Battle of Muscle Beach

Lifeguard Chad Daniels wants to make Rock Hard Wrestling his beach. Or his "swimming pool" or "zen zone," as he calls the company's wrestling ring. This is his second match (in his first he took on Zack Johnathan), and in December, weeks after his debut, I was daydreaming of a tag team of Chad and Josh Steel. But Chad can't proceed in his quest for wrestling glory without going through Austin Cooper, whom the upstart has the gall to call a "has-been" ... to his face! RHW dubs the fight "Battle of Muscle Beach," and it has the makings of a real crotch-pleaser.

Cooper starts things off by knocking the surfer boy off his feet. Chad rails about the ass-kicking he will dish out once he gets back up, but Austin calmly replies, "That's just it. You're not going to." Coop has the muscle to keep Chad pressed facedown to the mat all day if he wants to. Instead, he decides to roll him over and into a body-scissors and arm-lock combination. After sufficiently demonstrating that Chad can't move six inches without Austin's say-so, Cooper pulls him to his feet for a snap suplex, just for "thinking about getting in the ring with me." "You broke something," Chad whines, and Austin slams him a second time "for thinking about the bone that you broke." And then a third time, "just for being a dumb-ass." When a Boston crab hold fails to impress Chad with the gravity of his earlier insult, Cooper lets him back up.

Not smart. Chad grabs the opportunity to body-slam the veteran and pummel the guy's back with the sole of his boot before moving down to the hamstrings. A couple of body stretches displays the suppleness of Coop's brawny torso and the dome-like ascent of his glutes. More stomping and slamming follow; only then do I realize how much bigger and heavier Chad is than Austin--by five inches and 25 pounds (I checked). Funny, though, how Austin's ring presence seems to command more space. But Cooper rallies, turning the momentum back to his favor and repaying Chad tit for tat and more before shutting down Round 1.

This battle is certain to win Chad Daniels some fans and prove that Austin Cooper cannot help but be amazing, constantly surprising us right when we think we have him figured out. Rock Hard grants me three wishes with this fight--that it would last for a full three rounds, that the turnbuckle and ropes would get put to good use, and that only one man would walk out of the ring at the end, the other being knocked out cold. On the whole, Rock Hard offers the best price to quality ratio of any of the online wrestling sites, and its latest match is exceptionally good.

One smallish complaint, though: RHW, unless you're plugging a new clinical-strength antiperspirant, I would like some sweat here. How do these guys last out a strenuous 29-minute match under hot studio lights without a drop of perspiration? Is this a Mitchum commercial or rasslin'? Let's get these boys some sweat glands--or at least spritz some oil on them between takes.


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