I'm primed for BG East's newly launched series Barefoot Babyfaces. It begins with a barefoot Jake Jenkins, my pick for best BGE babyface since Brad Rochelle, who takes on a heel in boots, Morgan Cruise, and it ends with the squeaky-clean Cameron Matthews taking on sleaze-meister Blaine Janus. In between is a little goldmine I would like to meditate on here: Richie Douglas versus newcomer Mad Mykel.

So far Richie has been a tug toy for Austin Cooper and Ray Naylor, attracting attention for his skills in suffering convincingly and beautifully. Mykel pops up out of nowhere I know of and makes a grand, over-the-top stab at making everybody hate his stinking guts. He mostly succeeds, what with his style-deaf leather suspenders and delusions of grandeur, in particular a crazy conviction that he and Richie are wrestling before thousands in a sports stadium, going so far as to mug for the "fans" and cock his ear towards the roar of the crowd.

The makeshift rules (purely Mykel's invention) are that whoever wins by submission automatically gets to pin the loser and whoever wins by a pinfall automatically gets to submit the loser. He initiates the bout by blindsiding Richie with a blow to the nutsack, a good start but Richie quickly retorts with an impressive flurry of pro-style moves before submitting the headcase by tying his arms behind him in a knot.

The loss propels Mykel into an unmanly temper tantrum that, were there actually a live audience, would make the crowd cream their collective panties in anticipation of Richie's kicking the shit out of this prick. Moments like these have a dizzying effect on me. It excites my bloodthirstiness against someone who can be both that arrogant and that puerile, while also triggering a sense of horror at myself for being the kind of person who would want anyone to have his balls wrung and poked up his anus, as I do at times like this. Such are the complicated feelings I have watching Mad Mykel spit out his whinging complaints while pummeling the canvas with his fists.

This match pushes pretty much all my buttons. Richie Douglas is a noble and long-suffering hero figure and Mad Mykel is a deranged cry-baby who needs a good whipping. This is one of those matches Wrestling Arsenal describes so well, where we are instructed in the finer points of masculinity through a contest between a spoiled-rotten pantywaist and a "regular guy." I bought into it from the start, and found every predictable escalation of the situation--the hairpulling and the climactic sleeper, especially--immensely cathartic.


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