As fast as I could (thank you, Mister Tax Return) I bought both of Impact's matches, as I promised I would. Not a patient man, I started with the more recent, Bodybuilder Battle 53, as it seemed the more promising. I'm happy to report that the big handsome lug is as cocky as I could hope for, promising to "kick some ass" and referring to Z-Man dismissively as the "little guy." Not wise. But I like the boy's balls.
In the still shots, you see his much-talked-about tousled hair, along with a wide, generous grin that shows just how pleased with himself he must be. I'm mostly impressed with his shoulders and biceps, the way he thrusts his stomach and pelvis out (guys don't do that nearly enough, to suit me), his sturdy thighs, and an iliac furrow a Greek god would be lucky to own. There's also the matter of that glimmer of fuzz over the waistband of his almost-not-there maroon trunks.
It's good news that in the video he looks just as good as the still shots show him to be, with the added benefit that he talks out the side of his mouth, like a 1930s movie gangster. I have to love a guy whose first words to his opponent are "I'm coming here to fuck you up, man," drawling out the words like John Wayne, even if, as I suspect, given his youth, he does not know who John Wayne is.
He is a little stiff, with a lumbering swagger as he moves in on Z for the lockup. Z-Man may be smaller, by about 40 pounds, by my estimate, but he's agile and more experienced. Sheer massiveness, though, makes Impact a difficult object to topple. Z gets the big guy in a bear hug, but Impact won't sell, merely looking quietly amused, like a big toddler playing horsey with a somewhat smaller adult. Even when Z-Man elevates the rookie in a surfboard stretch, Impact just chuckles. Apparently, he's had massages that were more excruciating.
"Little guy got nothin'," Impact gloats as he scoops Zack up over his left shoulder and ("speaking of 'impact'") smashes the fitness model's spine against his knee. A few slugs to the ribs, and then Impact mounts Z-Man for an old-fashioned schoolboy pin. Not waiting for a three-count, the luscious rookie straddles the man's chest and flourishes his pipe-bomb arms in a double-bicep pose, his chest and conspicuously hard abs looming over Z's stunned face.
Then Impact pulls Z-Man up into the air by his throat, the strain giving emphasis to his already well-pronounced V-shaped torso. He shows no respect for the man he gleefully toys with. It's just minutes into the match, and already Z looks like he may need a neck brace and a crutch to get home after the match. A few more minutes of this, and he may need prosthetic limbs.
What Z-Man needs to do is wear the big dude down. He wrenches the guy's arm, drives some sharp jabs to his kidneys, and throws everything he's got into some gut punches. He might as well be fighting a pylon. except that pylons don't come back at you with a Boston crab hold--but, in this video, you get a good idea of what one might look like if it did.
So given Impact's youthful stamina, it looks like the wearing-down scheme won't wash. Still, knowing Z-Man, there's got to be a Plan B ... and, if needed, even more letters of the alphabet (the man is not called "Z"-Man for nothing!). Plan B looks like it's going to be "let loose the beast." No more Mister Nice Guy. Z-Man stretches Impact's legs apart, torpedoes his lats with his elbow, stomps the back of his knee, and rakes his fingernails down the kid's spacious back. That, at least, is enough to wipe the gloating smile off the rookie's face. But, though clearly not as comfortable now as he was at the startup, Impact soaks in the pain. In fact, he seems to have a taste for it.
The promo stills alone convinced me that Impact may be the biggest coup for Thunder's Arena in years--and, though the boy needs to learn to loosen up for the camera, this video (the only one of his I've seen so far) confirms his superstar potential. His physical presence alone is stunning, and he is ready and willing to play rough. The more he exerts himself, the more spectacularly defined his musculature becomes, an effect well set off by the dewy sheen of sweat on his unblemished skin. Z-Man, of course, is a superb foil for almost any new talent the Arena cares to introduce, and nobody is more unblemished than he. I like the guy ... even more with each successive battle. Impact may be too big for him, but he's taken a lot worse and come out on top, and he's one of the most resilient, resourceful, and, yeah, underhanded wrestlers on Thunder's roster.