Saturday, October 29, 2011


Most of you know I occasionally write promotional copy for BG East. (Please, save your applause till the end of the piece. Please.) As you may also know, I share these duties with an estimable crew, including Bard, Cage Thunder, Kid Leopard, and no doubt somebody whose job it is to correct my misnaming of wrestling holds and to tone my purple prose down to mauve. In such capacity, we get to preview the videos we describe and promote in the catalogs. More often than not, Mr. Leopard, the boss, lets us pick which wrestlers' contests we cover. Fairly consistently, I request whatever is the latest from Jonny Firestorm, who has been a favorite of mine since the day he threatened to thrash me within an inch of my life. (He didn't threaten, no, far from it--he made a reasonable request--not to say "restraining order"--in a gentlemanly fashion. But I take artistic license ... in short, I lie.) In all honesty, I've been a fan of Firestorm's for a long while. If I had to say why, I'd immediately say it's his forearms, hairy and thick and, well, male, very male. I could also say with honesty, it's his stomach and his thighs, too. Perhaps more than anything, I admire that he (unlike me) really knows wrestling, knows the moves and their names, and can do them very well. But the short answer will always be the forearms.

His latest venture is the soon-to-be-released match against a newcomer, Dylon Roberts, in the first of a new series called Rookie Wreckers. (The title is not mine. This title is catchy and fun. My titles are not catchy. They tend to sound like semiotics papers at the annual MLA convention, things like "Firestorm/Forearms.") In his years at BG East, Firestorm has moved from babyface (often the "underdog" winning against odds a big-vs-small match) to (after it became painfully clear that the odds would almost always be in his favor) a sadistic heel. I like both incarnations and really could not have asked for anything more of him. But there is more. In the last year, his matches have turned undeniably raunchy. No nudity, no penetration, no sloppy kisses--but more red hot than you'd expect from a straight guy, and, truth be told, hotter than most matches with nudity, penetration, and kissing.

In Roberts, Firestorm may have found his perfect victim. The man suffers well ... and he's cute as a bug's dimple. And he moves well, too. He, too, seems to know what he's doing in the ring. The match is riveting from beginning to end. Dylon suffers every possible humiliation and harm at Jonny's hands (and forearms). It can't be a spoiler to say (I mean, really, look at the title: "Rookie Wreckers") that this rookie does not have a chance of winning and only a very slight chance of surviving. Ordinarily not a fan of squash jobs, I try to note the exceptions to the rule--and this is one of them (one of many, when Firestorm is involved). Looking over the just-published photos on BG East's premium site, The Arena, I feel all fired up again. And, trust me, the stills are just the tip of the iceberg. The beating is surprisingly intense, brutal, and erotic. It may be more than you would have ever expected ... of Jonny Firestorm, ... of BG East, ... of wrestling. Just remember I told you so. Forewarned is forearmed.


  1. (...waiting to make sure this is the end...)


    (And when I applaud, I do this thing where I cup my hands, and it makes it REALLY LOUD and enthusiastic!)

    Seriously, I think it's really cool that you write for them. And, the sentence "Forewarned is forearmed" made me laugh. (I'm not sucking up, I'm just sayin'.)

  2. Well, I for one can't wait to see your description for this match. Obviously, I'm not going to buy it. While I have spent thousands of dollars on a host of wrestlers over the years--from my favorite muscle magazine hunks to burly bad-asses like Shane McCall and the Brooklyn Bodywrecker (can't really be a huge fan of the spectacle of the wrestling hunk 'o the moment without also loving the non-20 something brutes who work them over) to spunky twinks and indy stars coming in out of the cold to finally make a decent buck showing off their skills--and even more time and energy writing a lot of those matches up during my all-too-horrific experience working for certain companies (I once added up the time it took me to write over 450 match descriptions measured against the price it would have taken me to buy all those vids, and it came to like $2.14 an hour. Less than a fourth of the minimum wage!)--once I've seen a 5'5'' guy brush off getting hit in the crotch with a broom and then being racked by a guy who's a foot taller and at least 80 pounds heavier, only to rally 3 seconds later and cripple that vastly bigger guy with the exact same broom shot and a less vigorously applied rack, he rather exceeds my minimum threshold to willingly suspend disbelief.

    What interests me is how you'll depict the match, how you'll work it into all the things you've said about how underwhelming squash jobs are as an aspect of wrestling. Will you restate that position, which you've explored in depth (as in your absolutely crushing depiction of Rio Garza as about "as agile and focused as a triple-decker Jello mold"), and subsequently portray Roberts as simply more physically gifted than anyone else who's filled the "victim" role? Or will you just redefine your statements and subsequently portray Firestorm as the pinnacle of "good" wrestling? Or will you simply take the match as it is and point out the best parts since any match always has good and bad moments, and those moments are always defined by the people who pay for it. Because, after all, who gives a fuck what anyone who doesn't have the sack to pay for a match thinks about it.

    Beyond that, I'm still perplexed as to whatever happened that made a wrestler who isn't gay and isn't himself a fan of the genre go out of his way to attack you years ago in the first place.

  3. Ditto Josh's implied question in his final paragraph.

    Also, though I read earlier somewhere that Firestorm was indeed straight and a father, that crotch grab photo is pretty dicey for a straight guy, especially having the act photographed. Is it only the money? you sure?

    Lastly, not too long ago I saw a recent clip of a Firestorm villain match where he was decidedly more hairy than in any of these photos. Does he shave his body?


  4. As noted in the blog regarding the "attack," I lie--or at least exaggerate in fantastic proportions. Jonny simply requested that I remove some personal but non-sexual information that had struck me as innocuous at the time, but making it public had needlessly complicated the man's life. To say more would only replicate the unintended harm initially posed by the remarks. As to the questions asked, I would have to say "I don't know" to most of them.

    As to the nature of my opinions in this blog in general, the inconsistencies must be a source of consternation for serious-minded fans who expect the blog to be authoritative or partisan or objective or insider reportage or a marketing tool--it is none of those things--nor have I ever claimed it was--just the opposite, in fact, repeatedly. I have explained elsewhere that I mainly see it as a scrapbook and personal journal. Caveat emptor to anyone who might want to rush my opinions or impressions to the bank. To the charge that I don't have a lot of money, I plead guilty. And beautiful as he is, Garza HAS appeared as "agile and focused as a triple-decker Jello mold" in the matches I have seen. I hope he's better in the ones I have not yet watched--and I hope not too many people were crushed by my crushing depiction of him, least of all him, who strikes me as being rather sweet and affable.

    For anyone kept awake at night by the idea that I find Jonny Firestorm attractive because he's a good wrestler, my apologies. But what can one do?

  5. There's a host of reasons to buy a wrestling video. It can be as grand as a guy moves well or as paltry as a guy has a hot ass that looks amazing when he's face down humping the mat post-piledriver in the middle of the ring. There's no one match that'll appeal to everyone; even matches that appeal to the same person may do so for different reasons. That's what "good" wrestling really is: the match that appeals to the viewer based on his impulses.

    There are wrestlers who've been booked as victims in utterly one-sided squash jobs who would absolutely annihilate the guy dishing it out were they to meet in a physical conflict in any other context. There are wrestlers who have absolutely brutish to the point of evil ring images who wouldn't dream of hurting a fly outside the ring. There are even wrestlers who move well, dazzlingly so who are paid to look clumsy or unfocused or even confused for a host of reasons.

    But that's not to say there's no "standards" when it comes to gay wrestling. It seems to me, if there's any room for analysis on this stuff at all, it's in how well a wrestler embodies what he's doing in a particular match. Ironically, I don't disagree with you that in Garza's BGE debut, he didn't exactly come off as a savvy mat technician. I gave him a pass for that, simply because I'm happy to mark out for any guy who steps off the cover of the latest muscle magazine and onto the mat bare-assed in a jock strap. In fact, if there was any shortcoming to the match, I think it resided in him being pitched as some sort of uber-aspiring, "I came to BGE to WRESTLE" trope in the first place.

    I mean, what would the reaction to him have been if the scene had opened on his abs, panned away to show him holding his shirt up, as Kid Leopard said, "You're hired," and then segued, say, to Firestorm looking on from the sidelines only to jump the guy and then carry him to the ring for an initiation? Maybe that's the stupidest premise for a match you've ever heard. Maybe you'd rather have an agile and unfocused mat match than a big splashy squash epic under any circumstances. But for my money, that's a set up that not only gives bang for the buck, but one that propels a host of alternative, build over time angles that are the heart of pro wrestling.

    And that's my one thing: there's this weird tendency in gay wrestling for the producers to hire certain guys for obvious reasons that have little to do with objective "wrestling," who then book those guys accordingly on the most superficial level (i.e. the hot guy always loses), only for everyone involved to turn around after the fact and judge that guy for not being Sir Luscious Supermover in action. He wasn't trained, asked or even allowed to be in the first place!

    Basically, it's as OK to applaud a guy for busting his butt outside the ring to earn those abs as it is one who busts his butt to maximize what he can do inside the ring. Hell, most guys who show up in the ring, be it gay or straight wrestling, have neither engaging looks or astounding skills, and even they can be worth the purchase price given the right work.

  6. Oh, allow me an asshole moment to go with my prior dazzling insights. I just want to point out, that you and Bard over at the Sidelineland blog have given Firestorm more positive promotion for the heft of his forearms alone than you've given Garza, Zman, Alexi Adamov, Brad Rochelle, Troy Baker and Justin Pierce for all the parts of their body combined. Just sayin'.

  7. Seems pretty odd to get so worked up over gay wrestling dvds - sort of chokes the fun out em... Hell, get bent out of shape over Wall Street greed, bullying of gay kids or the melting polar ice caps - but entertainment wrestling? Really???

  8. How is referencing a wrestler's personal life or personal predilections relevant other than being a deliberate buzz-kill? Some seriously sour grapes here. Firestorm is one of the best in the business, public or private, gay or straight and the photos above trumpet that fact loud and clear.

  9. You make good points, Anonymous 1 and 2. Surely I could have ended the scourges of corporate avarice, gay bullying and global warming by now if only I'd taken the time I used to post here to address them. Hold on... (5 minutes later...) Ah, success! Everyone can thank me later.

    I didn't bring up Firestorm's sexual orientation. I have a general, "not that there's anything wrong with that" opinion of straight folk. Hell, if nothing else, they're a great source for new gay people, what with the semen + ovum thing. But I actually find str8 guys in "gay" wrestling potentially appealing. I mean, isn't part of the whole gay wrestling thing the fantasy/reality that grappling/fighting by its primal nature goes beyond mere "I fuck chicks/I fuck girls" reality? Am I the only one who, when the "straight" stud o' the moment whimpers, pants, pleads with his face jammed against his tormentor's surging loins, "please, no more," his muscular, once-powerful body drained, takes that submission as a "Do with me what you will" sort of acceptance? I thought that was axiomatic.

    Anyway, my overall point wasn't that Firestorm isn't good or even "one of the best," or that his forearms don't merit attention or that one type of match is more worthy than another. It was that there's a lot of reasons to enjoy this stuff, and "good" or "best" depends on where the person making the rating is coming from. As such, I don't understand the divide, the necessity of making the rating in the first place. But if Joe or anyone is going to single out Firestorm for praise for a physical aspect, I don't get the comparable absence of praise for guys who have obvious physical assets, too.

    As an ironic coda to this, take the singlet Roberts is wearing in the pictures above. He looks great, sexy, enticing, has a great bulge and all that. However, there's a picture of Zman modeling that exact singlet from one of the websites offering it for sale. Is there no "good wrestling" premise or context wherein Zman could step into the ring dressed like that? Does it mean Roberts shouldn't be the one wearing it? No. It just means that as far as I can see, there's not much variety in the way Zman is presented to the masses, across a number of companies, which is true of all so-called muscular model types in gay wrestling (it's always the same type of basic Speedo in different colors), while every other body type gets kitted out in everything from erotic singlets to chaps to latex to those basic traditional trunks, too. That I don't get it.

    And, anyway, I used to write a column for one of the larger pro wrestling websites, and I can say from experience, if no one is bitching about the WWE or McMahon or steroids or how Wrestler X is getting screwed when John Cena is getting too much, etc., there's a problem. Dissent is the good stuff.

  10. Hey, it's Joe's blog meaning that Joe writes about those things and those wrestlers who reflect Joe's passions and Joe's predilections. He's not obliged to be even-handed or even fair - though I think he does a pretty damned good job of being both.

    Joe likes Jonny's Popeye forearms and I'm glad he does - I hadn't really considered that part of his physique before being that it's sort of hard for me to get past that impressive bulge. But now I notice those eye-popping forearms in every photo. He's the total package- a hot little fireplug of a body, cute face, big dick, mean attitude and a level skill and performance that only a few other guys in the history of this genre share.

    Maybe you should write your own blog so the attention you claim is lacking here (which I frankly do not see) can be paid to the guys you think Joe and others overlook.

  11. I love it, Joe! Just look at all the opinionations your blog on Johnny Firestorm provoked. Next year, Jerusalem!


  12. "once I've seen a 5'5'' guy brush off getting hit in the crotch with a broom and then being racked by a guy who's a foot taller and at least 80 pounds heavier, only to rally 3 seconds later and cripple that vastly bigger guy with the exact same broom shot and a less vigorously applied rack, he rather exceeds my minimum threshold to willingly suspend disbelief"

    That didn't sound quite right, so I just went back and watched the stream on the Arena. Firestorm never gets hit in the crotch with the broom, he hits Alexi. Also Alexi never racks Firestorm, Firestorm racks Alexi. If thats your basis for not liking him, you should reconsider because you're wrong. Joe's right, his work in the last year has been extraordinary, I wish he still had his muscled body but as long as he can deliver punishment like he does against Dylan, I'm willing to overlook it.

    I would prefer to look at Garza, Baker, Brad, Pierce crowd all day long, but what is even hotter for me, is when a skilled heel makes those beautiful bodies suffer. As long as Jonny keeps delivering with the beatings I don't care if he's gay, straight, bi, gets fat(er), skinny, bigger forearms, no forearms, just keep up the pain!

    I should note that Kid Karisma is going to start giving Jonny a run for his money if he gets a little meaner!

  13. If I am not mistaken (and I don't believe I am), we have seen this lovely Roberts gent before, in several can-am releases under the alias Jay Jornter.



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