Monday, January 31, 2011

Hit-Man Hookup

I was just thinking that the world could use a few more sidekicks.  Here's what New York Times critic Manohla Dargis says about Jason Statham's new movie The Mechanic, a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson film.  Love Statham.  Wish he'd make better movies--but whatever he's in manages to have a twisted sort of charm.  The snarky but probably dead-on review has now gone and made we want to see this movie.
With his complementary buzz cut, hard-body profile and hyperbolic masculinity, McKenna [played by Ben Foster] turns out to be a capable if overly reckless sidekick and a rather adorable Mini Me for Bishop [Statham's character] in what soon starts to resemble something of a hit-man hookup.  Action flicks often bristle with the love that dare not speak its name, as men express themselves through eroticized violence and the usual expressive grunting and grappling, body slamming, inevitable spasms of death and climactic explosions.  When Bishop and McKenna begin firing off their guns in tandem, it certainly looks like the start of a beautiful friendship.
Yet while the two come across as Mr. and Mr. Smith of the action-flick set, Bishop and McKenna can't really go the distance, of course, in the don't ask, don't tell movie world.  So instead, McKenna, on his first solo contract job, lures a gay man home alone with feigned sensitivity and a little dog, and then engages in a sadistic fight to the death that conveys--with the customary physical struggle and oozing bodily fluids--what cannot be expressed in any other fashion.

Seth Rollins

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," so says the Bard--the Bard of Stratford-upon-Avon and the Globe Theatre, not the Bard of neverland, who says many things just as profound.  And this guy by any name gets a rise out of me, though I have always thought his birth name (Colby Lopez) is a suitable ring name for a wrestler, too.

Ten Little Toes

Toe and ankle punishment is one of my favorite submission holds.  I suspect that it's because of the foot's phallic associations, and I like wrist locks for much the same reason. But, then, when Dr Freud was asked about the phallic symbolism of his own smoking habit, he replied, "A cigar is sometimes just a cigar," so it's possible I read too much into these things.

This is bad of me, I know, but I forgot where I found all these pictures, but somewhere between a sure thing and a safe bet, my sources are most likely Wrestling Arsenal, Wrestling Furnace, and BG East.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

You Have Got to Be Kidman

He wore too many clothes.  He was a good looking kid, a great face, but he belonged to the generation of wrestlers who adopted the look of skateboarding culture--not necessarily a bad look, mind you, for all its wigger styling, but not the right look for wrestling.  In his thirties, beginning in his WWE years (see the third picture above), he started looking like mid-1960s Rat Pack.  But in the nineties, in his heyday, Billy Kidman, b. 1974, 5'10", 195#, exuded enthusiasm, energy, and earnestness, the three blessed E's of the young.  He possessed a fit, agile body, toughened by training and (in time) experience, but his body was never his strong point.  He had one of those faces that just says "wrestling."  Something about the intense dark eyes, the raptor-like nose, and the sculpted jawline--those features on any body type would make me think about mats and body slams and ring ropes.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Timothy Thatcher, 27, 6'3", 224#, calls himself the "British Messiah."   Any half-wit can see the man is not exaggerating by much.  The man's got a body worthy of having a museum dedicated to it, if not a cathedral.  He's a heel who wrestles up in the Northwest states.  I wonder whether the surname is real or a wicked homage to the withered harpy who crouched over the UK for eleven years.  (I'm sorry, was that political?  I'm sure the PM had her fine points.  Democracy, equality, liberty, justice, and peace were not, unfortunately, among them.)  This particular "Thatcher" is noted for being not only a detestable bastard but also a fine technical wrestler in the "old school" of British wrestling.  As long as he keeps that muscular back, firm round butt, hairy chest, and snaggletooth snarl, he can be as detestable as he wants.  Here he is at an All Pro Wrestling event, aired this morning, wrestling Jody Kristofferson (Kris's son).  He lost the bout due to disqualification.

When Hairy Met Hairy

I was a Johnny Weissmuller and Steve Reeves type of kid until age eleven.  That's when one of my friends had a birthday party, all boys, and his mother decided to take the whole group of us to see Goldfinger at the Yokota Air Force Base theater in Japan.  Yeah, we were a bunch of military brats.  I had never heard of James Bond until that day, which was the birth day for me of an obsession.  What did the trick for me was Sean Connery in his cornflower blue squarecuts at the swimming pool of the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach (where my grandmother lived!--I couldn't get over it--and where almost ten years later I saw Sonny and Cher live in concert).  Also, Auric Goldfinger and Oddjob did it for me, but in a different way, since it was they who inspired me to be a criminal mastermind by age fourteen.

I dragged my parents to see Thunderball the next year and begged them for the James Bond doll, which disappointingly had no hairy chest (among the other natural assets it lacked) but I did not know that until it was already wrapped and under the Christmas tree.  I also tried to see Connery in person, while You Only Live Twice was shooting on location in Japan, only to see the crew shoot part of a helicopter scene ... at a great distance, and still I was breathlessly elated!  By the end of 1967 I owned and had read every James Bond book in paperback.

My seventh-grade homeroom teacher was Mr. Farinola, whose own hairy chest could be glimpsed at his open collar and whose rolled-up shirt sleeves revealed bounteous black curls on his forearms.  The day he pushed the class wiseguy forcefully up against the bulletin board, after the kid mouthed off one too many times, I could have swooned right there at my wooden desk.  When my classmates and I gushed about how much we loved Goldfinger, he told us we had to see From Russia with Love, which he regarded as the superior film, a judgment which in retrospect seems arguably true.

Then there was Paul Mantee in Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Robert Conrad in The Wild Wild West, and Mike Henry, the first (and perhaps only) hairy-chested Tarzan.  The first pro wrestler I developed a crush on was stout and hairy and heroically decent Jack Brisco on Championship Wrestling from Florida.  I was probably the only boy at Christian school to have the Cosmopolitan fold-out of a nude Burt Reynolds.  Later in the seventies, when I was living in Miami Beach, I was first in line to see Lifeguard, starring the then unknown Sam Elliott, whom I already idolized solely on the force of the lobby cards.

Perhaps the great disappointment in my enthusiastic embrace of pro wrestling has been the relative absence of hairy-chested wrestlers.  Even Rick Rude and Tommy Rogers succumbed to the lure of wax or electrolysis, much to their detriment, in my opinion.  And, yeah, I've heard all the explanations a dozen times, but still I can't buy into the shaved armpit look.  So imagine my elation when Belgian-born Dane Tarsen, b. 1966, 5'10", 180#, first caught my eye.  Wrestling star of BG East, Can-Am, Zeus Studios, Advocate Men, NHB, Jet Set, Catalina, the Gay Games, and I could go on, Tarsen (sometimes Tarson--and you better believe that the "Tarzan" homophone worked some magic on me, too) dominated my wrestling fantasies for a good two years during the 1990s--that dark age of pro wrestling with its baggy plastic gear and corporate conglomeration.  

And now that BG East is releasing its early Britbouts series on dvd, and on sale till Friday, there is this match I never knew about, pitting Tarsen against fellow hairy fellow Leo Lessard, 5'11", 180#.  If I weren't already breathless from the breathlessness of my previous paragraphs, I would be gasping now.  Holy apeshit, does this look hot!  Two passionate hairy men tangled up in lust and aggression.  So, yeah, my order is in, and with kleenex and tube of lube in hand I lie in wait for the postman's arrival this next week like a hungry predator, maybe even beckoning him to enter my web of sin.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Three Weeks Back

JC Westler does it for me.  Even though he's gone back to shaving his pits.  And Dasher Hatfield's mask is the best ever--and I gotta say the name rocks too.  JC:  5'10", 180#.  Dasher: 5'10", 173#.  Westler won this one at Pennsylvania Allstar Wrestling three weeks ago.


The video is here.  A little something for hard josh.  Back when.

Check Out the Rookie

London-based kinkster Ian has started a wrestling blog, The Wrestling Ring, exploring his own early experiences with pro wrestling on TV in the early 1970s.  It is well written and insightful, suffused with a sweet nostalgic mood that is poignant and honest.  He's only getting started, three posts as of this date, so I can't say whether he will be keeping his focus on the past or broadening it to include 21st-century stars of the squared circle, but I look forward to seeing whatever is to come.  Check it out.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Like Mike

The word is out there that Ring of Honor may be on the ropes, having now lost its weekly show on HDNet TV, on the heels of losing several prize wrestlers, most notably Austin Aries and Tyler Black, losses reportedly due to ROH's unwillingness or inability to pay big-name salaries for its big names.  I hope we're not seeing the beginning of the end for ROH, the biggest pro wrestling venue in the USA to actually put on shows that are watchable from beginning to end.  One ray of hope, as far as I'm concerned, is the acquisition of Mike Bennett.  Maybe the 225-pounder comes cheap, but he is a bargain at almost any price.  Brutally handsome, built like a bulldog, and mean as a paper cut, the arrogant and often underhanded heel's big break is long overdue.  I hope this is a breakthrough for Mike, and I cannot wait to see him in the ring up against Roderick Strong.  (Photos by Scott Finkelstein)


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