Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Can-Am Classics

Historically, Can-Am produced some of my favorite moments in eroticized combat. Jimmy Dean, Doug Brandon, Paul Perris, and others on its roster have stoked my imagination for decades. So while I know little about the company's new releases, I do know something about its classic videos.

By "classic," I mean videos produced in the '80s and '90s. This was the height of my AmEx-fueled spending sprees, but the treasure trove of VHS tapes I bought back then, some of them irreplaceable now, dissipated through theft (about ten years ago--you slippery cocksucker!) and the normal wear and tear on magnetized plastic tape over time. I had the old original bulletins and catalogs too, but they got thrown out in the process of my moving to North Carolina. I loved the grainy gray photos and the clinical detailing of the wrestlers' heights, weights, ages, hair and eye colors, almost like a police file on a gang of runaway punks.

Many of my purchases these past few years have been replacements for those losses, since, happily, Can-Am has been gradually releasing its classics on optical disc, which, wiser now, I lend to nobody. Back in the early '90s, the company seemed to flatly acknowledge the fact that many of the men on its roster were gogo boys, not wrestlers, and slopped them all over with lube and let them tangle themselves into knots on slick surfaces. This is not to say that Can-Am men could not grapple--several of them were trained, experienced freestyle wrestlers, and most of them could work up a pretty good show in the ring as well--but the company's stars were mainly loved for their good looks, high style, and willingness to go the distance in amplifying the sado-erotic elements of the sport, which had remained only subtexts in, say, the 8mm wrestling films of the Athletic Model Guild in the '50s and '60s. So here's one of my quasi-OCD-symptomatic lists of things I like, summarizing some high points of ten golden classics from the Can-Am vault. 

Canadian Musclehunk Wrestling 4


All five matches are fine here, but two stand out for me: Jimmy Dean versus John St James, and Paul Perris versus Roman Stone. I will argue that Dillon Reed was Dean's ideal foil, but St James provides a good counterbalance to Dean's style of boyish sadism as well. It's a barefoot match, with both men in yellow trunks, Dean's silky and shiny, St James's a lusterless matte--it was easy to imagine that the two were fighting for rights to the color yellow and that the differences in texture were significant of their contrasting personas. Dean was still a teenager at the time, with a gymnast's build and a taste for making others suffer. St James, if anyone, was designed precisely to be Dean's victim. At first, I credited the success of this match entirely to Dean, but in retrospect St James's uninhibited yelps of agony turned me to bone no less than Dean's puerile sneers.


The second to the last match introduced me to Roman Stone (called "Jaime" or "Jamie Cutler," when I bought the tape). Purportedly he was Perris's cousin, a few years older and bigger--and perhaps the most beautiful underground wrestler I have ever seen. Both men are Polish, with Stone's accent a little thicker, seductively thick, and both prided themselves on their martial arts skills, back before MMA made such an enthusiam less dorky; back then, though, I liked to imagine the two of them together in a Warsaw tenement, jerking off in unison to Jean-Claude Van Damme movies on black-market pirated videotapes. Stone lacked Perris's natural ease before the camera, but he reminded me of Soviet posters of statuesque state heroes with square shoulders and jutting jawlines.

Canadian Musclehunk Wrestling 3

I remember watching the first match on this tape with my boyfriend at the time. It was Johnny Lightning versus Paul Perris. My boyfriend predicted my favorite would be Lightning, with his brass balls and big-mouth attitude, and he had a point in thinking so too, based on our numerous discussions of what kinds of men usually charged us up. But when I told him that Perris was the man for me, he nodded sagely and said, "Oh, yes, you like the strong silent type too." More to the point, I have always been a fan of fights between flamboyant blowhards and strong, earnest men of few words, and although Perris's high kicks and cheerleader splits struck me back then as, well, a bit affected and weird, he radiated self-confidence and was (as most of you already know) very easy on the eyes. This fight is also another example of the well-matched visual contrasts that add drama to a bout--Lightning with his copper-highlighted '80s-rock-star curls and Perris with his straight dark hair cut conservatively--tropes of gonzo flamboyance in conflict with highly disciplined stoicism.


The next two matches feature brothers Jason and Justin Xtreme, two guys with experience in pro rings as lightweights. Jason went up against Jimmy Dean, then eighteen, and pretty much squashed him. If I am not mistaken, this might have been Dean's debut at Can-Am, but it's evident he already had twice the charisma as his more experienced opponent and a sophisticated sense, beyond his tender years, of what we sick-fuck fans wanted, and the best parts are when he showed Xtreme that he was far from a total pushover. Justin Xtreme battled freestyle wrestler Troy Lucas, one of the older (late 20s) wrestlers at Can-Am back then, whose uber-fit body and dark but deadpan machismo caught a lot of fans' attention. Lucas was at his best on the mats, but there's something about him here, too, awkward yet earnest in his ring debut, that still worked in his favor and drew at least this fan's sympathy.


Perris reappeared in the fourth match, up against Beau Hopkins, both fetching in bikini and thong respectively. Tired of the role of handsome jobber for which he was best known at Can-Am, Hopkins was intent on showing his tough side against newcomer Perris. But Perris clearly was not ready to roll over and play dead just so Beau could change the direction of his career. The action is fast, flashy, and tough between these two extravagantly beautiful men, but this bout was a mere prologue to their rematch (see below) some years later when both men, more mature and battle-hardened, faced each other as equals and veterans.


The fifth and final match gives us freckled ginger stud Jimmy Royce (for whom the word "chiseled" might well have been invented) facing bodybuilder Ed Harte, built like the anchor to an aircraft carrier. I mainly recommend this one for the views we get of Royce's torso, but on the whole Royce looked best in the oil pit, glistening.

Canadian Nude Oil Wrestling 5


Here are two of my favorite kinks in wrestling, nudity and oil, brought gloriously together. Jimmy Dean shines (literally) in three of the four bouts on this video, but I want to focus briefly on my two favorites: Dean versus Dillon Reed, in my opinion the best man ever to face off against Dean, and then Reed versus boyish-looking Bobby Rose. The angle in the Dean-vs-Reed battle was that the loser would have to beat his meat for the camera, while the victor watched. Dean and Reed were within an inch of each other in height and within five pounds in weight. Moreover, Dean's increasingly larger-than-life persona never could ruffle the soft-spoken Reed, who matched Dean nasty for nasty every step of the way--and, what's even better, the men genuinely relished making the other guy moan. It's worth a mention that Jimmy's and Dillon's asses were among the roundest and firmest in the Can-Am roster--a roster that used to be widely known for the high quality of its collection of glutes.

The second match gave Dillon the chance to prove what he could do in a one-sided fight, as he beat down the very cute (but somewhat larger) wrestler Bobby Rose. I have to repeat here that what really bangs my gong, as far as wrestling drama is concerned, is balance and symmetry in contrasts. Rose could not compete with Reed in skills, but he still made a beautiful victim for Dillon to torment--and it all works for me here, especially in the larger context of the video's other matches. I'd say Rose was to Reed as St James was to Dean--nobody made Reed look more indomitable than Bobby, sweet yet a little trashy, like a Teddy Ruxpin from the wrong side of the tracks.

Canadian Musclehunk Oil Wrestling 1

There are several good people in these matches, but only one match etched itself into my fantasies forever, and that was Flex (Tom Flex) versus Jimmy Royce. Two beautiful bodies, trapped in a sea of baby oil! If you like seeing Flex being dominant, go to the next bout on this disk, in which he trounced Doug Davis, but this fight belonged to Royce--his finest moment, in my opinion. The two men explored what a slap feels like when it's covered in lube, and Jimmy wore Flex down, round by round, till at the end he bent and stretched the usually happy-go-lucky Flex like he was made out of pipe cleaners and saltwater taffy. In the end, Flex was a palpitating smudge on the blue tarp.

Canadian Musclehunk Oil Wrestling 7


Cliff Conlin and Doug Brandon make my nuts itch just typing their names. These two were grunt 'n' sweat fighters reminiscent of the hard-knocks days of North American professional wrestling. I don't know whether either of them ever danced on a pole in his life, but if they did, I would have paid money to watch them. They each had two matches on this video, culminating in the last match, when they faced each other.  Conlin warmed up with a match against Paul Perris, a slightly heavier, older, and better built wrestler. But the Southern boy (or at least I always assumed Cliff was from the South) pummeled the Eastern European superman, grinding him down with a series of beautiful scissorholds before tapping down the coffin's lid with a rear naked choke hold. For his part, Brandon always struck me as a bad seed, but the image of him as some type of dangerous rough trade only enhanced his glamor in my eyes. In the second match, he showed off his attitude and style against a shorter but thicker and heavier wrestler, Steve Arnold. If you know anything about Brandon, it's probably that he fought dirty--he scratched, he bit, he grabbed balls, he hit full-on with his fists. The climactic showdown between Brandon and Conlin is as tasty as I could possibly hope for. These two were exceptionally gifted wrestlers, and though neither was GQ material like many other Can-Am stars, they were smoking hot in a combat situation.

Canadian Musclehunk Oil Wrestling 4


The last two matches on this video rank among my all-time favorite bouts at Can-Am or anywhere. I have written about this before, I'm sure, but let me repeat, if I may: big-big-haired stripper Wyld Child is something of a guilty pleasure for me. Once that swooping hair got all gummed up in oil, though, I could relax and enjoy him for the natural grappler that he was, in this, his only one-on-one appearance as a wrestler, against smaller, lighter John St James. The lighting and camerawork were pretty shitty in this match--unfortunate since this was Wyld's one shot at glory--but the six-foot gogo boy dazzled nevertheless, and in a way the gloomy, damp look of this bout added credibility to both Wyld Child and St James, neither of whom looked like much of a badass by the clear light of day. Not that St James lacked strength, agility, and moves, and not that he didn't strike back with force and put up a real challenge, but WC whipped his ass but good in this one.


The last match features Paul Perris and Roman Stone. I talked about other wrestlers who were perfection when paired with the right opponent. Perris and Stone were perfectly matched fighters. Both similarly trained in the martial arts, and both incredibly limber. I must admit, though, that the pair's constant posing is at times a little ludicrous, even as impressive and erotically charged as it was. Struggling crotch to crotch with their legs wide and stretching almost to the edges of the pit, they sometimes looked less like they were wrestling than like they were recharging their batteries. But, in my book, all is forgiven when it involves Perris or especially ... stop and catch my breath ... Stone, who appeared in three videos for Can-Am but never fought anyone but Perris. (I often wonder, still, why that was so, but never once have I complained about it, thankful enough to have three separate records that such a godlike perfection once existed.) 

Canadian Nude Pro Wrestling 3

You may have noticed that I have not numbered these entries. Don't read too much into the order of these brief descriptions. From one minute to the next, I could name totally different ones as my top three favorites. Ordinarily, if asked what my favorite Can-Am release is, I would answer, on the spot, Kick-Ass Bodybuilder Feud, which is described next. On more thoughtful consideration, however, I might sometimes list Canadian Nude Pro Wrestling 3. Why? Well, because it strikes me with amazement that one video could have four such perfect matches on it. Not a dud in the bunch.


Match one features Chris Divito going up against Joshua. It's longhair on longhair, brunet versus blond: hair got pulled, thongs got peeled off, and dicks got huge. This is pretty close to heaven for me, folks. Chris Divito was latin suave, smooth as velvet pillows, and inexhaustible in his ability to take punishment. Joshua, the blond, looked like he had taken some punches in his day, and delivered some, too. He was a tough blond in the youthful Greg "The Hammer" Valentine school, but more svelte, and more seductive than intimidating. In addition to yanking each other's hair, the two men also strangled each other--both of them were gangbusters at giving good choke ... gargling, gasping, watery eyes bulging, faces going blue, the works. And did I say they had big dicks? I did. Okay, then.

Next up, we have Dillon Reed versus Jimmy Dean again. This time dry ... or drier ... and in a ring. Everything I said about them in Canadian Nude Oil Wrestling 5 goes equally for Canadian Nude Pro Wrestling 3. If anything, they were even a little better when they could stand steadily on their feet and back each other into the corner ropes. It's a good match, but I'm getting tired, not having realized exactly how much time I would consume describing these matches, so I'll spare you the details, and move on ...

Dillon Reed versus Bobby Rose, again ... well, again. Great match, again one-sided in Dillon's favor. If I had the photos to share of all these beautiful dicks, wobbling and brushing up on skin, I would share them with you, I swear to you. All I've got, though, are the videos, and frankly no still has ever captured the peculiar prettiness of a semi-erect cock as it wags, swings, and draws circles in the air, especially when there are two of them ... and they are kicking the shit out of each other.

Last, Aaron Aubrey versus Bobby Rose. Two nineteen year olds: one a peach-and-honey-hued tan, the other as pale as Edward Cullen in a freezer. Rose got to show his stuff in this fight. Aubrey was a bit smaller, but he was surprisingly tough. This was a well-matched fight. For two relatively small guys, twinks basically, before that word was so widely used, Aubrey and Rose showed a great affinity for the kind of heaving, smashing mat work of the old sloppy and sweaty pros, like the Funks and Curt Hennig and their ilk. Very hot and strenuous action.

Kick-Ass Bodybuilder Feud 1


By any count, this is on my list of the top five wrestling videos of all time. Two fighters--Roman Stone and Paul Perris--meeting for the third and final time. After this, Stone disappeared from the wrestling scene, and Perris went on to do live stage shows based on popular video-game heroes (only to return, briefly, to Can-Am wrestling some years later). In Feud, after a lengthy prologue showing them working out in the gym, they battled each other in three styles--Brazilian jujitsu (with punches artfully pulled--more like West Side Story than UWF), pro style catch, and oil-pit wrestling. Again, it's Stone and Perris themselves that draw me to this match. The fighting is energetic and sometimes heated, but mostly the thrill rests in the fact of their heroically handsome faces and superheroic bodies. 

Canadian Nude Oil Wrestling 4


Two matches stand out in this set: Aaron Aubrey versus Junior, and Joshua versus Boytoy. Aubrey is the reason you might want to watch this match. Junior was bigger, but Aubrey was more durable ... and faster and smarter too. This match went beyond just nude, but stopped short of XXX. Aubrey and Junior both got hugely hard during their struggle against one another. The fight was intense, but Junior's main goal appeared to get his dick up on Aaron's face as firmly and as often as possible. Who could blame him? Once the pink got stripped off, Aubrey's cock was an amazing, eye-catching shade of fuschia, like a banana trying to hold its breath. It was like all the color that might have graced the rest of Aaron's body had decided to take up residence on his dick.


Joshua's match against Boytoy in Bout 3 is, if anything, hotter than Aubrey-vs-Junior. The men took it slow throughout the match, grinding into each other with every ounce of force they could muster. These men were just playing, sure, but the play was rough and nasty as fuck--alarmingly "real"--welt-raising spanks and vicious (apparently real) chokes. (It should be noted that, in his heyday, Joshua was a master of choke effects.) Neither man struck me as exceptionally sexy in looks, but together, in a tight, turbulent clench, they were sex on fire. Again, hard-ons surged, and, not to give too much away here, the fight ended with what ought to be (if it is not already) in the record books as the hottest closing shot in the history of kink wrestling, as the loser crawled away dragging his swollen cock across the shimmering tarp.

Beau Hopkins vs Paul Perris: The Rematch




This match occurred some years after the matches already described. We have here the grueling rematch of Beau Hopkins and Paul Perris. Both men were a bit older then, but still sexy, still full of jiz. Beau, with hair on his chest, had never been hotter than he was in this second meeting with Perris, who by then had channeled his youthful swagger into manly confidence that came of knowing his way around a fight and fully understanding what Can-Am fans desired and expected of him. We get three pro-style rounds in the ring, with a final showdown in the oil pit. Neither fighter ever sold the wrestling action better than he did in this high point in the careers of two men who, through patently different personas, had come to typify Can-Am's house style, which is to say they played the homoeroticism in masculine aggression up large while never sugarcoating the violence.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the memories, Joe. My first ever erotic wrestling video was a Can-Am one (Rodeo Wrestling 2 with Skip Roberts and Larry Jensen) and I remember how I trembled with excitement when I first came across their website back in the day. Good times, good times.

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  2. Beau Hopkins was so gorgeous with the hairy chest. I'd bet now he looks a little heavier, hairier, and ...... perfect.

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