When I recently remarked that the new Lane Hartley match was the BGE release I was most looking forward to, a friend inside BG East responded, "I thought squashes were of the least interest to you." Absolutely. I do prefer two-sided matches to one-sided matches. I tend particularly to dislike one-sided matches that punish jobbers simply for being young and good looking. (I'm on record for fully approving one-sided matches in which the one on the receiving end is getting only what he deserves.) I more than dislike ... I detest ... one-sided matches in which the jobber is an expressionless punching-bag. Even a radiant physique cannot compensate for a failure to sell the action in the ring with a modicum of realism and an avalanche of pantomime excess.
However, I do love heels too. All the more when they have handsome profiles and cruel streaks. BG East, as I have noted elsewhere, is Heel Heaven. And Lane Hartley is the company's most notable new heel since Kid Karisma turned to the dark side in, by my best estimate, Wet & Wild 5 almost three years ago. Hartley's previous two matches were irrefutably squashes ... and glorious ... especially the first, in which Lane squeezed out of Z-Man his best performance to date. With a talented heel in charge--and the most talented ones (I think) are the ones who can win the fans' sympathy and support as well as instill dread--a one-sided hunkbash can steam my bifocals. (Even better, for me, heel versus heel ... and best, heel versus strong, capable hero, out to serve up a big plate of comeuppance.)
In Hunkbash 15, Lane breaks in his first newcomer, Logan Vaughn, a dashing young wrestler with a Sturmabteilung haircut, whom my pal Bard at neverland recently dubbed (with more exclamation points than my keyboard can possibly spit out this early in the morning ) "the new BG East poster boy," and Bard is great at predicting such things. Initially (foolishly) I worried that Lane was the hunk to be bashed in this video--hence, perhaps, the concern that I might be uninterested in this particular match--but as soon as I found out that BG East was tossing a pretty blond with gay porn credentials into the ring with Lane, I breathed a sigh of relief--it's merely chum time at the shark tank, business as usual.
But Logan is no wispy twink of a blond. He's fully man-sized--broad muscular shoulders and a back that's got thickness and heft to it (give me a big backpack over eight-pack abs any day of the week). And he has hairy thighs too. (Slurp.) And honey-colored triceps as big as Italian bread loaves. Logan is a fine physical match for Lane, who says on first sight of his opponent, "What have we got here?" I'm licking my lips even if Lane is not (not literally, but he should be). "I tend to be the top dog in these parts," Lane says as he slowly and coolly enters the ring. One of the great things about Lane is you can see the exact moment when he smells blood. Perhaps there's a subtle change in skin pigmentation, I don't know, but something gives it away. And poor Logan doesn't seem to have a clue about what he's in for, all too evident when he strikes a bicep pose to scare Lane off ... no, I don't think that's gonna work.
Like Z-Man, Logan doesn't seem to have to feign surprise or discomfort in response to Lane's brutal and sadistic assaults. Lane plays with him like a fat cat swatting at an excavated vole. Granted, by my own standards, Logan hasn't done anything to deserve all this punishment, but Lane dishes it up with such brio and attention to detail that it's hard not to be mesmerized by it. Call me inconsistent, but this stuff grabs me. Third time's the charm, and Hunkbash 15 cements my admiration of Hartley, and, more, it introduces me to Vaughn, whose further adventures and misadventures in BGE-land are certain to garner more of my attention.