke Basille family are in the arm wrestling circuit, namely Vin "Blue Eyes" Basille, who says that the secret to his strength is working the pizza dough. SEE COMPLETE GALLERY