Thursday, February 28, 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
This match, maybe not perfect, gives me plenty to munch on. Part of last Saturday's benefit show in Mocksville, North Carolina, this hair-pulling, chest-chopping, stiff-punching, in- and out-of-the-ring hellraiser features NWA National Heavyweight Champion Damien Wayne facing TNA's Gunner in a championship challenge. I have seen Wayne, 41, 6'1", 220#, live and in person in a couple of shows in my vicinity, and he impresses me as a hard, not-to-be-fucked-with individual who, up close, is I-shit-you-not scary--and not once have I seen him let an adversary off easy. This match offers a mere taste of how mean this hombre can get. And at the last show I saw live, also a benefit, Gunner, 30, 6'2", 247#, seen in the flesh and at striking distance, made me go weak in the knees. Here he's the good guy, because he's not the one turning fans to stone with his scowl--an inimitable gift of Wayne's. The action slows down a bit at the 14-minute mark, but revs back up for a too-good-to-be-true false finish. It's a fine match, neither man's best, but sopping with sweat, cast-iron muscle, a fusillade of bone-busting blows, and tons of attitude, all caught with surprising skill with a single handheld camera and zoom lens.
You can watch the full match here.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Some (rather poor) screen shots of a fun match from July 2012 for Resistance Pro Wrestling. Pretty GQ model type Ashton Vuitton takes cheap shots at hot Easyriders biker type John Skyler and gets a hand (often called illegal interference) from his pals at ringside. The fight offers an exciting contrast in styles--body beautiful against thick-waisted roughneck--organization man versus loner--with the prettier one taking the win by submission, no less (thanks to the distractions provided by his cronies, of course, but still impressive ring work by Vuitton). Even the ways Ashton and John disrobe in the ring reveal differences in personality and values--a contrast too striking to be accidental, yet not too studied or too obvious.
Ashton's body gets hotter and hotter the more weight he gains, and he doesn't seem to be losing much of his gymnast's agility in the process. His character has become a full-fledged psychological creature, just sociopathic enough to be bad, but with that scary-sexy allure some sociopaths are said to possess. From one match to the next, I can't tell whether AV is moving towards the light or the dark side. He keeps the fans on their toes. I'd like to see his star rise even further in the wrestling world. Some contests in Japan would help him. Anyway, I sure would like to see him work at New Japan Pro for a while.
I just got this wrestling DVD (Fair Warning, with John Hennigan on the cover), and it's definitely a keeper. More and more, I think Chicago may be the place to be for exciting catch wrestling these days.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Last week Iranian wrestling fans cheered on U.S. Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs (above) and other American wrestlers at an international meet in Tehran, hopefully proof that wrestling is the universal sport of peace and respect. Jordan won his 2012 medal by defeating Iranian champion Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi. Last week's meet went to the Iranian wrestlers, however, with the US following Russia in third place. See CNN's coverage here on YouTube and the Washington Post story here.
You go by many names in many places these days, but to your original fans, you will always be Axel. Have a great and happy new year, buddy. And if you didn't already know it, you share a birthday with Ric Flair, though the Nature Boy is a good 37 years your senior.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Bard extolled the fine points of BG East's Gazebo Grapplers 14 months ago, but I just got round to watching it today. By far my favorite match on the disk (which is not short on excellent matches) is the last one, featuring two of the company's best new star attractions, Damien Rush, 5'11", 180#*, and Ben Monaco, 5'10", 175#. Damien is in super fine shape for this match, looking vaguely like the young Brad Davis in Midnight Express, but with the arrogance of name-any-bad-kid-in-the-Karate-Kid-series. From the first second of screen time together, Ben and Damien look like they're primed to rip each other to shreds. The trigger for the actual fight is Damien's sharp-looking shades, but of course that's just a pretext for the two to rub the "manly hair" of their chests together (I quote Mr. Rush).
These two new hotshots know how to thrust and roll their meaty sensuous bodies for maximum impact. Sexy as fuck, the grappling never loses its intensity and aggressive sense of competition ... more than competition ... antagonism. There's the expected ball-grabbing in the gazebo, but these two guys offer us fans a master class in the art of ball-grabbing, with Ben initiating the assault and Damien, complaining that he's getting touched "in places that don't get to be touched," retaliating in kind.
I love it when wrestlers press chest to chest, belly to belly, and crotch to crotch, and this match supplies me ample opportunity to enjoy vicariously the bristle and scrape of hairy chests in contact. At one point, Ben's on top of Damien, pressing him hard to the mat, and Damien cranes his head up to snap his teeth at Ben's face, like a pinned badger. Later, when both men are back on their feet, they bump foreheads, as if ready to lock horns.
Details like these separate what Ben and Damien do--through instinct and experience in private matches--from the coached and rote performances you sometimes see in eroticized "fantasy" wrestling, when fetching male models, on the mats just for the paycheck, it would seem, don't realize that the fantasy is supposed to be more hawk than lovebird. Ben and Damien get it. They know what I'm looking for and what I need, because, apparently, it's what they need as well. The pounding action is exactly the backbeat I need to my fantasy life.
* Note the correction in the comments section, below.
* Note the correction in the comments section, below.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Episode 7 of Resistance Pro TV (taped in mid-January but first aired this past Sunday and available in its "director's cut" here on YouTube) features three fine matches, two with championships at stake. All three testify to the rapidly growing importance of Chicago-area wrestling and, in particular, Billy Corgan's brainchild, Resistance Pro, which currently fills the role of a potential savior of mainstream pro wrestling. (State pride compels me to point out that half the talent in this episode originated in North Carolina.)
My favorite of the three matches begins at the 17:00 mark and pits outsider Mr. 450, 5'8", 185#, against Resistance's emergent resident heel, Steven Walters. 5'9", 190#. The crowd hates Walters, alternately chanting "You suck!" and "Cheater!" at his every move, beginning well before he makes any move at all, in fact. The fans are more squarely in the corner of 450, a mucho mysterioso masked (but not always masked) tecnico from Puerto Rico.
What gives me hope for the future of wrestling is rock-em sock-em brutes like Walters, even though he's somewhat wasted as a jobber to put the high-flying 450 over. Strong and meaty the way I like, Walters manages to fight ugly and still look hot as balls.