Jago left this comment yesterday, in the wee hours of the morning:
Just wanted to come back and point out--since Haste was getting all the love--that the Nicholls guy is pretty danged hot too. He has that sort of bully build I like in my jobbers--like Roderick Strong!Damn right, Jago. Nicholls' combination of power gut and iron thighs epitomizes the "bully build," though I think Mikey is pretty far past being a jobber here. So to reward Jago for saying something I like, I pass this February 2014 match on to you. This is Mikey (6'1", 227#) versus Chilean grappler Xtra Large (6'1", 231#) at Pro Wrestling NOAH in Tokyo. It's not Mikey's toughest fight, but it does demonstrate the guy's winsome ring presence: bold, cocky, bullish, rough, droll.
Nicholls and XL are similar in height and weight, but proportioned very differently, creating a sense (to my eyes) that Mikey is the much bigger man, though four pounds lighter. (Of course, pro-wrestling stats are always iffy.) I'm not sure why a round, firm belly stacked between steel-belted shoulders and tree-trunk thighs works for me, but it does. I like the way XL bounces off of it with his suicide corkscrew shooting star press at the 4:47 mark.
For me the best moments are Nicholls in full-on gorilla mode: the nostril stretch at 6:33 and the drop-em-dead midair punch at 8:53, just two examples. The match offers some satisfying corner beatdowns too, though I would like to see them three or four times longer. In sum, Nicholls' hotness owes in equal parts to his golden-era-catch physique and his easy way with the crowd (and the camera). That said, I can't see the Shane Haste love dying out at my house anytime soon either.