I’m fully aware that homoerotic wrestlers are not born… they’re made. Indeed, it’s hardly a stretch to realize that the name “Brooklyn Bodywrecker” doesn’t appear on anyone’s birth certificate. And, for that matter, if there is a birth certificate with the name “Steve Shannon” on it (which there probably is), the probability that such a birth certificate belongs to this guy is infinitesimal.
No, homoerotic wrestlers are crafted, shaped, branded and packaged to optimize the full-on fantasy that we sign up for. Sometimes the construction of the name is a little more obvious. Beau Nasty, for example, simply can’t have emerged from the womb with that surname. The name is clearly meant to communicate something more than just a handle. It’s a nod to a persona. It’s the poured concrete foundation upon which a successful homoerotic wrestler can build a character, embody a new person, and live in a world in which camel clutches and over the knee backbreakers are everyday currency.
Cody Nelson from Rock Hard Wrestling would be hard not to notice in any setting. Cody’s body speaks volumes before he ever needs to open his mouth. Personally, I’m enthralled with Cody’s ass and his nipples (in that order), but honestly he’s a smorgasbord of muscle worship fantasies for nearly every niche and corner of the wrestling kink market (if muscleboys are you’re thing). I’m not entirely sure yet what the name Cody Nelson communicates… it has a whiteboy next door ring to it, and that may be the point. There’s a “just folks” hit from the name Cody Nelson that makes him seem to me to be a little less celestial and unreachable than if I just saw him in a tight shirt standing at the bar. Cody gives me a mountain west feel, like a Wyoming farm kid who grew up bench pressing livestock until he woke up one day and realized that he had a body to die for that could translate into cash in hand in the big city… let’s say, Miami. Cody Nelson is someone who got tired of beating the crap out of every upstart punk in a thousand mile radius and moved on to prove that he can beat the crap out of every upstart punk in a ten thousand mile radius. As a straight-up homoerotic wrestling name, Cody Nelson carries some water, I think. I don’t know that Cody’s entirely lived into his name, nor has he yet entirely embodied a wrestling character for me to hate/love/lust for/all the above. He’s still mostly a stunningly muscled, massive, ass of granite, dollar coin nippled, rippled-abbed, wet dream in a still shot, hot bundle of homoerotic wrestling potential.
Over at Vista Video and also at All American Guys, the same face, the same smirk, the same nipples, ass, abs and perhaps just a little bit bigger of biceps… it’s all squeezed into a different wrapper known simply as Ray.
I haven’t dropped coin in Vista Video or All American Guys, so I only know these companies from the front stoop. But by definition, a company called “All American Guys” is promoting the boy next door dreamboat, right? These guys look like the whitebread version of the football player kid around the corner who keeps pumping iron long after the season is over. Over there, “Cody Nelson” is just “Ray…” (you fill in the last name of whatever neighborhood kid you grew up lusting after).
Over there, Raymond always has a little bit of a sheepish grin when he peels off his skin tight shirt to flex for the camera. He’s in some “real” context, outside or in the gym, as if he was just walking through his day and some persuasive person with a video camera convinced him to start talking, flexing, showing off a little in public. He’s asking you what you think of his body, making an appeal for your praise, as if he needs you to validate him. Whereas Cody, in the ring, is cocked and loaded, supremely confident in his opponent’s inevitable destruction, Raymond, on the other hand, is almost shy, embarrassed of the attention and, at the same time, proud of the hard work that went into shaping his body.
The up close, “real,” boy next door with chiseled pecs just chattin’ me up in the gym, giving me a little self-conscious show, smiling slyly because he knows what I’m thinking and he doesn’t mind… that’s hot. I see ads for Vista EVERYWHERE, so I assume this is a strategy that sells.
What I realize, though, is that what’s much, much hotter for me is that other guy, the side-of-beef bench pressing farmboy who migrated to deeper waters when he found he could kick the ass of everyone he knew, so now he climbs into the wrestling ring to stand pec to glorious pec with some other invincible local boy cocksure that he’s the shit and no Wyoming farmboy could stand a chance against him. That’s the backstory that sucks me in. That’s the chemistry that makes my blood pump harder. That’s the foundational eroticism that claims me and my wallet like no solo shot, boy next door muscle showcase ever could.
But that’s just me.