There are some wrestlers that predate my discovery of homoerotic wrestling sufficiently to be cemented in my perception as having simply “always been there.” Chuck “Flying Tiger” Collins is one of those wrestlers who had already come and gone from active duty at BG East before I ever discovered them, but at no point was he forgotten. I’ve spent considerable time in the back catalogs of BG East and the “vintage” photo montages in the Arena, and regularly has Flying Tiger grabbed me by the balls and stared me down. Gorgeous, athletic, confident, he always seemed ripped from the pages of an 80’s Playgirl cover and slapped into the middle of my wrestling fantasies. To get the opportunity to stumble across him online and swiftly apply my full-throttle appeal for an interview in an instant was a thrill, but nowhere near the delight of getting to correspond with this classic hunk and see what’s become of him, and whether he’d be willing to join the ranks of classic wrestlers making an encore appearance in the ring.
Bard: Chuck “Flying Tiger” Collins! What an unexpected thrill and honor to get to chat with you. Classic BG East wrestling fans will remember you from the inaugural Motel Madness and many matches in the Private Bouts collection. I feel like I should know this, but tell me how you earned the name Flying Tiger.
Chuck: Bard, it’s my pleasure to get a chance to chat with you, especially since it’s been so long since I’ve done any wrestling vids. As to my name, “The Flying Tiger,” I was known for some pretty wild aerial moves in the day, so “flying” kinda stuck.
Bard: It’s sometimes tough to track when BG East matches were taped. How long has it been since you last slipped into a tight pair of trunks to grapple on camera?
Chuck: Maybe 25 years since my last filming… Wow, until I just said it, didn’t realize it was that long ago.
Bard: That’s incredible! Who was your the last opponent you faced?
Chuck: I believe my last opponent was Cruze, one of my only matches in the ring up in Massachusetts.
Chuck: They were all great opponents. I recall bass Wallace worked me pretty hard in Motel Madness, but Kid leopard probably worked me over the hardest. Only one match on film, and it was an epic battle.
Bard: It was! If I’m not mistaken, KL had several swipes at you, though only that one private bout 1-on-1. He and Raw Deal tag teamed all over you and TNT, and when you faced Andy Bailey, KL intervened in that match as well. What do you think it is about you that drew such viciousness from the heel-in-chief?
Chuck: I think it was two fold. My cocky attitude for a baby face, but my skill level backed up my words, and KL stepped in wherever he could to silence me, especially when I was beating his boys! I know in my first match with Andy Bailey, he didn’t win a fall. Totally destroyed him, and it didn’t sit well with him or KL. That’s when I think they planned on KL interfering in the second match with Andy.
Bard: Fuck, I love the melodrama and larger than life personalities that make homoerotic wrestling so intense! I also have major love for hot, handsome baby face heroes like you that can more than hold their own. Who do you think carries the baton for the skilled, stacked, must-be-taken-seriously babyfaces wrestling these days?
Chuck: Wow, there are so many talented wrestlers these days, Cameron Matthews, Jake Jenkins, and forgive me if I leave anyone out, but two that stand out now are Mason Brooks and Kayden Keller – both very talented leaning toward heels, but baby aced and great skill.
Bard: You have fantastic taste! That’s an excellent sample of very fine, skilled babyfaces. Which of those hunks would you pick to time travel back 25 years to tag team with you against KL and Raw Deal?
Chuck: Very interesting question, Bard. I would probably have to go with Cameron if I was selecting purely on talent, and he’s recently been very aggressive in his matches, so he and I versus KL and Raw Deal I think would be a great choice.
Bard: I agree, that sounds like an awesome choice. Cameron and you would make a fantastic, and stunningly handsome, tag team! There have definitely been many new names and new wrestling venues, new series and technologies shaping homoerotic wrestling over the past 25 years. What are your observations about what the biggest changes have been overall? Have they been changes for the better?
Chuck: Again, WOW, “so many changes” is an understatement. I think the biggest changes have been in technology. The quality of the product is so much better today. I was involved in the infancy of the underground homoerotic sport. HD, DVD, now streaming and downloading, all making for a better product as well as better availability. As to the wrestlers, I think they have gotten bigger, more physically developed as a whole. The only place I think some are lacking is in actual skill, very few can sell the match the way we old timers used to. Not all, but the really talented pool of wrestlers now is a small group indeed.
Bard: I don’t know how much it may be nostalgia, but I sometimes miss the rawer, rougher video quality and even the more improvised venues from earlier days. There was an intensity and edge that I don’t always sense in higher definition, where missed moves and every last blemish and mole are crystal. How did you join the ranks of BGE?
Chuck: I was introduced to BGE when I phoned KL telling him I was going to be in Mass for an extended period of time. Now this was back when Hull, Mass was the BGE home site – very primitive compared to their home base now. After a brief interview, I was set up to go up against Andy Bailey, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Bard: Had you already been a fan, then? Did you come with a wrestling background?
Chuck: I did some wrestling in school, lots of fooling around with friends, but my real background in pro was going Thursday nights down to the arena with my family to watch the matches. Some of the old wrestlers worked out at a gym I knew, and I would watch them, then I’d try to replicate what I saw. BGE just helped me perfect it all. And I was a fan of BGE, and was gratdful for the opportunity to try out.
Bard: Clearly you fit right in! Attitudes about sexuality have changed since then (in some ways, at least). Do you think changing levels of stigma in society in general have shaped some of the evolution of a gay-oriented wrestling company like BG East?
Chuck: I would hope so. I know there is a lot more openness now about being a wrestler for gay-oriented companies that are out there.
Bard: A regular theme I hear repeated from nearly every BG East wrestler I’ve talked to has been the esprit de corps that develops among the wrestlers there. Did you connect on a personal level with any wrestlers in particular?
Chuck: Many, starting at the top with KL. We still keep in touch, not nearly as often as we used to, but every now and again. I’ll get a text from a few of the other guys every now and again, just to catch up and see what’s going on, so I would definitely agree that the camaraderie that developed between the wrestlers led to numerous friendships along the way.
Bard: Are you still in fight shape today?
Chuck: Well all depends what you call “in fight shape.” I’m currently at 150 lbs, 5’8″, and 8% body fat. I workout 5 times a week using a dumbbell routine that keeps me pretty solid. Let me send you some pics and let you be the judge.
Bard: Holy shit you look fantastic! You are ripped and rocking! Any of the current crop of competitors you wouldn’t mind getting your hands on?
Chuck: Thanks, and as far as the new guys go, I’d love to get back in the ring with a bunch of them, starting with Cameron. Would love to tangle with Jake Jenkins, Ethan, possibly even Mason Brooks, Kayden Keller. And who wouldn’t want to get in the ring with Ty Alexander?
Bard: Would the Flying Tiger still be an upright babyface hero today?
Chuck: I’m thinking I’d lean more towards a babyfaced heel these days. I’ve become meaner in my old age.
Bard: I was hoping you’d say babyface heel! Can we talk a minute about exactly how you’d handle adorable Ty?
Chuck: Sure, he’s very cocky in the ring, and the best thing to do for that is let them get confident, then turn the whole thing around on them. A low blow here or there, then a DDT for emphasis. That should quiet him some.
Bard: Hell and YES! I’d say bend that bubble butt over your knee and spank the cocky stud until he cries, too. So I realize I just have the pic as reference here, but you look completely in shape to climb back into the ring. If the call came, would you join the encore career hunk daddies like Shane McCall and show the youngsters how to sell? And could I get front row seats?!
Chuck: I’d love to. I think some of us could show these young punks a thing or two.
Bard: I can’t agree more. I have to think there’s plenty of audience for that, as well. I’m also sure I’m not the only one powerfully provoked by hearing and seeing the Flying Tiger. Anything you’d like to say to the fans who will be popping their cork to read this interview?
Chuck: Just that it’s been an honor and a pleasure speaking with you. It’s nice to know our pioneer work in the field hasn’t been forgotten, and it’s always nice to meet real fans.
Bard: It’s been a profound pleasure to chat with you, and you are most definitely not forgotten. In fact, I’m 100% certain there are all new fans and fantasies ignited by your ripped, 8% body fat, hottie self today! And seriously, although I know KL strictly forbids outside spectators at BG East matches, please lobby for me should you get the call to spank some young upstart’s bubble butt!
Chuck: Will do! And thanks again.