Man, how I love the sound of muscle and bone slapping against muscle and bone! Rock Hard Wrestling's latest tag team match gives me plenty of that, along with boisterous taunts, screams of strangled agony, and Austin Cooper yelling from the corner, "Let me at him!"
Coop has dumped Jake Jenkins, reportedly, according to rumor, because of Jake's recent losing streak at RHW in singles matches. Now Cooper's teamed with hot, young Brodie Fisher to fight Will Stanley and Jason Kane, basically a pairing of a vet and a rookie on opposite corners of the ring. Adding insult to injury to old Jake, Austin has dressed his teenage replacement in Jake's old oxblood trunks.
Will and Jason quickly establish themselves as heel material as they mercilessly throttle Brodie, leering as Austin calls helplessly from his corner. A while back, Wrestling Arsenal wrote eloquently of the men stuck outside the ring in team competitions, and his blog always comes to mind at moments like this.
Coop and Jake were such deliriously delightful heels at Rock Hard, it's a bit strange to see Austin as the rock-steady (and "rock hard") big brother to poor put-upon Brodie. The lusciously buff duo may not consistently take the high road in this match, but at least they can say that they were not the ones who started the rough stuff.
When he finally gets into the fight, Austin gives Jason, the vet on the other team, a thorough and satisfying trouncing, denying Will the chance to intervene until he's given little buddy Brodie a chance to hold the bad boy's arms back to the turnbuckle while Coop flogs him like a dusty throw rug.
Once he's reduced Jason to a limp dishrag, he contemptuously boots him back to his corner, basically inviting Will into the ring for some of the same. Will comes in strong, however, busting Coop's back over his shoulder and then crushing him in a viselike bodyscissors. Then nasty Will makes highly questionable use of the ring ropes to torture Austin's hamstrings. Brodie the kid tags in and proceeds to redeem his earlier weak showing by busting his haughty British counterpart up.
At the end of Round 1, it's the two big brothers in the ring again, and Austin, his temper riled, goes mondo-savage all over long, lanky Jason's skinny ass. When Coop locks Jason in a headscissors and starts pounding his abs, we get a sense of how cocky and a little warped the bad boys are when Will urges Coop not to hold back on his partner, shouting, in a mixture of overweening confidence and near-treachery, "Hit him harder ... he can take it!"
No strangers to cockiness (or rule-bending) themselves, Austin and Brodie double team to test just how much punishment Jason indeed can take, finally leaving him groaning and half conscious, a sweaty heap on the ring floor.
That's Round 1, and it's probably the most invigorating tag team round I have watched in a long time. I love Austin as a babyface, albeit a slightly shady one, but then I do just plain love Austin. It's a fact.
I'll spare you spoilers about what happens next, but from beginning to end this give-and-take fight gave me a stiffy that stayed with me all the way to bedtime and stuck by me through a long and windy night. I know it has its critics, but Rock Hard has got only better over the years, and this is a match that stands up against any other company's product for toughness, for sweat, for rub-your-eyes-in-disbelief holds, for drama, and for pure undiluted sex appeal.
(Thanks to Bob at Rock Hard for supplying these pictures.)