Maverick vs Cal Bennett, Cage Match (Wrestler4Hire)
Both these guys charge my batteries. Put either one of them in a cage match and I reach for my debit card. Put them in a steel cage together and I start typing in numbers, mentally calculating how many meals I can skip in August and still have the strength to fulfill my contractual obligations at work. For them, I'm a "premium mark."
This 2015 match hits the spot for me, but I will confess I'm easy. I'm not so spoiled yet on 4K resolution that I can't forgive the less than crystal clarity of the video. For the sake of Cal and Maverick, I can't complain that the camera, while not stationary, is not noticeably ambulatory either. I'll even let it slide that the cage wall is barely touched during the 30-minute match. (Why a cage, then, guys?) Also, there is no unity or flow, just a succession of loosely linked holds with hardly a believable transition to be found. But do I complain? Never! And I, who tout the virtues of evenly matched opponents, can bite the bullet on this one.
This is a squash job. Utterly. Really, how could it not be. Maverick is a trained pro wrestler with a decade of ring experience. Cal Bennett is a hard-partying college basketball player who makes pocket money wrestling in his skivvies for two or three internet fight sites. Cal is not a hard worker, but, my! the young man is lovely, and his throaty baritone voice makes my insides quiver.
Again, as with PWP Wrestling, I invoke the old (and highly esteemed in my house) Athletic Model Guild principle. The idea is that if the models are beautiful enough and good sports with a scintilla of naughtiness about them, they get a pass as "wrestlers." A mere show of interest in this ancient athletic ritual is worth crediting. It's not what I prefer, mind you, but it is something I'm willing to accept ... like baby corn in Asian dishes and the little red tag on the back pocket of my Levi's.
That said, if and when Cal translates his b-ball nimbleness to the wrestling mat and works up a little heat in his loins, he will make a kick-ass babyface. He needs to learn some moves. He needs to watch more pro wrestling (preferably, in my opinion, pro wrestling from the 1950s-1980s) and let it seduce him into the spirit of recklessness and piss'n'vinegar that defined the sport. No doubt he's got the competitive spirit for it--and, my lord, the body.
But about Maverick: he is stunning. He knows exactly what he's doing here. He's through and through a pro. He's pretending (and doing it brilliantly) to beat up a frat boy who is pretending to wrestle. I would pay the man to do to me what he does to Cal almost as much as I would pay Cal to let me do to him what Maverick does. (If ... and it's an important "if" ... I only had the dough.) Maverick's body is a miracle of weight training and tanning booths. His is the most beautifully kept beard in wrestling. Just the fact that, as a wrestler, he wears a beard proves the man's ease and confidence in protecting himself.
He holds his armbars and knuckle-busters long enough for me to feel the squeeze in my bones. He is a meticulous punisher--I seldom give so high a praise. Without hamming it up big as Christmas, he lets viewers see how much he enjoys hurting this guy. He hectors Cal to put up some fight. He wants Cal to hurt him ... or try to ... because he's a fighter. To a fighter, a temper is a good thing, and losing your cool is a shot of adrenaline when you're in a cage with a man whose ego might rival your own.