Lane Hartley vs Kirk Cameron, Demolition 22 (BG East)
BG East's Catalog 121 will soon drop on the company's home page, but Demolition 22 is already available to own on The Arena (BGE's pay site), featuring three different flavors of demolition guaranteed to put some pepper in my wrestling fantasies.
- The first features Morgan Cruise-style dementia as The Mastodon attempts to gain Ben Monaco's respect by bludgeoning him to unconsciousness, but finds Monaco fully capable of pushing back ... and with paralyzing force.
- The second offers Kirk Donahue as a human sacrifice to the dashing but cold-blooded heel-god Lane Hartley in a one-sided thrashing that may be one of the greatest squash jobs in BGE history.
- The third, in contention for the same distinction, serves Trey Dixon up to Dev Michaels in a fight that would fit right into a prison assault scene on Oz or Sons of Anarchy.
I want to focus on the middle match because Lane and Kirk are two of the company's greatest performers who deserve far more credit than they usually get. Kirk Donahue's heart-wrenching screams and muscle spasms may in fact be real, but at least 90 percent of it is acting and acting so perfectly tuned that it seems realer than real. He's almost the perfect babyface jobber--boy-next-door good looks, slimly built but in marvelous physical condition (he's outstandingly resilient and hardy compared to most other jobbers), an air of determination and grit under all circumstances, and a talent for conveying personal catastrophe that may rival the ancient Greek tragedians'.
As for Lane Hartley, whose praises I sang on first sight in 2013, citing Brad Rochelle's comment that the heel (then new to BG East) "has a smirk ... that makes me want to hurt him," his louche, self-satisfied smile has been his bread and butter for almost four years. But Lane is more than his smirk. It's the total package he presents in the ring that makes Brad and nearly everybody else want to take a swipe at him. There's also his forbidding heft (billed at 6' - 6'4", 215# - 240#, depending on the year and promotion), which announces that you can't beat the guy, no matter how much you would like to. He's also one of the coolest guys in wrestling, impossible to ruffle, and he delivers some of the wittiest evil repartee this side of Dennis Hopper. And if Hartley's repertoire of gut-wrenching punishments falls short of Jonny Firestorm's or Guido Genatto's, it is not short by much, and he more than makes up for the difference in style.