Thursday, March 10, 2016

Champ or Chump?

Bruce Ballard vs Jax Brewer, Champ or Chump? (Rock Hard Wrestling)

After a (too) long hiatus, during which the company toyed with our emotions by re-releasing old hits, calling them "encore presentations," Rock Hard Wrestling has a spanking new match with Bruce facing newcomer Jax. Worth the wait? I think so. The two square-jawed hunks are nicely matched, and Bruce, with a height and weight advantage, as well as three times the experience, flashes his star qualities and pulls out a few show-stopping holds too in this textbook crowd-pleaser.

Bruce's Batman T-shirt invites comment, and Jax doesn't mind offering a negative opinion. Bruce shoots back, dissing Jax's long yellow tights. I, however, like the tights. He wore the same ones wrestling Ethan Andrews a while back. He wears them well, and they showcase his near-perfect torso. I'd rather he not get in the habit of hiding his legs, though. I'm not a fan of Bruce's Batman shirt. Personally I think Bruce is more a Superman type, with a hint of Riddler in his sly eyes and easy smile. Then there's that charming Ric Flair woo he pulls out from time to time. Not a lot of time is wasted on introductions, happily. Apparently the two aren't talkers. The T-shirt strips off, and the boys go at it, with Bruce, as expected, taking an immediate lead.

This is Bruce's breakout performance, in my opinion, the one that shows everybody he's got the chops to carry a match on his shoulders. His star potential was apparent from the beginning. A year and a half ago, I said of his debut,  "Bruce Ballard smiles a lot, and for once you won't hear me complain about it. It's a devastating smile on a handsome, boy-next-door face, presiding over a buff, smooth body that makes me break into sweats." The confidence he's gained since that 2014 match is impressive. He commands the ring and our attention, utterly at ease in the camera's steady gaze. He's a wrestler any company would be lucky to have. And good for Rock Hard for giving him a ring to kick ass in.

Either I've got a sixth sense or I'm starting to catch on to Rock Hard's rhythm. On first viewing I found myself anticipating specific moves just seconds before the wrestlers made them reality. It's not an unpleasant sensation, giving me the impression that my imagination is in control of events, only my imagination might have poured on more sweat early on. 

Jax is hit and miss as a seller of pain. He looks agonized one second and then cracks an inappropriate grin the next. But I had a similar complaint about Alex Waters a while back, and it hasn't held back his career, Alex being one of those guys whose good looks and sense of style make even his deficiencies look ingenious. It's too soon to say whether Jax has that kind of charisma, but in this his fourth RHW vid, he's magnetic.

The 25-minute contest flies by briskly. Five minutes before the end, Jax is taking charge, kneeling on Bruce's neck, pummeling the guy's midsection. The next moment he's on his feet again, cracking Bruce's ribs against the heel of his white boots. You blink, and he's busting Bruce's spine against his shoulders. The match ends with a sweaty torture rack, the sufferer reluctant to tap out, giving us time to take in the spectacle of both wrestlers' gleaming torsos. Tap out he does, however, settling for the moment the question of who's chump and who's champ.


  1. hi Joe, I appreciate the review of this match … I was wondering about your opinion of it when I first saw the match advertised. You have helped me make my purchasing decision. Thanks, Ray

  2. This is my favorite type of match with two peers wrestling.



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