He-Man Unmanned

Damien Rush makes me feel itchy. While other wrestlers depilate themselves back to infancy, slim down to sylphlike proportions, or dress and act like Saturday-morning cartoons, Damien is a full adult dose of flesh-and-bone manliness. Fueled by high-octane testosterone, he maintains a near-constant attitude of command and simmering intimidation. His deadpan air of rugged menace never fluctuates. Something about his sharp predatory features, curly hair, furry muscle, and bubble butt triggers my pounce response. What can I tell you? The guy's a stud, a real man's man. 

In Muscle Domination Wrestling's video Fantasy Heels 3, Damien offers Bryce Barrigan a few tips on how to man up. He attempts to demonstrate what a man's chest should look like and explain which weights are best for a man-style workout. Of course, he makes the effort less to help Bryce than to underline his own macho superiority. Bryce, however, is not impressed or receptive. In fact, he finds Damien's crash course in virility personally insulting. As his online profile states, "Bryce Barrigan has jock problems. Big, strapping, athletic bullies have made his life a living hell." Fed up with MDW's atmosphere of overbearing machismo, he proposes that he and Damien settle the question of their masculinity in the ring.

The key element of Muscle Domination Wrestling is domination. Bodybuilding or even wrestling is secondary to humiliation, intimidation, and emasculation. Its "matches" are less athletic contests than hazings, initiations, and coups. The jocks preen and obsess over the company's pecking order--who's on top, who's moving up, whose head do you step on to get to the top. Bryce may not like the culture, but he's definitely willing to use it to make a point. He calls Damien into the ring to kick this prick's ass. And, surprisingly, he has the chops for it.

His method is to play outside the rules. He fights dirty--ramming Damien in the balls, pulling his hair, and smashing his face down to the concrete floor outside the ring. But Damien is a tough nut to crack--not as tough as he likes to think he is, but tougher than the average gym bunny. Just when it looks like Bryce has pulled the rug out from under him, Damien rebounds, reasserting his dominance by flexing muscle and forcing Bryce to his knees to worship said muscle. Clearly he's hypersensitive to any loss of status, and he's got the raw power to overwhelm his opponent. The question is whether it's Damien or Bryce who's got the balls to come out on top.

In most respects Damien and Bryce are well matched. Their fistfight in the Ultimate Mastodon Tournament stood out for me as the most memorable face-off in that epic series of confrontations. So I'm happy to see the two rematched here.  In its second year, Muscle Domination Wrestling has all the possibilities of newness, and, unsurprisingly, it has stuff to work on too. Its deliberately hardcore look--a claustrophobic and shadowy fight space--is different from anything else on the market, rawer and edgier. It works as a style, noirish and gritty, even a little perverse. However, the stilted camera angles do not always do the action justice, and, typical of a lot of "underground" combat sites, segues between holds are long and sometimes awkward. Still, its roster brims with hairy-chested muscle studs, assets in too short supply among its competitors, which tend to favor twinks and/or competitive bodybuilders. Give me some more square-jawed bruisers like Damien Rush and spread their hairy pecs and abs out for the camera ... and, by all means, make them sweat!


  1. Damien is ethyl and full of lead in my fuel tank.

  2. One of my favorite matches on MDW, just ahead of Darius vs. Damien. Only wish you had talked more about this great match than unrelated mentions of other ones.

  3. Clearly Damien is my dream fighter. I might not describe it as in itch, but he definitely makes me feel something!

    They can't use him enough.


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