Quinn Harper vs Michael Hannigan, #276 (UCW)
Harper's debut at UCW rattled me a little (as I confessed elsewhere), so it was not until his second big UCW match that I relaxed enough to take in the man's genius. His adversary, the disarmingly cute Hannigan, was a mix of deer in the headlights and canary in a coal mine. I doubt Michael was running on anything but a fight-or-flight response to the (rightly) perceived threat Quinn posed, and I'm reasonably certain boss-man Bodyslam threw Hannigan at Harper to find out whether it was safe to send a big moneymaker like Eli Black in with the wild new heel. Not safe at all, as it turns out (though nothing could stop Quinn from getting his hooks into Eli later). Fortunately, Hannigan has more fight than flight, so the match offers more than a typical squash job. Still it's Quinn's ingenious abuses that stick in my memory. How many wrestlers do you know go after his opponent's eyes? Well, then, how about his opponent's sphincter?!? Quinn-vs-Michael is not reducible to words. You absolutely must see it, and when you see it, you can never un-see it.
Aaron Bolo vs Ethan HD, TCW December Double Header (Tulalip Championship Wrestling)
Not the most agile or graceful ring wrestler, Bolo was, during a seven-year wrestling career, a formidable force. The six-one, 224-pound Korean American exuded virility, mega-loads of it, like a colossal manga version of Bruno Sammartino. Perhaps intimidated by Bolo's cold, hard enormity, Ethan HD (5'9", 205#) keeps his T-shirt on for this match. The crowd jeers at his reluctance to show his chest. Outside of the ropes, Bolo makes a point of pulling the shirt up to deliver a hard chop to the ribs. No doubt the peroxide blond is no match physically for the crowd favorite. (In my fantasies, Bolo's perfect opponent is the six-one, 221-pound Russian Ivan Gromov, another pro wrestler few apart from the truly obsessed will have heard of.) It is Ethan, though, who animates the contest, makes it sexier. Bolo's uncanny allure derives from his majesty, impressive when stationary, especially then. Ethan keeps things moving. The match doesn't work at all unless, like me, you are in lecherous awe of Bolo's muscles, yet also some part of you, like Ethan, yearns to see the people's idol toppled, its feet of clay cracked.
Bullet Bernard vs Velvet Revolver, Pros in Private 6 (BG East)
I'll admit that the first thing that keeps drawing me back to this 2007 match is the way Revolver's crimson velvet trunks cling (or fail to cling) to his hips and crotch. Also, I can't look away from his hairy legs. Velvet is pretty in ways deer and elfin princes are pretty. Second only to Justin Pierce, he may be the most beautiful wrestler to appear at BGE (twice). That doesn't mean he isn't tough too. He is, as he puts it, "ready to rock." Bernard, a wild man with a leaner, grittier kind of attractiveness, seems drawn to Revolver to destroy him, maybe because of the way Revolver turns his nose up at him as he approaches the ring--who knows? and who says we need to know? Velvet is a bit bigger and heavier than Bullet. He takes the initiative with a feisty arm-drag takedown. The action is give and take, with Bullet gradually coming on stronger, with a penchant for holds that sting. As the series title indicates, both wrestlers are pros, reportedly fresh from competing training schools. They look good, and they know how to fight. Usually I have to settle for either looks or fight and let my imagination fill in the other. Bullet-vs-Velvet gives me both and then swells to an out-like-a-light finish.