Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Hits (Recent Popular Posts)


"Fast" Eddie Franken (in green and black) took The Wrestling Matt by surprise, reversing Matt's surefire suplex for a sudden and climactic pinfall, thus also taking the opening match of last Friday's Manville, New Jersey, show for the Funkdafied Wrestling Federation (FwF: formerly National Pro Wrestling). Both young studs make a good case for singlets, I think. Find photos by Scott Finkelstein of the full show here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mark 13

Enjoy the screen captures and let me rhapsodize a bit. From time to time, I find myself having to struggle with the peculiar fascination of Mark Lander for me. For others, too, but of course I can speak only for myself, especially since I have yet to conclude what exactly that fascination consists of. He was a slim, sinewy, and good looking wrestler, but still a far cry from the sumptuous beauty of somebody like Rio Garza or Alexi Adamov. His matches for the now-defunct Let's Wrestle are long: several, like the one depicted above, run for an hour--this one, against Danny Shaydaki, contains numerous headlocks and chokes, one of which lasts eight minutes, as Mark tightens, Danny taps, Mark loosens his clench, without entirely releasing, only to gradually tighten up on his victim yet again. There's no dialogue to speak of--no bigmouth jibes, no commentary, very little sound at all except the ambient sounds of nature and distant aircraft and of Mark and his opponent breathing and shifting position on the mat.

There's a quiet almost meditative quality to these power struggles. Some of Krushco's releases are comparable in tone, though physically Lander and company look more like wrestlers one expects to see at UCW-Wrestling. There's no hurry--no belt to win, no bell to sound, no frenzied rush to a climax of some sort, no promos to cut. The photography, despite fleeting moments that look like Renaissance religious paintings, is as dry and matter-of-fact as the stationary camerawork in old nature documentaries that patiently take in a python's slow, rather disturbing, yet hard-to-take-your-eyes-off devouring of a deer. I don't make the analogy lightly: I always imagine something snakelike about the way Mark coils around his opponent, enveloping the weaker man's body in his own.

I don't mean to suggest that Mark's presence connotes evil exactly, but I find a certain darkness in his methodology, emotionless and indifferent as the forces of nature we humans find daunting--the Venus flytrap, a spider cocooning its meal in web, a tsunami approaching dumbfounded tourists on the beach, videotaping their inescapable doom. I'm drawn into the surgical quiet of it, amazed at the way Mark holds his opponent paralyzed and then casually looks off to one side as if he's about to whistle a Burt Bacharach tune. I mentioned religious art; well, in these shots we can see Danny assuming the poses and attitudes of a painted martyr, ghostly pale against the darkness, suffering beatifically, at one point hands clasped like a Raphaelite saint. But then, who is Mark? Perhaps the Roman soldier commanded to execute the saint, professional, cool, without malice.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tight Fix

Capture shots of Eli Black battling Joey Cantrell in Freestyle Combat League's soon-to-be-released Match 19 show the tattooed hunks in strenuous struggle in a highly anticipated (real) submission bout.


Pete Bouncer, b. 3 June 1987, 6'3", 209#, ring debut 15 September 2012, German Wrestling Federation

Sunday, January 27, 2013


A hot, hairy heel like Morgan Cruise has got you in a figure-four choke and commands you to jerk off, what do you do? Do you sell the choke, moaning and thrashing, your eyes rolling and saliva leaking out the corner of your mouth? Or do you pull that pud till your balls clench up tight and you shoot a geyser of cum that splats down on your honey-colored tummy? I say 80% of the problem is in the situation. How can Marc Merino--how could anybody--do both things at once? So in BG East's latest jobber beatdown can I blame Marc for temporarily ignoring Cruise's hairy thighs at his throat and squinting down at his cock as he strokes? No, in all honesty, I cannot.

Morgan criticizes Marc again and again for wasting that hot body of his. For not doing aerobics, not practicing yoga, not mounting an offense--or a defense either. Was Morgan unaware that this video would be titled Muscle Destruction? Look, once the title flat-out tells you you're a goner, what's the point of putting up an offense? But let me tell you this: Whatever it is that Marc Merino is doing in the gym is all right by me! Six or seven times while Morgan was bending and twisting that muscle-stacked torso of his, I shot. All it took was seeing that smooth, firm, bulging stomach stretched to its limit, heaving in and out as he struggled to breathe. That's a stomach I could paint my masterpiece on if I were an artist. I could write poems to that stomach. Few things would please me more than to rest my head on that stomach while Marc and I watch Seasons 1 through 4 of Spartacus, that is, whenever the new season comes out on Blu Ray.

But it is not just Marc Merino's stomach that wows me. Those Christopher Moltisanti eyes knock me out, too. And I'm a huge fan these days of the chin patch and buzzcut combo, in case anybody is interested. But could it hurt to leave a little something dark and salty in the pits?

That said, I have to say (for the umpteenth time) that I'm typically more a fan of two hardy lugs smacking each other down and around and trying to mess each other up, give-and-take style. I have liked some Jobberpaloozer and Hunkbash matches, but they are more the exceptions than the rule. And in the ones I have liked, typically the jobbers and the hunks give as good as they take--for a little while--even if just to raise false hopes in me, the most gullible mark in the world. Marc might have emoted just a wee bit more, for my tastes, even though I know it's hard to slap the salami and plead for your life at the same time. Different as this match is from the stuff I usually go for, my cock voted decisively in its favor.

This is not my absolute favorite match in the BGE Catalog 97--that would probably be either Firestorm vs Tomsen or Adamov vs Quinn in Ring Revenge, not to imply that I have seen everything in the catalog. But Muscle Domination was the "surprise hit" of the lot. I was totally blown away by it. No small part of the credit goes to heel superstar Morgan Cruise. The man rocks. He meticulously gives every luscious piece of Merino a good drubbing before he's done with him. Chest, arms, midsection, thighs, head. But truthfully it was mostly Marc Merino who sold me on this match. Not so much anything he did, but just the whole 210-pound fact of him, looking hot, suffering Morgan's delicious abuses, and finally squeezed into blissful sleepytime by Morgan's iron-like muscle.

I have removed some photos featuring explicit nudity from this posting because they belong to The Arena at BGEast, which owns exclusive rights to them.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hammer Time

Tyson "Hammer" debuts at UCW-Wrestling in a match [#254] against Michael Hannigan this weekend. At first, mohawked Hammer seems a little put off by the Saw-meets-Hostel sadomasochistic trappings of the UCW studio, especially Hannigan's kink for patent leather and PVC. Michael seems nervous too, at one point tossing a wild word salad about Hammer's being a taller, leaner version of CJ Devastation mixed with CJ's trainer Twisted Torment (who twistedly tormented Hannigan in his UCW debut). Flashback? Hallucination? The jitters? Talk gets them nowhere, so the fight begins without a lot of fronting or fanfare, and, happily, they are both more at ease in action on the mats.

With only five months behind him, Hannigan may be an odd pick for breaking in Hammer. But his training has been intense, both in the school of hard knocks in previous video releases and off-camera under the tutelage of BodySlam and Axel, and the kid likes to fight, always ready to rise to a provocation. It doesn't hurt a bit that he's good looking, a slim boy-next-door-type who likes to work out his aggression by tussling with likeminded punks. Hammer looks good, too, with the type of solid core that Eli Black keeps going on and on about.

Hannigan takes a quick lead, targeting the new guy's arms, having learned that at UCW the best strategy is a preemptive strike that weakens an opponent and dampens his will to fight. After playing the victim for about five minutes, though, Hammer earns his moniker with a powerful right-handed blow to Michael's abs that turns the tables. He delivers some solid payback for Hannigan's presumptuous manhandling at the start. Well matched in size and determination, Hammer-vs-Hannigan then turns into quite a tasty give-and-take match, with both fighters striving either to choke the other guy out or crack his spine and snap off his limbs. It's a sterling debut for Tyson and an exhibition of just how much Michael has learned during his two seasons as an underground wrestler.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Japan Man

Three of my formative years (ages 10 to 13) were spent in Japan, while my father, a military man, was stationed at Yokota Air Force Base. We lived in Tokyo, and I attended school on base, where I and other military "brats" took required courses in Japanese culture.  I was friends with only a few Japanese boys my age or slightly older, who spoke little English (and I, little Japanese). I count four factors in my preadolescence that mainly influenced my present idea of "masculinity": Tarzan, the military, James Bond, and Japan.

The Japanese were and apparently still are simultaneously more reticent yet more pragmatic about gender roles and sexual behavior than North Americans and Europeans. Prostitution was fairly open in the shopping district near my home. Nobody, after a while not even we puritanical Americans, thought much about it. Everything was tolerated so long as it was invisible, cloaked in ceremony, or utilitarian. Japanese women dove for pearls topless and nursed their babies in public all the time. People pissed and shat in benjo ditches next to the roads. The only truly forbidden part of the Japanese anatomy was pubes--to show pubes was patently obscene. Soap operas and comic books were, even in the 1960s, pretty flagrantly sadomasochistic. "Male colors" (nanshoku)--the Chinese concept of male homoerotic sensuality--had been widely adopted among Buddhist monks, samurai warriors, aristocrats, and kabuki actors for centuries. No laws in Japan forbid homosexuality. Its only regulation is age of consent, which varies from prefecture to prefecture. Apart from individual municipalities, no laws protect the rights of gays and lesbians against discrimination either, homosexuality being viewed perhaps as a set of customs or practices, not a minority identity. Under the influence of Christian missionaries, Japan outlawed anal intercourse in 1873, but dropped the ban just seven years later. 

However, by American standards, Japanese gays still live "in the closet." Many still marry the opposite sex and have children. Even among cross-dressers, flamboyance is avoided (though this is relative, to be taken in the context of a society in which, on occasion, even masculine men parade openly in flowery silks that even the pope might regard as too nancy). Despite a great deal of tolerance for what one does discreetly in a designated proper place--and Japan has "proper places" and ceremonies for just about everything!--reserve, tradition, and conformity ruled almost every aspect of Japanese life as I saw it, and probably still do to a greater extent than in other capitalistic democracies.

Japanese culture supports a more rigid dichotomy between masculine and feminine than in North America or most of Europe. (I have no idea what inroads feminism has made to the culture, but based on what I remember from childhood, feminists would have had an extraordinarily tough fight.) Men have to portray strength, toughness, control, and dominance all the time, without irony. Men were stoic, reserved in their emotions, tolerant of pain and setbacks. I never met a whiny Japanese man--nor saw one portrayed on Japanese television except as an object of contempt. The modern-day corporate salaryman (like one friend's father, who was an executive at Japan Airlines--somewhere I still have the corporate pin he once presented me with) modeled himself on the samurai--universal respect, a high sense of honor, and unreserved loyalty to his lord (or CEO).

In my mind, the connection of the previous paragraphs to pro wrestling (puroresu in Japan) is obvious, but it may not be in yours. When I watch wrestlers like Atsushi Aoki, CIMA, Hiroshi Tanahashi, KENTA, Kota Ibushi, Masato Yoshino, Naomichi Marufuji, and YAMATO, I am struck by their speed, toughness, strength, well-honed skills and professionalism, and solemnity (sometimes almost comically butch to my ironized Western eyes). I'm also struck by their imperviousness to pain (except when theatrically selling an opponent's move, which on average Japanese wrestlers do more wrenchingly than U.S. wrestlers--I generalize, of course) and their reserve--even heels (some of them) appear to respond humbly to the fans' cheers and expressions of awe.

It seems to me that the Japanese take their wrestling more seriously than Westerners do (with the exception, perhaps, of Mexicans). Not as ceremonious as sumo wrestling, Japanese pro wrestling still borrows from that tradition--in the ways audiences watch the event and absorb the spectacle and drama, and in the rigor of a wrestler's preparations for a fight. Japanese wrestling is still about manly honor on a level that not even Ring of Honor or Dragon Gate USA has been able to market successfully to American fans. Noble gestures come aplenty in puroresu. Shame, not loss, is still the worst thing that can happen to a Japanese wrestler. Stiff chops and real pain dominate the "strong style" wrestling popularized in Japan, combining elements of contemporary European-style pro wrestling (for the drama) and martial arts (for authenticity)--but the result is something very much like the catch-as-catch-can wrestling popular in the West in the 1940s and 1950s, when Karl Gotch and others ruled the rings.

I can't say I understand much of what I'm seeing when I watch pro wrestling from Japan, but I like what I see. And its dramatization of manliness still inspires and moves.

Atsushi Aoki, b. 1977, 5'7", 180# 
CIMA, b. 1977, 5'8", 180#

Hiroshi Tanahashi, b. 1976, 5'11", 230#

KENTA, b. 1981, 5'8", 180#

Kota Ibushi, b. 1983, 5'11", 190#

Masato Yoshino, b. 1980, 5'8", 160#

Naomichi Marufuji, b. 1979, 5'9", 200#

YAMATO, b. 1981, 5'8", 180#


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