Because it's his thing, so to speak, Rock Hard Wrestling always tosses the new muscle studs to Ethan Andrews for their mandatory cherry-busting. Rookie Tyson Matthews looks like two full hands' worth of hunk, and he enters RHW carrying a lot of attitude. He mocks the Game of Thrones-loving "street punk" for his geeky tastes in comics and sci-fi/fantasy. In response, Ethan cracks about the fitness model's thinning hair, which might or might not be a sore point for Tyson.  If nothing else, the trash talk does succeed in riling Tyson up for a fight.

Pretty quickly Ethan feels the effects of the model's years of muscle-building. Tyson is new to Rock Hard, but reportedly he comes to the company with mat wrestling experience, and from the looks of things, he's comfortable translating those skills to the squared circle. Ethan's high success rate against opponents twenty or thirty pounds heavier sometimes stretches credibility, but Ethan has always done a nice job of selling it. Given the shitstorm Tyson sets loose on him at the beginning of this match, Ethan's win ratio may be up for reassessment, however.

The match lasts three rounds, which means, of course, that Ethan and Tyson each gain a submission in the first two. Early on in the ten-minute finale, Tyson stretches Ethan while grilling him on the topic of live-action role-play. It's a moment that suggests what an early morning talk show might be like with a pro-wrestling heel as the host. Talk about an aggressive line of interview questions! Then Tyson pulls Ethan up off the mat by his ears. When was the last time you saw Barbara Walters do that?

Tyson is tougher looking and more rugged and broad shouldered than typical of the current Rock Hard roster. His physique allows him to toss Ethan about and carry him around on his shoulders almost without effort. A man Tyson's size on the roster could prove interesting in future matches, especially in competition against other big-boned wrestlers. And his elbow drops look like they could do some serious damage, and to judge by the look on his face as he plows into Ethan's torso, Tyson means for them to. Physically, he stands in pointed contrast to the Disneyesque cuteness of Ethan, yet he better not mistake Ethan's prettiness for weakness.

Ethan calls upon his wide knowledge of submission holds to try to even the score. An arm bar that lasts over a full minute looks like something Tyson will still be feeling a month later, and Ethan follows it with even more punishment to the same arm. Then Ethan delivers as perfect a suplex as I have seen, with Tyson ending up (pun intended) "ass to the ceiling" (in Ethan's words) and thighs splayed for maximum strain on the groin. He caps all this by working Tyson in the corner for a grueling three minutes, an ordeal that ultimately determines the match's outcome.

Tyson's playground bully routine plays well off Ethan's nerd next door routine. The advantage turns at a regular pace, without warning, and either of these guys could walk away the victor. There's never any sense of real peril in this match (or in any of Rock Hard's matches that I can remember--nothing to compare to what we regularly find at some other promotions, anyway), but all the same its colorful banter, measured pace, and exhibition-style presentation of classic holds and moves are entertaining and impressive, and a fine introduction to a terrific new addition to the RHW team.


  1. When I saw the name, at first I thought you meant this guy, Tyson Dux: http://www.cagematch.net/?id=2&nr=1331


Post a Comment

Popular Posts