Eagle vs Steel, Bodybuilder Battle 108 (Thunder's Arena)

Last year Steel and Eagle tangled in a contest that's still a high point of the Vegas Battles series. This one's even better. The wrestlers, well matched, well trained, and well equipped with mutual disdain, make perfect antagonists, imbuing the match with more suspense than I usually expect to find outside a squared circle. Posing shots alternate with give and take, with proper emphasis on the latter. The lighting could have been better and it all could have lasted longer, but not a minute is wasted. Eagle and Steel deliver maximum body contact, mixing pumped-up grappling with gut-punching and ball-twisting. The weapons of choice are Steel's and Eagle's ginormous thighs. Deft camerawork captures the oceanic violence of these bodies in motion.

I confess I downloaded Bodybuilder Battle 108 on the strength of a single shot of Steel, exuding not only his usual magnificence but also a fine glossy sweat. In the picture, he's trapped in Eagle's choke hold, writhing. The 17-minute match fulfills all the promise of that teasing still shot. What with the blue evening light in the background and the glow of the wrestlers' skin, the fight manages to be both dreamlike and explosive.

Visit Thunder's Arena here.


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