I like a good hard belly, maybe more than any body feature other than a handsome face. Twenty years ago I, like almost everybody, fetishized wasp-waisted actors like Brad Pitt, with abs that could grate cheese. However, the voluptuous mound of a wrestler or weightlifter filled me with more awe, even back then, which I have always found difficult to explain to others.
The fixation is perhaps the longterm effect of watching too many Hercules movies growing up. I'm not talking about out-of-shape guys--this is not about me coming out as a chubby chaser or being envious (I'm officially old now and "soft in the middle," to quote Paul Simon, and, no, it's nothing to shout about)--but rather about men who look like they could take a jackhammer in the gut and keep on grinning.
I like the accoutrements of the midsection too. Hair and freckles enhance the well-bolstered core so long as they don't obscure it. An aesthetically sculpted navel and a suggestive treasure trail are heaven. So is the sharp, godlike V-shape of a pronounced iliac furrow. (I did my junior-high science fair project on the "male human torso," an exhibit that was somewhat less scientific in tone than I had intended, hence, my advanced vocabulary for all things trunkish.)
Even the word "belly" conjures thoughts of sex. Honestly I do not know why. I still like eight-packs, and slim young men so long as they wrestle, though my opinion is that washboard abs have become something of a cliché, especially if the guys sporting them look emaciated, with no other muscular development to boast of.
Probably the first thing you notice about Specimen and Kratos is that these are NOT emaciated men. In a recent ThunderTV VOD, Kratos, 5'9", 235#, and the very popular Specimen, 5'10", 250#, square off after Kratos's original opponent, Bear, is injured and cannot finish the match. A low camera angle creates the impression that these wrestlers are two monuments, not mere men, and their 21-minute grunt-n-groan struggle gains the proportions of an epic.
Personally, I prefer the mohawked hairiness of Kratos to Specimen's smooth contours. There's something Goldbergesque about Kratos, in his hearty yet intimidating personality as well as his hairy-chestedness. These two go belly to belly and chest to chest in a real old-school Smash-a-thon that somehow manages to end in not one, not two, but THREE knockouts. (I can't explain without spoiling it, so you'll have to see it for yourself or trust me on this one.)
The match covers all the usual Thunders Arena staples: big men, tests of strength, bearhugs, full nelsons, wisecracks, sweat, and brightly colored bikinis. The opponents are so well matched that the question of who actually WINS this contest could become a subject for debate in coffee shops and all-nite diners across the continent.