Pro and Con

Gil Barrios and Joshua Goodman, Ringwars 27 (BG East)

BG East has at long last released the debut of Jonny Firestorm (I hear he's pretty good) as the main event of Ringwars 27. As big an event as that is, the whole set of three matches on RW27 offers great (truly great) specimens of underground wrestling,  and years from now BG East fans yet to be born may revere it as our little sect's equivalent to the excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb. The middle match, Goodman vs Barrios, is, for me, an extremely close second to Firestorm vs Hudson for good wrestling and good storytelling.

This is apparently Gil's second match (the ninth to be released -- such are the mysteries of Egypt and BG East). Gil is a knockout, still wet behind the ears (presumably -- subsequent events may prove otherwise) with a cheerful disposition and an enviably hot body. Goodman, Mister Goodman, plays the role of Honest John Worthington Foulfellow to Gil's (presumably) wide-eyed naïf, promising the rookie cash and handicapping himself to lure Barrios into the wrestling ring (i.e. Joshua offers to wrestle Gil with one arm bound behind his back for a hundred dollars).

Using presumably twice in one paragraph is a nod to the fact that Gil is hardly the gullible rube Goodman takes him for. Complications arise for both wrestlers in turn, veiling the ultimate outcome in mystery until the final minutes. As the catalog description tells us, these minutes are "packed with plenty of hurt, double-cross, and humiliation." This could be Goodman at his cockiest and most devious. And being a huge Barrios fan, I'm thrilled to see Gil already inclining towards the sunny sadism and confident spontaneity he exhibits in his (all gold-medal) appearances in the BGE Wrestleshack. I don't usually associate Gil with ring wrestling, but he puts in an exceptionally strong performance here.


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