Cameron Mathews is hot stuff. He's been shyly and disarmingly cute from the beginning, like your favorite camp counselor or the dude who helped you dissect a frog in junior-high biology, and for ten years (ten years this past January) he has been all but ubiquitous in independent (NWA, AWA, IWE, etc.) and underground (Can-Am, BGE, NHB-Battle, etc.) wrestling scenes. His transformation to a hardbodied wrestling god in recent years is nothing short of astounding. If ever there's been a case for hard work and perseverance paying off, Mathews has made it. And from what some of you guys tell me, it all hasn't gone to his head. He's still a nice guy to hang with--"polite" and "fun" being common assessments.
In a recent match at Thunder's Arena, pitting him against two opponents, Dominic and Bulldog, Cameron puts the new brawn to the test. I haven't seen the match, but based on the photos on ThundersTV, it's a doozy. Cameron makes short work of two newcomers who mistakenly believe that outnumbering equals overpowering. From the pictures, it looks like the typical Thunder's frolic--lots of boyish humiliations and good-natured roughneckery, subliminally erotic while maintaining the plausible deniability of "good clean [hetero] fun." Don't look for rip-and-strip here--except for those snappy shades--they come off, but the trunks stay where they are. Don't look for blood and brutality. Typical of the Arena, there's a lot of teasing and goofy (rub-your-eyes-in-disbelief) schtick--much like the early 1950s 8-mm classics of the Athletic Model Guild, only no posing straps and no gladiator props.
Cameron's easygoing persona fits nicely into this world. Despite years of experience--some of it grueling, much of it discouraging, one has to assume--he has not lost the freshness of his early matches. He makes wrestling look easy and fun--nothing to take too seriously. To look at him, there's nothing embittered, jaded, or troubled about Cameron Mathews. He's like the perfect dorm mate, up for anything, ready in a jiffy to strip down and brawl with you. Full of grinning, happy-go-lucky vitality, as fresh as puppies and rose petals. Perhaps the most astounding thing about Cameron, then, is not how he beefed up so quickly but how he perpetuates the sense of wonder many of us felt for wrestling at first blush.