"Unless the subject was interesting," says Terry, "like black-powder rifles."
Which class was that?
"There wasn't one. That was the problem."
Technique, the twins can study endlessly. "They don't have a lot of overall skills," says Gable, for whom both work as assistants. "They do know a lot of wrestling." Tom likens their sharp, low-level attacking style to an alligator's. "A gator's got some pretty sharp jaws," he says. "When it's hungry, it spins and crashes and detaches body parts. That may not sound pretty, but its only goal is to kill, survive and eat. I wrestle that way. Basically, I throw a guy down, beat on his head and rub his face in the mat."
Losing is something else. At last summer's world championships in Atlanta, Tom lost to wrestlers from Korea and Belarus and had to settle for the bronze medal. "I was so angry that I bolted out the back door of the arena," he says. "I didn't want to deal with anybody. I sat in my hotel room awhile, couldn't sleep, and went out at 2 a.m. for something to eat. Couldn't eat, either. I finally got to bed at three. Tired as I was, all I could do was stare at the ceiling. I don't know what a hangover is, but when I woke up, I felt like I had one."
Gable scoffs at all this. "Some people handle losing better than Tom and Terry," he says with considerable understatement. "When you start accepting losses graciously, when it doesn't tear your guts out to lose, there's no meaning." He gives a dry smile. "And without meaning, where's the incentive to win?"