Austin Cooper is huge. Of course, that includes his muscles. Check out the diameter around each of those gargantuan upper legs in his most recent BG East release, Mat Rookies 2. I repeatedly think to myself, fuck, Dr. Cooper can’t get bigger without popping at the seams. And then he shows up bigger and juicier.
But of course, when I say Coop is huge, I also mean that his presence in the homoerotic wrestling universe is massive. He’s variously been an anchor headliner at RHW, BG East, Thunder’s Arena, and most recently W4H. I have a horrible habit of bitching about wrestlers being “over-exposed” when they show up in too many places at the same time. I’m not at all sure it’s fair of me to moan about a wrestler being so successful that every producer wants a piece. But when it comes to Coop, I somehow never get tired. I still think of Ripped Rookies as his career defining moment, ripping, stripping, and sweating buckets of sweat all over his dreamboat bromantic partner Jake Jenkins. But Coop has continued to entertain, in large part because he has continued to develop as a wrestler and a personality on the scene. Despite his obvious amateur wrestling background, he threw himself almost exclusively into the pro ring for a while, eventually turning into one of the most sensationally sexy muscle heels in circulation, by my counting. But lately, he’s been reminding the world that his roots are on the mats, and, most delightfully, he’s been executing a really beautiful, innovative hybrid of amateur and pro sensibilities.
Enter gorgeous, blond newbie, Kerry Cunningham. I mean, fuck, this kid looks like he was kidnapped from a frat house. He’s pretty without being delicate. He has a sexy-as-fuck body, without being ripped to shreds or magnificently huge. He has a 5-inch height advantage over Coop, and seconds into his arrival on the mat, he has me thinking that he could be a serious player. He’s so fucking loud. I mean, he’s barking at Coop, telling him that he should’ve asked permission before he showed up on “his” mat. Kerry sells it impressively. He comes across as cocky and accustomed to having guys fall into line behind him. My mind tells me that this hot newbie is about to broken into a thousand pieces, but my heart (/cock) is experiencing a rush of adrenaline at the thought of a complete unknown possibly dragging Dr. Cooper to the bitter edge and, perhaps even, scoring one of the biggest upsets in homoerotic wrestling history.
If you hate spoilers, then you hate this blog, so I’m not going to be coy about what comes next. The balance of the universe is maintained as soon as Coop opens up a wrestling clinic and a can of whoop ass all OVER this fratboy next door. It’s lush and beautifully intense. Coop out-hustles the newbie as if Kerry is standing still, but not because Kerry is standing still. Coop is just that fucking fast! He scores take downs at will. If he earned points for exposing the rookie’s back, it would be a total rout within the first 3 minutes.
My longstanding ambivalence about squashes aside, there are several elements that make this lopsided match compelling and suspenseful. First, Kerry is toasted about 15 minutes before he recognizes that he’s toasted. He doesn’t get it. His ego won’t let him face the truth, even as Coop single-leg cradles him and rides his virginal ass to one humiliation after another. Coop demands that the kid acknowledge he isn’t a real wrestler. To you and me, the writing is in ALL CAPS all over the wall, that Kerry is going to be sniveling and groveling and conceding to anything Coop wants before this is all said and done, but in early days, Kerry is still stuffed with bluster and that delicate, swollen, youthful ego born out of being raised in a generation when it’s considered emotional abuse to tell a kid that he’s not the brightest, the smartest, or the best at something. Coop crows about how he’s annihilating the newbie. And he is. “Now, that’s the strongest bearhug in the state of Florida!” Coop brags about crushing Kerry’s ribs. But the newbie refuses to read that writing on the wall, opting for provocative trash talk rather than admitting he’s fucked. “That’s not what your mom said last night!” Kerry snarls defiantly, making his second yo-mamma joke of the match.
The other thing that makes this squash much more complex to the taste is the slow, seductive reveal that each of these characters makes to one another, and, vicariously, to us. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when Kerry goes down to a muscled lockdown of a single-leg cradle, absolutely pinning him and owning him. Coop hops up and demands that the newbie remove those retina-scorching pink shoes. It’s a total domination move. It’s easily read as just a bunch more trash talk to up the ante on the ego wager. A wrestler with even a couple days more pro experience would have told Coop to fuck off and punched the provocateur in the testicles instead. But, it turns out that Kerry is, for all his bluster, a TOTAL babyface. Having been schooled, he agrees to take off his shoes. It’s like he thinks there’s some accounting of debits and credits and fair play operating here. He’s not happy about it, but he pays up, as if he owes it. “Fine, I’ll beat you without them!” Kerry snarls almost petulantly, bending over and sliding his size thirteens out of the shoes. Again, you, me, and Dr. Cooper know that this kid is fucking toast. The only one who doesn’t know it yet is Kerry. Coop suddenly attacks the kid from behind even as he’s still pulling off his second shoe. “I’ll beat you WITH them!” Austin promises gleefully, before literally beating the fuck out of Kerry with his own shoes.
So the suspense turns out to be the anticipation building up waiting for that moment that Kerry Cunningham realizes that he’s bought, paid for, and owned by Austin Cooper. Like I said, he has the willful ignorance and irrational gullibility of a Trump voter. “This isn’t wrestling,” Kerry bitches like a sniveling, snot nosed 7 year-old when Coop mounts his back, cinches the tallboy up in a sweaty camel clutch, and wrenches another gasping submission out of the kid.
Moments later, Kerry is flat on his stomach, with his opponent’s right knee digging mercilessly into his lower spine. He’s stuck like a bug on a pin. The rook tries to muscle his way up to his hands and knees, and Coop just muscles the kid back down flat on his face again. There’s a furious scramble as Coop slowly but surely positions the impotent young buck for another cradle pin. But this time, Coop uses his free hand to rip the singlet straps off of Kerry’s square shoulders. The rookie starts bucking and squirming in panic, as he realizes that his wrestling opponent’s agenda for the day includes stripping the new kid to nothing but his pretty-in-pink super-briefs. Abruptly, Coop locks up the newbie’s right arm in and armbar and threatens to snap it at the elbow if Kerry keeps resisting the forgone conclusion that he’s losing his gear.
Right there. That’s the moment, I think. When Kerry lets out the air in his lungs that he’s been holding onto furiously for the past 30 seconds. When he doesn’t exactly go limp, but he acquiesces to his new master’s instructions to settle the fuck down and allow himself to get stripped on camera. Right then, Kerry Cunningham’s homoerotic wrestling cherry gets popped. It’s not that the kid stops whining and bitching. “You won’t get away with this,” the 6’2″ man-boy snivels when he’s been left almost naked and, astonishingly, defenseless. But the dialogue no longer conveys the swagger and threat of the newbie’s booming voice at the beginning of the match. It’s more like an implied threat to tell his big brother how Austin has totally bullied him, so that some day, some indeterminate day in the foggy future, Austin will look back and regret having so completely humiliated Kerry Cunningham.
However, that day is not this day. Dr. Cooper clocks in and starts absolutely terrorizing the fratboy. He pounds the kid’s long, lickable body down in a gorgeous OTK backbreaker, digging his elbow long and deep into Kerry’s exposed abdomen. You can practically see the stars and whistling, cartoon birds circling the rookie’s dazed head when his eyes are spinning after a brutal snap suplex. A crucifix displays the kid’s helpless, long, beautiful body gorgeously. With a reverse bearhug, Coop applies just the right pressure in the just the right spot to let the once-cocky kid know that, should he want it, Coop can take his ass anytime. Anywhere.
It’s the figure-4 leglock that finally brings Kerry Cunningham’s world shattering down around him. He’s giving up left and right now. The rookie is nearly trying to submit before the veteran can apply a hold, because the kid is worn out. He’s terrorized. He’s a plate of meat, already carved, just waiting to be devoured. And then that figure-4 leglock starts to pry apart the muscles and tendons in the rookie’s knee. He isn’t just beaten. He’s about to literally be broken. “Stop!!!!” the rookie screams in panic. “PLEASE, stop!!!!,” the kid begs so desperately that it makes Cooper laugh out loud. It doesn’t, however, make him release the hold.
Kerry Cunningham had no idea what a sick mother fucker he was facing off against. But rest assured, he learns. “What’s wrong with you!?” he screams at one point, somewhere both before and after being choked with Coop’s bare hands. I sort of wonder if, right then and there, Kerry Cunningham may be replaying in his mind’s eye those first 10 seconds after he stepped onto the mat and brashly, loudly, cockily demanded, “Austin Cooper, who told you that you could come in here and wrestle on my mat!?” Oh fuck, how the mighty have fallen, eh Kerry?
And, just for the record, there’s not one thing at all wrong with Austin Cooper. That bitter, screaming edge of terror he dragged you to, before tossing you over like the pretty boy chump you are.. that was fucking perfection.
As for Kerry Cunningham, I would guess that he does not count his debut BG East match as having gotten off on the right foot when it comes to his wrestling career. Rookies so often don’t quite “get it,” that pro wrestling is at least as much about the drama as the victory. I, for one, think that the tale of tragedy Kerry Cunningham tells in this match is sensationally sweet. He has all the raw ingredients to be an incredibly hot staple, and I, for one, am hoping we get to see him many more times walk this raw edge of big, tall, beautiful fratboy hijinks smashing face-first into the bitter, brutal, humiliating realities of homoerotic wrestling. Sooner or later, he’d have to cotton on to the lay of the land and either take early retirement or majorly invest in building the particular skill set required for homoerotic wrestling success. But, in the mean time, I would LOVE to see him try to strut onto the made and scream in the face of a few other forces of nature, like Kid Karisma, Jonny Firestorm, or Kid Vicious.