I get the impression that I may be Denny Cartier’s most infatuated fan. Not that Denny doesn’t have plenty of fans. But I sense that my level of enthusiasm for him may be higher than most. I try not to speculate too long on what others don’t see that I see. But the raison d’être of this blog is to explore in excruciating depth what I see, what I appreciate, and what turns me on. And Denny Cartier turns me on.
Denny is back out of his natural habitat in his new release Jobberpaloozer 14. Even casual Denny fans know that he’s a beast on the mats, but more often than not gets his gorgeous ass handed to him once he steps foot in the ring. So there are dark clouds looming over his head with Denny climbing into the BG East ring as part of a Jobberpaloozer compilation. There’s also something ominous about the fact that this is another “from the vaults” new release. Denny is an even babier baby face than usual. This was taped long enough ago that Denny was not yet sporting any visible tattoos. He has more hair and less mature muscle mass than the shoot master on the mats we’ve seen of his more recent competition. And he’s wearing those white trunks with blue trim that he wore in several early career matches, and as I think of them, they’re sort of his jobber uniform. His chances for victory aside, I must say I first fell in lust with Denny in this youthful, unblemished, curly haired early career incarnation. There’s something more accessible about his lean, taught gut in contrast with the ripped, crystal cut eight-packs of so many other gym bunnies and body builders who climb into that same ring. I once went on at length about my attachment to him as a dizzyingly sexy hunk who could legitimately be a boy next door, a real guy who just happens to have a leading man dimpled chin and who strips to next to nothing to wrestle for the pleasure of gay fans. His sweet, thick thighs are unshaven. He’s probably manscaped his torso a bit, but there’s an unselfconsciousness about his look. In a world full of clones and genetic freaks and gym bunnies and go go boys, Denny strolls in like Pinocchio transformed, a real boy with functional muscle strength and dreamy eyes and a real life propensity for copious sweat and a complete lack of self awareness of what a sensationally sexy object of lust his beautiful ass is.
Oh, yeah, Denny has an opponent. Nick Naughton. I fucking hate this guy. Too tanned. Too primped. Overadorned. He’s a little like the anti-Denny. He knows he’s fucking hot, and if anything, he overestimates his appeal. He certainly overestimates his wrestling dominance. He could probably be forgiven for strutting in and assuming he’ll squash Denny like a bug, standing nearly half a foot taller and bringing with him a reported 50 pounds more weight (though I’m suspicious… he doesn’t seem THAT much bigger) than Denny. I’d cut him some slack for his lack of any glimmer of humility if he didn’t irritate me so fucking much. He has no respect for Denny, and what’s worse, he shows little respect for pro wrestling. He’s all blunt force trauma and muscle bullying. He openly scoffs at Denny’s pre-match stretching and shoot practice. He has nothing but contempt for Denny’s earnestness, and has no more detailed a plan than to beat the living fuck out of his opponent as quickly as possible so he can head back to the Jersey Shore and pick up a pair of tits. Of course, anyone who can inspire such loathing from me is a sensationally accomplished pro wrestling character. I respect him like hell for almost instantly making me hate him, for making Denny that much more my babyfaced hero, for setting the table so nicely for another brutal battle of good versus evil. Fuck, I hate that guy.
Like Joe, a squash goes only so far for my wrestling tastes. I’ll pick a competitive match with convincingly sold suspense over a lopsided squash 99 times out 100. Denny and Nick’s match on Jobberpaloozer 14 is the only one of the 3 on this DVD that treats us to suspense, really, which is probably why I’m drawn to review it first. I strongly advocate for a read of the pro wrestling cannon that distinguishes between a squash and classic jobber vs. heel match. Squashes are, by definition, one-sided maulings. They have their place. They can make sense with an appropriate narrative frame. Denny vs. Nick is not a squash. Those opening notes of doom, that dark cloud hanging just over Denny’s handsome head that I mentioned earlier is the piece that nudges this match just over the line into a jobber story for me. Without that, I’d say this was more legitimately a competitive babyface vs. heel battle. Because Denny fucking dominates more than a third of this match. If you didn’t know how the ring is Denny’s Achilles heel, if you couldn’t read the jobber uniform signals, if you didn’t know better, over halfway through this match you’d have to admit that this thing could absolutely go either way. Which makes it a stretch for a jobber match for me. But while I quibble with the canon, I fucking love to death the drama here.
Nick is a lumbering oaf. Denny is just too sensationally fast and decisive. Nick lunges forward for a lock up, and Denny ducks underneath his outstretched arms effortlessly. Denny throws his back into the ropes and bounces off, launching super high off the mat for a running drop kick. Nick takes it in the chest and stumbles backward, and in that time, Denny has spun to his feet, thrown himself into the ropes, and his soaring like a cruise missile for a second drop kick to the upper chest. Nick is rocked backward farther, clutching his chest, literally mouth gaping open in shock. And yet again, Denny has already scrambled to his feet and is soaring off the ropes a third time to put the big, overlay tanned lug nut on his ass. David is beating the living fuck out of Goliath, and I’m hard as El Capitan.
Tables turn on a dime. This is professional wrestling after all. So when they’re back on their feet and Denny launches for a cross body off the ropes, it’s gaspworthy to see big Nick catch him, take a couple of stutter steps backward, and then right himself before slamming the shit out Denny’s back to the mat. Nick starts stomping all over Denny’s hot body, making my babyface hero flinch and flail, bouncing off the mat, clutching each most recently assaulted appendage in turn. “You know, you got me going for a minute,” Nick admits, smiling as he watches Denny squirm like a fish underfoot. “I thought I was going to have a little bit of a work out, but I guess I’ll just be whipping your ass.” In my mind, I’m thinking that this is the cliff that Denny gets tossed over again and again. Signal the jobber violins, because the inevitable is right now turning into reality.
Nick scoops him back up, cradled across his chest for another slam. Or OTK. Whatever he had in mind, Denny shifts his center of gravity, rolling Nick to his shoulders and, no shit, pinning his leather-skinned ass to the mat for a totally legitimate, no rush 3 count pinfall. Denny bounces to his feet, already sweaty, pumping his fists in the air in victory and congratulating himself. “That’s freakin’ bull shit!” Nick snarls, climbing to his feet and bitching, bitching, bitching. Again, if it weren’t for the title on the packaging, I’d say this was the opening salvo in a hotly contested babyface vs. heel match.
Nick repeatedly wings Denny with blunt force trauma. Denny’s laying down blurring speed and high flying acrobatics and perfectly balanced holds designed lovingly to work an opponent into jeopardy, and Nick is grabbing him by the throat and throwing him into a corner. On the receiving end, Denny suffers beautifully. I don’t remember my crotch responding so instantly to Denny’s panicked cries and whimpers in previous matches. Nick neutralizes his technical skill and hours of practice with heel stomps to the gut. He counters Denny’s finesse and precision by using the jump rope Denny was using to warm up in order to strangle him in a hangman, my babyface hero turning purple and submitting in a panic across Nick’s long back. Again, I think the essential element of inevitability in a jobber match is finally settling in. Maybe Denny will make a run or two, but surely he’s getting steam rolled now.
But no, it just isn’t that match. Denny doesn’t just make a couple of runs, he schools Goliath. Denny showcases his ground game, persistently outmaneuvering the big oaf until he snaps down sweaty, hairy head scissors. Fuck, watching Denny’s big thighs flex and glisten makes me ache to get my hands on that boy next door muscle. Nick pummels his gut, tries some elbow stabs to break the hold, but Denny is having none of that cheap ass shit. He takes the jabs and keeps bearing down, actually growling like an animal with its prey in its teeth. Nick shifts his legs underneath him and uses that raw power to pull Denny off the mat, still attached to his head. You can hear Nick’s thoughts working out how high he has to muscle Denny off the mat in order to pound him back down and earn his escape. A fraction of a second before he does, Denny launches himself over Nick’s shoulder, rolling the big man to his shoulders and ripping his legs apart in a totally humiliating, crotch ripping spladle. Point and counterpoint, Denny is two moves ahead. He’s faster. He’s smarter. He’s got the only legitimate wrestling strategy in the ring. And no shit, he demands and quickly secures another screeching submission from naughty Nick.
This is a competitive match. This is genuine suspense, and Denny is persistent and talented and totally in contention to upend the lumbering big baby crying and complaining as if Denny has used anything but superior skill to school his bronzed ass. It’s a [babyface] jobber versus heel match because that cloud of inevitability is still hanging over Denny’s head. He’s the designated whipping boy. He’s going to go down, because this is a Jobberpaloozer match. But this is no squash. Fuck, I love this.
Blunt force tramua eventually beats the speed right out of Denny. Suplexes and stomps and revenge headscissors wring the fight out of my fantasy next door neighbor. There’s a relatively long and steep slope that Nick rolls him down to the bitter end, and Denny sucks it up like the earnest young hunk I adore so much. He gets the shit kicked out of him, returning again entirely within the lines of the ring jobber that he’s been for so long. And he just keeps selling the back arching agony, the silently gaping screams of pain, the shattered dreams and shocked humiliation with a passion equal to his fierce babyface earnestness that he started with.
Nick stomps out of the ring at the end boasting about needing to go to the gym for a “real workout,” but he doesn’t fool me. He wins, sure. He beats his smaller opponent into the mat, turning his skills and strength into an impotent puddle of sweat. But Nick and I both know that if it weren’t for Denny breaking holds when Nick grabbed the ropes (because Denny is a babyface), if it weren’t for Nick’s overwhelming fire power and much more compromised morals, he’d have been fucked like Goliath on this day. Nick’s words are all about his contempt for Denny, but the tone of voice and the rather unceremonious way he retreats from the ring tell a different story. He’s lucky not to have been the humiliated object of an epic upset, and he’ll know better than underestimate Denny Cartier ever again.
I love watching Denny wrestle. I love watching him pumped in victory. I love watching him gloat. And, frankly, I’m incredibly aroused witnessing him writhe in his own sweat, heavy lidded eyes, slack jaw sucking down air, muscles aching after taking a nasty beating from a much, much bigger opponent. All that beautiful, battered hotness makes me want to climb in the ring, strip him naked, and give him a deep tissue massage to help his imminently fuckable body recover. And it occurs to me, yet again, how enticing I find Denny’s accessibility. There’s that solid, real, unadorned quality about him that translates me into the ring with him. Win or lose, he owns my loyalty because he’s both beautiful and real, a boy next door fantasyman.