Zip Zarella vs Z-Man, Hunkbash 19 (BG East)

I would have gone to the BGE-produced Wrestling with Pride show this past February regardless, but the main draw for me was the inclusion of Zip Zarella on the card. He's why I booked my ticket, flight, and room three months in advance of the show. I HAD to see him live. Although I was disappointed he didn't mingle with the fans after the show, having a front-row view of him softened my disgruntlement. Maybe he was in hiding after the humiliating loss to Elite Eliot. Double-Z has his own distinctive vibe in the ring, yet, at the same time, he brings to mind Lane Hartley crossed with his opponent in this Hunkbash 19  match, Z-Man*. That blend's a potent combination, in my opinion. 

Zarella plays the leering heel almost as well as Hartley before him. He attacks Z-Man from behind with a reverse bear hug. "I'm here to win. I'm not playing around anymore," he announces just after Z-Man breaks free. Immediately Zip reapplies the hold. "You scared now that you realize what you're dealing with?" he asks. He commands the 25-minute match for the most part, though Z-Man turns the tables on him at least once. Z is well acquainted with the arduous task of losing beautifully, but he's learned a few tricks in his years of wrestling that could snuff out the arrogant baby heel's over-confidence.

Arrogance and cowardice are two of my favorite heel traits. Together they beg for a swift, hard comeuppance that cuts the villain down to size. Zip doesn't have a lot to show here for all his big talk. His indy matches, the few I have seen on the internet, are far more risky and energetic. Here he seems convinced that his perfunctory leg locks and figure-fours are enough to submit his opponent. His taunts aside, Zarella appears to go rather easy on Z-Man ... in the beginning, anyway. The impression I get is he's holding back - a hunch that's intensified by both wrestlers' initial  tendency to undersell moves.

The action intensifies when Zip utilizes the ropes and turnbuckles to torture his opponent, beginning at the seven minute mark,  but even then, he quits the holds and assaults too quickly, his iron claw, for instance, passable only as a five-finger pinch. But as the match approaches ten minutes, Zarella catches fire as he turns full-on sadistic. His cocky leer turns into a brutish sneer, and he appears to find amusement in giving Z-Man lightning bolts of unadulterated hell.

Z-Man's surprise reversal (thankfully) provokes ZZ's ire even more and turns him into the beast I wanted to see from the start. As his assaults become lengthier and more heartfelt, Zarella turns into a plausibly sinister figure. He engages in the sicko detail work that defines a great villain - tweaks to the ankle, knee jerks (literally), pointy elbow jabs to the abs, and a heartfelt figure-four leg lock that forces Z-Man to tap out. Then he strips the guy of his "favorite boots," of garish school-bus yellow hue, and pummels his chest with them. Some more sweat would have been nice right about now, but what appears to be a more and more pronounced cock outline intimates that the pretty bully may indeed enjoy his work.

* Z-Man wrestled Lane in 2013. Could the mad scientists at BG East have swiped some of the wrestlers' DNA to concoct Zarella in the top-secret lab hidden beneath the Wrestleshack?

Visit BG East here.


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