I'm glad BG East is giving Kid Karisma, 5'8", 170#, some tougher competition lately, serious brawlers like Dev Michaels, Blaine Janus, and now in Undagear 22 Ray Naylor, 5'9", 150#. Not that I'm unhappy that BGE often gives Kid K free rein to scramble slim, pouty twinks for breakfast. Nobody does that better than Karisma, not with such gusto and malevolent ingenuity anyway. But I do think he also likes a good rough romp with somebody who puts up a good tussle. In his underwear match versus Ray, a man with sadistic tendencies that are hardly inferior to K's, he nettles his opponent and persistently pushes the fight to its limits. It's not hard to read the chemistry here: macho territoriality run amok. These two did not take to each other, and tempers flare up quickly, more intensely as the battle wears on. To cite the BGE catalog (104.2) description:
It goes for four falls, each one sweatier, noisier, more brutal, and frankly more boner-inspiring than the last. Neither of these wrestlers enters any match with any thought other than to utterly destroy his opponent, but as tempers flare and egos get bruised (if not demolished), caution gets thrown to the wind, especially as the match draws to its tempestuous, physically abusive, ball-busting and butt-baring finale. At an action-packed 28 minutes, this fight would be a classic even sold by itself, alone on a disk. BG East ALWAYS goes the distance.


  1. Let's try this again...

    I know what you mean about Kid Karisma. More than most wrestlers, there's a certain obvious aspect when he seems to be comfortable and enjoying himself, and it affects the quality of his matches. It's like watching a good superhero movie: I don't so much start believing people can throw lightning bolts and lift building so much as I simply accept it and enjoy the ride. When the movie isn't as excellent, I lose some of that pure enjoyment and start noticing the details: the special effects, the direction, the acting. I may still enjoy the movie, but it's more a matter of my liking the actors or the genre or a really cool CGI moment.

    Kid Karisma is like that. When he's in his comfort zone, which I think is with similar in size opponents who (are booked to) give him more of a contest, he's one of the best. But when he's not, as in the matches when he's booked as a monster heel, he's not as "on," always seems to be thinking, "Now I'm supposed to do this... and then I'm supposed to do that... Oh, right, now I'm supposed to flex for the camera..." If you compare his matches with Z-man, Kip Sorell and Jake Jenkins to their matches with Lane Hartley, and Guido Genatto, there's a huge difference: those guys embody that role while Kid Karisma is playing the role.

    Again, it doesn't mean those matches weren't good. His match with Z-man was actually one of the hottest of that year. Just that there's a notable difference.

    1. Generally I agree with your point, John, but i don't think this match is a good illustration of it. Kid K and Ray are closely matched in size and weight and knowhow. By contrast, at this point in his career Kip Sorell looks like ANYBODY could beat him. Guido looks like NOBODY could beat him. Neither is true of Ray Naylor. But I don't think a good heel has to be big, though he's going to be most convincing against opponents his size or smaller. There is, however, a large fan base, especially at BG East and Thunders Arena, for David-Goliath matches. I don't belong to that particular fan base, but I can enjoy matches that are outside my kink from time to time--for shits and giggles, if nothing else, and, no, it's probably not a good idea for me to think too much about their realism. Realism in the performance of a fetish ritual is less important than being "on," as you say. Your point about self-consciousness interests me too. Some heels--like Morgan Cruise, for one--don't usually appeal to me for that reason. They spread the macho a little too thick, too theatrically, and unconvincingly. It looks hammy, in fact, whereas Guido and Lane, as you point out, embody the role more organically. Karisma, too, embodies the role naturally, I think, though perhaps to greater or lesser degrees from one performance to the next (I'd say he's more on than off, as a rule, and by a large margin). Perhaps the same could be said even of Guido and Lane. I'm glad you said what you did. It's very close to my own thinking, though obviously there are differences--as there should be.

    2. I hope you're not suggesting, Joe, that Kip Sorell isn't a good wrestler because he "looks like anybody could beat him." I think Kip is damn near perfect right now. He's clearly fulfilling the jobber archetype. I mean, it's gay pro wrestling: with his looks and body alone he'd be an automatic buy for a lot of people, me included, if he did nothing more than lie on his back. But having seen his three performances (and I'm waiting for BGE to release his current match with Z-man on streaming video simply because I have over 500 videos and DVDs and don't have any room for more), he's particularly dazzling to me precisely because he seems like "anyone" could beat him. He's got this rare ability to look sheepish and cowed, like he knows he's in over his head, but still climbs back to his feet for more, not because he's stupid or a glutton for punishment, but because he's got heart and will keep getting up no matter what's thrown at him until he simply can't. It's almost noble in a way, a whole "you may and probably will break my body, but you'll never fully break my spirit" thing. And a great body + heart = jobber perfection. Sure, I'd like to see Kip presented a little less like he just can't hang as much as his opponents are just dirty, vicious assholes who'll gladly break all the rules just to work him over, but for now, I can't really ask for more from him.

      I'm surely projecting that perception onto Kip simply because I liked him instantly for his looks. But that's the thing: my inherent "like" for him grows each time I see him because whatever he's doing strengthens it, and I forget that he's playing a role unless I'm analyzing his performance after the fact. Kid K, whom I also liked instantly, albeit not quite as deeply as Kip, though he has tons of qualities that make me swoon, and also has several matches I really liked, and is even someone I can fantasize about in a heel role, doesn't quite fit as perfectly in my eyes in the heel role.

      It's ironically in part because of his own physical appeal. I mean, and this is a huge bias on my part, I sort of think of a heel as angry at the world, pissed off for petty rationales, especially with the way he thinks fans perceive other wrestlers in comparison to himself. So, when Kid K, who is often as "beautiful" physically as his opponents, certainly in terms of body, plays heel, I lose a bit of that raw heel sense. Then again, it's a little unfair for me to pick on Kid K when there are heels who don't impress me at all, especially outside BG East. So I guess I should say I do think he's good, but because he's good, I want more out of him.

    3. I like Kip too. Right now he's getting the usual rookie breaking in. This initiatory period is not my favorite of any wrestler's career. Like you, I respect his heart and resilience. I hope soon to see him up against somebody he can push back. I believe jobbers have a role to play in pro wrestling, and I understand that role. They're not the wrestlers i'm usually drawn to, however, and I realize I'm in the minority among gay wrestling fans in that respect. Kip is a good looking kid, most definitely. "Boyishness," for all its initial charms, is still a quality I'd like to see him eventually outgrow.

  2. Well, I'd simply like to add, Kip Sorell isn't jobbing because he's a rookie. He's a jobber precisely because he looks good and people will buy him in that role. He could be an NCAA national champion and a 10th degree black belt, and it wouldn't matter. It's a little misleading to suggest otherwise, as if his matches now are a mere learning experience and someday he'll grow into a "better" wrestler. He's already one of the best.

    Not every wrestler has to work the image that he's some raging "alpha male" who's so heartbroken by the thought of losing he spends every moment training and studying video tapes to get "better." I appreciate that you would like him better if that was his role. But, honestly, don't you already have dozens of guys who do that for you? Some wrestlers simply look great in skimpy trunks, smile and shake hands even though, as in Kip's best match (with Genatto), it's more likely that he'll get kicked in the head before he gets a chance to lock up. Isn't it OK that, for the rest of us, who by your own suspicion may actually be the majority of the audience, we get one guy who does that?

    And as far as boyishness goes, if you're saying that because he looks relatively young (early 20s?), cool. But if you're saying it because he's not as aggressive as some wrestlers, I must disagree. No wrestler seems more masculine to me than someone who takes a beating and comes back for more.

  3. Hey John. You make some good points. But let me clarify something which I hope doesn't need clarifying for you. Not even once do I imply that my point of view of anything I write about is the only defendable point of view. My blog expresses my point of view (exclusively, except for the comments section and, rarely, interviews with others) yet I show respect and allow space for comments that disagree with my views. I may even respond to some of the comments, defending what I like and dismissing what I don't like. I happen to like cute guys, but I like skilled and aggressive wrestlers even more (jobbers, babyfaces, heels, whatever)--I've made that point multiple times, even acknowledging (as you're aware) that this preference may not reflect the majority's. I like Kip, but if I didn't, you know what? That would be all right too. We don't have to agree on anything, much less everything. But for the time being, this is a blog for expressing my take on the stuff I like. I'm not a politician or corporate entity that does market research to determine what other people would like me to be writing about. This blog is pretty much my personal diary and scrapbook on wrestling; only it's public for others to look at if they care to. I haven't got anything to sell here. I don't need anybody's vote. The blog doesn't even need to be popular for me to find satisfaction in writing it. I never presented myself as the official voice of gay wrestling fans everywhere. I'm pretty sure you and most other readers do not read this blog to see your own points of view simply played back to you. I have a fairly specific and limited point of view, which is all my own. And though I try to keep the blog's tone positive and play down the stuff in wrestling that I don't like, that stuff sometimes sneaks into the mix, too. So if something I'm saying strikes you as not particularly cool, I'm fine with it. You be fine with it too. Please.

  4. I appreciate your point of view, Joe. I wouldn't read your blog, let alone comment, if I didn't. My view is--and I'm sure you share it--there's a range of great reasons why we share a love of wrestling, specifically gay-oriented wrestling, which provides particular thrills that aren't really present in what we see on TV or in indy matches on Youtube. When you highlight a type of match or wrestler or role I don't like in the same way, I don't disagree with it; I simply accept it as a concrete and, invariably, well written proof of one aspect of the range of great things that make wrestling the thing we all enjoy.

    My one quibble, however, is the presumption that aggressive = skilled, particularly the corresponding implication that passive = unskilled. Were it otherwise we'd all be gushing about Goldberg or Andre the Giant. I suspect that, were some tyrant to kidnap a cross section of the guys who've appeared in gay wrestling videos and force them into some real life gay wrestling version of The Hunger Games, the last man standing might very well be a jobber who, as we've had the chance to see him, has never won match. (Well, actually I suspect that those kidnapped wrestlers would come together and work to overthrow the tyrant who put them in position to fight instead of attacking each other, making it literally like the full Hunger Games story). But, honestly, it doesn't matter who could beat up someone else in real life. It's about who turns you on, emotionally, erotically, intellectually.

    So, when you say you prefer Kid Karisma or Austin Cooper because they're aggressive and dominate most of their matches these days, and if you aren't as impressed with wrestlers like Kip Sorell or Rio Garza because they don't, I appreciate that, not because I agree but because I love that there are blogs like yours that comment on gay pro as so many other outlets regard straight pro. But if you say you prefer Karisma and Cooper because they're more "skilled" or "talented" than Sorell and Garza, well, I simply add they very well may be, but it's not because of what they do on tape. I don't expect or even want you to amend your tastes. What would be the fun in that? I simply want to share my view in conjunction with yours. Because though it's not your objective, you are changing the industry.


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