Saturday, July 20, 2013

No More Mister Nice Guy

Zack Johnathan has the winningest smile in wrestling, and he's sick and tired of it. It's one thing to be adored for a sparkling personality, chiseled muscle, and movie-star looks. It's another thing to be respected as a tough guy, top of the league, and bone crusher. Fan adoration is something Zack already has safe and secure in his back pocket. What he wants now is to be respected for his ring prowess ... and feared by his fellow wrestlers.

For the past year Zack has been watching the new talent at Rock Hard Wrestling, fresh young faces with hard bodies and little to no previous wrestling experience at RHW or anywhere. He worries that the up-and-comers and wannabes will crowd out the seasoned veterans like him. He hears about the emails these young guys get and the packages containing expensive gifts. Zack isn't lacking for fans, but he resents the fact that some of the new kids need only slip into some tight wrestling trunks to get the sort of attention he busted his ass to earn. Something needs to be done to snap the spotlight back to him. He's decided to turn a new leaf and find a new mission: From now on, the new meat will pay their dues.

Nineteen-year-old Kyle Carter, 5'11", 170#, has the looks and the muscle to catch fans' attention. Ruddy all-American face capped with a butch haircut. Bouncing pecs, immovable washboard abs, and a bubble butt, all textbook for the new generation of grappling stars. Kyle is another great find for RHW, which has an unmatched eye for hotties with the potential to make a mark in video wrestling. It's just his bad luck to debut against Zack.

Kyle holds his own in a preliminary test of strength. "How long you been in this frat club? You're pretty old." Kyle smiles, impudently, flashing his pearly whites, confident in his abilities, as he forces Zack down to one knee. Zack returns the favor, adding a boot to the gut once the kid is on his knee. Zack sets out not only to beat the rookie but also to humble him, not only to break him in but also to break him. He gets the kid in a reverse bear hug, his thick arms crushing the boy's ribcage. Kyle claws his way loose, but then falls exhausted to the mat. Zack picks him up and bodyslams him. He spreads the recruit's legs and kicks his thighs, then elbow-drops to the upper thigh, close to the groin. He flips Kyle over for a hammerlock. Warning shots, so far.

Zack looks fantastic, thicker and stronger than ever, smooth layers of muscle flexing with every move. Kyle breaks a sweat while Zack works every bone, tendon, and muscle in his body. The wily veteran ties the rookie to the ring corner with the boy's jumprope and then kicks the kid's breakfast up flat against his spine. "I'm gonna show you how to be tough," Zack promises, locking his hands to Kyle's throat. Cut loose, Kyle wipes the sweat from his eyes and dodges a corner blow to gain an advantage over Zack. The kid may be new, but he clearly stocked up on tough long before he crossed the threshold to RHW. He chokes the bigmouth vet on the bottom rope. Zack fights his way loose and redoubles his furious assault on the rookie, ultimately submitting him with a claw hold to the stomach. 

"Think you can go for another round?" Zack taunts at the start of Round 2, his smile edged with malice. He targets Kyle's gut again. Kyle packs up to withstand the assault. Again Zack requisitions the kid's jumprope as a weapon, this time to cinch it around his throat. Even more brutally than in Round 1, Zack sets out to demolish his opponent, taunting him nonstop, at this point probably more to impress us fans than to dent Kyle's ego. He ties the rookie up on the ropes, punishing him for being young and cocky, but now even more for coming close to winning the first round. He lights a fire in the kid, and Kyle fires back in an extended beatdown on Zack that shows us exactly how ready (damn ready) the younger fighter is to face the kind of competition RHW brings.

Zack has never been more vicious (i.e. better) than he is in this matchup. Any doubts I ever had about the man's abilities as a heel have been answered in this contest. Every new hire at RHW needs to be put through his paces by Zack--and the time has come for some grunting rematches against his fellow veterans. As for young Kyle, the teen has got his shit together. He needs a bit more seasoning at the hands of vets like Austin Cooper, perhaps, but I can't wait to see him take on Brodie Fisher or Josh Steel--or a giant like fellow newb Brian Baker.

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