I’ve known of at least half a dozen homoerotic wrestlers who have attempted to leverage their following into marketing more than what fans can access through the main producers. Most of those entrepreneurial efforts, I’m sad to say, have fizzled before they really began. I think the skill sets involved in being an awesome wrestler don’t always coincide with a strong business sense.
All of that said, I was excited to sample the goods when Jonny Firestorm launched his website and advertised some customizable products available. Having met Jonny in person during my pilgrimage to Pembroke a couple of years ago, I felt like I could trust Jonny as a vendor, and I feel that trust was well-placed. I zeroed in specifically on the “Custom Video” option. I emailed him. He was very responsive, trading messages back and forth to clarify the scope of what sort of match it might be and how I’d like to customize it. Jonny went to great pains to get all of my wish list made explicit, because, as he explained, the last thing he’d want would be an unsatisfied customer who was disappointed.
It was an interesting assignment, to put down into words for Jonny Firestorm what would turn me on. For having overshared on this blog for nearly 5 years (!?!), it took me by surprise how conspicuous and vulnerable it felt to paint by the numbers with Jonny exactly the scenario, the drama, the particular holds that would make me want to invest a considerable sum of money. And I’m thrilled to report that Jonny was a pro to work with, putting me at ease, drawing my desires out with remarkable sensitivity for working through the medium of email.
Regular readers won’t be surprised that I enthusiastically requested that Jonny’s co-star in this custom match be long-time favorite homoerotic wrestler fantasy man of mine, Lon Dumont. When Jonny got back to me to let me know that he could book Lon, I was a little dizzy with anticipation. He gave me a time frame to expect the match to get taped. In this case, it was a window of about a month and a half when they would have at least one or two opportunities to be in the same place. The weekend that the match was taped, I knew it was happening, and Jonny got back to me within a few days to let me know he’d take another week or two of editing before sending it out. In the mean time, he satisfied my request for some preview pics (featured here) to keep my fever running.
Jonny gave me the option of method of delivery (download, DVD, hell, he even said he might be able to dig up an old VCR tape if I really wanted that). When the match arrived, my heart was pounding with a level of excitement that I haven’t really felt since the early days of my life as a consumer of homoerotic wrestling products, when I’d nearly faint with anticipation when a tape would arrive, light-headed every inch of the distance between the mailbox and my tape player.
I LOVE my custom Jonny v Lon match! They hit about 90% of the marks I’d asked for. They were both in outrageously phenomenal shape. In fact, Lon was so close to being on stage for his next bodybuilding competition that he was pretty well near starved. While that made for awesome physique watching, it did leave him noticeably weak and pretty quickly tired out. Jonny apologized for that before I even saw the match. For the record, he had let me decide whether they should tape before or after Lon’s competition, so it was my choice. That said, at least half of what turns me on about both Jonny and Lon is the sell, the drama, and the mammoth personalities, which were there in abundance, even if the energy level was a little low.
One of the Bard-fetish elements that I asked for was a lot of dialogue, including between-fall extended commentary as the winner of each fall flexed for me as he explained how it is he defeated his opponent. The boys made that happen in ways that crack me up and totally arouse me at exactly the same time.
The cost was considerable, and I feel like I got my money’s worth. The time, the talent, and the production costs of putting it together are immense, I’m sure. More to the point, owning my own fantasy translated to the small screen starring Jonny Firestorm and Lon Dumont is incredibly satisfying. I’m sure costs vary depending on the specifics requested (e.g., I really wanted this to be a ring match, so booking a pro wrestling ring I’m sure comes with a price). But Jonny delivered, and for what Jonny (and Lon) delivered, I’m a very happy customer.
Ironically, within a couple of weeks of me getting my custom video, another wrestling fan and regular reader of neverland contacted me to let me know about his experience with another of Jonny’s product lines: a private match. I’ll share his consumer report tomorrow…