BG East must be feeling the fire in its belly again because for the last year (especially) it has been churning out newly energized product, with tighter, edge-of-your-seat scenarios, press-stopping performances by veteran members of the roster, and hot new talent who assure us that somebody pretty and dangerous will always be ready to jump into the ring or onto the mats for a good greasy tussle.

Its latest output is a second Wrestler Spotlight featuring Donnie Drake.  I've liked Drake for a while now--big, good-natured, toothy goof that he was at the beginning and, now, especially, Drake the Carnivore.  I suspect his match with Rio Garza is going to be the one match in this release that gets the most buzz.  It features the much-talked-about Garza, one of those wrestlers Bard at neverland rightly singled out a couple of months ago as alarmingly over-exposed on multiple fronts in the homoerotic wrestling market.  But, even more newsworthy, I think, is Drake's new body.  Unlike the first two matches, against Jobe Zander and Paul Hudson, shot some time back, the third match debuts the new tighter, tatted-up Donnie Drake with what looks like Tyson Dux's old haircut.  The pirate tattoos on the back of his calves and the shiny new abdominals are definitely worth a look, but I'm mostly blown away by the way Drake raises the bar on baditude and aggressiveness here.

At first glance, "Donnie" is hardly the name for the bad-ass Drake is shaping into.  Maybe it's just a matter of time before Drake emerges as "Draco," "Deathstar Drake," or simply "Drake."  But I kind of like the way the diminutive "Donnie" suckers us in for the kill.  It has punk appeal.  The grownup version of the kid who bullied us in sixth grade.  The match with Garza is a fugue on the theme of gut punishing, and it's a wet dream for fans of gut punching and claw holds.  But it's the new mean sheen on Drake that keeps the action fresh and interesting.

I've said before that I like "mean" in a fighter.  I have said before also that the allure of "mean" does not translate for me to an acceptance of real-world evil, which is by and large vapid, bloated, and cold, not at all the wittily devious and sexily arrogant villainy of fantasy.  And though I like my real-life friends and lovers to be compassionate, generous, with lovable, idiosyncratic vulnerabilities, I do like them to have a strong mean streak too, especially in the sack.   A man (or a woman) without some steel in the bones and the capacity to produce a good sneer and bare some teeth is not worth my time and attention.  So you can imagine, then, with what delight I welcome the new dark side of Donnie Drake, a man equally gifted in aw-shucks nice and grab-yer-nads nasty.


  1. OK, I'm going to be an asshole again. How can one wrestler be the reason one match on a tape will get the most positive reaction, yet simultaneously be "overexposed"? After all, overexposed means one's presence and promotion has exceeded his appeal, and Rio Garza's ongoing (and, unlike a lot of wrestlers, almost entirely self-created) popularity means, if anything, he's underexposed.

    But that's objective. My "beef" with this statement is subjective. Here's the thing: the vast, vast majority of people who appear in any role in gay wrestling are, well, to be blunt, white guys. There are companies that have nothing but white guys on their roster, and even the ones that have more diversity like BG East can go months, entire catalogs, without any wrestler who isn't white appearing at all. But on an even bigger level, when you look at just the big names, the major draws that sell most of the tapes, the landscape gets whiter still. In fact, I'd say the number drops to one, Garza. So, when you and Bard, as much as I do enjoy your blogs in general, say the one non-white worker in gay-oriented wrestling is "overexposed," it grates a bit.

    I'm not trying to be a hater, and I don't mean it as a personal slight. I like your blog, especially when you pontificate on what you like. I know this blog is about your tastes, and as such I tend to particularly appreciate posts when you deal with wrestlers or matches that aren't necessarily your preference. But given the relative absence of commentary on gay wrestling at all, the fact that you have a blog with followers and fans kind of gives you a bit of a responsibility. I'm not asking you to suddenly love Rio Garza. I'm just asking you, as a person who has enough insight to realize that he is an obvious draw, to consider why he obviously is and include that in some future post.

    After all, you've given positive reviews of Thunder's Arena matches, based on the eye-candy factor and the action. As someone who's seen many of their tapes and pretty much all of Garza's, I can say without qualification that Garza by comparison does not lack for action. If nothing else, if Donnie Drake and Cameron Matthews merit note for improving their builds since their first appearances, then surely Rio Garza, who has actually been on the COVER of multiple body and fitness magazines merits at least that much. Peace.


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