When I saw Brandon Bangs in Raging Stallion’s release Brutal, I was intrigued by my reaction. His porn name makes me uncontrollably roll my eyes. Seriously, “Brandon Bangs?” And he’s so ridiculously an over-the-top, almost caricature of himself, suburban white-boy-next-door. He’s blond, pale, with a pretty but not terribly hard body. He’s not outrageously handsome. There’s no specialty body part that stands out on him as jaw-dropping stunning (not to say that everything isn’t quite nice, and he’s got a completely respectable cock made for porn). He’s just so middle-of-the-road in the field of standout pornboys and wrestling pornboys. So why was I so completely drawn to him!? Couldn’t take my eyes off of him in Brutal, which is astonishing when you consider his one scene was alongside of Phenix Saint (a total standout stud) and Angelo Marconi (with the face and body ripped off of a romance novel cover). I don’t understand me.

This week, Brandon showed up for his debut match at Naked Kombat, grappling alongside of tag-team partner DJ (very smart choice, Brandon!). He’s a little softer than the shape he was in for Brutal. In both the pre- and post-match interviews, he’s a little awkward, sort of dorky. He stumbles across a couple of malaprops that, if I were feeling a lack of generosity, I might say give him a “dumb jock” air (which typically bores me). Once again, on paper I’d expect this pale, pale vision to be quickly forgotten. But once again, I’m quite taken with him! Is this some inexplicable, whitebread, bourgeois pornboy crush I’m nurturing!? And if you just answered, “yes,” should I feel as embarrassed of myself as I do for it?

I do understand some of Brandon’s allure. He’s just so incredible eager! The malaprops and smirking, winking, nudge-nudge, “we’re going to turn these guys into men,” banter with his partner somehow come across as simply, authentically eager to get down to the business of showing his stuff. That’s just damn adorable. And he grapples all-in. Even in the post-match interview, the off camera interviewer compliments Brandon on his impressive intensity and panache for his debut with NK. DJ could have singlehandedly mopped the floor with their two destined-to-job opponents, but Brandon scraps with surprising savvy and sincerity, taking cues from DJ in scoring “NK points” and dominating like only a suburban, whiteboy, boy-next-door-turned pornboy can. I get some of what it is that’s making me give Brandon a double-take. But there’s something more going on here that I’m missing…

So I’d pay money to watch Rusty Stevens psychologically crush Brandon before they ever locked up. Rusty’s lightening, slicing wit is pretty much the antithesis of Brandon’s awkward rookie babble, and when it comes to turning me on, there’s a reason Rusty is still my favorite homoerotic wrestling pornboy (despite a chilling absence from homoerotic wrestling lately). But still, I’m going to place Brandon Bangs in my “guilty pleasure” category, because despite every reason I have to not be captivated by him, he’s got my attention.

And apropos of nothing, despite my whole-hearted endorsement of the degrading pony ride, unless the cowboys are seriously enjoying themselves, then I’d recommend that they give it a rest. It seems lately like someone has told DJ he has to ride his pony, and in his last two tag matches, DJ has woodenly taken the lead in saddling up and explaining the significance of tucking his cock halfway through the ride (“Let’s make it even harder on them” he says, like Ted Baxter reading a cue card). Just my opinion, of course, but I’m starting to join the chorus of those critiquing the “sex round” for being phoned in.

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