I like to believe that in some small way Wrestling Arsenal, WrestleBard, Bruno, StayPuft, and I are responsible for the recent sea change in professional wrestling commentary. Nowadays male beauty is not off limits for comment in mainstream wrestling circles, and ringside commentators feel somewhat freer to gush over the firm curves of "young studs" just as they traditionally slobbered over divas! It was not too long ago that good-looking wrestlers were subject to mockery when they were heels (as they often were) or else their sex appeal was not mentioned at all, or hinted at through code words ("athletic," "fit," "exciting").
Yesterday I mentioned a male commentator's unapologetic (and repeated) claim that wrestler Lane Hartley is "gorgeous." (The word used to elicit boos in the era of Gorgeous George.) In the August 3rd match I'm looking at today, a WCWC commentator repeatedly identifies the opponents, Pacific Northwest Champion "Hot Shot" Danny Duggan and challenger Ricky Mandel ("from Sexy Beach"), as "young studs," praising not only their athletic prowess but also their sex appeal. He talks of his "excitement" over this contest, with a knowing nod to the fact that his use of the word unintentionally coincides with Danny's stripping off his baggy shorts to reveal his bulge-defining blue trunks. (On the downside, soon mainstream wrestling may be homo-conscious enough that I won't have anything left to blog about.)
Danny is in the best shape since his golden youth. Now he's big and hard and coconut tan all over, never tougher, fiercer, or more butchly beautiful. Ricky is pure sex appeal too, though more conventionally cast as the cowardly gym bunny (at one point he uses the slim-bodied ref as a human shield against Danny's attack). It's a fine championship match, but I wish the camera crew could manage to position themselves better for key moves and holds. Although Danny and Ricky may be spending more time in the gym and under the sunlamp than the Funks and Briscos used to, they still pack a lot of wallop in this contest, and now ringside commentators can coo about how pretty they are too.