You just have a few days left to cast your ballot for the best of BG East in 2016. Get on it! Still deciding? Let’s look at a couple more categories in this completely unofficial and totally biased voter’s guide.
Jobber of the Year
While I think we tend to reach a quick consensus about what a heel is, I think there’s a mushy definition of a jobber. Of course, the Besties don’t come with a definition of the categories, so you’re free to vote based on whatever inclination you have about what constitutes a jobber. I think of a jobber as a wrestler who is quite likely to lose his matches, even when the objective measures of likely success (experience, strength, skill) probably swing his direction. I think of a particularly accomplished jobber as one that not only loses, but sells it, suffering openly, accentuating the devastating moves of his opponent, conveying the melodrama of the ring by openly telegraphing every soul crushing, ego busting, dignity stealing moment in a way that elevates the story from fleeting fantasy to knock on the door of brutal reality. I think of skilled jobbers as those who make me wince a little when they scream out, whimper, or choke on the pain. A dominating opponent (whether heel or not) dishes up the dominating moves and holds. A skilled jobber serves it to us in its most delicious presentation possible. Like I said, though, you can cast your vote based on whatever definition or standards you look for in a Top Jobber. In any case, here are your choices.
Ty Alexander is back in contention to defend the title of Top Jobber that he won last year. In 2016, he wrestled in X-Fights 41, X-Fights 40, 3-Way Thrash 4, Tag Team Torture 19, and Demolition 19. While he wasn’t a jobber in all of those (particularly X-Fights 41), Ty once again got his ass crushed persistently, and his already outstanding skills at selling his own degradation have only improved with time. He regularly shows flashes of brilliance and dangerousness, which makes him a particularly compelling jobber for me. He doesn’t just get squashed. He gets conquered, beaten down into place, and he withers and writhes and sucks on his own humiliation beautifully. He was my pick for Top Jobber last year, and I have to say he’s head and shoulders above the rest of the field again this year, as far as I’m concerned.
Biff Farrell enters the race as the only full-on muscle jobber. Biff wrestled in 3-Way Thrash 3, Babyface Brawl 4, Hunkbash 18, and his 3 Wrestler Spotlight matches in 2016. Like Ty, Biff is always dangerous. He isn’t a jobber because he’s instantly vulnerable and helpless. He sells a match because opponents have to work at it. They have to penetrate his impressive defenses. Biff makes them hurt along the way, but surely, inevitably it seems, his defenses do get penetrated. And then all those massive muscles start quivering and quaking and amounting to jack shit as his opponents beat the living fuck out of him like Stretch Armstrong. Personally, I’d love to see Biff turn the corner and shed the jobber mantle, because I think BG East could use some more full-on babyface heroes who can hold their own and keep the villains from taking it all for granted. But Biff has proven to be a huge talent in jobbing, and he has a ton of fans, so I suspect his unique set of assets could give Ty a run for his money this year.
Drake Marcos keeps getting nominated, but I would argue he’s quickly growing out of his jobber ways. In 2016, Drake wrestled in Undagear 25, 3-Way Thrash 4, Sexy Showdown 7, Matmen 26, and Ring Releases 4. I admit that I have often (and recently) teased Drake about being a jobber, but just between you and me, that’s mostly just because it gets a rise out of him. If we’re being honest, I think his 3-Way Thrash 4 match was the only one that I’d consider him a jobber in. In the rest, he’s too dangerous. He’s too competitive. While he continues to sell suffering in a league all his own, and despite the ongoing scarcity of checks in his victory column, he’s just too competitive anymore for me to entirely buy the inevitability of his defeat. Check out Sexy Showdown 7 and you’ll see what I mean. I’m hoping we see the Cheshire Cat really come into his own in 2017, not just making opponents look good, but shocking and awing his way into the respect he deserves, but has not been getting, including from me (well, mostly from me).
It’s hard to argue with the fact that Mr. E is a jobber through and through. In 2016, he wrestled in Masked Destroyers 1 and Demolition 21. When it comes to getting completely crushed, Mr. E is your man. He takes the high impact moves like nobody else. If there were levels to defeat, his would be the defeated-est of them all. The two knocks against him for the title this year, I think, are that he’s nearly in the realm of a doormat, and I don’t sense he has a huge following. I tend to think of Mr. E matches more like watching his opponents hitting the weights at the gym. They work out, flex, show off their muscles, and Mr. E is mostly just the relatively passive gym equipment. I’d love to see this kid rip off that mask and show us a few moves he’s picked up over the years of getting trounced. In the mean time, he’s a total jobber, just, possibly, too much so.
Kirk Donahue seems like a legitimate threat to unseat Ty as Top Jobber this year. Kirk wrestled in Babyface Brawl 4, Demolition 20, and Gazebo Grappler 18. Personally, I love watching him get his fair-to-middling quality ass beat over and over and over again, so his staking out territory in jobberville suits me just fine. He’s nearly too competitive, too accomplished to quite fit the jobber crown. He has more than a few flashes of brilliance when it comes to offense. But he also carries an undeniable vulnerability with him. He’s on the skinny side. His smirky cuteness is like a giant “hit me” sign stapled to his forehead. And that big, impressive bulge I’m voting for conveys a sense of inherent jeopardy to him. And when conquered, as he is consistently, his suffering is magnificent. My favorite move is when he’s dazed, totally fucked up, not knowing up from down, and he starts crawling for the door to get the fuck out of there. So when his opponent drags him by his hair back for more gratuitous violence, his screaming horror is simply gorgeous. I know he has indy pro fans, but I don’t know if there’s a big crossover of those guys and BG East fans. He’s a worthy candidate, but I have to think he’s a long shot.
Kip Sorell got steamrolled in 2016. He wrestled in Demolition 20, Demolition 21, and Bearhug Beatings 2. When it comes to the air of inevitability about his undoing, he’s got it in spades. The first time I see him not get squashed like a bug on a windshield, I will be deeply surprised. His salesmanship is decent, but not outstanding, particularly in this very accomplished field of candidates. He is ridiculously pretty, though, now isn’t he? And in Bestie voting, pretty seems to carry a whole lot of weight. Don’t get me wrong. I’d like to dip him in chocolate sauce and lick him clean. But I just don’t see him as making the most compelling case as Top Jobber this year.
Debut of the Year
Now things get really, really interesting. Yesterday I said that I thought the Top Heel category was the most competitive, perhaps the Best Body category coming in a close second. Debut of the Year is making a seriously hard run at the most competitive race, I have to think, because there were some sensational, highly memorable debuts this year for several young hunks who instantly grabbed fans by the balls. I love this race because it highlights the range of new talent BG East continues to recruit, from twinks to bears to boys to daddies, you could simply find your favorite kink and vote for that. If you take the category more seriously, though, you have to admit that there were several outstanding debuts leaving fans seriously hungry to see what these hunks accomplish in their sophomore year.
Chase Addams gets my vote for the debut of the year. He debuted in Tag Team Torture 19, and accomplished what very well may be a first in the business by immediately following up his debut match with a second match on the same DVD. I think featuring the same debut wrestler twice on one DVD is rare because newbies are so often a little weak in story telling. Newbies can be a little flat, a little light on personality, so putting them in back to back matches could easily draw attention to their.. .newbie-ness. Chase didn’t just hold his own in both his tag team debut and singles debut on the same release. He nailed it. We’ve got back story (“discovered” by Ty, brought into the business as the next generation of pro wrestling narcissists), and we’ve got character development (egos burn Team Vanity to the ground, and Chase wears his former mentor out in a barnburner grudge match). And that doesn’t even start to appreciate that Chase showed up, day one, with crazy ass torturous pro holds and a jaw dropping (literally) finisher. And, sure, I’m biased because Chase gave me his first interview and charmed the pants off me (again, literally). He’s young, lean, and hungry, and I think that the competition at BG East had better watch their backs when Chase enters the room.
Calvin Haynes caught a lot of attention in his debut this year in Wet & Wild 8, following it up a couple of catalogs later with getting absolutely dissected in Hunkbash 18. With that jawline and those muscles, Calvin could be a major threat in the babyface category for years to come. His debut against Christian Taylor was particularly charming for the erotic text. As a fresh, hot newbie, Calvin was unblinkingly explicit about his sexual interest in Christian. He wanted a piece of that dazzlingly pretty babyface, and he brought all of that hot and hairy muscle to the pool to earn it. My impression is that Calvin caught a lot of fans’ eyes, in no small part thanks to his muscled ass and big, bulging bulge (particularly when things turn intimately hot against Christian). There are simply not enough hot, hairy, musclebound pin-up boys in this business, and Calvin is a breath of fresh air. I’m guessing this may turn into a three-way race between Calvin, Chase, and …
Beauxregard nearly burned the ring up in his debut in 2016. He bookended the year with an initial debut in X-Fights 40 and then following up in the final catalog of the year with Dark Knights 13. I know that fans love him already. He’s massively muscled and hard as granite. He has a rock hard jaw and a deep, 6-packs a day rumbling bass. Just the look on Ty Alexander’s face when big Beaux stepped into the BG East ring for the first time said it all. This guy is instantly a phenomenon. He’s conveyed a lot less backstory than Chase. He isn’t as pretty as Calvin. But he’s a big, terrorizing muscle daddy from day one, which I know makes him a hot commodity among a major segment of fans. I would guess that either he, Calvin, or Chase will take the title.
Babyboy Leone showed up out of nowhere at the very end of 2016 and put up an incredibly hot debut in Sexy Showdown 7. He’s super lean and super gorgeous, and fur fans are wetting themselves over his Wolverine-esque coat. What particularly impressed me was just how game he was to work his ass off to stay competitive with a bigger, badder, much more experienced opponent. I get the impression that Bambino has just one speed, full throttle, and he didn’t waste a second of his debut figuring out whether this underground pro stuff is “real.” He just dug in deep and made himself at home on the mat, and all over every inch of Drake Marcos’ body. We already know he’s sly. Count him out and turn your back, and you’ll get your chest shaved (right Drake?). He’s not the only super lightweight newbie in this race, though, so between vote splitting and his hot off the presses debut, I’m guessing he’s a very long shot for taking this title. Fortunately for him, I’m sure One Direction would always take him back if this wrestling thing does pan out.
I first started interacting with Charlie Evans over a year ago, so he seems like an upperclassman in a field of plebes. However, it’s true that he debuted for BG East in Tag Team Torture 19 and then followed up in The Great Outdoors 2. Like Chase, Charlie did me the honor of granting me a newbie interview, and he had me rolling on the floor laughing. Also like Chase, Charlie is a devoted fan of pro wrestling as an institution. He knows the assets and liabilities he brings into a match, and he has a clear plan for using them both to his advantage. His earnestness and forthrightness have quickly earned him a fan following, and I suspect they very well could earn him a nod for Best Babyface in coming years. He takes a beating like no one else in this race, which could foreshadow some time in jobber purgatory in the near future, but honestly, I think Charlie’s fullest potential would be to take his super sexy, super lightweight body and slay some giants. He’s smooth and ginger to Nino’s hirsute and Mediterranean, so perhaps there may not be vote splitting there, after all. He has a solid social media presence already, which definitely could play into his favor. I still think he’s a long shot to pull ahead of Chase, Calvin and Beaux, but what do I know?
Okay, this will be the last time I say how delighted I am not be the only one captivated by gorgeous newbie Payton Meadows. His debut came in Undagear 25 early in the year, and his follow up occurred late in the year in Undagear 26. I know there’s a huge (you might say, swelling) base of fans for the drop dead gorgeous underwear model variety of wrestler like Payton. If you switch from still frame to video evidence, you’ll discover he is even sexier in motion. And as long as you have the volume on, you’ll also discover that he is a hilarious smart ass. There’s something extra sexy about even classic underground wrestling tropes delivered with a sultry, French Canadian accent, and happily, this clever hottie doesn’t just stick with the classics. If you’re committed to vote for the muscley pin-up boy type, but don’t like them hairy, then toss Calvin aside and saddle up with Team Payton. Even though pretty is so often king, I think Payton is a long shot for this title because his actual debut didn’t generate nearly as much buzz as his follow up, and I just don’t think the underwear model fans have quite fully discovered the magic that is Payton. Nonetheless, I’m praying to the homoerotic wrestling gods that 2017 is an even bigger year for him, and we get to see that phenomenal body, magnificent ass, and razor sharp wit in action much, much more.
So that’s my take on these categories. Don’t hate me if you disagree. Just make a compelling case for your picks in the comments below.