Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saw This Coming

I have not always done my best in keeping this blog up to date on pressing new developments in the wrestling universe.

Take, for instance, the saga of Ohio Valley Wrestling's Paredyse and Brandon Espinosa, which I left off in February, with Espy, working possibly pro-wrestling's first "homophobe gimmick," in an obsessive effort to burst the Femmeboy Phenom's bubble or at least dim the flamboyant wrestler's gay wattage, always to no avail. Since then I saw Paredyse live and in person in Richmond last month and was hugely impressed with the guy's lithe, sexy body and ring charisma, beyond what I had gathered from the Internet, not to forget his ability to make female twenty-somethings, quite possibly sexually confused, weep-scream like devotees of Adonis.

I have not kept up. So to save time, I'm lifting material from Paredyse's personal web site, Kingdom of Paredyse, skimming off here and there, editing for usage (the writing teacher's bane and compulsion), translating to English, where needed, and providing me and you both with a precis of the drama since Valentine's Day. Gay or straight, this sort of out-of-ring theater in wrestling annoys me. However, since the Paredyse-Espinosa feud touches on issues I sometimes mull over on this blog, curiosity gets the best of me, and I'm willing to explore it in abstract. Better this than having to watch it on television.
[18 Feb. 2012 - OVW TV #650] An All New Moment In Paredyse With The Hostess With The Mostess, PAREDYSE. Today's guest is a repeat offender in a lot of ways. Dear old Brandon Espinosa is here with some hard hitting questions being asked. Brandon, however, refuses and instead invites Paredyse to come on his show next week called "Brandon Espinosa's Straight Talk," where he will answer all of Paredyse's questions and have some for Paredyse as well.
[25 Feb. 2012 - OVW TV #653] Brandon Espinosa's "Straight Talk" debuts with its first guest, Paredyse. Brandon says he was thrilled when he first came to OVW, thinking it was a place with real athletes, but then he saw Paredyse. He wants to know why Paredyse picked his lifestyle. However, Paredyse can't answer because he is confused by who or what Brandon's friend "Chris" is. Not getting any answers, Brandon attacks Paredyse and puts him in a dress with some [more, I would have to assume] makeup.
[3 Mar. 2012 - OVW Saturday Night Special] Espinosa defeats Paredyse in a Dress on a Pole Match with the help of Chris [now, at least, free of quotation marks]. 
[31 Mar. 2012 - OVW TV #657]  Paredyse presents us with a new Moment In Paredyse with Brandon Espinosa and Chris. He starts talking about network sites like Twitter and Facebook, so big now, on which people can share anything. Speaking of sharing things, he claims to have found video of Brandon in a certain kind of place where some lifestyles can be expressed. Paredyse offers to put the tape on the line at the Saturday Night Special. If Paredyse wins their match that night, he will show the video.
[7 Apr. 2012 - OVW Saturday Night Special] Paredyse defeats Brandon Espinosa and promises to show the world the video that Espy doesn't want shown the following weekend.
 [14 Apr. 2012 - OVW TV #660] Brandon complains about Paredyse's showing the video of his secret life, scheduled for this evening's show. .... A Moment In Paredyse that is ... to be the biggest Moment In Paredyse in history. Paredyse shows the video of Brandon walking into a gay club, being hit on by guys and responding with the same motions [I'm guessing that the "same motions" means that Espinosa, in turn, hits on guys at the bar]. ... Josette Bynum [OVW's kayfabe "talent coordinator"] stops the tape. Paredyse demands to be allowed to show the rest, without effect.
[28 Apr. 2012 - OVW TV #662] In the locker room Brandon Espinosa attacks Paredyse from behind, and Espinosa's "friend" Chris [those deftly sliding quote marks] barricades the door with a chair, while Espinosa throws Paredyse hard into a locker. A lot of intensity from Espinosa here, and this looks like it sucks for Paredyse. 
[26 May 2012 - OVW TV #666] Backstage Espy is seen hitting on Daniel Pruce. ... Paredyse comes out of nowhere and attacks Brandon.
 [2 June 2012 - OVW TV #667] Paredyse brings us a very special Moment In Paredyse titled "Brandon Espinosa: This Is Your Life." Brandon and Chris come out for the show. Paredyse brings up last week's backstage segment [in which] Espy got touchy with Daniel Pruce. An event that Espy denies. Paredyse says he has more on Brandon, getting touchy with other OVW talent. He brings out Arik Kristopher, who claims Brandon got too close while spotting him doing squats at the gym. The next guest out is Elvis Pridemoore, who claims Brandon ... wanted to rub his head. Then out comes Ricky Chevy, who says that after an OVW event he was taking a shower and reached for his towel, only to see Brandon wearing it ... and only that. Brandon denies the first claim. He says that he liked Elvis's hat and that the towel was his. Brandon attacks Paredyse. A brawl ensues. The end result is that Paredyse and Espinosa are scheduled to fight an "I Quit" or "I Admit" match. If Paredyse loses, his career is over. However, if Espinosa loses, he must admit he is "light in the loafers." [That evening at OVW Saturday Night Special] Paredyse defeats Brandon Espinosa (with Chris). After the match Brandon covers his head in shame. Paredyse comes over and says he has nothing to be ashamed of.
Is this the end of the feud? I do not know. I'm just amazed that OVW played out this storyline like an Afternoon Special about coming to terms with one's sexual feelings. Yesterday Charles Parrish posted the photos above of the OVW TV taping on Wednesday for this weekend. It looks like everything's going to be rainbows and unicorns for Paredyse and Espy from now on. (Whether we ever find out the biological makeup of Chris remains a mystery to me.)

And, sure, there still are some shades of homophobia in all this, but, to be perfectly frank, if this were part of a wrestling program in the UK, France, Japan, or anywhere but here, I'd be talking about how so much more enlightened and sophisticated it is than anything you would find in the USA. But, look here, I found this in the USA, not only that, but in the South--Kentucky, the home of OVW--with wrestlers from Virginia and Missouri. How's that for sophistication?


  1. As a lifelong pro wrestling fan, I'm tired of every wrestler or promotion that uses the "gay stereotype" as a gimmick always resorting to the flamboyant, effeminate, prancing, mascara-wearing sissy. What would be enlightened or sophisticated is having a "gay" leather-daddy heel who dominates a locker room full of homophobes, or better yet just some out and proud young muscle jock who doesn't have to be accompanied to the ring by some scantily-clad slut to prove he's a hetero.

    1. I hear you, Stefan, and agree. What you wish for is what I wish for, too. The novelty of the OCW storyline, in my opinion, is in characterizing the homophobe as a ring character and then ultimately revealing him to be closeted and ashamed of who he really is. Regrettably, this plays out by having Espinosa dress more flamboyantly as the plot thickened, which I did not mention in the posting. The Paredyse character gives me a vaguely queasy feeling I have not yet been able to define and seems to target women (who are his most vocal and enthusiastic supporters) much more than men, gay or straight.



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