Friday, August 20, 2010
You need your eyes popped? Black Wrestling Network has got the visuals that will do that for them. It will drop your jaw as well. It's got the slickest wrestling action this side of Naked Kombat's iconic swirl of cigarette smoke--and baditude in six sizes, besides. What's more, it works almost every sexy wrestling angle--in complicated narrative lines that borrow more from HBO's classic The Wire than from the WWE (by which I mean to say that they are well written--with real-world flavor instead of Cartoon Network sparkle). In doing so, BWN not only plays to my wrestling kinks, but sometimes manages to critique cutthroat power games with intelligence and subversive humor.
For instance, in one storyline, JT Stahr, a charismatic heel, smooth talking and slippery, is heading up Stahr Power, a syndicate intent on taking over BWN--get rid of the superstars who helped build BWN and replace them with the young guys (like Stahr) who "really know how to wrestle." Stahr's dream is to move BWN out of its shabby clubhouses and woodsheds, with low claustrophobic ceilings and matted floors, where wrestlers slug it out without the arena trappings, and into a "real" pro ring--with the big bright lights and the works. Stahr is witty, built, and sure of himself. He says things like "Karma's a bitch, and I'm her boyfriend." And he just may be able to accomplish everything he is setting out to do. He's certainly coldblooded enough to take what he wants. He and his hot young sideman Kidd Fresh jump the undisputed BWN champ, kay-oh his ass, strip off his pants, socks, and shoes, and then, adding insult to injury, Stahr crams a sweaty sock into the man's mouth. These guys are mean, but they've got flair--in a business where meanness and flair count for a lot.
BWN has a style all its own, a unique presence among a slew of new and established underground wrestling sites. I may have to put off investing in the DVDs ... for now--$59 is out of my price range, piss-poor community college instructor that I am--but BWN has the quality to show for it, equal to anything out there, and then, too, there's the option of MZones membership--access to full matches, stills galleries, behind-the-scenes footage, and discounts on DVDs--for $29.95 a month. Just two hours surfing through the MZones gave me wood you could build bridges with. The range of matches--oil, gut-punching, pornstar, beach, "brutal & bizarre"--offers something for virtually every kink. There's a lot here to see. Right now the things that impress me most, though, are the quality of the writing--sick, laugh-out-loud one-liners delivered in perfect deadpan style--and the sense of electrified menace that spikes the showdowns.