File this one under "love/hate." TNA's A.J. Styles, 32, 5'11", 215#, just named the #1 professional wrestler by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in its PWI 500 list, is somebody I both can't take my eyes off and can't stand the sight of.
Never a particular fan of the "toddlers-on-steroids" look so popular among fans, especially fans in the South, who like 'em sun-burnt pink to boot, I will admit that Styles carries it off with more dash and machismo than most of his peers.
Even before he started spouting off about God and family, I sensed the sanctimony oozing from his pores, crowding out the Johnson's baby oil gel, and it turned me off. I also pegged him for a homophobe from the git-go--and maybe that's unfair of me, as it's based solely on a hunch: the man is way too spruced up to bandy the word "faggot" around the way he does.
On the other hand, he makes my dick hard.
I can't pick which I like best--his depilated twenties or his craggy, hairy thirties--I like them both. There's something just a bit unreal (even surreal) about A.J., almost as if he was concocted by a team of cartoonists and cosmetic surgeons. But clearly these mad imagineers had "sexy" in mind as they put him together.
Styles' flair for the open-shirted entrance was something he brought with him to the game, and if it was not expressly designed to make gay hearts beat a little faster, it did the trick anyway.
He is also one of the few wrestlers of his generation to favor lots of skin-on-skin collision during a match. While his peers high-fly off the top ropes and cut themselves with razors, in continuous loops of body contact avoidance, Styles will occasionally chase a dropkick or suplex by settling into his opponent in an array of sumptuously slow leglocks, STFs, backbreakers, and Boston crabs, sometimes punctuated with a sharp and resonant punch to the guy's gut.
If Styles wants to hate homo-sex for Christ, that's his business. If he wants to use the word "faggot" as a tool to demean opponents and irate fans, he is certainly not the first (or last) pro wrestler or athlete to do so. But the teasing and mixed signals drive me crazy, so as a rule I take my blue balls elsewhere.
Still, congratulations on the PWI honor, hot stuff.