Notes on a Classic: Can-Am's Doug Brandon Bound, Broken & Defeated
This Clinton-era Can-Am ring-to-oil-pit event features two wrestlers who transcend my usual categories for gay wrestling stars. Neither Doug Brandon nor Bart Tyler is what I'd call pretty-boy sexy. All the same, they are two of the sexiest wrestlers to climb through the ropes at Can-Am, and poised against each other, they are the very definition of porn, even with their trunks on and their dicks not sticking into anything or anyone. Their sex appeal derives from three characteristics I will here attempt to express in words.
First, it derives from heat. I'm going to have to concede that the heat I'm talking about is figurative since no thermometer will detect a degree of difference between the DVD of Doug Brandon Bound, Broken & Defeated and the DVD of Driving Miss Daisy. Still, I must insist that I do mean something other and more than just the slangy sense of "hot," which would be just another word for sexy or intense. Watching these guys wrestle--against other opponents, but especially here against each other--I feel a reasonable facsimile of thermal warmth, i.e. a rise in temperature. The sensation probably has a lot to do with the two wrestlers' pasty skin--white, yet also exuding an impression of moistness, beyond that, stickiness. Quite literally, they do sweat a lot, but their skin also appears to flush easily. I'd cast either one of them to play a personification of Fever in a Tylenol ad.
Second, their sexiness is visceral. Can-Am has had its share of statuesque wrestlers with chiseled-to-Greek-perfection muscle. Doug's and Bart's bodies are strong but decidedly fleshy. There's no illusion that they might be sculpted out of marble or bronze or lapis lazuli. They do not fit any idealized or ethereal concept of beauty. They are organic through and through, every ounce of them suggesting density and weight. We are looking at skin here, unmistakable for anything but skin tissue, and there's a distinct impression that under the skin, there's fat, muscle, and bone, surrounding snaky coils of churning, thumping, and swelling organs. These are not spiritual beings. Not in the least. These are chunks of meat--easily pissed-off chunks of meat at that.
Third, Doug and Bart are best enjoyed in motion. I've seen some impressive still shots of both, taken in good light from good angles. Yet nothing compares to watching these guys move. I'm not talking about balletic qualities of catch-style wrestling, though those are in here somewhere too. I'm talking about the kinesthetic properties of the animal body--twitch, bounce, swell, flex, jiggle, stretch, and squish. These qualities are well illustrated in the short motion pictures on the BB&D menu. The one on the top left shows Doug savagely raking his fingers across Bart's chest. Bart's body involuntarily folds in on itself, and Doug, not missing a beat, rakes his nails across the man's back too. Bart rolls over, flails helplessly, and falls back on his shoulders to the mat. Doug stomps on his chest and then reaches down and slashes his clawed fingers over Bart's throat. Doug gets up and paces impatiently, briefly, before swooping down to grab Bart in a side headlock. This savage pas de deux plays in interminable rotation on the DVD menu if you let it. Right underneath it, and slightly to the right, is a miminalist but (for me) potent bit of business. Bart has Doug scissored between his fleshy thighs, with Doug's chin wrestling against Bart's crotch, Bart's white boots locked together right behind Doug's head. Bart's legs rock Doug's head left and right. Then the white boots bounce as Bart exerts more pressure to the neck. Bart slaps Doug across the forehead, and Bart grimaces like a weasel caught in a coil-spring trap. Bart tightens the rope that's also wrapped around Doug's neck and rolls to one side and then back up again. When it rolls back up, Doug's face is blank and slack as a death mask. Brutal.
Can-Am's setup on this video perfectly exploits these three star qualities. First, there's a rope match in a wrestling ring, the ends of the rope wound around their right wrists (Bart's suggestion). The action climaxes in an oil pit. In both matches, Doug wins a round, but Bart makes him pay twofold for it afterwards. Doug wears a silvery flesh-colored bikini made of some kind of thin, shimmery synthetic fabric. Bart wears the same trunks, but in aquamarine. The gear never comes off, but it gets soaked and stretched up for some pretty vivid glimpses of what's underneath. It's a tight and constantly exhilarating fight, complemented by strong clear lighting and videographer Flex's up-close and in-the-middle-of-shit camerawork. This video is boner-friendly, from beginning to end.