Saturday, March 31, 2012

For Evers

Bad boy AJ Evers is not new, apparently he's been wrestling professionally for several years now, at least since 2009, but he is new to me. Several of his matches appear on YouTube (check out the attitude here after a championship win). The indy wrestler has wrestled for 3D Wrestling, Beyond Wrestling, EPWE Underground Wrestling, and Combat Zone Wrestling, and somehow I've missed him till this weekend. For all I know I've watched some of his matches over the years, and only now has he registered with me. Amazing, the ways the mind works! All I know about AJ is that his announced ring weight is 175 pounds and I like his style. (More stats and other information would be welcome, readers.) I'm not sure who to credit for the black-and-white shot above, but Scott Finkelstein took the shots below of Kit Osbourne ultimately kicking Evers' ass earlier this month at a CZW benefit (according to promos for the event, Evers is a high-school friend of the young woman injured in a car accident for whom the show was arranged). Hot stuff.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What It's Like

Johnny Courageous belts Ziggy Bones
Let me recommend that you read Jeff Girard's "What It's Like to Be a Gay Pro Wrestler" on today's Huffington Post.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thank Bob

Bob Mizer (1922-1992) was born ninety years ago today. The years that formed my tastes in men were 1956 to 1966, and Mizer was the photographer who captured the look that enamored me through my childhood on Air Force bases in Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Japan. His films and photographs were not known to me until later, of course, but it's through his aesthetic that I re-imagine the men who surrounded me in childhood. At age 23, he founded the Athletic Model Guild, a studio featuring naked and nearly naked young men wrestling and roughhousing--or, at any rate, posing as such. His influential magazine, Physique Pictorial, started in 1951. In art he influenced almost everything I love: from Bruce Weber to Robert Mapplethorpe, from Francis Bacon to Andy Warhol. Without him and other pioneers like him, it's hard to imagine that gay underground wrestling would be where it is today.

Johnny Stumpes

David Selhime and Wally Shilicutt

Jim Collette and Tommy Evans

Reg Park

Richard Harrison

Richard Reagan

Left Behind

I am stoked that Randy Blue model and BG East wrestler Braden Charron, 5'8", 200#, responded to his inclusion in my birthday list of favorite matches over the previous year. Specifically his match against Alexi Adamov, 6'1", 183#, in Fantasymen 34 caught my attention this past year. Unfortunately, of the 59 matches that rocked my world last year, this was one of seven that I did not have a link for, having never properly reviewed it in these pages.* So here's the review.

I did not expect to like the match as much as I did. Not that I did not already like Braden and Alexi individually. They are muscle gods extraordinaire. Yet both made (if I may say so) less than illustrious starts in underground wrestling, and both are rather taciturn performers, usually playing off charismatic, high-energy opponents like Tyrell Tomsen, Kid Vicious, Donnie Drake, Brad Rochelle, and Jonny Firestorm. 

They payed their dues as whipping boys--learned to sell the moves of other wrestlers and in time acquired the skills necessary to command the ring. Still, I had no way of knowing what chemistry these two men could churn up between them one on one. It's an aggressive bout, exhilarating and hot. Even reviewing the stills for this post have, well, affected me deeply.

What we have here is, largely, what I've spoken of before: well-matched contrasts--tall, creamy-complexioned Alexi versus stout, ruddily tan Braden. Against each other, they show spirit I hadn't noticed in their previous matches. Alexi wears a silvery, silky bikini, that slides against his crotch and buns like a cheerleader's panties. Braden packs himself into red-white-and-blue trunks--achieving enough of a superhero effect to elicit a droll insult from the usually well-mannered Alexi.

This is a back-and-forth match of the sort I tend to prefer. Each man wins one of the first two rounds, setting up a battle in the third round that set my heart to racing. Repeatedly each man almost gets a pinfall, but his opponent powers out a quarter-second after the count of two. I suppose I had somehow come to think that "fantasymen" meant a lot of posing, leaving viewers to "fantasize" what a real fight between them would have been like. These guys bring the real fight with them. And they look ripped and swole, too. And in a moment of true glory, the winner of the third round wrests a submission from his man, only to insist on a proper pin to solidify the deal. Sweet.

*I did, however, write the catalog description for this match, barely able to suppress my tendency to gush when stimulated (double-entendres intended).

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lush Lucha

Cage Thunder took me to task for including not even one hot masked wrestler on my birthday list yesterday. His complaint was bracketed with LOLs; still, I can't help but worry that Cage's out-loud laughter could conceivably come with crippling mayhem. I do in fact find masked wrestlers intriguing and sexy even though my first point of attraction is a man's face. Fortunately for me, Lucha Britannia, a comedy-enriched combination of burlesque and lucha libre, had a show on March 16th, superbly photographed by PUMP. Lucha Britannia is a show I would put on my bucket list, if only I had a bucket list. It's a gaudy mix of latex, masks, tits, fishnets, ponchos, biceps, camp, and, in the piranha mask, the tall, lean, and handsome Terry "El Pirano" Frazier (stomping somebody in the top picture). With luck, this small offering will quell the wrath of the masked god of thunder ... for a little while anyway.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Wait for It, Wait for It ... Ahh, There It Is!

As he stated in his interview published yesterday, Ethan Andrews really does ultimately get the best of Jake Jenkins in his just released Rock Hard Wrestling match. It's a great moment, too. But my favorite moment in the bout is this one, close to the end, when Jake crab-holds Ethan's legs and bears down ever so slowly, savoring Ethan's groans.

Why should I enjoy seeing this slender young man broken like breadsticks? I cannot say. That his tormentor is a handsome brute? Yes, that's part of it. That the handsome brute applies the nerve-exploding hold like a gourmand pulling the pin bones from a salmon? That too is part of the appeal. Certainly Ethan's moans do much to sweeten the moment as well.

Can part of my enjoyment also be the anticipation of imminent justice? The clear perception that handsome Jake is crossing a line? That I already know the match is titled Payback? That he really should have thought twice before adding that extra downward pop? That he's doing the rough equivalent of dumping pig's blood on Carrie at the prom? That, oh man, is he ever about to get his?

Or could my feeling be more crassly physical? The lewd (but impractical) closeness of Jake's crotch to Ethan's butt? The thick roundedness of Jake's glutes as they descend to Ethan's shoulder blades? The way they skim down Ethan's own buns on their way down? The slight flexing of the red trunks as they (three of the strongest muscles of the human body) contract as Jake squats?

As usual, I'm over-analyzing. I should just accept that this moment and others like it are complex and rich and leave it at that. It's a moment that both wrestlers play well. As much as he looks like a fairy-tale hero, Jenkins has so far been at his best as a heel, and Andrews, as an underdog. (I also think they'd work well together as babyface tag partners, should Jake and Austin Cooper ever fall out.) Their pairing here as adversaries works well, but I can't quite get my head around a battle between two men so physically different from each other, though, to be fair, they are advertised as being the same weight. But that's more a personal preference of mine than a criticism: I like even matches, I like plenty of give and take, I like the drama of justice (and "payback"), and I like a handsome face and an impressive body. This match has plenty of awesome moments like this one, but, as I already said, this one is, for me, the best.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

No Rest for the Wicked (Interview with Rock Hard's Ethan Andrews)

You know the face. At Rock Hard Wrestling, he's known as the "Street Punk," a die-hard scrapper who likes to take on the muscle studs and pretty boys and cut them down to size. Ethan Andrews, 6', 155#, may not be the typical cover boy for underground wrestling, but he's evidently striking a chord with a lot of fans. He's become something of a phenomenon, in fact. He stands for the regular guys who like to fight and who won't take shit from anybody. He's a guy who's had to fight for everything he's got. You underestimate him at your own risk. The good folks at RHW put me in touch with Ethan, in part to publicize and promote his latest knock-down drag-out, a doozie of a battle against Jake Jenkins, who shares Ethan's toughness and interest in the martial arts, so this one promises to be quite an event. We conducted the interview over a period of six weeks or so, as schedules permitted, and what comes through is a picture of a hero who doesn't give a shit about being noble and good and a heel who's never beat up anyone who didn't have it coming to him, or so our man would say. He's a "walking contradiction," and if you have got a problem with any of that, you had best just keep the opinion to yourself.

Joe: Well, Ethan, thank you for talking with me today. You wrestle at Rock Hard Wrestling and elsewhere, under different names of course. Both your personas have been successful for you, even though they are different from each other--"Axel," the nemesis of bullies, versus "Ethan," the bully of muscle hunks. 

Ethan: I have no idea what you are talking about. [Laughs.] 

Joe: Then how would you describe your character at Rock Hard?

Ethan: Character? Dude, this is how I am. What you see is what you get. I say what I mean and mean what I say. When I'm in the ring, I'm in there to kick every last one of those pretty-boy, douchebag asses.

Joe: But what's more fun for you, as a wrestler, being nasty or noble?

Ethan: Each one's got its perk and brings on its own challenges. You gotta be able to represent and make people relate to you. Otherwise, you are just some guy in spandex, getting tossed around in the ring. I'm complex, and value the fact I can swing the personality in multiple directions. I mean, let's be honest: who doesn't like playing Jekyll and Hyde? [Laughs.]

Joe: That's true. None of us has just one way of being. What then, besides the opportunity to explore another facet of your complex makeup, drew you to Rock Hard?

Ethan: The ring! That's what drew me to it in the first place. I had seen a few other sites like Rock Hard Wrestling, but the other sites didn't have a ring to fight in. It's a totally different experience and gives you a new set of moves to use against your pussy opponents. I can't use a wrestling mat to choke out my opponent or use the mat to bounce my opponent back to me for a clothesline!

Joe: What's the atmosphere like there? I mean, behind the scenes, what we don't see on camera.

Ethan: It's a small gym behind those black curtains. Everyone, including myself, is listening to their iPod or looking up moves on their laptop. At least I am. The douchebags and the pretty boys are pumping the iron or spraying on the self-tanner to look good for the camera. The room stinks of egos and testosterone. I'm surprised more fights don't happen behind the scenes, but I know we'd all rather it be caught on film in the ring. At least I know I would. [Laughs.]

Joe: You have had a very, very good year, Ethan. Seven matches in 2011, and that's just at Rock Hard! Where does the energy come from? What drives you these days?

Ethan: Yeah, it was a busy year for me. Honestly, I just love to fight. In that ring I can take out all my anger on guys who represent all my frustration and hate. The guys who are richer than me, had more opportunities in life than me, who are bigger than me, better looking than me, the guys who think they are better than me. I love taking the proverbial silver platter and bashing them in the face with it, then knocking them out of the spotlight and off their high pedestal. That, and eating right is where I get the energy. Yeah, it sounds lame, but, seriously, people, it works. Eat your fucking spinach!

Joe: What's your sports background?

Ethan: I've got some experience in boxing, various forms of wrestling, MMA, karate, taekwondo, judo, jujitsu. Basically I train or participate when I have the time and money. I don't own a car like these rich boys, so it's hard for me to travel to a gym. I bike a lot, too, lots of trails and nature around the city I live in. I don't play many other sports, especially sports with balls because ... well ... I suck at them.

Joe: Me, too. I don't have much interest in sports that require teamwork or sticks or balls. [Laughs.]

Ethan: I kinda live by the old credo: "Others play with them, wrestlers have them." "Them" referring to balls.

Joe: How far have you taken your martial arts training?

Ethan: I am a red belt in taekwondo and a yellow belt in karate. I started doing MMA ... "mixed martial arts" for you dumbasses who don't keep up with the times ... for a couple of years now, along with the taekwondo and karate. I have been training for about four years now, off and on, again whenever the bank account allows me to do so. I've done a little bit of training in judo and jujitsu, but not enough to earn a belt ranking. The only competing I have done in any of these is with friends in the backyard or in the back alley in the city or the occasional abandoned building. I would like to earn some honest cred and take part in some sanctioned matches this year.

Joe: Everybody you have wrestled up to now has been bigger than you, sometimes by 25 to 30 pounds heavier. What's your strategy for taking on bigger guys?

Ethan: Tire them out. I laugh at how many guys I've fought who come at me with all that bodybuilding muscle. They only lift weights to show off. They forget to do a little cardio and put that muscle to some serious use. They get into a fight, and their body can't throw around that much weight for an extended period of time. Their body runs out of gas, and that's when I go for the kill. Yeah, I take some nasty hits in the process, but it's all part of the strategy.

Joe: What do you focus on in workouts?

Ethan: Definitely my abs. They may not look like much, but these guys can take whatever shit these pussies here can dish out. I work on my abs almost every day, even if it's just a few dozen sit-ups before bed. Besides sit-ups, I try to look for new ways to work the muscles. Lots of gut-punching. I have my gang tie my arms back and take turns punching and kick my gut.

Joe: Hey, now, there's something I'd like to read in Men's Fitness some day. [Laughs.] Do you have a signature hold yet?

Ethan: I don't have a finisher that I have decided on just yet. However, I did use a move on Zack ... "All-American Douche Bag" ... Johnathan, called the seated senton that seemed to do the trick. I might be incorporating that into my arsenal in future matches. The move is done by Rey Mysterio in the WWE, and it's a pretty simple but badass move for us smaller guys.

Joe: You said once before that you looked up to Rey. Any of the other WWE guys make the cut, as far as you're concerned?

Ethan: The Miz. I have been watching him since he was on Real World: Return to New York. I remember seeing him turn into The Miz when he got drunk and would boast about how he was bound for the WWE. I thought, "Yeah, right, he's living in a fantasy." Now he's been a WWE champion. Talk about going from nothing to something!

Joe: Anybody you met at Rock Hard strike you as having the potential to follow Miz's footsteps to the WWE? Not counting yourself.

Ethan: I plan on putting these boys out of the modeling business and into physical therapy. However, if I did have to pick someone ... Zack "All-American Douche Bag" Johnathan. The guy's got connections in the biz and knows his shit. Plus, I can't turn a corner or log on to a fucking web page without seeing his shit-faced smile. Seriously, the guy is everywhere. So when and if he actually does make it, people will want to get rid of him right away, because they are, like me, sick of looking at him.

Joe:  Just how comfortable are you fighting in the skimpy trunks Rock Hard puts you in?

Ethan: Dude, I will fight in anything, or nothing at all. Yeah, I said it. I used to get jumped in the locker room all the time back in school after gym class. I'd be bare-ass naked with my junk hanging out, and it didn't stop me from kicking the shit out of the assholes that jumped me.

Joe: But when "junk hanging out" is not a dress option, unfortunately, what sort of gear do you prefer?

Ethan: If I had to pick favorite gear, it would be square cuts or vale tudo shorts. They are somewhat similar, but they offer just the right amount of coverage and support to show off in a fight.

Joe: So what have you got to say about your new match against Jake Jenkins? That guy's pretty amazing.

Ethan: Let's just say I was satisfied with the outcome, not to spoil anything.

Joe: Who at Rock Hard do you want to fight next?

Ethan: Hmmm. As much as I like beating on these big, dumb brutes, I gotta love a good scrap with guys my size and smaller. So I'm calling out you, Eli "Justin Bieber" Black, Gunner "Token Asian" Bayani, Jeff "Skeletor" Hollister, Nick "Fabio Wannabe" Collins ... and a rematch with Brody "Midget" Hancock.

Joe: That's about everybody. You scared of anybody?

Ethan: Nobody. I say bring on all the dumb-ass muscle boys! Plus, I have a special bone to pick with Zack "All-American Douche Bag" Johnathan for that two-on-one attack. Then there is Cody "Tweedle Dee" Nelson; I want to avenge my loss against him. Finally, I want a one-on-one match with Austin "Ginger Freak" Cooper, and not some lame tag-team matchup.

Joe: Any celebrities you'd like to see get their asses kicked?

Ethan: Oh fuck, that's a lot of celebrities. Hmmm. Well, first and foremost, everyone on Jersey Shore, and any of the Kardashians. They are the current shit stain on this country's image. Why the fuck are they popular? They are just a bunch of no-talent posers who make a name for themselves for being rich and shit-for-brains stupid!

Joe: Rich and stupid. Isn't that the new "American dream"? Rich and stupid and on TV.

Ethan: Oh, and not to get all political. I try to be an Independent, but the majority of Republicans need a good ass-whooping too. They want to fucking get rid of MMA in my state. And Governor Walker and his cronies ... that's a story for another time. Also, Republicans, seriously, what's with the hate? I'm bi ... what did us LGBT people ever do to shit on your day? Okay, moving on!

Joe: Back to wrestling. Two months ago, I asked Eli ... What's that you just called him? [Laughs.]

Ethan: "Eli 'Justin Bieber' Black."

Joe: Yeah, I asked him about what other styles of combat he'd like to see Rock Hard add on. I was thinking stuff like boxing, cage matches, inter-gender wrestling, rip 'n' strip, live shows, MMA, oil and mud wrestling, that sort of thing. Any of those interest you?

Ethan: Let's do all of that! [Laughs.] More ways to humiliate my opponents. Seriously, I'm open to anything. The more versatile we become, the more we separate ourselves from the other guys. We got a ring; let's toss in some gloves and duke it out! Throw down some plastic and lather on the oil! I won't say no to some sexy ladies, but I can't say I will be the nice guy in the ring. Live audience might be interesting, but hard to do in our present space.

Joe: What would your entrance music be?

Ethan: "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" by Cage the Elephant. The song is so much like what I go through on a daily basis. Not saying that I rob people at gun point, whore myself out, or steal from the Sunday church collection. But I gotta do some not-so-good things to get by on the streets. Working minimum wage doesn't get you very far nowadays.

Joe: I hear you. What makes you see red? What brings up the fight in you?

Ethan: Anytime an opponent calls me poor, it pisses me off to no end. I'll beat their ass, then take their money from their wallet in the locker room. A lot of people assume that being called scrawny would set me off. They got it all backwards. I take pride in the fact that I don't look like those prima donnas. When they boast about how buff they are, I can stand over them with my foot on their chest and gloat how a skinny punk just beat their ass.

Joe: You've got a huge fan base now. Obviously a lot of guys think you look just fine as you are. Slim, but tough, boy-next-door-ish. How do you deal with fans who proposition you? Does that happen?

Ethan: I occasionally get fans asking me to post nude pics on my Facebook page, jerk off on camera, or wrestle them for stakes. Look, I am no fool. I know most of the dudes watching the site are guys who are looking to bust a nut, or picture us in their deepest fantasies. I appreciate the business that keeps me wrestling for Rock Hard, and I am flattered by their fan mail and appreciation. However, there can be some real creepers out there. No offense. I know I've got my kinks too, but sometimes they should really keep that to themselves ... or talk to other likeminded people.

Joe: So, let's say there's an after-life, and it's all about wrestling. Which is the only kind of after-life I'd care two cents about ...

Ethan: Damn. Getting a little deep, are we?

Joe: Hey, I'm approaching my twilight years. These thoughts come up. Trust me. Anyway, let's say that in one's life after death, you get to replay continuously five minutes of any match you have ever participated in. I got this idea from a Japanese movie I saw, years ago. What five minutes would you pick?

Ethan: Hmmm. I would have to say the one I would replay continuously is my third and soon-to-be-released bout against Zack Johnathan.

Joe: "The All-American Douche Bag"?

Ethan: I don't want to spoil anything, but I kinda exact my revenge and make him my bitch. The fans will have to buy the vid to find out how I do it. 

Joe: Where do you see yourself and Rock Hard Wrestling in 2017?

Ethan: When 2017 rolls around ... assuming the Mayans were wrong about this year ... 

Joe: Pretty safe assumption. The Mayans worshipped corn.

Ethan: I still wanna be kicking ass at Rock Hard Wrestling. And if not me, some of my fellow punks. I am not getting any younger. Doesn't mean I can't train the next generation of ass-kickers and douchebag destroyers. The world is never gonna run out of pretty boys to humiliate, and neither will my desire to do so.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cry Baby!

Lately I have had to face an uncomfortable truth about myself: vulnerability arouses me, specifically a handsome young man in an impossibly hard place, reduced to tears. I find myself wavering between conflicting emotions, on one hand, a desire to coddle, and, on the other, an urge to throttle--two opposite senses of "to take care of." Worse, I experience the two feelings simultaneously. For the time being, let's call this my "sado-maternal" instinct.

In pro wrestling, some guys satisfy this hybrid sensation better than others. Whereas some guys, trapped in an expert heel's grip, manage only pained expressions, which they wear stiffly like masks, and some hardly persuade me that they are even mildly vexed, faces placid as cows, others sob like their hearts are bursting, uninhibited, abject, piteous sorrow. It's Oscar time ... and boner city. Further, their sobs ring loud and true, not one false note in their songs of woe.

Blonds, as a rule, are the most gifted, more in touch with their feelings, perhaps. But skilled cry babies come in all colors, sizes, and shapes. Earlier this evening I posed myself the question of who bawls best, limiting my picks to only BG East's current roster. I came up with the following: Lucky Loko, Cameron Mathews, Kid Karisma, Eli Black, Bobby Horton, and Dylon Roberts, in no particular order. These guys sell their opponents' holds with quivering realism, wrenching the heart and stiffening the rod.

But I am just one man. I haven't seen everything, and my memory is short. So tell me, did I forget anybody essential?

Lucky agonizes over Dev Michaels

Cameron suffers for Kid Vicious

Kid K languishes in the grip of Z-Man

Eli gets racked by Morgan Cruise

Bobby feels the wrath of Jonny Firestorm

Dylon squeals for Jonny

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jersey Boy (An Interview with UCW-Wrestling's Joey Cantrell)

The past year has brought underground wrestling fans a perhaps unprecedented number of new faces in virtually every major production company, including one of the younger ones, UCW-Wrestling. Joey Cantrell, 23, 6', 160#, cameraman at UCW, just recently moved to the other side of the camera to show off his moves in matches against fellow newcomer Aron and tried-and-true fan favorite (and former UCW champ) Axel. The buzz among fans was immediate. His energy, cocky attitude, and roughneck aggressiveness immediately attracted my attention, not to mention his lean and wiry physique and a virile, street-smart mug that seems constantly set to dare a dude to step over the line if he thinks he has the balls to. I was quick to feature the New Jersey native (now fighting out of Philadelphia) in a post last month. When, in a response to that post, UCW boss BodySlam hinted that Joey might be coaxed into an interview with Ringside at Skull Island, I jumped at the opportunity. In our talk together, Joey comes off as ambitious, tough, honest, and highly competitive. He also laughs easily and, off the mat, sees himself as a family man, a tender and adoring father to his two sons. I was already a huge fan of the guy, based on the two matches I had seen. Now, as much as he does, I would like to see him as UCW's next champion ... and new big thing.

Joe: So you were the cameraman at UCW? What's the biggest challenge in shooting video of two men grappling on the mats?

Joey: The biggest challenge would have to be shadowing. Placement of the camera is another biggie. I got knocked over a few times by the wrestlers. We just had to edit that out, though. [Laughs.] And, of course, trying not to jump in and start wrestling them myself.

Joe: Looks like you didn't do such a hot job of not jumping in. [Laughs.]

Joey: Eventually I just asked BodySlam to put me on the other side of the camera, and luckily he let me join the roster.

Joe: How did you find out about UCW in the first place?

Joey: I was out of work, looking on Craigslist for jobs, and I saw an ad about an organization looking for wrestlers. I wrestled in high school, and I really like to fight, so I called BodySlam. We met up, and it was a great fit.

Joe: What was your background in wrestling before coming to UCW?

Joey: My background in wrestling ... hmmm ... well, I wrestled in high school for four years. I wasn't the best, but I did pretty good. I have a few trophies and medals in my room. I have always been a street fighter at heart. I sort of got into a lot of fights when I was younger. [Laughs.]  Recently I have been training in an MMA class.

Joe: What instructions did you get from UCW before you hit the mats?

Joey: The number one rule is always know where you are in the ring, which is very important, especially fighting in such a small space. But as for training, a lot of bumps, learning how to hit the mat without hurting yourself too bad. Of course, learning the moves, and A LOT of cardio, which was especially good for me because I'm a smoker. The rest is mat secrets. [Laughs.]

Joe: You'd tell, but then you'd have to kill me, right? [Laughs.] Crash gave you a pretty harsh welcome when you stepped into his promo. What was that all about?

Joey: Crash. Crash is a huge shit-talker. He has an allotted time to be on camera to have his little spiel, and of course he went over that time by a lot. I tried signaling him off camera to cut it short, and he just ignored me. So I had to step on the mat and tell him to stop, and, well, you saw the result of that.

Joe: And then Aron called you a "tool" and a "chump," and, on top of that, he ridiculed your cap.

Joey: OH YEAH! Aron. Pretty boy Aron. I really can't stand shit-talkers, and that's all the kid is and does. He may be a little stronger than me, but that's it. He has no unique technique, and off mat he is just an extremely annoying surfer boy with feathered hair. I cannot wait to get in the ring with him again and show him up. I really can't wait. Geez, I could go on and on ... [Laughs.]

Joe: And then you more than held your own against ex-champ Axel, who is no pushover. In my opinion, that was his most awesome fight yet ... against you. You were relentless.

Joey: Thank you very much. It was a really tough match, and I was just really well prepared for it, and I think I caught him off guard because I'm the, you know, cameraman. But that's how I like it, being the underdog, cause then that's exactly what happens.

Joe: We going to see that belt around your waist soon?

Joey: Given the chance, you will see that belt on Joey Cantrell very soon.

Joe: Having now fought Aron and Axel, what would you say most separates the two in terms of toughness and fighting style?

Joey: Axel is very skilled, really good technique, just not as much strength as Aron. And like I said, Aron is a shit-talker. That's that.

Joe: Fighting Axel, you showed a real penchant for playing the heel--pulling hair, scratching across the eyes, and kicking the man while he's down. Brutal stuff. So what would it take to turn Joey Cantrell totally to the dark side?

Joey: Oh, baby, I'm already turned over to the dark side!

Joe: Like almost everybody at UCW, I guess. Come to think of it, gut-punching, and ball-grabbing, and choking--three essentials of UCW-Wrestling. Which one is the most fun for you?

Joey: I would have to say it's a tie between gut-punching and choking. I love to hit people and show off my strength because people see me as this skinny dude with nothing to show for it, but you take one of my punches and you're gonna remember it. As for choking, I love getting choked and being choked. I mean just seeing the people's faces when they fade away. There's nothing better. [Laughs.]

Joe: What's your best move?

Joey: My favorite wrestling hold would be to grapple into a headlock. But as for my favorite move ... I haven't had a chance to come up with a signature move, but I have been told my "Goodnight Body Slam" is devastating!

Joe: A lot of UCW fans, like me, think two guys wrestling each other is about as hot as it gets, maybe even hotter than fucking. What do you think about that?

Joey: Honestly, I think people think two guys wrestling is more erotic than sex because of the tease of it all. It's not straight intense hardcore sex, but two guys trying to outmuscle each other ... and sweating. I just think that's why some people like to watch wrestling, instead of two guys having sex.

Joe: It's teasing, eh? What you don't actually get. Like money shots. Or, in wrestling, with perhaps a different type of money shot: a pinfall, or a guy screaming out in pain, or like you said, getting choked out and his face just fading away. Maybe that's the ultimate O-face for wrestling kinksters. Speaking of pain, who has the highest tolerance for pain ... among the wrestlers at UCW?

Joey: Highest tolerance for pain? Uh, ME!

Joe: Really? You?

Joey: I love pain, not like in a sick "spank me" kinda way. But when people hit, slap, kick me, it just hypes me up and I go crazy on them. After me, though, I would definitely say Joker.

Joe: Oh, I could definitely see you going up against Joker someday.

Joey: The wrestlers I would like to take down would be, first off, Aron, little shit talker. [Laughs.] Corporal Punishment, just because, as of now, he is the biggest wrestler we have, and you can put me up against the biggest, baddest dude around, and I won't be scared. I might get my ass beat, but they will remember me. Thirdly would have to be James, because he has the belt!

Joe: Anybody at UCW ... or wrestlers anywhere ... you look up to and model yourself on?

Joey: I am my own person. I may take a few traits from a few different people, but I am my own man. I want people to be looking up to me and modeling themselves after Joey!

Joe: You got a favorite fighting-themed movie or TV show?

Joey: Well, I love watching UFC. I can learn new moves and figure out ways of defending myself against certain things that I wouldn't know how to do on my own. My favorite fighting movie is Fighting, with Channing Tatum.

Joe: Do you think you'd ever be interested in fighting in a steel cage, no-holds-barred style?

Joey: Like I said, you can put me against the biggest baddest dude there is, and I won't be scared. Steel cage? No holds barred? SIGN ME UP!

Joe: What kind of music gets you stoked up for fighting?

Joey: I love all kinds of music, but some crazy screaming music gets me hyped for a match. Hollywood Undead. Silverstein. Eminem. Things like that.

Joe: So tell us about the tattoos. Do they tell a story?

Joey: I have my first son's footprints on my right forearm. I love my kids, and I do everything for them. My newborn, I haven't had the chance to get any tats of him yet. The cross on my right shoulder ... it's a stone cross. I am religious. I believe in God, and that's that. I have my [first] son's name on my chest, Dominic Giovanni. And the New Jersey tat on my left shoulder ... well, I'm a Jerzy Boy. ... DIRTY JERZ!


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