Tank vs Blayne, Bodybuilder Battle 103 (Thunder's Arena)
As some of you know, my preference is for matches between two comparably built wrestlers (and comparably aggressive and comparably skilled, too). Of course I realize that many other fans crave big-vs-little matches like this one, and over the past few years I've learned to appreciate them, too. They just don't make a lasting impression on me, for some reason. But the two wrestlers in Bodybuilder Battle 103 do make strong individual impressions, piquing my interest in their previous work at the Arena.
Tank and Blayne are naturals in front of the camera. Tank is by turns both laidback and hot-tempered (or at least has certain limits opponents should not be eager to push him beyond). Blayne comes off as an everyman type, part wiseguy, part schlemiel. Paired against a wrestler almost fifty pounds heavier, Blayne seems irrationally and adorably self-assured. He's not new to the dynamics of this sort of match at Thunder's Arena. After all, the 165-pounder has already butted heads with Brute (265#), Beast (225#), and Dolf (220#).
Blayne gushes over Tank's solid muscle, distracting the big lug while sneaking up from behind to ram his forearm to the guy's nards. He claims, "I had to take you down a peg." Tank recovers from the low blow with superhuman speed, and Blayne has no qualms about squaring off against the freshly pissed-off strongman. Tank flings him over one shoulder, cracking the spinal column, then flings him down on the mat. The moves and the effects of those moves on bodies are unconvincing at first (the fighters are amazingly articulate while being choked, for instance), but as the 19-minute battle progresses, the match gains realism.
The fight is not as one-sided as I expected, but the outcome is no surprise. It's hard to wish for anything different because Blayne makes a very sexy victim, with his stubble and hairy chest (just the right density of hair, too). His biceps and pectorals are not as imposing as Tank's, but they are pretty, and for me pretty is better than bulk. His boldness and cheekiness are turn-ons too. Tank comes off as smarter than one might expect a guy named Tank to be. He is quick with the comebacks in the war of words that continues through the match.
Typical of this sort of match, a running theme is the bodybuilder's attempt to whip the smaller guy into shape and improve his posing technique. However abusive and strident this "lesson" is (in the seventh screen grab above, about four minutes before the finish), I can't help but be touched by it (the teacher in me, perhaps), especially as the now-chastened Blayne replies, calling Tank "sir."