Jesse Zane vs Armond Rizzo, Catalog 6 - Muscle Boys Get Fired Up! (MuscleBoy Wrestling)
For a long time I thought my own particular take on wrestling fantasy was impossible. What I wanted was UCW's roughhouse spirit, Naked Kombat's X-rated sex appeal, and the physiques of PWP, Thunder's Arena, and a variety of other promotions. The closest thing to my ideal belonged to the past, the 1990s, at BG East, BG Enterprise, and Can-Am - my main sources for the images that shaped my wrestling fantasies. (They still are.) Then, last year MuscleBoy Wrestling introduced a new paradigm - and the wonder of it was that it brought something to the table I had not seriously considered - romance - along with spirited wrestling and fucking performed by strong, handsome wrestlers of varied races, physiques, and attitudes.
I'm not claiming that MBW is perfect or even better than its competitors. I'm saying that its arrival nudged my concept of gay wrestling up a notch on the evolutionary ladder (just as other sites had done earlier). Probably the wrestler who most paved the way for this new style is Jesse Zane (among his myriad names). Though he formerly wrestled elsewhere to great acclaim, I had not taken to him because he was often paired with wrestlers whose physiques and/or attitudes clashed with his or perhaps because at the time I was prejudiced against his kissy-kissy style. I also think that the industry had not yet hit on a way to stage and photograph this kind of wrestling action. At MuscleBoy, Zane's concept of wrestling has taken hold with other talents like Nick Flex, Justin Powers, Leo Luckett, Ethan Slade, and Armond Rizzo. It is an alternative to posedowns, the quasi-rapey vibe of most sex wrestling, and straight-style male bonding (all of which still turn me on, by the way).
This match - Zane vs Rizzo - I overlooked on its first release, even though I like both wrestlers. It's neither fighter's best match, in my opinion, but it's fairly representative of the MuscleBoy ethos. It is gay positive, though still obsessed (as indeed I am) with hetero-normative representations of masculinity. The wrestling is vigorous with room for lust and seduction, too. It's neither coy nor tasteless in its representation of m4m sex (oral, anal, masturbatory, and dry hump style). Just as important to me, it does not resort to camp and comedy to undercut, mock, or soft-sell its eroticism. And the confined space - like BG East's Wrestleshack and UCW's cinder-block fight space - effortlessly suggests intimacy - as does the chiaroscuro effect of its black backdrop and low-key (or medium-key) lighting.
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