Steel vs Chase, Vegas Battles (Thunder's Arena)
Book me a rooftop penthouse in Vegas, well stocked with Hendricks, limes, and wrestlers in Speedos! Steel and Chase battle it out with a view of the horizon, and as the sun sets behind the mountains, they take their fight into the pool.This would be my dream summer vacation, folks!
Of course, Mr. Mike need not have gone to all this trouble. Putting Steel and Chase together on a Slip'N Slide in the backyard would have pulled just as much cash out of my debit card. Steel vs Chase is a pairing I've been waiting for since Steel's debut. And sixty floors or so up on a midsummer afternoon, this time I can't complain about poor lighting. Thunder's videography has never been this crystal clear. Maybe it's the altitude, maybe it's the dry desert air.
Mere minutes after check-in, or so I imagine, Steel coaxes Chase out on the deck to wrestle. There are no mats, so the guys have to take a gingerly approach to grappling: those marble tiles will not buffer a body slam or, needless to say, a pile driver. Instead, the wrestlers perform a lot of standing holds, like collar and elbow, side headlock, bear hug, and full nelson, along with a little hair pulling and noogies. The view (and I don't mean the view of the city) is gorgeous.
When, about a third of the way through, Steel care-ful-ly initiates a takedown, he lays Chase back on side-by-side outdoor lounge chairs for a combination head scissors and arm bar. Chase escapes and reverses, snapping an interfemoral arm bar on his opponent. Because of the restricted space, these are not wrestling's finest moments, but they work well under the circumstances--and these circumstances are spectacular.
The dizzying height adds a sense of exhilaration to the fight. Two thirds through, the wrestlers take a break for some muscle posing as the sun sets (rather suddenly, thanks to jump-cut editing). Sound glitches while the two then wade into the pool are hopefully not due to a boom operator electrocuting himself in the water.
The splash grappling is fun, as it always is, with Chase and Steel tapping each other out once or twice with scissor-holds. Water conceals most of the two bodies, but my imagination fills in some stunning underwater photography. The bear hugs are especially sexy, but it's the climactic poolside head scissors that excites me most.
My only complaint, and it's tiny, is that Chase would be a finer physical contrast to Steel with his natural chest and stomach hair. (Not everybody likes the fuzz as much as I do, but for me it is Chase at his best.) The newness of Steel has not yet worn off (this is his fourth Arena appearance), so every frame that contains his beaming face and rippling muscle is pure heaven on earth for me, even in Sin City.