I’m close to being able to die a happy man, because not only did Shane McCall drop me a note to thank me for my recent review of his Catch Weight 6 match, he went on to agree to grant me an interview. Talk about a bucket list item! Shane resides right around the foundation of my homoerotic wrestling fantasies as an object of lust from my very early days of discovering BG East. He’s one of my wrestling crushes who left me in awe that I had this thing in common with such a beautifully handsome, deeply masculine man with such a gorgeous body. His early career matches are bedrock to my prized homoerotic wrestling collection, and his return to the ring these 18 years after he first wrestled for BG East was simply epic. And then I found myself with Shane’s undivided attention, answering my questions, throwing them right back at me and igniting all new homoerotic wrestling fantasies. I hope you enjoy this chat with the legendary Shane McCall, but as you’ll see, it really doesn’t matter that much to me, because it was one of the most pleasurable experiences I’ve ever had in my five and a half years of blogging about homoerotic wrestling.
Bard: Thanks for connecting with me on Facebook, Shane. I needed to take a little time to work on some questions so I don’t sound too, too much like a fanboy dork.
Shane: Ha! Sounds good, boy. Is that your tight lean bod in that profile pic?
Bard: My abs aren’t quite that ripped anymore, but happily the bod is still tight and lean.
Shane: Works for me. I always enjoy working lean muscle.
Bard: Oh, damn. This is going to be quite an interview! I’m going to have to work hard to stay focused if you insist on speculating about working over my body! I am extremely thrilled and a bit intimidated to get this chance to talk with the famous Shane McCall. Can I just start by asking about your stunning return to the ring in BGE’s Catch Weight 6? How did it feel stepping through those ropes again?
Shane: I can smell your intimidation, and love the smell of it in the morning. That and a cup of coffee, and I am ready to start the day. Thanks, Bard. It felt great lacing up my wrestling shoes and pulling the straps up on my singlet. Some things your body never forgets. I knew I was ready to take on anyone. My head was in the game. Keeping my body healthy with good diet and working out paid off, too. Stepping up onto the ring and standing at the ropes felt as natural as it did when I was 32 as it does at 50. What I saw waiting for me inside the ring, well, was downright comical. Lady Gaga in wrestling gear.
Bard: It certainly looked to me like you didn’t skip a beat from the last time we saw you there. You completely owned it. And since you mention Lady Gaga in wrestling gear, what do you make of young Ty Alexander not knowing who you are? I mean, you’re basically royalty to anyone with even a passing familiarity with homoerotic wrestling. What the hell has the world come to when a wet-behind-the ears babyface trying to establish a career in this business doesn’t even know the hunks who helped build this industry?
Shane: Thanks again, Bard. Your kind words and praise are spot-on and appreciated. Ty-ersome knew exactly who I was. I think that was his lame attempt to get under my skin. I’ve grown a thick layer over the years, and that shit just rolls off my back. These little pretty things, it is more about cosplay and dressing up in shiny erotic gear and looking pretty for themselves in the mirror than it is the sport of domination. Even though I gave him an ass whooping he will not soon forget, I doubt he learned anything. He’s probably now scouring the web for his next pair of shiny pink nut smugglers. But back to your comment about me being a force that helped build the homoerotic wrestling industry. I’m humbled. I owe it all and learned from the best in the business with Kid Leopard and Kid Vicious’ ring training and Energy and Zen training with Sailor Rob.
Bard: Well, no one can say you didn’t deliver a first rate education to darling Ty, but I suppose you can only lead a horse to water. If I remember correctly, you were BGE’s first rookie of the year. What was your learning curve like? What were some of those lessons you learned from KL, KV and Sailor Rob?
Shane: You have a keen memory. Yes, I was the first recipient of Rookie of the Year. 1996? I remember that weekend well. It was a fun time meeting a lot of the other BG East wrestlers and tons of hot matches throughout that weekend. Flo and I connected right off, and I learned a lot from him. Wrestling, being a devastating heel, being an outstanding jobber and the art of selling both.
Shane: Oh, Flo is my nickname for Kid Leopard. Short for Florenz Ziegfeld. In return he calls me Shanney. I told him when I first arrived at BG East that I felt a little like the Fanny Brice of the BG East’s beautiful Schwanns. He laughed and said, “That’s ridiculous! You’re GORGEOUS. But I love it!” And so started the beautiful relationship of Flo and Shanney.
Bard: (laughing) That’s adorable!
Shane: During this past summer’s visit and taping, Flo was giving me a tour of his art collection. We both love art, especially wrestling art. The tour ended up in his office filled with photos of wrestlers of old and new and wrestling related artifacts. It truly is an amazing collection including DVDs, dolls and anything wrestling. Tucked on a shelf I saw the first photo I sent to Flo via the old Gillespie directory. I had sent it to Flo back in 1994. I had written a note on the back introducing myself and stating I hope to meet someday and would enjoy making a wrestling video for BG East. I was so deeply honored and touched that he kept that photo in a special place that he could see every day.
Bard: I’ve seen that art collection and it’s incredible! So much to look at everywhere. I’m not surprised KL keeps that photo nearby. Damn, now that’s what I call selling a resume!
Shane: I spent a lot of time working in the ring with Kid Vicious, too, who told me “the only way you’ll be a good heel is to be an outstanding jobber.” KV went above and beyond in showing me what a ruthless prick heel is like and how to totally dominate and even humiliate a jobber. Some sessions were so devastating that you had to peel me off the ring apron at the end. I would never know what the lesson plan would be for the day. He just instructed me to show up and find out. Today is gut punishment day, or pec torture day, or my personal favorite, bumps, slams and stomps day. KV’s Heel Philosophy is, if you are not enjoying every moment tearing a jobber apart piece by piece then your fans are not going to enjoy watching it. KV takes much pride in his work and a lot of joy too, I can certainly attest to that. Sailor Rob is my Energy and Zen coach and advisor. Staying focused and centered in key when working in the ring. Much of the work is done outside in nature. Becoming connected with the Earth is the best way to become grounded and centered, he tells me. I found it also helps keep the gardens beautiful and fruits and vegetables harvested.
Bard: I’m entranced by this body-mind meld approach to training with KV and Sailor Rob in tandem.
Shane: Mind, body and soul healing is applied to everyday life and not just working for BG East. A healthy life is all about the balance of life and energy.
Bard: I think BGE has long produced wrestling that goes a lot deeper than pretty boys with pink nut smugglers, and I suspect that multi-focused training you received speaks a lot to that special, hot recipe they cook up.
Shane: BG East has the hottest stock of men working for them past and present. I’ve worked with a lot of them, too. Buster, Troy Baker, Casey Cutler, Todd Brophy, Kurt Erikson just a few of my hot mat matches. I took on some amazing ring talent too: Bryan Walsh, Clint Morgan and Chris Denver. Ty-ersome is a cutie too, and a tough little SOB. I was actually surprised he took as much as I gave him.
Bard: Do I remember correctly that you had a solid amateur wrestling background when you showed up? How do you think amateur wrestling skills contribute to the rough and rowdy world of BGE wrestling?
Shane: Yeah, I’ve been wrestling all my life. Tons of garage and basement battles growing up with buds in the neighborhood and school. My self-esteem was pretty low in high school and being teased everyday on the bus didn’t help with that. Like most young men being gay at that age and time was a rough period. I was also too nervous to try out for wrestling since it was a huge turn on for me. I mentioned the Gillespie Directory earlier. That was a hardcopy listing of wrestlers from all over the world. It cost like $20 a year, and the catalogue was delivered via US Postal with tons and tons of listings with photos of hot wrestlers around the world. That is the directory I met Kid Leopard and many other of my wrestling friends I keep in touch with today. The first guy I met in Philly was John, aka RomanGodPa, in the Gillespie directory. He was one of three men that started the Spartan Wrestling Club in Philadelphia, and I was the seventh member to join that club. John, Dennis and Andy Bailey were my first coaches to freestyle wrestling. I competed in the 1994 Gay Games in NYC and later become a coach of the Spartans. Andy Bailey brought me up to BG East training camp for my first of many trips.
Bard: So many connections to so many hunks!
Shane: Freestyle and the mat training that I learned from the Spartans was my strong suit, and I loved the contact and learned as much submission as I could privately with other sub wrestlers. I had mats in the small apartment in Philly and learned submission wrestling the hard way: trial and error. When visiting BG East and seeing the ring I knew that was something I really wanted to do. Shit, it was something I’d fantasized about since I was a kid. I asked and begged Kid Leopard to put me in the ring several times, and he said I was not ready. I can be persuasive, and he finally caved. Bryan Walsh was my first match. Squash. Clint Morgan. Total devastation. Chris Denver. Splat.
Bard: However even as you were getting squashed by Clint Morgan, you were also winning Rookie of the Year. We’ve both given Ty Alexander a hard time in this conversation, but clearly there’s a time-honored place in the hearts of fans for the beautiful hot stud who gets trampled and crushed brutally. As someone who appreciates the erotic allure of wrestling from the inside out, what do you think it is that arouses so many of us about witnessing a devastatingly handsome hottie brutalized and humiliated like you were at the hands of Bryan Walsh, for example? What does a bubble butted jobber rising like Ty need to do to engender not pity, but arousal in being crushed?
Shane: You have to be hard on guys like Ty, otherwise their heads get too big. I am just trying to keep Ty’s head in proportion with his ass – especially in those small shiny trunks. As many muscled wrestling stars and diverse fans that BG East has cultivated over the years, there are just as many wrestling erotic buttons to push and scenes to play out. The box is endless, and for me the turn-ons change with my age and physical stature. I’ve grown from young athletic stud to big muscle bear daddy. I’m still wrestling young muscle studs and men of my age and size and even smaller. It all depends on my challenger and my mood.
Bard: Tell me more about that.
Shane: Let’s take you for instance Bard. With those tight abs you’ve been showing off, you’re just the kind of guy I would love to whip into the turnbuckle and keep you there while I drive my fists, knees, shoulder and boots deep into your abs until you are slumped into the corner pleading for mercy. Then grab you by your hair and set you up in the corner and whip you to the opposite turnbuckle for another round of ab abuse. Does that arouse you? It does me. Why does that arouse me? It doesn’t only arouse me erotically, it goes deeper than that. Wrestling for me isn’t only about being competitive or dominating or being dominated. It becomes a bond, a deep visceral connection with another man. It is about playing out creative fantasies and making sure my challenger is also getting something out of it too. The bond is only as strong as the two men who play it out. Be creative and have fun or go home. That is what makes BG East the top of the erotic wrestling business. A hot stable of wrestlers with amazing talent and thoughtfully creative production crew who only expect the best from everyone. They deliver.
Bard: Um, excuse me while I adjust myself, because yes, yes indeed, that just aroused me profoundly. You’ll have trouble grabbing me by my hair, but my abs are open for business for Shane McCall’s attention!
Shane: Bald, huh? That’s ok. I’ll just pull you up like I do with Scott Williams, by your ears or hooking your nostrils with two fingers.
Bard: As I sit here with this rising pressure in my pants, two questions come to mind. 1) How are your knees these days, because I’d pop my cork to see how long my core holds out in your over-the-knee backbreaker, and 2) with the scorching hot heat that wrestlers like you generate, wrestlers who wrestle from inside the homoerotic wrestling community, how is it we don’t see more erections? I’m being completely serious here when I ask how the inherent intimacy and erotic imagination of two hot, wrestling kinked hunks doesn’t generate more raging hard-ons in the matches we see on camera. Does the camera itself have cold shower effect? Does the sexual tension… protrude more prominently in truly private matches? Are there industry regulations governing the full throttle phallus from appearing more often than it does in even such an overtly erotic context?
Shane: How are my knees? Ask Ty. He received a few devastating knee drops in our match. I love delivering over the knee backbreakers multiple times with authority. A nicely executed over the knee backbreaker shows off the recipients beautiful abdominals, which are then open and ready for more abuse. The knee driven deep softens and weakens the lower lumbar getting the jobber ready for my rib and spine crushing bear hug. So, you’re popping some wood, huh? Good. I thought the smell of intimidation dissipated and another scent filled the air. That will make my bear hug on you that much more , well, stimulating. Having it trapped between your tight abs and my big solid belly, well, something has to blow, either your lower lumbar vertebrae or the other.
Bard: Holy shit, this interview is going places I hadn’t planned on! See, just talking about this is busting my zipper!
Shane: Mat wrestling is more conducive to hot steamy matches with full on raging erections since the action is mostly on the ground. The space is smaller, more intimate if you will, and the wrestling holds are more about full-on body contact. Sweaty muscle on sweaty muscle really gets the blood and juices flowing. I’ve seen and been in plenty of those matches in the BG East mat room and hotel matches too. With ring and arena matches, there is more muscle exertion and large muscle work, too. Back muscles, quads, glutes and hamstrings are on full throttle when working a hard match in the ring. Blood flow of the body goes to them before going elsewhere. Not having a full on erection does not mean I’m not turned on. Erotic and sensual energy is flowing full on when I am wrestling a guy I am into. Seeing a hot jobber sell a body slam or tied up in the ropes is very sexy to me. As the match goes on and the sweat pours down a deflated, hardbody muscle jobber, and the breathing is heavier and deeper, getting closer to a pin or tap-out… that’s sexy shit.
Bard: I just have to repeat the truest words ever spoken: that’s sexy shit! I’ve been working hard to keep my inner fanboy in check this whole time, but picturing me being cracked across your knee with my abs tested just busted down that door. And mentioning the likes of Bryan and Clint Morgan and Scott-man-of-my-dreams Williams is leaving me helpless to control myself. Get ready for some star-struck fan worship now, and just remember you brought this on yourself! To start, I’m dying to say that the sexiest tag team match in history has got to be you and BBW laying waste to adorable Liam Ryan and his doomed bear daddy Brian Powers. There are several moments in that match that intrude into my thoughts on a regular basis and make me weak in the knees. The overt sexual engagement of both teams for their teammates and for devouring your opponents remains pretty much the ideal form of a homoerotic wrestling match to me. Can I just thank you right now for being part of the genius and provocation of that match? I mean, there’s probably a question I could ask, but I really just desperately want to say, good god man that was unbelievably hot and has never been bested in my extensive watching of tag team wrestling ever since!
Shane: Wow, Bard, you did pop a cork with that one! You fan-gushed all over my face and pecs with that (laughing)! Thank you for your praise and the enthusiasm in which it was delivered. Now, may I have towel please?
Bard: Don’t towel off too soon, because I’m notoriously fast at recovery!
Shane: That tag team match with BBW, Brian Powers and Liam Ryan was an epic match and one of my personal favorites, too. The chemistry and the action was spot on, and as much as the fans enjoyed viewing it we had a blast making it… and, oh, did you really say “Scott man-of-my-dreams Williams?” I just threw up in my mouth.
Bard: Well, yes, I did, acid-reflux aside. I just don’t have words to say how formative and liberating it was for me to discover fantasy men like you (and Scott) taking it to each other in those truly classic BG East wrestling releases from almost 2 decades ago. Your hairy pecs and gorgeous face opened up doors for plenty of us to tap into some deep reservoirs of pleasure inside of us.
Shane: I really am humbled when I hear from fans, and they thank me for the work, or ask about a BG East match. Sometimes I just get flustered and not really know how to respond to a fan who extends compliments. I do appreciate the kind words nonetheless. I have really enjoyed hearing the favorable response from BG East fans regarding my match with Ty. That makes me feel really good and I am truly touched that fans are happy to see me back.
Bard: Okay, I’m beating back my inner fanboy to ask a more critical question now. I’m fascinated about your comments about mind, body and soul healing being woven into your life and wrestling. The explicit text of a pro wrestling match is pretty damn violent. How do you see that balance of Zen and energy mindfulness with the thump and grind text of a homoerotic wrestling match?
Shane: Energy work and healing happen in all forms. Pro wrestling is an art form, whether it’s the homoerotic industry, small indies, or the big time pro wrestling circuit. It is all based on taking the viewers on a journey outside of their everyday humdrum lives. That is what the viewers expect and look forward too. BG East takes their viewers on a journey that Dorothy and her friends of Oz could only dream. My training at BG East included body, mind and soul development, and can be explained like this. Kid Vicious’ training is Klingon training: brutal and only one winner (me). Sailor Rob’s energy and meditation is basically Jedi training: opening my mind and seeing my optimal potential and reaching it. Kid Leopard (aka Flo), well, we already know he is the Florenz Ziegfeld of the pro wrestling world. Make it and make it BIG and do everything you can to be sure it sells. Eye on the target and BAM!
Bard: Jedi Klingon theatre impresario?! No wonder there’s such an awesome complexity to BGE that speaks to me. Not to mention how a Star Wars-Star Trek-Broadway mash-up completely engages my sexy nerd side (which, trust me, is way sexy). And I’m loving the notion of wholeheartedly selling the fantasies that move you from the inside out. Go big and own it or go home. My final question I want to ask is about that body component of the mind-body-soul connection. I periodically get assailed by wrestling fans complaining that some featured wrestler that turns me on hard is “too old” or too beefy or what-the-fuck-ever. This tires me the hell out, frankly, because like you’ve said, there’s this deep bench and awesome diversity of hot bodies and personalities that makes wrestling so engaging for so many people. But as someone who owns your age and sexy bear daddy belly and brought that all explicitly into the ring to crush young Ty with, what would you like to say (or do) to those fans that seem to only be able to bear seeing 20 year old underwear models in their wrestling fare?
Shane: I don’t think I would have much to say to them. If that is what they like, they should enjoy it. If they are throwing negative comments to you and your selection of hot picks or wrestlers you interview, tell them to write their own fucking blog. They continue to give you any more shit, send them my way. I’ll straighten them the fuck out. You can watch too if you like.
Bard: You don’t need to ask if I’d enjoy a front row seat to that!
Shane: I get it though. I’ve popped in a few BG East DVDs and sat back on the couch and cranked a few out watching two little hot muscle boys going at it. Kid Karisma and Christian Taylor are hot examples. Christian is just so beautiful and I love to see him get worked over and punished. Karisma is a looker too, and not half bad as a wrestler. He could use some Shane training though. He’s taken on some season wrestlers too like Red Baron and Cage Thunder. Those two men are beefy and muscled and that was a hot three-way match. I am guessing Cage and Baron have some grey hairs and crow’s feet under those masks. Only one way to find out, of course, and unmask those men in the ring.
Bard: Again, I call dibs on front row seats to your training session with Kid Karisma and to the clash of the titans that would be you setting out to unmask Cage Thunder and Red Baron!
Shane: And Catchweight 6 also features Mitch Colby and young Billy Lodi, which is another hot seasoned daddy vs rookie-boy match. Looks like Mitch had his hands full with that little scrapper. I love that too though, seeing a boy get some licks on the bigger, older daddy…Boing! And the match with Eli and Rio looks smoking hot too. I do find it stimulating seeing a big sexy muscle stud like Rio getting worked over by the smaller, but much more skilled Eli.
Bard: Yes, yes, yes. All of that again for me, too! Well, I fully expected this to be a pleasure, but I can’t tell you how unexpectedly provocative this has been for a barely-contained fanboy like me to get to talk with you, Shane.
Shane: Bard, I’d like to take this time and say I have really enjoyed our exchange during this interview and delighted our paths have crossed. It is nice to hear from a fan and how my matches and work with BG East have made an impact on you and many other fans. Enjoying a fetish like wrestling in a healthy and safe outlet is extremely important to living a healthy life, physically, mentally and emotionally. I really think if you hold fantasies and fetishes inside and not play them out you are not only cheating yourself, but it will probably play out in an unhealthy way. That can result in harming yourself or others. Playing out your fantasy by wrestling, writing, painting or any other expressive ways can be a wonderful thing. Just remember to play safe, smart and respect yourself and your challengers.
Bard: Sage words to celebrate wrestling by. Anything else you’d like to say before I let you go?
Shane: Keep on writing these juicy wrestling blogs and fun interviews, Bard. You are doing an outstanding job and your writing talent and passion for erotic wrestling will keep your fan base returning and strong. Hopefully one day our paths will cross and we can meet face to face and pec to pec. Until then keep those ripped abs tight and solid so I can enjoy pounding on them with your back over my knee.
Bard: And with that, my fanboy cork is officially re-popped! The pleasure has been all mine, Shane, and I look forward to taking that ride across your knee someday!