I'm developing a thing for Matt Vine, the former champ* at Premier Pro Wrestling who dubs himself "The World Exclusive." I know practically nothing about him. The PPW website does not advertise its roster, and the summaries of match results do not detail his full ring career, which I estimate to be a couple of years old. When last I checked, Cagematch: The Internet Wrestling Database has nothing on the guy or PPW. What I know is what I see of him on YouTube. What gets me is his combination of rabid sadism and Looney Tunes energy. Immensely physical and larger than life, he plays to the cheap seats and does it brilliantly.
For over a year, he's been feuding with Chase Gosling, the current PPW champ. What makes the feud as tasty as it is can be reduced to a few key points:
- They are former tag-teammates. Nothing's quite so rich as an ongoing grudge between two former besties.
- They split early in 2016, so in the following five matches from later that year, the wounds of the breakup are still relatively fresh.
- The championship has usually been at stake.
- Gosling and Vine have been facing each other in the squared circle once a month for the last year. They've honed their abuse of each other through repetition and innovation.
- The two have just the right ratio of hard muscle and tummy-wobble to make their holds and blows deeply, tastily sensuous.
- The contrast of Matt's almost childlike ebullience (see the first GIF below) versus Chase's cynical wheeling and dealing is intrinsically dramatic.
Matt Vine vs Chase Gosling, 20 August 2016, Woodstock, Illinois (Premier Pro Wrestling)
Matt Vine vs Chase Gosling, 24 September 2016, Woodstock, Illinois (Premier Pro Wrestling)
Matt Vine vs Chase Gosling, 8 October 2016, Woodstock, Illinois (Premier Pro Wrestling)
Matt Vine vs Chase Gosling, 30 December 2016, Woodstock, Illinois (Premier Pro Wrestling)
* CORRECTION: Matt Vine won the belt back from Chase Gosling on April 8th, 2017