Some wrestling blogs focus on holds and angles. Wrestling Arsenal, for instance, knows wrestling inside and out. It is encyclopedic in its grasp of the subject and Talmudic in its authority. Other blogs focus almost entirely on the muscles of wrestlers, the most obsessive being Bruno's pictorial Beefcakes of Wrestling. Yet other blogs, like the one you're reading now, focus on the blogger's subjective responses to wrestling, absorbed in the mysteries of desire and the why's and wherefore's of a fixation on wrestling and wrestlers.
Then there's WrestleBard's neverland, whose fascination is the backstage workings of underground homoerotic wrestling, specifically BG East, more specifically the lives and misadventures of Ty Alexander, Mason Brooks, Kayden Keller, and Drake Marcos. Like the rest of us, Bard sometimes drifts from his usual focus: it's not unusual to find him panting after a morning talk show host or narrating a wrestling sex fantasy, for a change of pace, but I think his real heart lies in being the Perez Hilton of underground wrestling.
Ty, Mason, Kayden, and Drake (whom I now dub the BG East Boy Band) are at the center of neverland's universe. Or so it seems to me. These wrestlers not only grant Bard frank and entertaining interviews, but actively engage with him in juicy gossip and smack talk in the comments section, some of which carries over into their own blogs (the firsthand wrestler's blog being yet a fifth subgenre of the wrestling blog). The neverland blog also more or less faithfully covers these wrestlers' matches at BGE and elsewhere.
The Boy Band represent the newest wave of underground wrestling entertainment. They are the next wave after the decline of backyard and basement wrestling on YouTube. They are neither fitness models nor pro wrestlers in "mainstream" promotions (i.e., hetero-identified, kid-safe regional wrestling shows in front of live audiences). Unlike 98% of underground wrestlers, they are openly and proudly gay (or bi). They flagrantly celebrate wrestling as a central aspect of their sexuality, which they explore in videos with courageous frankness. They are targets of old-school gays and fans who sometimes gripe unjustly that TMK&D are not "hot" enough or that what they do on the mat and in the ring is not "real" wrestling. Some try to dismiss them as "bottoms"--a designation that at least a few young wrestlers are now able to embrace without feeling in any way inferior. Nor should they. (NOTE: Bottom-shaming is 100% internalized homophobia. Cut it out.)
I'm on friendliest terms with Ty, the self-proclaimed Trophy Boy. He's a Facebook friend, and we occasionally exchange brief, sometimes banal pleasantries via Facebook Messenger. He's a neat guy, driven to improve his body and accumulate sexy new wrestling gear. He has a sly sense of humor and a tendency towards passive self-promotion, to the extent that a couple of years ago Bard referred to him as the Eve Harrington of BG East. The blog goes on to make-nice by calling him "unfailingly adorable, eager, giving off a perpetual air of being just honored to be a subject of conversation." In his most recent match, X-Fights 40 (catalog 112), Ty squares off against strongman Beauxregard (five inches taller than Ty, 25 pounds heavier) in a "first-to-cum-loses match." Ty starts the match with a sassy slap across Beauxregard's face, succeeding in raising the man's ire and guaranteeing a royal butt-whooping as payback (not entirely unwelcome, I suspect).
Mason, awarded the epithet "nipple-tastic" in a recent neverland post, appears in the same catalog, fighting the ever-inventive squash artist Kid Karisma (Gazebo Grapplers 18). It's Mason's ninth BGE video (his third in the Gazebo Grapplers series). It's a high point in Brooks's career at BGE mainly because he holds his own against Kid K from beginning to end. At one point, even pugnacious K has to tip his hat to the raw nerve and accomplished skill of a wrestler who had not entered his radar previously. He may look like a gentle deer of the green forest, but Mason is a strong and resourceful adversary. He's also earned something of a reputation as the "thinking man's porn-boy wrestler." Bard says of him, "You can practically hear him thinking, plotting, planning and scheming as he works his way through a wrestling match like he's a chess master." (Ach! WrestleBard omits the Oxford comma, and thus must die! ... English teacher humor, i.e. not funny at all.)
Kayden is the only boy-band member not appearing in Catalog 112. You'll have to go back to Catalog 110 to find him geared up and in the ring against Leo Tomasi. Kayden is the heel in the band, much as Paul was the "cute Beatle." Despite an amazing reversal by Tomasi in a surprise still-talked-about twist, Kayden is the dominant force of Ring Releases 3 and, as best as I can remember, every one of his other matches too. (So far there have been six.) He and Ty stirred up a frenzy (and a classic) when the two double-teamed against the exquisitely sculpted Chace LaChance in Ring Releases 2: Triple Release. In the end, Keller was picking both wrestlers out from between his teeth. Bard has marked Kayden's ascent to the heel A-list much more thoroughly than I can do. He has also noted that Kayden has a sixth sense for what Bard (as well as probably a lot of other fans) is wishing for in a heel, practically taking requests by telepathy while moving from spot to spot through a match.
Drake Marcos has had the most complicated relation to Bard and the neverland blog. Bard and Drake (on his blog) have spent a lot of words on a real-life meeting between the two in South Florida, a meeting that spawned two fantasy versions of Bard-vs-Marcos in addition to the one that is real (that depends, to take a former President out of context, on what your definition of is is). In Catalog 112, we find Drake stepping on the mat against Skrapper. I can't decide whether Skrapper is the forerunner to the BGE Boy Band or its fifth member, but he is an enigmatic and attractive figure in his own right. He gives Drake a royal working over, tenderizing him, before marching him out of the mat room and towards (presumably) a bed. Marcos and Ty each have ten BGE videos to their credit, and it is their friendship that forms the core of the "boy band." (If any of them are reading this, they are probably cringing over my referring to them as a boy band.)
These four "rookies" have been around for about three years now. It may be only my imagination that sees them as interconnected, mostly because of their association with neverland and Bard's great fondness for them. It's through their connection with Bard that they have entered my radar, and I must say I have found their matches interesting and challenging. For me they represent something new that is happening in the world of erotic wrestling--like UCW or Naked Kombat or Guido "Dirty Daddy" Genatto, all of whom are finding new ways of defining what wrestling erotica means, especially what it means to men who love men almost as much as we want to fight them.
Erratum: My apologies to Bruno for getting his name wrong. The error has been corrected.