Kings' Dominion

Kelly King vs Joey King, Heel Bash 2 (BG East)

Quite frankly, I love this fight. My tastes lean towards large, hairy, and rough, and in these regards Kelly and Joey are near equals. Kelly's is the more familiar face at BG East, and even if you know his work at Thunder's Arena, Joey is even more impressive here in the squared circle. Kelly is far from welcoming towards his fellow King, whom we're told is Kelly's "distant" kin. "My ring," he is quick to declare. Territoriality is typical of the BG Beasts, so this sort of "drawing a line in the sand" is not unusual. But Joey has a fine riposte: after winning an initiatory test of strength against Kelly, he says, his chest swelling, "This WAS your ring!"

The pain commences soon after. This is rigorous punishment only professional wrestlers can pull off--seismic boot stomps to the joints and not just one but several pretzelific Boston crab holds I can almost feel as I clutch my remote and rewind for a second and third viewing. It's one thing to be hot as fuck in classic black wrestling trunks, quite another to convince me I'm watching an authentic lumps-and-bruises fight. Joey and Kelly succeed on both counts. It's no surprise that Kelly wins the first fall by submission, but the fury and energy with which Joey rebounds are unexpected. Joey chokes Kelly out for a few seconds but fails to win a count-out before Kelly rallies back.

I close with a quotation from BGE's online catalog description of the match, which I helped compose. It's not unusual for me to write descriptions for pay with sincere and unfeigned enthusiasm. It happens more often than not. So great is my love of wrestling; so great is my love of BG East. In this case my gushing is unforced and completely sincere:

This match supplies some of the finest punishing boot stomps we've seen in a long while, increasingly to Kelly's advantage. Staggered, Joey pleads for a timeout. In just half a heartbeat, Kelly mule-kicks the guy's balls, quipping, "THERE's your timeout!" After Kelly gains his second tap-out by crab hold, Joey is reluctant to continue the fight. But Kelly's just catching his second wind. He promises a fair fight if Joey sticks it out. Joey lunges, fist flying, and Kelly ducks under the arc of the swing and heaves Joey up in a bearhug. So great is the pressure Kelly puts on Joey's spine that the new heel hire taps out a third time. Kelly dismissively drops his cousin on his face and then stomps the guy's head! It will take a miracle for Joey to regain his bearings and press on further. Yet from the very start, this fight is a race between two never-say-die hell-raisers to see who dismantles whom first. The action rises to a fever pitch till the unforgettable climax, when one of these bruisers wipes the slate clean with a Texas-style stone-cold stunner! Not to be missed! Never to be forgotten!


  1. While I'm not inherently opposed to innovation and trying new things, something about the title Heelbash rubs me the wrong way. It's because Heelbash is obviously a play on Hunkbash, and so little imagination and effort has gone into the Hunkbash series in the last few years that Heelbash feels less like BG East saying, "the Hunkbash tapes are popular, so what if we play with that formula and try a heel on heel scene," than that they're saying, "Hunkbash is boring; why don't we make it better by eliminating the hunks."

    My Heelbash malaise is compounded by the fact that I live in Miami, go clubbing pretty regularly and have seen and chatted with a lot of the guys who've appeared in Hunkbash videos dancing doing the go-go boy thing. It's an odd dichotomy to see a guy one night doing standing backflips, flexing and smiling in a jockstrap (or even less, depending on the venue) while his oiled up body glistens under a spotlight and he readily engages all the people who want to come up to him whether they're tipping him or not, only to see that same guy pop up on a wrestling video--which should be the hottest, most exciting thing for me given how much I love wrestling--where he simply stands there then gets destroyed by some other guy who spends the next 20 minutes flaunting his own less-impressive body while endlessly ranting about how pathetic, dull and lifeless the guy I know and have seen in person is. And it's not about the squash job thing. I personally love squash job on particularly hot guys. It's just how dull and unimaginative they are now compared to just a few years ago.

    I've spoken to a few of those guys, three of whom are surely among the most popular wrestlers working out there, two of them who jobbed exclusively, one of whom jobbed a lot in the beginning but now seems only to work heel, and have talked with them about the wrestling thing. The two guys who jobbed exclusively both said they've long since quit wrestling, not because they didn't like it or couldn't handle the physical stuff, but simply because it was degrading, like they were being paid to prove how pathetic they were. And the third guy (who is everywhere these days), said he switched to heeling even though it's much more work and he can't tape as many matches in a row having to come up with new choreography each time because the guys who produce the videos are much more friendly to him in that role. He specifically said when he was a jobber the feeling was more like he was just a prop, and though they were always nice to him, it was still kind of arms length. But when he switched to heeling, he was kind of embraced, like he was a real wrestler now and one of the boys.

    I think it shows in the videos. Hunkbash feels like an obligation, like BG East just goes through the motions of putting one out now and then to get the money, but Heelbash seems like this gigantic labor of love. That's fine I guess, but I personally can help missing the old energy that went into so many videos I loved.


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