I have a habit of quoting myself from time to time. I hate that about me. I say things like "I was saying to So-and-so the other day ..." or "As I recently wrote in my blog ...," really obnoxious. I run into this problem with the BG East catalogs, to which I contribute descriptive copy from time to time. I try not to reread my blurbs once they leave my hands for some in-house fine tuning and then the virtual presses. I try not to quote what I've already said about a new BGE release in another context. I try to keep my job of engaging with a mass audience's needs and bents separate from dredging up and picking over my own. (I've been told I have problems maintaining a clear divide, at either end. I'm not particularly surprised.) But on the blog, the enthusiasm is all mine, and, as I recently wrote in this blog, I keep more or less mum about the stuff that doesn't rock my world. (You caught that, did you?)
So here's what rocks my world in the newly published Catalog 93. Keep in mind, I haven't seen everything, though. In all cases, the picks should not surprise regular readers who have heard me before wax on about some of these guys.
Austin Cooper, 5'9", 170#, versus Patrick Donovan, 6'1", 170#, in Matmen 23, brings together a long-held favorite and a more recently acquired preference, and the result is so much better than I could ever have imagined. Austin's new manscaping gives him a sort of Hurd Hatfield rakishness. (How I do date myself, over and over again!) And he looks absolutely huge and lush, like some primeval rock formation in Wyoming. Then there's Patrick, lean, sinewy, and tricky. You never know what this guy is cooking up in his head. His face gives nothing away. Austin's emerging cockiness starts us off, and Patrick's devilry ignites the action. After that, there's no telling what the next turn will be, or how this bout will end. I did not expect the chemistry between these two on the mat, but it's there ... palpably. It's Austin's sexiest match yet, and Patrick's most strenuous. I would be very very pleased if this pairing has a sequel someday, perhaps in the gazebo ... or, dare I hope it, in a raunchy motel room.
Jonny Firestorm, 5'5", 155#, versus Donnie Drake, 6', 200#, in Ringwars 20, is pro-style brilliance, nothing short of. Jonny is in terrific shape--back in smooth mode, after trying on the "daddy bear" role for a while. (For me, both work for him, but in the end I cast my vote for smooth and hard, so long as he never puts a razor to those beautiful forearms.) Not enough can be said about this man's shoulders and thighs. I go weak. Jonny working a bigger man is always amazing, and Donnie is hardly some big lug who doesn't know his way around the ring. The battle is back and forth, in rapid succession. Donnie taps into his brute side, which has been given some tapping for the past year or two! The action gets sweaty, messy, and reckless in no time. At one point, they bust up a turnbuckle, and Donnie goes to the trouble of beating down Jonny just to give himself some time to reattach the broken rope so he can beat down Jonny some more the way he likes it, with the little guy cornered. But even cornered, loomed over, and outweighed, Jonny is not cowered. A most satisfying exhibition of the art of catch wrestling.
Jake Jenkins, 5'7", 158#, versus Jayden Mayne, 5'8", 150#, in Gazebo Grapplers 13, puts Jake through the ringer once again (it's been a streak lately), against an adversary who, at first glance, seems no match for him. Jake and Jayden are both relatively new to BGE. A passing resemblance facilitates re-imagining this fight as sibling rivalry. Certainly the testy attitudes exhibited from the beginning seem to mirror the sort of dysfunction one finds in families. The two seem wrapped up in the question of which one of them has the most fans. Jake seems determined to prove to everybody that Jayden has no business wrestling anybody and all set to make sure the guy never steps back on a mat or in a ring again. Jayden is licking his chops over the prospect of owning Jake (and who can blame him?) and perhaps nipping the pretty superstar's skyrocketing fight career in the bud. Jayden exerts an amazing amount of energy to no other purpose than to hurt Jake, make him scream, and cut through the man's tightlipped macho posturing. He succeeds, but never for long, since behind Jake's posturing is a whole heap of genuine machismo. This is one of those matches that could go either way ... and does, for the duration, until a finisher that requires no ref or point count to determine the victor and the loser.
I had no specific expectations of Kid Karisma, 5'8", 170#, versus Skip Vance, 5'6", 153#, in the climactic event of Matmen 23. Kid K is a god in my world. He's built tight, he's witty, he's merciless, and he's got more moves than a ticked-off badger. Here we see he has hair on his chest and a sandpaper buzzcut, too, the antithesis of Skip's summery tan blondness. Skip is pretty, but I've never seen him as much competition for anybody I've previously seen him up against, though I know that's the point for most of you freaks. (I say that with love.) Kid Leopard, The Boss at BG East, has said on more than one occasion that he likes to see pretty blond boys suffer, so this match has got to be the mother of all wet dreams for him. Me, I'm not so much a fan of squash jobs, but I do love this match. In all honesty, it's Karisma's smart mouth and, well, lusciousness that save it for me. And the sexual undertones rise to the surface as the bout progresses. It's always one sided. Skip's assaults seem little more than deliberate provocations. Apparently, the kid likes to get beat up by beautiful rough heels, and who can blame him, especially with a sleek shark like Kid Karisma gunning for him. And, though the match outcome is set in stone from the beginning, Kid K takes his sweet time finalizing his conquest, a deliciously long time. And a final coda gives us a peak at what all the fuss has been for--and it's, oh, so very sweet!