“You gave up twice!” Chase Addams shouts accusingly.
“You got knocked out of the ring!” Ty Alexander shouts back defensively. “It was 2-on-1. What was I supposed to do?”
The sequel to the opening match of BG East’s Tag Team Torture 19 is anomalous. On the one hand, I think it’s a risky move putting a singles match on a tag team compilation. A tag team wrestling fan is probably writing a scathing Yelp review somewhere right at this very moment. On the other hand, what BG East may have sacrificed by straying from the genre, they make up for by their commitment to the integrity of the narrative. The action picks up the following morning after Chase and Ty have gone down in a flaming pile of brutal humiliation to the All-American babyfaces Christian Taylor and Charlie Evans.
Team Vanity was tragically short-lived. Like so many forces of nature that run hot and bright, they burned out spectacularly, felled by the athleticism and patience of the All-Americans (and their own raging egos). I was disappointed to hear Ty and Chase report that Team Vanity was done for good. Not surprised, but disappointed. After watching the nasty grudge play out in their TTT19 part 2 showdown, its hard to imagine how they’d ever be able to bury the hatchet. Unless it’s buried in each other’s back.
There are several active ingredients to this tag team reckoning. Both Ty and Chase are nursing bruises that were inadvertently delivered by each other in their battle with the All-Americans. Ty points out the swollen welt on his face credited to an errant blow from his newbie ex-partner. Chase bitterly notes his busted lip, split open by a misfired elbow drop from Ty. The All-Americans had them chasing their own tantalizing tails at several points in the tag team conflagration, using their own impetuousness against them to set up the ultimate and complete destruction of Team Vanity.
In addition to the bitterness of getting pounded by one’s own tag team partner, swollen, delicate egos give nice momentum to start off the singles sequel. “I was carrying the whole team the entire time!,” newbie Chase disavows all responsibility for their humiliating defeat. Ty is momentarily, uncharacteristically speechless in the face of the rookie’s audacious accusation. Finally, the Trophy Boy delivers the pointed retort that was inevitable. He lands a cracking smack across Chase’s handsome face so hard that the rookie spins like a top.
The third active ingredient to this match is a raging, aggressively intense furor to outwrestle one another in order to demonstrate the previous point, namely who carried whom in the doomed tag team outing. Here’s where the wrestling gets interesting, as far as I’m concerned. To start with, the shattered pieces of Team Vanity are perfectly evenly matched. Ty delivers a cracking slap to the newbie’s baby smooth chest. Chase bullies the veteran into the ropes and smacks down an answering slap to the Trophy’s Boy’s bronzed pecs. There’s an extended scramble, momentum crashing and back and forth like waves on the shore, until abruptly Chase wraps his thighs around Ty’s head in deep, tight scissors. Seconds later, Ty manages to catch the newbie’s head between his legs, and the two of them crank on each other with a vengeance in 69 headscissors. Synchronized and bearing down in matching holds, both boys start to whimper. Abruptly, they both hit the wall at the same time. They both submit simultaneously, leading to an immediate argument as to who submitted first.
I love the idea of tag team partners who are each other’s toughest opponents precisely because they know each other so well. It takes me back to this blog’s banner fantasy man, Tommy Zenk, facing down Flyin’ Brian Pillman after their tag team came crushing to the ground under the weight of Pillman’s heel ambitions. It’s a stretch to pull off this narrative with a newbie debut. You have to believe that Team Vanity has been working behind the scenes, practicing and preparing for their one and only pairing, and thus learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses, starting to resemble each other in style and form like an old married couple. The way that go at each other like cats and dogs, though, I buy it.
Like the tide itself, although there are ebbs and flows, the match slowly progresses one direction. The tasty newbie is on a roll, impassioned by a self-righteous mission to scrape Ty off the bottom of his shoe. When the Trophy Boy telegraphs one too many splashes into the newbie’s body hanging in a corner, Chase abruptly puts and end to that with a nasty boot to the chest. Charming Chase puts on Ty’s vest and mocks his moments-ago-partner. “Oh, look at me,” Chase singsongs with contempt, “I’m Ty, and I’m walking around with my ass exposed because I think my ass is the best thing that’s ever happened.”Chase jabs a finger in Ty’s bruised face. “Newsflash!” the rookie snarls in his own voice now. “It’s NOT!”
I love the bitter rookie out to make a name for himself by crushing his former mentor. He’s relentlessly vicious, making Ty bend near the breaking point in the face of his fury. With Ty’s throat perched across the middle rope, Chase sits on Ty’s back, pinching off his windpipe sadistically. The potential brilliance of the punishing rookie is his dissatisfaction with good-enough. With studied precision, he slides through the ropes and ends up hanging upside down by his ankles wrapped around the back of Ty’s head. With the Trophy Boy suddenly seriously getting choked out, Chase locks hold of Ty’s right arm with an armbar, letting gravity and the ropes fuck up his former partner 5 different ways.
From the moment I saw Ty debut two or so years ago, I’ve been commenting on the Trophy Boy’s deceptively expert ring skills. His shenanigans and ego have been increasingly getting in his way of chalking up match victories, but any opponent who underestimates Ty’s capacity to drop a bucketload of hurt does so at his own peril. His boot to Chase’s rookie balls makes the newbie scream. That sets up Ty’s gloating, taunting figure-4 leglock, cranking the shit out of the tendons and ligaments in Chase’s tortured right knee. When Ty hangs his partner in a tree of woe, he goes back to work driving his entire bodyweight down onto the crushed testicles of the wailing, wounded animal hung up in this trap. Ty gets treated like a joke a lot in the fan-o-sphere. People perpetually remember only his narcissism and lapses in judgment (and his ass). Once again in this break-up match, he demonstrates that whatever else he may be, he’s a pro wrestler with a whole lot of punishment to dole out.
But as is so often the case, Ty falls prey to his defenselessness in the face of his own image. Just when he owns the rookie, lock, stock and barrel, Ty whips out his mobile phone to photo document his moment of glory. So enthralled he is with his reflected image staring back at him, he doesn’t notice Chase slipping free from the tree of woe and abruptly crushing the Trophy Boy’s balls into the ring post.
A lot of newbies wouldn’t necessarily know how to exploit a moment like this, but Chase sinks his claws in deep and never lets go. From the ring apron, he leaps over the top rope and pounds a double boot stomp into the small of his opponent’s back with authority. It’s Ty’s turn to get hung out to dry in a tree of woe. As Chase starts grinding his boot, Ty screams, “Not the face! NOT THE FACE!” And right here is where Chase grabs me by the balls, shouting right back, “ESPECIALLY THE FACE!!!”
The finisher to this match is breathtaking. Chase clearly favors a punishing armbar throughout the match, and he grabs yet one more, bending Ty forward. Suddenly, the rookie lifts his left foot, pressing it into his opponent’s jaw. He drops to his back, pulling on the armbar, until Ty’s face comes crashing down helplessly into the sole of Chase’s boot. Out. Fucking. Cold. And I buy it. In fact, I feel like I ought to fire up a Kickstarter campaign for Ty’s dental work, because holy hell, that finisher looks like he surely had to lose a mouthful of teeth.
So again I say, when Ty and Chase assured me that there was not going to be a reunion tour for Team Vanity anytime soon (as in, anytime), it was a disappointment, but not a surprise. I have to admit I get a lot of satisfaction watching a fresh out of the box rookie quite literally spank Ty’s all-over-tanned ass. As a well-documented fan of the Trophy Boy, please understand, I love his work. But I also love that his work continues to feature that overgrown ego getting smacked down with authority again and again.
And regular readers know that I especially love a remarkable debut, and Chase Addams’ (unprecedented?) two-fer to introduce himself to BG East fans is delightful. He has long, lean lines and a smart mouth that I think could make him a big time player. I’m anxiously looking forward to what (who) is next up for the budding rookie badass.