Austin Cooper vs Kirk Donahue, Demolition 20 (BG East)
Coop tells Kirk, "I'm going to kill you," at the moment the photographer took the photo above. This is the fourth match (my favorite) in BGE's recently released Demolition 20. For me, the moment is important because it is what separates Cooper vs Donahue from 90% of punishment matches, including the other three matches on this disk. Two things, really: a modicum of intense struggle preceding the total domination of one wrestler by the other and a motive for the punishment to come.
Before I say more, let me say that squash matches are not my thing, though I'm gradually developing a taste for them. I can enjoy one wrestler, big or small, raking another wrestler over the coals ... nonstop. Done right, it can be as invigorating and sexy as a long-haul give-and-take match, which I prefer as a rule. What I enjoy less is not knowing why the demolisher thinks the demolishee is deserving of his fate. I like the squash even better when I too think the victim deserves exactly what he's getting. I call it my "justice fetish." It's what makes my balls scrunch up in movies when King Kong cracks a pesky T Rex's jaw or Dirty Harry rubs out a lowlife pusher.
I will, however, admit to tingles in the disk's first match: Big Barry Burke vs Kip Sorell, about as uneven and unjustified a battle as one can possibly imagine. Burke's series of bone-crunching bodyscissors with tiny Kip writhing in his even tinier trunks got to me. It hit me right where it needed to, mostly, I suspect, because I find Big Barry and Kip inherently hot, though they are physically opposites.
I like struggle for the body contact, but I also like pro wrestling struggle, aesthetically, for the way it reveals character and for the way it clarifies each character's ring style and ethics. I've written about this factor at length elsewhere. Kirk's surprise opening edge over Coop is brief, but it serves to explain why Coop might want to kill the guy. I don't think Kirk deserves punishment just for being lithe, fetching in a club-kid sort of way, and skillful as a fighter. But dramatically the upset explains Austin's motive for the damage to come.
Also, Kirk's opening (what turns out to be) "hope spot" makes Kirk hotter in my eyes. I am not implying that Kip in Match 1 is not hot, but he would be exponentially hotter to me if he demonstrated some facility for wrestling holds--though admittedly Big Barry Burke is a presence that might overrule this possibility. Coop is bigger than Kirk, but not to the same extent that Burke is bigger than Sorell (whose ring moniker I'm sure is a contraction for "sore as hell"). Kirk's exhibition of savvy and prowess at the beginning of the match elevates him in my estimation far beyond what I would think of him if he were only modeling swimwear or doing sit-ups in the center of the ring.