Jonny Firestorm vs Christian Taylor, Backyard Brawls 9 (BG East)
Rounding off the excellent trio of matches on BG East's Backyard Brawls 9 is Christian Taylor versus Jonny Firestorm. The two entered the BGE Universe in the same catalog (#61 -- we're currently at #118) and amazingly have never crossed paths before now. Admittedly they drew (and dominated) different fan bases: Christian as a twink and Jonny as a hardball-playing ruffian. But Christian's twink days are behind him now, though I can't tell it to look at him, and Jonny is an omnivore of wrestling, facing whatever challengers, adopting whatever styles, and assuming whatever roles the company needs him to face, adopt, or assume.
Jonny can do it all, which is what his fans (me among them) love about the guy. Even his body adopts different shapes for different matches; his most devoted fans (again, me among them) often squabble over which Jonny is the best of the lot--My personal favorite is the one we see here, strong-taut-and-hairy-chested Jonny, though I haven't yet seen a Jonny I didn't love because this guy lives, breathes, and, most importantly, sweats WRESTLING. Christian restyles himself as an aggressor in this brawl, initiating what may be either a wholly new career path for himself or a cataclysmic career-ender.
If I had only the first half of this match to watch, my reaction would be What an odd but ingenious pairing of wrestlers so opposite to each other in physique and attitude! But the last half of the match is like a whack to the side of the head with a baseball bat. It's incredibly grueling and almost impossible to predict from one minute to the next. My reaction is How long can these two keep this level of intensity up! Jonny and Christian go at it so hard that even their sweat breaks into sweat. In the end, as in the previous match (Karisma vs LaChance), both winner and loser can barely walk away and I'm not even sure one of them is still breathing. Together, the three matches of BB9 make this number an instant classic, any one of them a potential shoo-in for BG East's 2017 Match of the Year.