Red Alert

Yesterday Jim, a regular visitor and friend of this blog, insisted that I stop whatever else I was doing and watch Rock Hard Wrestling's latest video release ... pronto! He said it was "right up your proverbial alley," adding, on a personal note, "I didn't make it past the five minute mark without, er, stopping." I was already interested in this fight, what with Austin Cooper and Kyle Carter in the ring, but Jim's insistence scooted it up to the front burner.

Kyle wants to test his moxie against brawny Austin, convinced his first two matches did not show us fans what he's capable of, fight-wise. He begged RHW to let him prove himself (third time being the charm) against Coop. Coop's not having it, though, convinced the kid is all talk and no show. "The reason I'm big is I work for it, and I hold little guys like you down. And do it a lot!" Austin gloats, as he answers Kyle's mouthy deprecations by pinning the teen's shoulders to the mat and then slamming five stiff punches to his diaphragm. A followup bodyslam seems to support that conviction, leaving Kyle winded and limp, but Austin's not finished with him yet and hauls him back up to his feet.

What follows is the stiffest rookie beatdown I've seen at Rock Hard since ever. Designed to initiate the wet-behind-the-ears studs RHW attracts by the busloads, these matches often take a round or two to warm up. But just two minutes into Round 1, and it's clear the company--and Austin--are bringing us a wholly new thing. Coop has shaped up into a first-class heel over the past couple of years, a big handsome jock with a big handsome ego, and with big handsome chops to go with, too. More even than his thick honey-hued muscle and classic all-American face, Austin's suave self-confidence as he manhandles jobbers is what hots me up.

"Over-confidence," perhaps. Comes the five minute mark, and Kyle reverses, trapping the heel in a Boston crab. "Taste my sweat right there," the kid commands, tightening his twist on Austin's ankles and forcing his mouth to the mat. Nice! Then Carter shows Coop what a bodyslam feels like and stamps the sole of his white wrestling boot on the man's heaving midsection. Another bodyslam after Austin pleads "Put me down" certifies the new hire's moxie, showing everybody--mostly Austin--that Kyle has the talent he's been boasting about since his first RHW match. Now this is what happens when a star is born!

If by "proverbial alley" my friend Jim means nonstop give-and-take action, with hairpin turns that determine who's on top and who suffers, then he couldn't be more right. Sweat glistens as Cooper and Carter relentlessly turn up the heat. By the halfway point--in a 28-minute match that speeds through a full three rounds!--both wrestlers have a Krispy-Kreme-worthy glaze on their necks, shoulders, chests, abs, and thighs. The pace is dizzying, and all my buttons are pushed as the wrestlers work the ropes, the turnbuckle, and the ring apron, with a slew of tight clenches close to the mat as well, climaxing, er, stopping with a cruel, 44-second thigh-stretcher that I still feel in the muscles of my groin.


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