With his Little Lord Fauntleroy looks and tight ass, Ian is unlikely to garner much sympathy, no matter how roughly Richie treats him. He has the bearings of someone who needs a good kick in the pants, and the effusive, cowlick-y Brooks seems tailor-made to do the honors. Almost anything Richie does can be forgiven as high spirits or rambunctiousness, but Ian's reserve, with his straight hair and clean part, makes him seem cold and unsympathetic. His tactics look more calculating and sadistic, whereas Richie's just a husky lad who likes to play rough.
By the second part of the match, the fans and the commentator are apparently on Richie's side against the increasingly short-tempered Ian. Richie is ahead in points, and Ian is frustrated, an attitude that robs him of his youthfulness and makes him seem prematurely middle-aged. He seems almost too smug as he grinds Brooks in a side headlock. That's exactly the attitude that makes me crave the moment when Richie cuts loose and (I hope) kicks Ian's ass. I admire Ian's finesse, but I root for Richie, the regular bloke. Ian evens the score and begins to pull ahead. Now more than ever I pull for Brooks. In the end, both wrestlers are sportsmanlike and skilled, but it's hard not to pick a favorite.
Thank you to Sid, whose comment on last Friday's blog recommended a closer look at pre-Apollon Richie Brooks.