Yesterday I got the Halloween 2016 quartet of videos from Thunder's Arena (a quintet if you include Water Wars 05, which I have not included). I sped through them, pausing long enough to gather some screen captures and jot down my fleeting impressions. I love Halloween, and though the wrestling never represents the guys' best work and the shtick is as corny as Hee Haw, the Arena's holiday specials are always a blast and something of a guilty pleasure. The wrestlers look like they're enjoying themselves, and I usually feel like I'm included in the fun and games--more than in the regular matches because, for the holidays, the guys care more about pleasing us fans than winning. This year's set is no exception, and it's all the better because it features my favorite Arena wrestlers.
PeeWee vs Santiago, Halloween Havoc 2016, Round 1 (Thunder's Arena)
PeeWee and Santiago have hot new physiques and styling, and in the first match, they don't hide it all under costumes and masks. The pair start out in crotch- and ass-snuggling singlets, and in the course of the tussle they strip down to shimmering briefs. It's difficult to see their former selves through their respective upgrades. Not that they weren't 10s already, but the added muscle and (for Santiago) new ink make them even more watchable now.
The quartet is divided into so-called "rounds," but besides the theme of Halloween havoc there's no continuity or coherence among the four scenarios. It's hard to pick my favorite, but if I had to, I'd choose Scrappy vs Santiago because Scrappy .... and because Santiago. They play off each other superbly, and Scrappy shows his fans all he's picked up in the four months of his internship. He's not the pushover we're used to, and Santiago gives him a tight, tough match.
Scrappy vs Frey, Halloween Havoc 2016, Round 3 (Thunder's Arena)
This, too, is a very fine wrestling exhibition with Frey hot-tempered and ready to kick anybody's butt who gets in his way and Scrappy being directly in the line of fire. Frey's costume is something else, apparently meant to represent an Indian chief, but once the headdress comes off, the wig makes him look more like the frontman for Cinderella, circa 1986, only, like, with a smokin' hot body. Scrappy is Rambo-esque, and I'm not sure a political message was intended, but if there is one, it's The Revenge of the Narragansetts and Viet Cong.
PeeWee vs Marco, Halloween Havoc 2016, Round 4 (Thunder's Arena)
If cops really looked and dressed like Marco in Round 4, I would fight the law a lot more. Somehow he even makes the phony chopper moustache (not pictured) look sexy. PeeWee's dressed like a biker gang member, though it's hard for me to imagine good-natured PeeWee as a thug. The setup reminds me of the old Athletic Model Guild storylines, in which hoodlums and cops decide to settle matters by stripping down to jockstraps and wrestling. This is one of the rare instances of Marco's being persistently frustrated in his attempt to outmuscle the competition.