Monday, December 30, 2013

How 2013 Knocked My Socks Off











Ring of Honor's Adam Cole saying hi to 2013 at Ringside at Skull Island (and then going on to make the year his bitch and then taking a stand against hate
Aryx Quinn gunning for Alexi Adamov at BG East 
Local benefit show in a high-school gym giving me my best experience of live pro wrestling to date (and washing the bad taste of WWE's Holiday Tour 2012 out of my mouth)
Nick Diesel hazing Private Jack Marino at UCW 
Mike Martin at BG East explaining the importance of the right attitude in wrestling (hint: it's cock) 
The line of doomed challengers taunting Krush on video, basically a plea to have their asses pounded into a wrestling mat 
Prince Devitt archly and spectacularly turning heel at New Japan Pro Wrestling 
Me taking my act to Tumblr at Aggronaut! (my blog for fans who don't read) 
Movimus bringing Mikey Hanlon and Max Anderson back into my life 
Jonny Firestorm trampling Aryx Quinn exclusively for subscribers to The Arena@BGEAST.com 
Clean-cut Alex Waters and Brodie Fisher clubbing tattooed wild boys Josh Steel and Brian Baker like baby seals at Rock Hard Wrestling 
WWE wrestler Darren Young's coming out--and then established wrestling tough guys like Davey Richards, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Triple H, and Bret Hart cheering him on
Quinn Harper stepping on Eli Black's head at UCW 
Brock Hammer and Travis Carter giving me sweaty bodies and hair-pulling in the same match at Movimus 
Jonny Firestorm blogging like a real writer--candid (uncomfortably so, at times), introspective, and eloquent (there may even be a book in the guy)
Connor Flynn angling to knock Don Cooper the fuck out at Movimus (he doesn't, but he holds back nothing in the effort)
Brad Rochelle reversing on Kid Leopard at BG East in The Contract 10, a match that's one part Buster Crabbe in the Flash Gordon serials, one part Dynasty (note to Kid Leopard, Joan Collins wants her sneer back!), one part Wagnerian opera as performed by the guys at Gold's Gym
Jamie Diaz flaunting his smokin' new bod at ECCW (dammmn)
Masked heel and belle lettrist Cage Thunder penning a steamy origin story, Going Down for the Count: turn the page or keep stroking (you have to decide)
Krush uncharacteristically giving and taking with Kain at Kruschco 
BG East's Brad Rochelle threatening to "elevate the situation" on me (never be this hot and threaten to beat me up--I can't handle the disappointment when you don't follow through)
Lupe schooling Tak at Thunder's Arena 
Kid Karisma quivering helpless in the onslaught of Dev Michaels at BG East in a well-deserved and long-overdue spotlight on Kid K
Brock Hammer showing Jimmy Reilly who's top dog at Movimus (it is not puppy-dog cute Jimmy)
Lane Hartley smirking, flexing, and punishing stand-ins for you and me at BG East (he is my pick for wrestler of the year)
What knocked your socks off in 2013?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ballot Stuffing 2013

BG East fans, let your voices be heard in the 2013 Year in Review Fan Poll, otherwise known as the B-Gs.  Recognize and reward the best of BGE's releases this year in fifteen categories. The year's leader in number of nominations is UK wrestler Gabriel Ross, named in seven categories, closely tailed by Cameron Matthews, named in six. The deadline is midnight on Tuesday, December 31st (5 a.m., January 1st, Greenwich Mean Time). I voted for my favorites. So should you! 





Saturday, December 28, 2013

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.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Solid











Thanks, Eli, for linking me to this outstanding tap-out match from the summer of 2003. This is Matt Stryker, 5'11", 217#, and Chad Collyer, 5'11", 230#, wrestling at Ring of Honor, two burly wrestlers closely matched in physique and tight-lipped attitude. I love this kind of pure technical contest, sportsmanlike at first, then heating up as the competitors tire and frayed nerves cause tempers to flare. It never goes out-and-out wild; the drama is contained in the drive to win, and the moment-to-moment decisions each man makes about which moral boundaries he is willing to cross to make the other man submit. This modest kind of drama--professionals who are intent in their work--is probably my favorite pro-wrestling scenario, nearly a non-scenario, tightly focused on bodies and strategies.

Stryker and Collyer fought a series of similar matches throughout 2003, beginning with Stryker's ROH debut at the beginning of the year. This match is the sort that used to open shows, establishing the rules of fair play and demonstrating the techniques of orderly catch wrestling. The heavy-handed hysteria and drama would come later in the evening. Perhaps it's my introverted nature and Germanic self-possession that draw me to this kind of scientific exercise of knowhow and endurance. I can appreciate the Jumbotron Sturm und Drang as camp, the "male soap opera" that came to dominate American wrestling, but my heart and cock favor concentration on a single task: methodically dismantling an opponent. This match harks back to the early days of wrestling, when grim, burly men took on the task of wearing each other out--nothing personal or emotional until frustration or fatigue pushed them to seek shortcuts to victory.

When I imagine the perfect wrestling build, this is what comes to mind: all shoulders, thighs, and ass, like these two wrestlers. When I imagine the ideal match, I think of two well-matched rocket launchers like Stryker and Collyer aimed at each other, free of allegiances, emotional baggage, and even animosity, steelily calculating each other's downfall.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Krushmas










After last month's tight contest rematching Krush and Kain, Krushco is releasing some of the wrestlers' earlier matches for download. The latest release features Krush in red and Kain in green, the colors of Christmas holly. The fighting is intense, escalating to viciousness (as Krush pulls out the dreaded black strap). Krush's control in the match is total. I had reviewed Krush and Kain's (I thought) first match in the winter of 2010 here. I parenthesize "I thought" because I'm never too sure of the chronology of most underground wrestling matches, usually shot weeks, months, or years in advance of their release dates, not necessarily in the order they were shot. In 2011, I mildly complained (here) that Kain had not lived up to his full roughneck potential, a situation rectified in last month's "grudge match." But even in this very early match, it's evident why I've been impressed with Kain--his look, his fight--from the beginning. And about Krush's grit and mat savvy, there is, of course, never a question.

Krushco specializes in tight, fleshy clenches. Physical intimacy like this makes wrestling "gay," and in the twenty-first century the contempt for wrestling as gay has led to big-show wrestling entertainment's marginalization of actual catch wrestling in favor of mic rants and acrobatic flips (in 2011 "WWE" became an official name, not "World Wrestling Entertainment"--not at all an insignificant name change) and a growing enthusiasm for "mixed martial arts" (face it: 80%-95% wrestling) among fans and athletes who (I assume) want some distance between themselves and the perceived gayness of wrestling, either the sport or the pageant.

Sometimes I chide myself for taking wrestling "too seriously"--reluctant to treat it as just a dumb thing guys sometimes do or an ordinary sporting competition like tennis or cycling. It's more complex than that, both a test of strength and endurance and an erotic force of immense psychological and cultural significance (don't even try to argue with me about that last point). There's a reason wrestling (along with sprinting) is one of mankind's earliest recorded activities (depicted in cave paintings 17,300 years ago). It's as fundamental to human psychology as sex and as fundamental to human history as civilization and myth-making--with which it's closely linked, perhaps as some kind of rite of passage: Jacob wrestling an angel, Gilgamesh wrestling Enkidu (in the earliest extant work of literature), the Greek palaestra (the wrestling school so important to ancient Greek culture), the prophet Muhammad wrestling Rukaanah Ibn 'Abd-Yazeed, and so on, not to mention its universality in all known cultures in one form or another, more often than not, treated with dignity and seriousness.

My point is that wrestling is not a joke, and I'm happy that Krush and Kain don't act like it is. Respect wrestling. Respect the kink. Respect yourself. Peace on earth.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Waylaid








UCW's latest release [#327] is the third time Erik the Viking has taken on the new champ Michael Hannigan in just the last month and a half. Anybody else thinking "feud"? Hannigan seems to attract feuds, and being newly crowned the company's best wrestler only makes matters worse, pushing him even further into the line of fire. Just as his first feud (against Twisted Torment) began in the great outdoors in the summer of 2012, his feud with the Viking hits a boiling point amid fading foliage and dry autumnal breezes. Can't a guy take his UCW championship belt out for a relaxing stroll without being ambushed by a longhaired muscle dude? Let's hope not.

Wrestling in jeans in the grass is one of those things that ought not be as good as wrestling in skimpy spandex in a ring, but it is. Jeans are a second skin, over time reshaping to match the lower body's natural curves, with use almost developing sensory nerve endings (especially when worn without anything underneath). Wrestling in jeans (shirtless and especially barefoot--not the case in this fight) is as good and arguably better than wrestling buck naked.

The second and third screen shots above capture key moments of erotic tension, as Erik armbars the surprised champ and steadies him by resting his right hightop upon Michael's crotch. Seconds later, Erik presses the sole of the same shoe to the back of Michael's head, forcing his nose into brittle blades of grass and dark loam.  The sensuousness of this stuns me with a rush of memories: boyhood cruelties, grappling in nature, the sense of absolute mastery over another human being.

Soon enough, the fighters are shirtless, and Hannigan begins to turn the tables on the Viking. Or so it seems. The guys try out some fancier moves, which work surprisingly well, with the dying flora in stark contrast to the young men's nimble energy to give the elaborate (sometimes stilted) melodrama a veneer of spontaneity. The unofficial (hence non-championship) match escalates to a satisfying knockout kick and a properly fleshy cross-body three-count.

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