Notes on a Classic: Brad Rochelle versus Jeff Phoenix in BG East's Fantasymen 18
First there is this thing I have for blond-versus-brunet battles. Imagine how that thing explodes when the brunet is Brad Rochelle in a sunset-colored Speedo, and the blond is Jeff Phoenix in icy aquamarine. Same weight (a perfect 190#) and a difference in height of a mere inch (Brad is 6' and Jeff is 5'11"--again perfect). This is the second of only four BGE appearances for Phoenix: Mikey Vee had already beaten him up once, and Kid Vicious was waiting his turn. In the end Cruze and Jose double-teamed to finish the guy off. He never had a chance.
He puts up a good fight against Brad, though. You almost believe he can win this one. Little does he know that the smiley college boy has a coal-black streak in his heart and will be scraping clumps of blond off his boots for a week. He looks extra cocky stretching his torso in front of the mirror, silky smooth skin, built like a tennis pro. Rochelle must have followed the scent of cK One all the way to the ring. Brad climbs through the ropes and slips off his MIT jacket, ready to roll. Not in the mood for a lot of talk, the two wrestlers immediately seize each other, collar and elbow.
They circle, forehead to forehead, arms clenched, so perfectly matched in strength that for 15 seconds nothing happens. Then Brad shoves Jeff back so they can start over. Another lockup, same results, only Brad gets a grip on Jeff's wrist and twists it back. Jeff doesn't let him get far enough with this for it to count. Again, they break and circle, impatient. Jeff snags Brad in a side headlock, gets him a little lightheaded, then caroms off the ropes to knock him to the mat. He does a fancy as-seen-on-TV rebound from one set of ropes to the opposite side, giving Brad time to get to his feet and flip Jeff down on his back. Tit for tat.
The two struggle, frustrated by how well matched they are, trading throws, taking turns writhing on their backs. Brad is first to get a solid hold, a leglock, and he gives the blond's white boot a sharp twist. Pain and agony for Jeff only revs Brad up. But Jeff reverses and stretches the brunet in a bow and arrow. Again, tit for tat, Brad moaning, Jeff commanding him to submit. The tableau we've got at this point is already worth three loads, easy, even if the fight stops right now. But it doesn't stop. Jeff backs Brad into a corner and bodyslams him to the center of the ring. He pulls Brad up by his hair and drops him in an over-the-knee backbreaker. A Boston crab makes a grimacing Brad tap out.
End of Round One. Jeff, body glimmering with sweat, senses victory in his reach. I sense a welt-raising payback on its way. Brad wastes no time bringing it. (In my heart I'm going "Get 'im, Brad!") He goes after Jeff's left leg, clamping down on it tight. Jeff pounds his free leg to Brad's face, angry and desperate, and Brad only tightens his clutch, jerking back to send bright flashes of torment that shoot up Jeff's body to the scalp. This is a key moment in the fight ... if by "key moment" you mean the sensation of a dozen sparklers set ablaze and then shoved down your pants. Understandably, Jeff submits, only now realizing the force of Brad's volatility, perhaps only now realizing how hopelessly outclassed he is.
End of Round Two. Jeff limps to a corner. The camera fills the frame with the sweat-soaked seat of his trunks. "You don't look so good anymore," Brad says offscreen. Brad doesn't wait for Jeff to recover before swooping in to start Round Three. A bearhug. Another bearhug. Another. A bounce off the ropes, and another bearhug. Each one tastily prolonged, with Jeff's knees to Brad's hips, Jeff sounding like he's swallowing his tongue as Brad squeezes the oxygen out of his body. Brad reverses the direction of the hold and shoves Jeff facedown to the mat. Brad's on top of him, crotch to the blond's ass, and through the sheer force of the bearhug he knocks ... Jeff ... clean ... the ... fuck ... out! Then he flips him over for a lateral press and the count of three.
For the past two months Wrestling Arsenal has been running a series on "subtle little things" (SLTs) that turn fans on about wrestling--things like wrist tape and boots on the bottom rope. Let me give you one of my own--the leghook as the victor covers the vanquished with his body. That extra little rollup, the loser's knee forced up against the pectoralis muscle of the man who took him down, always does the trick for me.
But the fun is not over, not quite. Brad straddles Jeff's unconscious body and flexes his biceps, sweat pouring down his chest. Then he exits. Jeff comes to. He limps around the ring, trying to get the feeling back in his limbs. He climbs out of the ring, but at the door he pauses, returns to the ring, and recovers Brad's MIT jacket. There's a smirk on his face as he takes the memento into his hands, all but sniffing it, clearly a souvenir he will always treasure, a reminder of the best damn asskicking of his life.