Morgan Cruise's arrival at BG East was evidently not a day too soon. For a while now BG East has had a backlog of cocky gym bunnies needing somebody to knock them down a peg or two. Cruise, 5'8", 170#, is the man to do it, looking like the crooked motorcycle cop of my fantasies, a forehead to crack coconuts on, deep-set eyes, a man with more cheap shots than the Walmart vaccination clinic. And not too many days passed before he got his own Wrestler Spotlight, joining the ranks of wrestlers like Austin Cooper and Rio Bravo, whose near-instantaneous Spotlights spoke to their worldwide popularity and air of being "classic" from Day 1.
After a hard week at work (and in anticipation of an even harder week next week--research papers and finals to grade hurriedly), I watched this new release, which confirms my early impression that Cruise, nicknamed "The Mastadon," steps into the shoes of Brooklyn Bodywrecker, Brook Stetson, and Shane McCall, darkly menacing bad guys with hairy, he-man chests and faces that look like they should grace 1960s men's adventure magazines and tins of pouch tobacco.
Victim number one is Diego Diaz, sultrily handsome with a 6'3", 183# frame and a torso that's begging for a lot more of my attention than I have so far given it. Diego makes a good start till a swat to his cojones makes him feel downright miniature. To his credit, Diego gives good fight, and he gives nothing away to Morgan for free. But for sheer unstoppable meanness, he can't hold a candle to Morgan. Though ostensibly the two are fighting over a championship belt, Morgan's interest is simple and grim: maximizing his opponent's suffering. Nastiness thrives in a dog-eat-dog world, so Morgan is in his kingdom at BGE.
Next Morgan takes on Tony Law, 5'11", 185#. Tony has brawn and a reputation as a straight-arrow kind of guy. Pink and white as a baby, not a mark on him, except for the rose-colored tattoo on his right shoulder. "You look like the type to go to the gym four hours every day." Morgan pours on some of his snide, spidery charm, adding, "You also incidentally look like the type not to do the proper research on their opponents because they spend too much time in the weight room and not enough time in the library." (How could a community-college English teacher not love this guy? How many wrestlers can get the word "incidentally" through their lips, much less use it in a sentence that does not split the infinitive?) Morgan goes skinhead in this one, and it's a terrific look for him. He taunts Tony, insulting his intelligence and the functionality of his carefully cultivated muscles. Tests of strength prove the two are equal matches, but how equipped is Tony, with his deer-in-the-headlights look of constant incomprehension, to deal with Morgan's lightning-blast temper?
Chace LaChance, 5'9", 200#, offers Morgan the biggest challenge on this disk. Built compact and thick like Morgan, Chace is determined not to be another notch on the Mastodon's belt. In a match that lasts almost an hour, the two men have room enough to show off their stuff, and both guys have plenty of stuff. Chace is bigger here than in his earlier matches against Donnie Drake and Kieran Dunne, and the weight gain has filled out his face attractively. He's also a warier, better prepared wrestler than Diego and Tony were. He starts out matching Morgan at his own game--showing off muscle and whittling down his opponent's mountainous ego. But even whittled down, Morgan's ego is massive--as is his drive to dominate. But when he attacks Chace with the same low blow that brought Diego Diaz down to the mat, Chace quickly counters and blocks, then slips Morgan into a paralyzing armbar, saying, "Calm down a little bit ... [Slug to Morgan's chest] ... Calm down." What makes this match my favorite of the three is Chace's beauty, power, and ego, matched so perfectly against Morgan's raw aggression. If anyone can make this sick puppy swallow a tablespoon of his own medicine, it's Chace. And after only one viewing of this epic contest, I can tell you that it's going to reign in this blogger's fantasies for years to come.