Jake Jenkins saw what a licking new boy Kip Sorell took in BG East's Fantasymen 35 and couldn't wait to get in some sweet licks too. Kip is the company's babyface du jour--as fine a specimen of youthful pulchritude as we've seen anywhere in a couple of years. Hot rookies are anything but a protected species at the BGE compound, where they are fair game for any wrestler with two or more years' experience, so dewy-eyed, curly-haired lads like Kip often find themselves cornered in hallways or, I imagine, ambushed in the weight room. In Backyard Brawls 8, Jenks has dibs on the new meat, and Kip looks anything but intimidated by 2012's Top Babyface, a title Kip has probably set his sights on for this year.
Closely matched in size and temperament, the opponents differ mostly in experience. Typically, Jake keeps a wary eye on whoever steps onto a mat against him, mentally calculating odds and looking for weak spots to target. He's one of the most scientific wrestlers on the BGE roster, cool and calculating, unhampered by conscience, unhesitant to hurt a body (with little to no provocation). He looks at Kip with more warmth than he has shown previous competition, but it's warmth without respect for the kid as an opponent. Kip stumbles early on in the match, and Jake pounces. Jake has fun taunting the guy as he stretches and twists Kip's near-ideal physique. The cockier Jake gets, though, the more Kip bristles, anxious to prove he's more than a whipping boy.
The outdoor setting does surprisingly little to make the contest seem primal or savage. The compound's neatly mowed and landscaped backyard is no jungle, obviously. The Backyard Brawls series puts me more in mind of pampered rich kids tangling behind the tony clubhouse their grandfathers built back in the Nixon era. It's a scenario that tickles my fancy, especially watching a couple of clean-cut toughs like Jake and Kip going at it.
Mitch Colby versus Reese Wells has more the tone of father-son roughhouse. Mitch is bigger, stronger, and wilier than Reese, who (standing up against Mitch) looks shockingly twelve. But nobody seems to have told Reese that he is seriously outclassed here; he gains a quick advantage over Mitch, stripping the man of his workout shorts and strangling him with them. But, let's face it, Mitch can break Reese in two like a twig. What looks like a rousing start for Reese is more probably Mitch giving him enough rope to hang himself.
Reese seems peculiarly intent on punching the big guy's chest and midsection. At first, Mitch mocks him, asking whether he can put more power into his jabs. Indeed, it looks like the blows bounce off Mitch without effect, but perhaps there's a strategy here, accounting for what at first looks like a strong showing for Reese. The operative words are "looks" and "at first." Mitch proceeds from just looking like he could break Reese like a twig to actually breaking him like a twig, in a one-sided fight he characterizes, believably, as a "light workout." And when he repays the kid's persistent gut punches, Reese folds in two, gasping for air and turning a little paler in the process.
The stark and dramatic inequality of the two wrestlers limits my interest in this match, while I expect other viewers will relish its classic big-versus-little setup. Reese's match against Billy Lodi (in Sunshine Shooters 6) seems more sporting to me. As for Mitch, I'm happier seeing him having to break an honest sweat against Brook Stetson, Jace Bradley, or Skotch English--or perhaps someday, if it's not too much to hope for, Brad Rochelle.
Damien approaches the house, drying himself after a swim, looking pretty damn sinister even before he puts on his dark shades. Unimpressed, Jake squirts him with the hose and doesn't back down an inch when Damien pushes his hairy chest up against him. The fight is on: Damien brusquely shoves Jake and throws him down, no mat, just the green grass beneath them. Damien's superior muscle takes charge, with Rush informing Jake (and us) that it is "not just for show," but our dauntless hero gets behind him and binds him tight in a full nelson. Damien's eyes bulge and redden as he struggles to break free, and after much effort he succeeds. The level of fight in Jake surprises Damien, but Jake never looks anything less than fully confident that he can beat this preening macho stud.
The third match provides the prolonged give-and-take I missed in the first two matches. Either man could win this one, as becomes clear the longer the fight goes on. Damien performs, as expected, with relentless ferocity and an undisguised nasty streak; Jake responds with a disconcertingly mixed message, both ardently worshipping the bigger man's physique (as commanded) and unsparingly seeking to dismantle it. In this respect, Jake reminds me of Bass Wallace, a BGE star of years ago, a mat wrestler of remarkable skill who, with a sort of slack offhandedness, would both admire and punish his opponents' bodies.
The heat between these two contenders forces them indoors and away from prying eyes (except ours, of course). Inside, the two strip to cocks, balls, and assholes in the mat room. Damien commands Jake to massage his body with oil till it sparkles, but again Jake can't stop at fondling the hairy muscle; he must torment it too. This is sexy stuff, and both wrestlers play the delicate balance of aggression and lust to perfection. What looked at first like a clear designation of top and bottom roles becomes, in the mat room, a strenuous struggle between two alpha males intent on total athletic and sexual dominance. Joe likes this. The story goes beyond the expected, gradually revealing how malleable male sexuality is and challenging our expectations about the rules of erotic roleplay. It's the match I knew Jake and Damien had in them, only better than I could have imagined!