I almost swallowed my tongue when I got to see Gunner in the flesh a few years ago. The man is built to impress. So is his challenger in this match from last year: Chris Andrews, who stains his hero image with a heel turn in the first quarter of the contest.
Everything is gentlemanly sportsmanship until, feeling humiliated in front of his home crowd, Chris drives his boot into Gunner's midsection, mere seconds after Gunner has magnanimously demonstrated his respect for the blond beefcake. Chris makes matters worse by amplifying the viciousness of his attacks on the TNA superstar.
The fans love Gunner, especially when, in a predictable but no less thrilling turnaround, Chris pushes him one step too far and the rage-stoked North Carolinian plows into him, exactly the juicy comeuppance I had hoped for. In the end, a forgiving Gunner reconciles with the local hero, who was, after all, only having an uncharacteristic "bad" spell.
Watching a Goliath-versus-Goliath match like this one brings to mind all those cheesy wonderful Hercules movies I saw (in theaters!) as a kid back in the 1960s. The bump of colossal bodies is like no other bump in the world. I only wish that when these big guys knocked each other over they would at least spare a few minutes for some real mat wrestling before resuming the noisy chopping, stopping, smashing, and roaring that are expected of them*.
* ... and that I like, too.