Two Wrongs Make a Riot
You know about me and the bad boys. I love sass and trickery almost as much as I love strong backs and wrestling chops.
I hate evil, truly I do. But wickedness is another thing entirely. Whereas evil is bland, conniving, sanctimonious, and fanatical, existing in the purview of serial killers, bureaucrats, and other tunnel-visioned ideologues, the wicked are glamorous, spontaneous, renegade, and witty. They can undoubtedly be a pain in the ass, but they make things interesting, I think.
One of the great sins of Western literature has been to confuse evil and wickedness. For years Hollywood made me believe that evil was classy and charming (it's not--witness Rasputin, Pol Pot, and Maggie Gallagher); it's only the wicked who know how to put on a good show, even if they break your heart and tibia (and every rule in the book) in the process.
For me, part of pro wrestling's allure has been the contest between opposite individual types, but I have come to appreciate effective partnerships too, so long as they are not the civil kind, or boring.
Some wrestlers are wonderful on their own, but even better when teamed with the right (or oh so wrong) cohort. Beau looked like a crooked lawyer's shady assistant. Styles looked like a minister's wayward and malcontent son, easily swayed to sinful deeds. Together they were Leopold and Loeb. As partners they exuded a sort of snaky charm and polish they only partly achieved on their own.
As opponents in Fantasymen 25, they excited each other's base instincts, brought out each other's gifts for sneakiness and nastiness, making for an impressive match, all the more so when you take into account that they were rookies. In the prematch workout for Tag Team Torture 5, they conspired to turn their opponents against each other. Then they went after Archer and Quinn with so much rowdy gusto that it was hard not to root for them. To top it off, after the match ended, they played principal roles in one of the most notorious betrayals in BGE history. Next, in Tag Team Torture 6, they set their sights on Tony Cosenti and Ricky Martinez, showing these squeaky clean good guys no respect and ultimately no mercy, in or out of the ring. In Tag Team Torture 9, released four years later, they're seen facing the golden team of Brad Rochelle and Justin Pierce. In a prematch workout that's the mirror image of TTT5, they worried about their opponents' much talked-about skills and size. Nasty berated Styles for having self-doubts, while chasing away his own with false bravado. Predictably, Rochelle and Pierce started off strong, deftly tagging in and out, working their studly technical magic, but once all four wrestlers were in the ring together, Nasty and Styles ground their opponents down to Alpo with a lawless blitzkrieg of bodyslams, hairpulling, cornerwork, and one humiliating beatdown after another, not even slowing down when the bell sounded to end the match.
I miss these guys. They shone briefly yet brightly in the richly various world of underground wrestling, and, in my opinion, Nasty and Styles' three tag team matches are among the best of that world, thanks to their suave beauty, street-smart swagger, and underhanded maneuverings. They had chemistry. They were a smoothly oiled wrecking machine in three matches I have enjoyed over multiple entranced viewings.