Friday, March 28, 2014

Eyes on the Thighs

Kevin Harris is 6'2", 200#. A third of that is thigh meat. Immediately I think "scissors." Of course, who wouldn't? But then I think side headlock, interestingly enough: head clenched between biceps and ribs, so the hands have to grope and claw at those thick, steel-belted thighs. Slabs. Like touching the legs of a marble statue of a youthful Hercules. The urge to humiliate myself before such heroic legs is overwhelming. My heart leaps up into my throat, clobbering my adam's apple. Yeah, I know: sick, kinky, crass. I lose all sense of proportion when confronted with legs like these.

Movimus's latest load is Kevin's third dust-up with Connor Flynn. By now, these two fighters know each other pretty well. They can anticipate each other's moves. They have had time to discover each other's strong and weak spots. I am biased, but I can't help but believe that Connor knows he's doomed before he even steps onto the mat against Kevin. Such doom is exciting and stressful at the same time. (Like being in eighth grade PE and finding out Terry Maxwell wanted to wrestle me because we were the same height and weight. Okay, too confessional. Even I can see that now.)

Kevin gets on top of Connor right quick, pinning his wrists to the hardwood floor off the mat, while Connor locks Kevin's right leg in a figure four, pretty much guaranteeing that the two of them will be tied together for a few minutes. Connor squirms, pushing his head up against Kevin's, trying to nudge himself loose. The wrestlers push and pull, till finally Connor loops his arms around Kevin's waist and rolls the two of them over. But Kevin gets Connor in a headlock, thus tightening the knot their bodies make. There's no ref to pry these guys off each other, so they thrust and twist, each trying to grind the other to a submission.

This kind of close body work sucks me in to the best of Movimus, purveyor of real competitive mat wrestling, featuring hot, aggressive athletes who know what they're doing. Each limb, each joint is a chess piece, and you can almost see the clockwork computations at work behind their blank but intent faces. Each camera shot reveals something that you need to see in order to understand the science of the contest. The heavy breathing underlines the taut contest like a bassline. You have to imagine the sounds of their hearts pounding, but that's easily enough done. You will want to imagine the body heat, too.

Kevin is something else. (I like Connor too. But Kevin.) He manages to combine a strong sense of self-assurance with self-effacing commitment to the struggle as an event of greater importance than the two individuals engaged in it. In this way he reminds me of another NHB-Battle legend now at Movimus: Max Anderson. There's no heel and jobber here for fans to pin their fantasies and emotions on, just the wrestling, sufficient in itself as an action of stark beauty and animal simplicity.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Ten-Minute Headlock


The fans at ringside call it "the ten-minute headlock," but I clock it at just under six and a half minutes. Let's not split hairs. It's a fucking long headlock, and I couldn't be a happier man. Perhaps the perfect struggle between man and man, I have just now decided, is the struggle to free oneself from the world's steeliest headlock, which evidently belongs to Oliver John's mighty left arm. Timothy Thatcher, 6'3", 224#, tries all the textbook escape tactics to squirm, thrust, and slam his way out, but he does not get loose until John, 6', 224#, pretty much decides it's time to let go.

Eli sent me the link to this match from last year's All Pro Wrestling Gym Wars, for which gift I owe him big. This match occurred a few months before the epic Sacramento Wrestling Federation battle between the same two wrestlers I slobbered over a little over a year ago. These two are classic wrestlers' wrestlers, with Oliver well dubbed as "Old School" Oliver John and Timothy, the "British Messiah" (only half wrong, since this Messiah hails from California).

In heaven (or my present idea of heaven) I'll be Oliver in this match on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and Timothy in this match on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. (On Sundays I'll be in a 12-man pileup with Tyler Black, Lane Hartley, Big Sexy, Alexi Adamov, Sami Zayn, Brett Mycles, Kevin Von Erich, Jason Adonis, Tristan Archer, Rick Rude, and Paul Perris. Praise be!)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hard Feelings

Listen to the sounds of Southern regional wrestling. The squeal of junior-high girls, whose cherries are a half-second from spontaneous combustion on the hard steel chairs. The thunder of bodies on a padded plywood floor. The words of the deeply concerned but often tongue-tied commentators, which, in Southern wrestling (and nowhere else), can sometimes fire me up.
"These guys used to be best of friends until a couple of months ago."
"The only way to win this match, by the way, ... it's not a pinfall, it's not a submission ... guy is going to have to say yes or no or I quit and that's the way it's gonna end, and that's the only way ... only way it can conclude."
"You can pretty much throw all that [the two wrestlers' wrestling styles] out the window in a match like this because it's all about making your man ... yeah beat him down ... beat him down and make him, make him cry out 'Uncle' and that's it. That's what it's all about."
"You can tell these two guys really just don't like each other anymore." 
"I can feel the sting way over here, Danny."  
"He's got him in a bad, bad way."
The Southern wrestling ring is the national preserve of the long corner ten count, backwoods Apollos who can still pull off a pot belly, out-of-the-ring and on-top-of-the-turnbuckle slugouts, concrete floor suplexes, hair yanking, sweaty bearhugs, best friends on the outs who know only one way to settle it, and, naturally, steel chairs. I'm not saying you can't find these things outside the South, but just because you can hear Loretta Lynn singing her songs in Anchorage doesn't mean it is anything but Southern to the core.

Some of you guys keep me well supplied with links to matches you think might interest me, and you are batting close to a thousand so far. Apart from specifically gay-targeted wrestling sites, Southern pro wrestling is the most reliable. This match is a Trans South Wrestling showdown from December, between good guy Chase Brown and bad guy Kameron Kade. Ray in Atlanta sent me the link, in a message about Steven Walters's going to WWE. (Like him, "I shudder to think what WWE will do with him.")

I'm not saying Brown-versus-Kade is perfect. Every now and then the ref loses track of what an "I Quit" match is about, and a few of the segues are bumpy, but on the whole it does the trick for me.  Before sending it to me, Ray watched it three times ("because I can't get thru it all without ... well you know"). Like butter on grits, my friends. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gonna Be Fun

Rock Hard Wrestling's still rocking. In the company's latest release, Alex Waters climbs in the ring with Zack Johnathan after an exchange of teasing taunts at the weight machine.

"This is gonna be fun," Alex purrs as he follows his opponent into the ring. True to form, Alex sneak-attacks Zack with a fist to the back while ZJ is pulling his T-shirt over his head. Alex yanks the shirt off and tosses it to ringside. He bodyslams the man, straddles his waist, and starts landing punches to his chest.

"This is gonna be fun," he repeats, all but licking his lips as he stomps Zack down each time the guy gets halfway up on hands and knees. A coolly efficient corner beatdown follows. Then Alex pulls Zack back to ring center for more abuse. Alex is unusually gifted at selling his punches and kicks in an apparently offhanded manner. Probably nobody at RHW cops an attitude better than Alex.

Then he takes Zack to the ropes, though perhaps it's too early for the ropes, being the kind of fun and games best saved until both wrestlers are drenched in sweat, which won't happen for another twenty minutes.

About six minutes into Round 1, a poorly judged elbow drop throws the advantage to the beleaguered Zack, and a part of me is rooting for him to give Alex the licking the punk has been setting himself up for. By now Zack can demand equal time, at least. White trunks and boots identifies him as a hero ... or sacrificial lamb, depending on the outcome (Alex, in any case, wears black and blue).

Hero's a role that fits Zack Johnathan well. He has always looked great in gear (he has a physique that would give Michelangelo the wets), but in these last two years he has also bloomed as a convincing performer and ring presence. I could see him as the guy who finally cuts this well-groomed millennial sadist down to size. One day, if not today.

The greater part of me, however, just savors what a work this Alex is: bad news with a Pepsodent smile, a fistful of styling gel, and biceps you could crack your teeth on. All that raw potential going up against a hot, experienced guy like Zack can't be anything but explosive.

Each man takes one of the first two rounds, each one lasting about ten minutes. The 1-1 tie ensures one of my favorite things at RHW: the hard-fought climactic third round that could go anywhere. It, too, lasts about ten minutes, and ends with strangulation and a backbreaker, pretty much my idea of pro wrestling's butter and jam.

A match with either Zack or Alex in it is worth watching; with both of them, it's must-see.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Slippery People

UCW-Wrestling's latest release [#341] is the company's second oil wrestling match. The first featured Axel up against Johnny Deep, whose girlfriend supposedly came up with the idea. Long before Can-Am's classic Musclehunk Oil Wrestling series of the 1980s and 1990s (or BG East's more limited forays into the genre: the live Paradise matches), my introduction to this fetish was a relatively tame illustration of ancient Greek wrestlers in a National Geographic magazine (see illustration below). I was just a kid at the time, but already I sensed what I liked. 

In #341 Axel returns to the oil pit to square off against newcomer Tyson the Hammer. Both wrestlers have slender, muscular builds that the oil nicely highlights. They wrestle in white cotton briefs, which, soaking wet, leave nothing to the imagination. The yellow tint of olive oil exaggerates the aura of risqué naughtiness.  To its credit, UCW fills a gap with this and the previous oil match at a time when other wrestling sites no longer do this sort of thing (or never did). It's a bold step for the company and its wrestlers, more openly embracing the homoerotic aspects of the sport.

The oil-wrestling genre poses inevitable challenges, though. The choice of angles (and proximity) in shooting the action is limited by the borders of the oil pit. And slickness is not conducive to maintaining tight wrestling clenches or navigating from one hold to the next. Bodyslams and piledrivers are almost entirely out of the question.

In this match, a prologue depicts the wrestlers' qualms about the contest. Neither man seems ready to commit 100% to the event's potential as sex fantasy (unlike, say, Can-Am's Doug Brandon and Jimmy Dean, back in the day). In retrospect, I think the match might have worked better without the intro, which comes off as a bit sheepish, even apologetic. "I feel like a glazed ham," Tyson complains mildly as Axel applies the oil to his chest and shoulders. I can sympathize, but glazed ham is just not the image I need in my wrestling fantasy.

Once the match gets going, though, the wrestlers loosen up. The oil and nearly transparent underwear push them to new levels of daring and raunch. The trademark crotch grabs are more sexually charged than usual. In time, the guys maneuver around each other's slippery body with relative ease, and we even get something damn near close to a serious wrestling match.

Like swimming-pool wrestling and mud fights, oil matches are novelty acts. In similar events at state fairs and titty bars, the participants often goof around and play up the obvious comic possibilities. Plenty of toothy smiles and eye-rolling. Everybody yucking it up. But the secret to a great oil match, I believe, is to play it as straight as possible, no wisecracks, no giggles, no irony. Just slick up, put on your best fight face, and go at it. Just like the noble Greeks of old.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

All Choked Up

Maybe you have heard me say that I don't like wrestling videos that pinpoint one move or hold--like gut-punching, scissors, or figure-fours--over and over again, ad nauseam, no matter how much I love the particular hold. Here's an instance where I might make an exception: choking. And it looks like the nonpareil of the all-choking video already exists: BG East's Choke Outs 1, featuring the inimitable Kid Vicious and Seth Seton, who, as far as I can tell, has not been seen or heard from since his debut. (If indeed Seth has gone missing, I'm afraid the shots above could be incriminating evidence.) Five years later, there is no sequel, and one reason may be that it would be difficult to top the original.

Oddly enough, I have not yet seen this match, but the still shots (available at The Arena @BGEast) hold me in their spell. Kid V and Seth fight in the ring, on the mat, and, ultimately, on the bed (buck naked, if bucks wear wrestling shoes). Vicious, the master of erotic menace, puts Seth's adam's apple through the ringer with a series of choke-outs. He utilizes hands, ropes, arms, legs, and crotch to leave the rookie literally breathless. The match climaxes with a final nude sleeper hold. Evidently, the rounds consist of other tactics, too, but a snarling Kid Vicious succeeds in keeping the focus tight on choking.

Kid Vicious, with his punk, boot-boy attitude, is one of BG East's best heels: six feet of lean, ice-cold muscle and the killingest cheekbones and jawline in the business*. He could sport a pair of arced fangs too and still be irresistible. All in all, some guys are worth playing the victim for. Seth looks like he sells his victimization the whole way. Some shots show his teeth gritted in torment; others show his face falling slack and numb, overwhelmed by Vicious's relentless and enfolding assault. The more explicit nude shots (not shown here) raise heat.

Whether or not the allure of choking is masturbatory (erotic asphyxiation or, metaphorically, "choking the chicken"), it combines sensuality and a sense of peril. As I have asserted elsewhere, choking requires physical closeness and unflagging diligence that other forms of violence (and pretend-violence) do not. By comparison, even a good old-fashioned John Wayne slug to the chin is too quick and sudden to match it for erotic heat (though, admittedly, extended pummeling can mimic the rhythm and impact of a long, savage fuck). But choking entwines assailant and victim in a long, sweaty struggle, fingers clutching bulging veins, taking minutes of skin-on-skin maneuvering before at last shutting the opponent down over ten or so heated seconds.

A good choke requires closeness and concentration. To defeat somebody with a choke means you want your victim not only to know exactly who's responsible for his downfall but also to experience the creeping drain of his ability to resist and the fading of consciousness as his body slumps against yours. It's the ultimate symbol of mastery in eroto-violent fantasy.

* Vicious has already victimized some of BG East's best: Alexi Adamov, Jarret Cole, Patrick Donovan, Len Harder, Billy Lodi, Cameron Matthews, Justin Pierce, Rob Sherborne, Steven Thomas, and too many more to name. But if I might suggest future sacrifices to this man's insatiable lust for domination and humiliation, here are some recommendations: Ethan Axel Andrews, Gil Barrios, Austin Cooper, Lon Dumont, Jake Lowe, Aryx Quinn, Zach Reno, Gabriel Ross, Pete Sharp, Kip Sorell, and, most definitely, Z-Man.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Progress Report

Over the weekend Blake Arledge published a small set of photos taken from a seated position at ringside at Friday's Southern Wrestling Association show in Forest City, North Carolina. The occasion was the fourteenth annual Bud Rhymer Cup, a convocation of sixteen great tag teams from across the country, but of particular interest to me are these six shots updating the impressive physical progress of two wrestlers, long favorites of this blog (and stars of my first live wrestling show back in 2011) and too long absent from these pages: Stoney Hooker and Alex Avgerinos. The boys have manned up nicely and look ready to stir up some serious trouble.


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