Goorin Bros. associate shopkeeper Harley French credits none other than Sylvester Stallone and his sweet guns for the inspiration behind Back Bay's upcoming mano-a-mano showdown — the Bicep Brawl on Newbury. French, the event's referee, tells us that the idea came from a heated viewing of Stallone's 1987 film Over the Top. Impassioned, he brought the concept to the shop team. The only snag: truckers, mullets, and sleeveless RATT T-shirts would clash mightily with the stylish chapeaus and old-time class of Goorin Bros.
"Who else arm wrestles?" he asked himself. "Men with handlebar moustaches arm wrestle, and since most men with handlebar moustaches either work in the circus or start backroom fight clubs, we needed to theme this around equal parts side-show strongman and Gangs of New York." Expect the fierce competition to be accompanied by stiff drinks, a crowd dressed in their 1920s best, and performances by Providence's Chifferobe Cabaret.
To prep for the brawl, we tapped French for some insider tips, which could "save your life, your lady, and your pride."
ON STRATEGY: "Having a game plan is always in your best interest, and scoping out the competition in the other matches will be helpful. Have some counter moves and some alternate plans of attack hidden under that dirty hanky in your back pocket."
ON TRAINING: "Anything Stallone-related is perfect for training. We recommend punching meat, running stadiums, and P90X. Also, the Captains of Crush Grippers' No. 3 gripper and pull-ups are recommended for the serious arm-sport enthusiasts."
ON INTIMIDATION: "Intimidation works wonders in most cases. Mean mugging, grunting, banshee screams, facial scars, and tattooed knuckles are all good forms of intimidation."
ON GRIP: "The best grip gains leverage, and the better the leverage, the better a competitor's chances. Try top rolling, hooking, or the tricep press for the best results!"
ON SWEATY PALMS: "Sweaty palms give your opponent the advantage from an intimidation standpoint, but give neither competitor a true edge. We can always have one of the burlesque performers powder you up if you think nervousness may set in!"
GOORIN BROS. HAT SHOP'S BICEP BRAWL ON NEWBURY :: November 8 from 6 to 10 pm :: 130 Newbury St, Boston :: 617.247.4287