I just can’t stay away from Rock Hard Wrestling. I still don’t think that they’ve hit their stride, which is understandable considering they’re just a few months young. But they do have some excellent elements to continue to perfect.
Hot off the presses, their most recent release captures some of what I’m enjoying most, and least, about the boys of RHW. First of all, the boys themselves are stunning. Hunky young studs getting sweaty and laying on some hurt are always a thing of beauty. The performances are, I think, improving. I don’t know what order the matches were shot in, but I think, for example, amateur hardbody Cameron Davis is owning the ring much better and working in more impact pro moves. Even more encouraging, he’s working some personality, including some sneering cheap shots like trapping little Brody in the corner and pounding a quick series of knees to his skinny midsection, and (my favorite), pinning Brody chest-first draped across the top rope, with one of Brody’s arms hammered behind his back, while Cameron knees him a couple of sharp shots to his tailbone. These boys move well. They know their own bodies, and they understand how to exercise ownership over their opponent’s body.
The $12.95 instant download to own is still a major plus for me and my inability to control my need for instant gratification. RHW’s production quality continues to be extremely high, though the editing in the Brody/Cameron match is a little nauseating at times (a few too many quick cuts from camera to camera, especially early on). The action is short, which is a little disappointing. The 9 minutes of Cameron and Brody going at it is pretty nicely packed and well-paced, though.
Match 2 from this release is a nice surprise for me. Again, I know, I know, I know. Some of you don’t care for squashes or 2-on-1’s. I, though, enjoy a sweet double team when it’s told well. Watching Zack Johnathan get literally tossed back and forth between Shawn and Brody is a sweet little fantasy scenario. Zack needs to be punished until he can sell his dialogue without looking like he’s about to laugh at his own camp. When Brody cranks on Zack’s knee over and over, then steps away, holding out his hand to welcome Shawn to have a turn, I have to smile. Zack suffers better than he dominates, so 8 minutes of him being mandhandled and taunted (“Yeah, say hi to the camera… How do you like that?”) is pretty damn tasty. Like Cameron, Shawn sells significantly better than I’ve seen him, perhaps inspired by the master salesman, Brody. Best by far is the detail that Shawn sweats like he’s in a sauna from minute one. Almost all the action is tossing Zack back and forth between the boys, so I’d love to have seen more actual 2-0n-1 holds. But Brody and Shawn are cooperative, and they remember to look like they’re enjoying Zack’s suffering (as am I… this is seriously a fantasy of mine, watching Zack suffer until he’s defenseless and can’t smirk).
Area’s for RHW to continue to perfect: 1) Brody’s gear against Cameron looks a little silly. I saw someone else comment that his joe-boxer briefs (isn’t that an oxymoron?) popping out from his skimpy trunks look a little like he’s wearing grandma’s panties under there. Brody performs like an unmistakable pro, so put this boy in a jock strap. 2) The audio isn’t quite selling me, again particularly in the Cameron/Brody match-up. The musak in the background is fine (I’ve seen others comment that they find it distracting… it fills some dead space well enough for me). The grunts and bangs as bodies pound the canvas are excellent. But the big empty gym space and private setting make it seem odd to me that Brody and Cameron don’t say word one to each other from start to finish (practically… Brody mumbles “…like that?…” near the end). Some cocky banter would help sell the private setting and deliver some motivation.
RHW will need to recruit some new rock hard bodies soon, I think, to keep the products fresh and develop a new story now and then. They simply must send Zack to intensive improv boot camp until that doofus smirk gets transformed into a cocky sneer (he simply must learn the difference). Buy Brody a jock strap. Set the boys loose with more verbal domination. Keep up the truly excellent production quality, and pay Brody whatever he asks, because he’s what’s keeping the infant operation legitimate.