And the Nominees Are…

I’ve learned that discussing how I vote in the BG East Besties is dangerous territory. The longer I’ve been blogging about homoerotic wrestling, the more I’ve grown to know many of the hard working men who make it happen. They never begrudge me my vote, but when I handicap the field and disclose how I cast my ballot, I’ve needed to smooth over some ruffled feathers and tend to friendships at times.  So here are some special instructions for the BG East wrestlers I know and have affection for: don’t take any of this too seriously. We love you all. This is way more about the fans than it is about you.

With that preamble out of the way, let’s dig into the Bestie nominations posted on Friday. As opposed to my own personal categories of favorites that I started sharing yesterday, these are my thoughts on those that BG East has nominated for their awards. I don’t see when polls will close, but I’ll try to make this quick so that it may inform any undecided voters looking for tips.

1. Sexiest Match

Instantly, I’m navigating those complicated waters with the first category. I’ve met six of the wrestlers involved in the six nominated matches and interviewed most of those. There’s a spectacular double debut match that burned holes in my retina it was so hot. None of these were misses, but some hit the spot just a little more squarely than others for me.  The nominees are…

  • Ty Alexander vs. Steve Mason (Wrestleshack 21)
  • Drake Marcos vs. Goren Ford (X-Fights 45)
  • Ty Alexander vs. Bruno LaBestia (Ringwars 28)
  • Tommie Hawk vs. Noah Samson (Undagear 28)
  • Kayden Keller vs. Leon Cyrus (X-Fights 44)
  • Cage Thunder vs. Mitch Colby (Motel Madness 14)

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When I sort through who to vote for sexiest match, I look for a match where both wrestlers express explicit, mutual lust. Kissing is nearly essential. Naked bodies and fully engaged cocks are a major plus. I want to believe that the action is stimulating the wrestlers as much as it is me. Of these nominees, the match that did this best is, arguably, Ty Alexander vs. Steve Mason in Wrestleshack 21. It hits all of my buttons, and the big (HUGE) reveal of Steve’s crotch monster is epic. My fall back option is the astonishingly sexy match between Tommie Hawk and Noah Samson in Undagear 28. Since Ty is splitting the vote this year, I’m guessing that someone else may take the popular vote, but honestly, I don’t even have a good guess as to who that will be.

2. Best Mat Battle

The best mat category is probably the most competitive for me this year. I met 5 of the hunks in these nominated matches last summer and was delighted by them all. When it comes to evaluating mat matches, I look for competitive, intimate, battles with long held moves and close ups of exquisite anguish. I like to see amateur moves translated into a gay, pro context. I prefer the serious sell, with big egos convincing me that they want it, and that the final, humiliating victory is up for grabs. The nominees this year are…

  • Kirk Donahue vs. Carter Alexander (Backyard Brawls 9)
  • Cage Thunder vs. Mitch Colby (Motel Madness 14)
  • Tino Valencia vs. Ski Vance (Catch Weight 8)
  • Austin Cooper vs. Christian Taylor (Undagear 28)
  • Calvin Haynes vs. Nino Leone (Catch Weight 8)
  • Ace Aarons vs. Ash DeLeon (Mat Rookies 3)

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So much to choose from! I’m bitterly torn between Austin Cooper vs. Christian Taylor in Undagear 28 and Ace Aarons vs. Ash DeLeon in Mat Rookies 3. My hunch is that when it comes time to pull the lever, I’ll go with the shockingly intense Undagear match with that sensationally surprising ending. My hunch is that the popular vote will swing to Austin and Christian as well, as two of the popular headliners that regularly draw the fans (an advantage over Ace and Ash). Cage and Mitch’s match is, however, already the stuff of legends. But if you really like shocking endings, Calvin and Nino’s battle is soooo sweetly surprising. Damn. This category is tough for me.

3. Best Ring Match

In judging the quality of a ring match, I’m looking for a match that exploits the context. I want a match that treats pro wrestling with the respect it deserves. I like to see power and speed, with a strong narrative and larger than life characters. The nominees for best ring match are…

  • Joey King vs. Zip Zarella (Ring Kings)
  • Jonny Firestorm vs. Kirby Stone (Pros in Private 11)
  • Kid Karisma vs. Jobe Zander (Bulge Battles 1)
  • Kid Karisma vs. Ethan Andrews (Heel Bash 2)
  • Cole Cassidy vs. Joshua Goodman (Ringwars 26)
  • Toney Rico vs. Chase Addams (Ringwars 28)

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Another highly competitive slate! Kid Karisma may split his vote. My vote will almost certainly go with Toney Rico vs. Chase Addams in Ringwars 28 this year (see my review for all of the reasons). Kid K and Jobe is awfully close, though.  Jonny vs. Kirby has got to be the best ring wrestling of the year, but the narrative isn’t as colorful as Toney and Chase’s. Cole and Joshua put together the most colorful characters and delightful drama, but the wrestling isn’t as pro-forward.  My very tentative guess as to who the majority will break for is Jonny and Kirby, mostly based on the hardcore Jonny fanatics out there.

4. Best Squash

My least favorite category. Though I know a lot of you love a good squash. I guess when squashes work for me, I have a reason to both particularly want to see the victim suffer and the dominator dish it out. I also need to be convinced by the stud on the receiving end. Squashes can become boring for me, so the guy getting squashed needs to seriously convince me that he’s hurting, and he’s not phoning it in. This year’s nominees are…

  • Kayden Keller vs. Carter Alexander (Wrestler Spotlight: Kayden)
  • Thrash vs. El Favorito (Masked Mayhem 12)
  • Kid Karisma vs. Reese Wells (Ringwars 27)
  • Lane Hartley vs. Kirk Donahue (Demolition 22)
  • Kid Vicious vs. Devon Britt-Darby (Gut Bash 13)
  • Cap Landon vs. Kelly King (Knock Outs 3)

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My choice is Kayden vs. Carter in Kayden’s Wrestler Spotlight. While I do love watching Kayden dig back from a deficit, I never grow tired of watching him plow pretty boys under. I’ve also had a craving to watch Carter getting hurt ever since he let slip in his match with Kid Karisma that he not-so-secretly (anymore) enjoys getting his hair pulled as he’s dominated. For a squash, Kayden keeps the pace intense, and Carter suffers exquisitely. He has this choking, half-laugh sob that makes my crotch twitch. A close second place in this category for me is Thrash vs. El Favorito, though El Favorito has more offense than I typically credit to a squash. Same goes for Kid K vs. Reese. I’ll guess the majority will break either for Kayden and Carter or Lane and Kirk, depending on whether the tide breaks for the leaning-to-erotic or the hardcore indy pro vibe.

5. Best Submissions

Somehow making this category plural clears up my confusion about how to evaluate it. I’m using a standard of making my pick based on the number, variety, and creativity of submissions in a given match. The nominees for the match with the best submissions this year are…

  • Austin Cooper vs. Christian Taylor (Undagear 28)
  • Tino Valencia vs. Skip Vance (Catch Weight 8)
  • Kayden Keller vs. Richie Douglas (Kayden’s Wrestling Spotlight)
  • Jonny Firestorm vs. Kirby Stone (Pros in Private 11)
  • Joey King vs. Zip Zarella (Ring Kings)
  • Chase Addams vs. Charlie Evans (Ring Rookies 5)

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By a long shot, for this category I’m going with Jonny vs. Kirby in Pros in Private 11. The submissions fly nearly frantically, except everything is polished, exacting, and precise. Both of these pros are marvelously talented, and they bring out the best (and worst) in each other. It’s just an added bonus that Kirby’s ass drives me crazy. When it comes to the rest of the field, my next choice is a tie between Chase and Charlie and Joey and Zip.  I won’t be surprised if Jonny and Kirby win this category, but if not, I suspect it could swing Austin and Christian’s way.

6. Hottest Liplock

When I’m deciding which wrestling liplock is hottest, I’m looking for passion. I prefer liplocks harshly ambivalent, with equal parts rage and lust. The nominees this year are as follows…

  • Christian Taylor vs. Mason Brooks (Bedroom Brawl 3)
  • Calvin Haynes vs. Nino Leone (Catch Weight 8)
  • Ash DeLeon vs. Ace Aarons (Mat Rookies 3)
  • Lauden Sevior vs. Drake Marcos (Undagear 27)
  • Nino Leone vs. Bruno LaBestia (Wrestleshack 21)
  • Ty Alexander vs. Steve Mason (Wrestleshack 21)

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I’m solidly voting for Ash and Ace in Mat Rookies 3. Talk about a gorgeous concoction of passionate lust and passionate aggression! Damn. A runner-up option for me would be Lauden and Drake. I don’t know who the popular vote will follow, but if I had to guess, I’d say Ty and Steve, based mostly on Ty’s get-out-the-vote credentials.

7. Best Overall Match

This category seems self-explanatory. I feel obligated to swing toward one of the “Best of” matches I’ve already picked, though there are a couple of matches in this category that weren’t nominated above, which makes open to a dark horse pick in my mind. In any case, this is the slate of nominees:

  • Cole Cassidy vs. Joshua Goodman (Ringwars 26)
  • Jonny Firestorm vs. Kirby Stone (Pros in Private 11)
  • Ty Alexander vs. Bruno LaBestia (Ringwars 28)
  • Austin Cooper vs. Christian Taylor (Undagear 28)
  • Kid Karisma vs. Jobe Zander (Bulge Battles 1)
  • Kid Karisma vs. Reese Wells (Ringwars 27)

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So yes to all of the above, but of these options, I’m going with Kid K vs. Jobe in Bulge Battles 1. This was a sensational match against two astonishingly accomplished homoerotic wrestling veterans. The suspense is fantastic. The action is graphic. The personalities are over the top in a way that only the likes of Kid K and Jobe can quite pull off. Second place for me is somewhere between Cole and Mr. Joshua, Jonny and Kirby, and Austin and Christian. My hunch is that Kid K splits his vote again and neither of his matches take the category. Instead, I think Cole and Mr. Joshua might pull of an upset, based on the fevered pleasure both Alex and I have for that match, though again, there’s Ty and his aggressive get-out-the-vote campaign.

So that’s my take on the first half of the ballot.  What’s yours?

One thought on “And the Nominees Are…

  1. Nice selections. I’m right on board with your Sexiest, Mat and Submissions votes and the rest of your choices would be my second choice (Ring, Squash, Liplock, Overall). Of course, none of my three nominees for Best Mat and Submissions even made the final six, so I’m easily influenced on those ones.

    And I agree with you on the Squash nominees. Kid v Reese doesn’t fit my definition of a squash.

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