Always a Plus
Ace Owens vs Cal Bennett, Locker Room (Wrestler4Hire)
For almost four years, Cal has been the most beautiful man in underground wrestling, so beautiful, in fact, that I have forgiven and continue to forgive his shortcomings as a wrestler. There aren't as many as one might suppose for a pretty-boy wrestler. Besides, in fantasies I imbue him with all the skills and moxie of Firestorm, Marco, Flex, Black, and Krush combined. As this 2017 locker room match shows, Cal has upped his game as a battler over the years.
The match is grounded in realistic if not actual grappling, fortified by Ace's presence and mat creds. Ace has been on my radar for over two years. He so charmed me as a babyface - as in absolutely "the Perfect Babyface" - that I was slow to accept his heel turns at various venues, including W4H. Now I see the bully qualities of his puckish face and shaggy black curls and totally believe his capacity for evil. He clearly relishes the opportunity to beat Cal up again and wastes no time getting to it, and his ability to put Bennett under pressure is what keeps the fight narrative on course and authentic-looking.
The stagy, theatrically lit locker room set is the phoniest part of Owens vs Bennett. Still, personal memories of locker room fights of olden days make the match bristlier than the Best Little Whorehouse set portends. The give and take between the competitors is believable and engrossing. It's most convincing when Ace is steering the fight - but I can't tell whether that's an accurate perception or just my impression based on years of handicapping Cal's previous battles and thus an unfortunate prejudice.
Taken on its own merits, the fight is hot and invigorating - and the good looks of both fighters is, needless to say, always a plus. Always was and always will be.
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