Monday, September 30, 2013


Right this minute my favorite person is my man Gary, friend of this blog and sender of this link connecting us to a 14 July 2007 fight in Scotland between gaunt hothead Ron Jeremi, 5'11", 154#, and the bodybuilder Andrew Chappell, 5'8", 179#, aka Mushy, the SSW champ at the time. 

Chappell is a three-time British Natural Bodybuilding Federation champion. As a vocal advocate for natural bodybuilding, the four-time Mr. Scotland must have felt scorched by fans' insistence that his sublime physique was the product of steroids. But then the crowd was clearly in Jeremi's corner that night and liable to say just about anything.

I could wish for brighter lighting, steadier camerawork, and tighter focus. Two or three times the two wrestlers could have picked up the pace, and I would have paid extra for more grunt-n-groan matwork, but, all in all, it's a fine match, with both battlers glossy with sweat by the end of the 14-minute contest. Mushy's thighs and shoulders alone place this battle, like Gary, at the top of my current gold-star list. Well done to all!

Gary said, "I've never seen anyone pack a pair of black trunks better than this guy. Face, body, package. 3 out of 3 ain't bad." I can't argue with that. If somebody ever holds a contest for best-packed black trunks, I hope they tap my pal Gary and me as judges. 

New Favorite Gimmick: Concrete Davidson

A good pro-wrestling name needs to put a smile on my face and excite a little lust. Australian wrestler Concrete Davidson must know that. His ring name suggests antique notions of power and durability, and his ring attire--late 19th-century carnival strongman singlet, with leopard spots (even on his wristbands)--hards me up. What a terrific gimmick! Crewcut, handlebar mustache, burly biceps, and signature holds with names that hark back to the beginnings of professional wrestling (e.g., "Feats of Strength").

The genius of "Concrete Davidson"--a name that can stand proudly next to "'Ravishing' Rick Rude," "Johnny Cockstrong," "Marcus 'Buff' Bagwell," and "Randy 'Macho Man' Savage"--is not limited to his catchy moniker; it's the totality of his old-school machismo. He's one part Eugen Sandow, one part John L. Sullivan, and one part Frank Merriwell. In an online interview last year, Davidson enticed fans with details of how he prepares for a big fight:
First I strip off my clothings and get completely naked from head to toe. I put on my boots, one leg at a time, then my leopard patterned wrestling attire. I then apply the mustache wax to achieve my charming, signature curl. In order to achieve maximum hold, the wax is mixed with a pinch of cement, and that is how I earned the nickname "Cement Mustache" Concrete Davidson.
"Old Conco," billed as 6', 190#, has been in pro wrestling since the spring of 2011, but he just this weekend came to my attention. His Facebook page contains more of his copious (and, for me, enchanting) mythology:
Born in 1896 into a family of Carnival folk, Concrete Davidson literally entered the world wrestling his own umbilical cord, forcibly breaking it within seconds. 
At only 6 weeks old, he was able to walk under his own power and at 3 months old he could lift a 10lb ring weight overhead using his index finger... a tremendous feat of tendon strength. 
At the age of 3 he lifted a 270lb Scotsman by his nostrils.
It goes on from there. And his wrestling debut against the sumptuously studly Mad Turk Hussein is pretty hot, despite the shaky camerawork. Watch the video here.

There's also a brand new website, where he lists his stats as 5'11" and 14.5 stone (203 pounds).

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ancient Blood

I'm not the first person to note that in popular entertainment--the American kind and its imitators abroad--violence is not necessarily about violence. That is, it's not meant to mirror the real violence of the world. Instead, it's typically about adolescent sex, not just because violence comes close on the heels of sex and/or nudity in most super-violent movies, but because the energy of explosions, jetting arterial blood, and messy defilements of the body is a lively erotic metaphor--specifically for sexually inexperienced teenage boys, the genre's most ardent audience. It's the most explicit artistic expression of sexuality permissible in a puritanic society more comfortable with public hangings and witch-burnings than with realistic depictions of the sex act (any sex act). (Americans are also peculiarly uncomfortable with the subject of death--read Jessica Mitford's The American Way of Death [1963]--so splashily spectacular Hollywood-style death scenes deny death's reality and make death seem less ordinary and inevitable--almost alien--death being, however, the most ordinary and inevitable thing in the world.)

Now that Spartacus, the TV series, has reached its close and is available on DVD, I'd like to comment on its peculiar use of violence--specifically, the digitally added spurts of blood (more operatic than realistic, usually played out in slow motion) which have become a staple in action-movie violence since at least the 2007 film 300, which, like Spartacus, depicts a fantasy version of the ancient world. Spartacus the series is very different from the 1960 film of the same name, notably (and of some importance to me) in its depiction of the sexuality of gladiators. Spartacus is the most homoerotic depiction of gladiatorial life I've seen (and I've seen more than a few gladiator movies). Butt-fucking (noisy, buck-naked butt-fucking) and (perhaps more surprising) lip-locking between males are recurrent from the first season to the fourth and last, escalating in the final season, which gives us plenty of both and, more, major plot lines involving two pairs of same-sex lovers, one couple, heroic gladiators, the other couple, duplicitous Roman oppressors. 

The STARZ series not only is explicitly violent but also explicitly homoerotic. It provides the most extensive beefcake exhibition of any TV show (or mainstream film) I've seen, not to mention plenty of full-frontal male nudity (and really hotted-up nudity too--not the Forgetting Sarah Marshall variety), and, in my opinion, its stylized violence stands in for the only part of the sex act the risk-taking producers couldn't get away with on TV: ejaculation. Repeatedly, the series plays up the erotic tensions between adversaries, the agitation between two combatants often being as sexually charged as deadly--again, most apparent in the final season. The ongoing (and central) love-hate relationship between the man called "Spartacus" and the constantly scowling Crixus is more Beatrice/Benedick than Maximus/Commodus. I'd say more on this subject, but I promised myself "no spoilers."

As much as Fight Club (more the novel than the movie, but the movie too), Spartacus the series plays up the eroticism of male aggression ... and the aggressiveness of male sexuality. Obsessively detailed closeups of swords penetrating male flesh and the seemingly bottomless cliff at the edge of the ludus (remember that Freud once said that dreams of falling represent anxiety over giving in to a sexual impulse) contribute to the series' tone of exaggerated violence ... and its sexual undertone.  It's vastly different from the Oscar-winning movie, but let's remember that the movie's arena and battle scenes were, in its day (1960), considered quite visceral in their portrayal of violence and death. But whereas the Kubrick film, with Kirk Douglas (Liberace's father) in the lead, coyly dodges the question of homosexuality in the ancient world with talk of oysters and snails (in a scene that was cut from the original release), the vastly more exuberant 21st-century retelling of the story downplays historicity and politics to give fuller expression to pre-Christian sexual mores--more or less without blinking. Both versions focus on the theme of liberation--the former in the context of the civil rights movement, the latter (arguably) mostly in the context of sexual liberation. Call it soft porn, if you like, but I call it heroic.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Blond Bombshells


Take a stock car racer. Grow his hair to his shoulders. Bleach a strip of his hair, anywhere will do but preferably touching the forehead. Better yet, bleach all his hair. You've just made an old-school wrestler, a sexed-up grunt-n-groaner, typically a heel, especially if you call him a Fabulous Blonde or Hollywood Blonde (the silent but feminizing "e" of "blonde" cinching his trickiness, cowardice, and good-for-nothingness). Or, best yet, slap the epithet "Gorgeous" on him. Go classic.

Guys like these were huge in the 1970s on the Southern circuit, with shimmering straight hair or ludicrously baroque curls. Blond contrasted with their dark sunlamp tans or framed a gory gash in late-70s splatter battles. Blond wrestlers became self-parodying cliches in the 1980s and early 1990s--Hulk Hogan, Stunning Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho--briefly passing from favor as baggy-pants skateboarders-slash-backyard-wrestlers threatened to take over the game, then coming back with guys like Edge, Brian Kendrick, Dolph Ziggler, and the second coming of Chris Jericho.

A wrestler already a blond, by nature--"dirty blond" best of all, in other words somber, woodsy blond, instead of bright platinum--was, more than likely, a babyface, probably a rookie, possibly a perpetual "rookie." A hairy chest doubled the chances he was a good guy--witness Terry Allen (aka Magnum T.A.) or hot-bodied Tommy Rogers. Smooth-bodied good guys with dirty-blond hair tended to occupy the in-between zone between hero and villain, sophisticated, mysterious, fatal, Kevin Von Erich being the closest pro-wrestling ever got to a "Hitchcock blonde."

I've always thought of myself as going for the tall, dark, and handsome type. But my tastes are complex and constantly in flux. I'm smitten by long-hair blonds in the squared circle, less the slim and svelte twinks you see a lot of in gay wrestling videos (my favorite twinks tend to be sharp-jawed, feral, usually dark-haired, horndog looking boys, often with buzzcuts--I think I just described Mark Lander), more the guys with athletic builds and crooked leers that dare you to smack them in the face--Jimmy Dean at Can-Am (of course), Troy Baker at BG East, Impact at Thunder's Arena, Max Anderson at NHB-Battle, and (deep breath) Josh Steel at Rock Hard Wrestling.

(There are also the non-blond blonds, guys like Alexi Adamov, whose non-blondness always comes as a shock to me, since I always think of him as a blond. And not a dark blond, I mean a bright golden-blond blond. Don't know why. I'm repeatedly baffled by the photos that confirm his decidedly dark hair.)

The stereotypes of blonds as airheads and sex kittens somewhat diminish their seriousness as ring contenders but magnify their pop and heat with fans. Enough of them have claimed top titles to destroy the stereotype, if it weren't for the fact that the stereotype is so much fun for us fans, because their golden locks reinforce and magnify wrestling's sex appeal, and pro wrestling (like comedy) is 99.9% about stereotypes.

Photos (top to bottom, left to right): Brian Kendrick, Caleb Konley, Kevin Von Erich, Lenny Lane and Lodi, Magnum TA and unidentified opponent, Mr. Kennedy, Nathan Cruz, Shawn Michaels, Test and Chris Jericho, Tommy Rogers and unidentified opponent, Steve Austin and Brian Pillman

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Logan Matthews mocks Zack Johnathan for warming up before their imminent match at Rock Hard Wrestling because, he says, "Let's face it. Wrestling's not real." 

Still, he comes to the ring in wrestling trunks and helpfully feigns unawareness that he's about to get shit kicked out of him.  That's good, because Logan has a way of instantly triggering a viewer's urge to see somebody's face crushed beneath a wrestling boot--preferably a white wrestling boot and preferably on top of a face like his. You know, I might as well flat out say it's specifically him I want to see beat up, oughtn't I?

  • Because he smirks when he asks Zack, "You going to show me some fake 'moves'?" Logan even supplies the finger quote marks. (I'm not sure where you'd find it in the rule book, but finger "quotes" automatically necessitate an ass-kicking.)
  • Because Zack looks like a million bucks in black and blue trunks, and he's all fired up after scraping Kyle Carter off the bottoms of his boots.
  • Because Logan  presumes to step into the ring against the vastly more experienced Zack. (Dumb ass.)
It doesn't take Zack long to thrust Logan into a corner, stand on the middle ropes, and strangle him, his stomach pressed to the rookie's chest. I like that. "This is serious stuff," Zack informs him and then stomps him till he's flat against the turnbuckle. Then he picks Logan up and bodyslams him to the mat. Four kicks to the man's thigh inspire Zack to go the extra yard and stomp down hard on the guy's defenseless nuts, too. Go get him, Tiger! 

Then after just now bitching about how fake wrestling is, Logan then accuses Zack of fighting dirty. Damn right Zack fights dirty! Real enough for you now, ass-wipe? I hope Zack knocks your fucking block off! (Sometimes I get too involved.) More than once Zack comes close to choking Logan out, but decides it would be letting the guy off too easy. Zack throws everything at Logan short of snapping some ligaments across the middle ring rope--but, then, what's a second round for?

My one complaint is that Logan does not have an ounce of fight against Zack--real or fake--just a whole lot of lip. And though I'm thrilled that Zack pulverizes the pompous creep, with extreme thoroughness, I would like to see Logan put up a bit more defense, even if offense is totally off the table for this bout. Maybe another day, in another match, against another adversary. Ethan Axel Andrews? Brodie Fisher? Eli Black? Dinner's waiting, boys!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hot on the Heels

Alex Waters exhibited pronounced villainous tendencies in his first match at Rock Hard Wrestling, tendencies he toned down in subsequent matches in favor of harsh yet righteous judgment, letting snide bullies with suntans and chips on their shoulders (talking to you, Josh Steel) dig their own graves before he slapped them silly. Happily, in his latest output, the original Alex is back, as arrogant and nasty as I could hope for, as he orders teen wunderkind Kyle Carter into the ring to help him measure the circumference of his bicep. Kyle got such a thorough thrashing from charismatic veteran Zack Johnathan this summer, I'm a little surprised to see him back in the ring. Pleasantly surprised. He suffered beautifully under Zack, and now he's set on making his mark at RHW. "We can't always be winners," Alex says, condescendingly charitable about Kyle's supposed physical shortcomings. In fact, Kyle towers over Alex and looks every bit as thick and hard--and confident in his fight skills.

It turns out that cocky Alex has a mere half inch over his opponent, bicep-wise, and Kyle is unmoved by Alex's BMOC swagger, prompting the two to drop to the mat for an impromptu test of strength. Arm wrestling is the form of wrestling that interests me least, easily six notches below sumo, and this contest is no exception. I'm primed to see these smooth young men tear into each other, head to toe, and the best I can say about this delaying tactic is that it sure beats long, expository harangues at the microphone. Fortunately, not a lot of time is wasted on preambles. Kyle's quick victory over Alex leads promptly, if not seamlessly, to the two getting back on their feet to lock up--for some real wrestling.

Kyle looks good bodyslamming Alex, then rolling the pretty boy over to clobber his shoulders and lower back with forearm and balled-up fist. Segues between holds are a little clunky here and there, but Kyle works Alex over nicely--on the mat and against the ropes. A badly timed Irish whip turns the tide to Alex's favor, who gives a Ric Flair-style wooo after he knocks the crewcut Southerner to the mat. "Oh, yeah, you didn't see that coming, did ya?" he brags, just before a boot-stomp to the kidneys, followed by another, followed by another.

What I like about Alex the heel is the contrast of retro teen-idol good looks--all flashing teeth and brilliantine--one part Fabian to two parts Pat Boone--and gleeful, self-assured brutality--a dead ringer for any bad boy who ever picked on Ralph Macchio in the 1980s. Faced with such exuberant malice so beautifully packaged, I imagine only big things for Waters' career in underground wrestling.

I might wish for more momentum in the first half--some emotional force that carries the wrestlers from one move to the next more smoothly, accelerating to a big climax. Kyle and Alex perform the moves well and look fantastic while doing so, but at times self-conscious choreography threatens to upstage any sense of bristling drama. These complaints fade as we draw to the close of Round 2, as the action heats up, setting up the decisive final round. 

Of course, a little sweat on the chests and shoulders goes a long way towards improving any situation--that, and the determination of both these young studs to break the deadlock that ends the second round. I'm ready to see anything and everything these two wrestlers do next, but I admit I'm particularly taken with Alex. Deceptively clean-cut and bright-eyed, he's got the heart of a dungeon master. He's like the senior class president from hell, exuding upbeat yet oily charm, while doing everything in his power (which is considerable) to torment and destroy the likable, easygoing Kyle. 

The decider is a superb ring corner beatdown. There's a lot of fire and sass in the finish. Both guys pumped up and firing on all cylinders. Seventy percent of this match is the bodies of these two--Alex's suggesting the Barberini faun, and Kyle's, the homegrown beefcake of Physique Pictorial magazines--two styles of hot in the same ring. The other 30 percent is its sweaty and ego-obliterating finale.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kid and Kip

Soon to be released on DVD (as part of Fantasymen 35), Kid Karisma versus newcomer Kip Sorell is currently streaming on (and steaming up) The Arena @ BG East (BGE's subscriber-access site). Kid K is, of course, the known quantity in this matchup, with an established fan base devoted to his steely buttocks and trademark brand of brute wit and ingenuity. Kip is a handsome (okay, more than just handsome: mouth-watering) challenger with curly dark hair who (seriously, do I need the customary spoiler alert here?) does not have a fucking chance. A can of Crisco at the men's state pen has a better chance of remaining untampered with than this poor boy. But that's okay, because Karisma does a genius job of showing off Sorell's fine points while breaking the picture-perfect physique down for spare parts--and on that point alone the new boy's going to hit it big with fans, I predict. Whether Kip can handle himself as a ring wrestler, though, is an issue Kid Karisma is determined to keep a mystery--for every bit of fight the newcomer puts up against KK, our favorite heel makes him pay through the teeth twentyfold. 

Karisma is at his peak of performance and attitude in this hellraiser. A couple of my good gay friends (among whom my kink for wrestling is always cause for polite and tolerant contempt--tasteful role-model types who can only pity me for my outrĂ© fascinations) recently expressed an offhand interest in watching one of "those videos [I] have." These guys have never even peeked at this blog these past five years, but finally curiosity got the better of them, apparently. I showed them Karisma-vs-Sorell. Just as I would have predicted, pretty muscly Kip made them drool. In time, one of them admitted that Kid K (though entirely too crass for him personally) was impressively inventive in discovering ways of making life unbearable for Kip. Though I suspect the experience did not convert them to M/M, they were at least able to "get it" for a fleeting moment before forgetting it as conversation turned towards accustomed topics--the Oscars, charming Vietnamese bistros, and the new Southern Living Style Guide.

For regular readers of this blog, this match will, I suspect, stain your bedsheets and chafe your hands in the weeks and months to come. And you don't have to be as big a Karisma fan as I am to love it.


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