Brian Cage vs Eagle, Ring Wars 15 (Thunders Arena)
Sure, I could nitpick over momentary lapses in attention and the selling of the pain, but for the most part the action, like the bodies, is rock solid. Cage makes the impossible (that this fitness model could EVER get the best of him, even for a one-minute hope spot) almost believable (my prejudice is that Brian is unconquerable). I especially enjoy the wrestlers' use of detail work on specific body parts (note the ouch-making wrist trauma in the third screen grab above). Cage definitely has sadism on his side. Pretty much all Eagle has going for him in this contest is unfounded self-confidence. Unlike his life outside the squared circle, his looks are no advantage here, quite the opposite, in fact--his beauty is reason enough for his opponent to obliterate him.
The match is shot with David Fincher-style silver-gray lighting, emphasizing the hard and cold violence to flesh and joint. The constantly moving camera is always right where I need it to be--on twitching muscle, gritted teeth, expanding spandex, and heaving chests. And what chests! Eagle is Thor, while Cage is goddamned Hulk. And Brian's back ... Wowee! ... is like the grillwork of an 18-wheeler. The two wrestlers roll through a litany of fan-favorite moves (full nelson, abuse against the ropes, hammerlocks, body slams) reeling towards a breathtaking 90-second torture rack.
I leave this match hoping the two can soon patch things up (even after this massacre) and partner up like Batman and Robin against the likes of Jersey and Brute.