Among the many many pleasures of Kid Leopard's NewPro video series is the joy of getting a clean, unobstructed look at independent wrestlers with whom I've been fascinated for years, based only on murky videos of their matches on YouTube, shot shakily (7.1 on the Richter scale) by friends and fans using nothing better than (apparently) smart phones. For years I have yearned for clear, steady, well-lit video of Terry Frazier, 6'2", 182#, in action in the ring, and at long last NewPro's Lads of the Ring 20 gives me just that, in a hot match pitting the long, lean, and devastatingly handsome Frazier (who I once suggested for the lead in an all-wrestling James Bond movie) against black-geared cromag James Dahmer, 6'1", 238#. Until now, I've had to satisfy myself (read that however you like) with a still shot of Frazier in a pencil-thin bikini on vacation in Thailand, head shaved and kneeling in the sand on a beach straight out of an Alex Garland thriller.
The soon-to-be-released LotR20 gives us Frazier at his most charming (both in this match, and as a key contestant in the final gimmicks match, a more modest version of WWE's Royal Rumbles). He banters with the crowd, makes a kid's day by swiping the boy's white hat off his head and wearing it to the ring, and then calls for applause for the hat at the end of the match. What looks like a squash job at the beginning, as the broad and bulky Dahmer pounds the living daylights out of the slender babyface, reverses direction as the vocal fans rally behind Frazier. There's no doubt about it--Frazier has the prettiest mug in the business, more than compensating for his rangy (well, bony, really) body--a body, however, that has a dancer's grace. I prefer his skinhead heel days, to be honest, but Frazier's winning smile makes him equally effective as a heart-melting hero. (Frazier's longtime tag partner, Sha Samuels, wrestles next on the bill, happily with unabated villainy.)
Another pleasure of the NewPro releases is the occasional discovery of previously unknown talent. Boyish Fred Phillips makes a sweet (and doomed) debut against Samuels. Then there's Darrell Amrah, a dangerous-looking bad boy, whom the kids in the crowd seem especially to enjoy despising. Young and way-cooler-than-you Jimmy Havoc makes short work of Amrah--in a highly satisfying good-guy-versus-bad-guy clash between two young equals. My favorite match here (all apologies to Frazier) pits crowd favorite Martin Stone against cowardly Australian heel Steve Morley (who seems to have found the peroxide bottle Dolph Ziggler recently tossed out). I hate the longwinded speeches before the battle starts, but the drama percolates when the mike is finally put away. Morley gets a rich and luscious beatdown that's satisfying to the core. Some guys have the gift for heeldom, and Morley definitely fits the bill--and Stone is hot too as the no-nonsense meter out of justice.