Big Man on Canvas


Following up on his attention-grabbing debut in Fantasymen 35, Lane Hartley, 6', 215#, sets his sights on fan-favorite Z-Man, 5'10", 175#, in BG East's Pros in Private 10. Lane's not the biggest wrestler to step foot in the BGE ring, but his larger-than-life performance style makes him look bigger and more formidable than his stats alone might suggest. Confident and efficient in his bone-crunching skills, he tears an unsuspecting Z-Man limb from limb in a classic one-sided beatdown that's already one of my favorites of the genre.

Looking good and feeling on top of the world, Z-Man seems oblivious of the steel trap he has stepped into until it's too late. Strong, steady Lane gives him a once-over and convinces himself this preening jackass has got to go down. Lane stretches out his arm for a sportsmanlike handshake, and Z-Man takes the bait, immediately feeling Lane's black boot sink deep into his abs. Hartley doesn't give the male model even a second to react before cracking his chiseled jawline with a couple of forearm smashes, snapmaring the man to the mat, and clamping on a rear chinlock. He may be new to BG East, but Lane didn't master moves this smooth and fluent overnight. This guy is fit, superbly trained, and looking to stir up some trouble.

Hartley is all business on the mat. His face, grimly set in an expression of workmanlike concentration, can't hide the satisfaction he feels in making Z-Man's photogenic body quiver and buck in pain. Z-Man escapes and counterstrikes, backing the big man to the turnbuckle. The ray of hope is short-lived, however. Without hesitation Hartley rakes his fingers across Z's eyes and resumes the task of grinding the pretty playboy down to a nub.

Handsome and built to last ten rounds against any ordinary adversary, Lane is already garnering favorable attention for his ruthless aggression and cold-as-ice violent streak, both in shocking display in this fight. In some ways, he reminds me of Cliff Conlin, a babyfaced ruffian in the 1990s likewise prone to a hair-trigger temper and heavy sweating. But Lane's intensity and deadpan commitment to utterly destroying his opponent is more startling to watch. It doesn't seem like Z-Man is having to "sell" anything. His moans and cries of surrender sound scarily authentic, savagely coerced by a meaner, more relentless bully than he's ever faced before. Lane is as exciting a performer as any BG East (or anybody) has introduced in the last five years. No wonder Brad Rochelle wants to hurt him. He's got old-school roughneck credibility and boy-next-door looks: how can we help but be absolutely bowled over by him?


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