Hard Training

Marco vs Scrappy, No Holds Barred 69 (Thunder's Arena)

I like Marco as an Arena trainer. He's hot, he's laid back, and he's in control, but with a slack no-fucks-given style. He's also, I suspect, a natural teacher.

Without prologue, Marco jumps on Scrappy's back and starts to ride him. He doesn't lecture the rookie on wrestling holds and tactics. He wrestles him. This is learning by doing. When Scrappy gets it wrong, Marco pounces on the mistake. This is how you, in the years up to age five, learned language: by being surrounded by older humans speaking and later by mimicking them. I doubt anybody ever sat you down and explained the meaning and uses of the word "of." You just learned it, right? And if the adults in your life spoke "bad" English, you learned "bad" English.

Scrappy is lucky because Marco is such an excellent wrestler that some of the bodybuilder's prowess is bound to rub off on him. The bad news is Marco plays rough with upstarts like Scrappy. And it doesn't help the situation that part of Scrappy's being scrappy involves Scrappy doing things like challenging Marco's wrestling creds and rep. That's like waving a red flag at a bull. Marco squeezes Scrappy into the tightest fitting bear hug known to man (or bear, for that matter). He follows by -- what's the name of that wrestling hold where you pick a dude up by his nutsack? That one!

And does Scrappy learn from this experience? Yes and no. He learns that busting nuts is a good way to dominate and humiliate a guy. What he doesn't learn is respect, as he continues to deride the smoldering Marco. Every bit of discipline Marco administers to Scrappy, Scrappy soon repays in kind. Marco strips off his gym shorts. Scrappy strips off Marco's. Marco grabs Scrappy's nuts. Scrappy grabs Marco's. Marco's cool but menacing demeanor makes Scrappy's sweaty torments even scarier. The back and forth persists through the whole match up to a back-breaking and (yes) nut-scrambling finisher that kinda took my breath away.

I also want to say (again) that Thunder's Arena is taking 2016 by storm. Wow! Actions initiated before this year, like launching a pro ring series and hiring Marco, have paid off magnificently in the past seven and a half months. New directions, like the trip to Vegas and acquiring Jake Jenkins, Scrappy, and Beast, give the promotion a vigor and freshness that excels even the Big Sexy years. And the camerawork here on No Holds Barred 69 is superb, grabbing reaction shots (in crystal clear closeup) of wrestlers in agony and rage like I have never seen before.


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