And the Nominees Are…

Have you voted in the BG East year-end Fan Poll? It’s still up, as of my writing this, but I don’t know for how long. So immediately go and vote. In case anyone is looking for a voter’s guide, here is another installment of my opinions and the slate of nominees.

Best Submissions

This category always stumps me just a little, both on the nominations committee and in voting. I think I’m just not as into the technical side of wrestling as a lot of you are, so what I remember most isn’t the particular submissions in a match. Unless there was something particularly sexy about it, like Kid Vicious winding up an opponent’s joystick in an over-the-knee backbreaker. My top nomination had been Nathan Sargent and Jax Atwell’s Wrestleshack 16 match, because several of Sarge’s punishing submission holds do remain in my memory. But that match didn’t make it out of the nominating committee. Actually, none of my 3 slate of nominees got through committee, so clearly my taste in submissions is out of step with my esteemed colleagues. However, the slate that did get nominated is fully of lovely, sexy options for you to pick from. I’ll go with Alexi and Devil’s match, and it’s entirely possible that Devitt’s incredibly sweet ass is still playing a role in my vote. And I’m not ashamed one bit. Here are all of the nominees for your consideration…

Hunkbash 22: Alexi Adamov vs. Devil Devitt
Learning the Ropes the Hard Way: Kayden Keller vs. Chase Addams
Learning the Ropes the Hard Way: Ty Alexander vs. Ray Naylor
Matmen 28: Daniel Bernal vs. Dimitri
Pros in Private 13: Devil Devitt vs. Paul Hudson
Science of Scissors 2: Kip Sorell vs. Brad Barnes

Best Body

The Best Body category has got to be one of the most contentious topics every year. I learned long ago that my criteria for what makes a wrestling body “best” is different than a lot the rest of you. Lon Dumont is ALWAYS on my nominations slate, because… fuck, his gorgeous bodybuilder-bod rocks me hard. But he never wins. I always feel like I need to apologize to Lon afterward. In any case, this year I’m actually throwing my vote to Austin Cooper. Austin’s bod is a moving target, of course, and his conditioning varies from match to match, but I think he’s peak Coop right around his Demolition 29 release this year. I’m only a little ashamed of myself to admit that my second choice would have most definitely been Damien Rush, because I fucking HATE that guy, but his huge, hairy muscles make my mouth water, and I think his legs may be the best in the field this year, though I’d like to see Calvin Haynes and Damien sort it out in a Science of Scissors 4 (why do we STILL not have a Best Legs category?!). But, of course, you be the judge…

Sexy Alexi Adamov
Golden Boy Austin Cooper
Daddy’s Little Rich Boy Damien Rush
Muscle Man Dev Michaels
Most Marketable Eli Drake
Van “Master” Skyler

Top Heel

The nominations committee is tasked with nominating up to 3 nominees for each category, but I only put up 2 names for Top Heel. My taste in heels is growing more articular over time, and to be honest, I’ve been keying off on babyfaces lately. But there were exactly two heels who held my rapt attention this year. My top choice, and my clear vote in Fan Poll this year, is 3-time running winner of this category, Kayden Keller. He’s the perfect example of the rare heel who dominates my attention, no matter how tasty his prey is. I’m always convinced Kayden loves his sadistic work. And when I enjoyed the opportunity to interview him in person a few years back, Kayden tauntingly flexed his gorgeous quads for me, so he’s always a sentimental favorite. But he was absolutely everywhere this year, and his work in Grudge Match 6 and a Tag Team Torture 22 were the highlights of the year for me. My number 2 nominee was Austin Cooper, who didn’t make it through the nominating committee. Dr. Cooper is such a sensational bully-sadist in matches like Forced to Flex 3 and Undagear 33. Of the slate that did make it through committee, if I had to pick someone other than KK, I guess I’d go with Jonny Firestorm as a sentimental vote, but I don’t think Jonny’s work this year was his best heel work. Seriously, I only see Kayden as a legitimate option, but here’s everyone you can choose from…

Ace Aarons
Brute Baynard
Jonny Firestorm (right)
Kayden Keller
Kelly King

Top Babyface

Shockingly, all three of my nominees for Top Babyface made it out of committee. 2018’s Debut of the Year, Kenny Starr, was my first choice. Such a beautiful babyface bro, and he worked his fine, fine ass off last year. My second pick was last year’s Best Abs winner, Kip Sorell. Honestly, his credentials are stronger for the next category, but he’s dazzlingly pretty, and I’ve never seen him break a rule. My third choice was Calvin Haynes, who brought his beef to an impressive range and depth of matches last year. Seriously, you can’t swing a cat without hitting a gorgeous, brave, earnest young babyface at BG East these days, and I love that! You also have a few of other excellent options to choose from, including past winners, and honestly, you can’t go wrong…

Biff Farrell
Calvin (Quads) Haynes
Jake Jenkins
Kenny Starr
Kip Sorell
Richie Douglas

Jobber of the Year

Selecting the best jobber requires us to define the jobber, and therein lies the rub. On the one hand, there are those who point to jobbers as wrestlers who get squashed. On the other hand, I think of a jobber as characterized by more than just one match, and not limited to getting squashed. From my perspective, a jobber is a wrestler whose career arc is such that they regularly, dependably lose, inevitably putting over their opponents. So I think a jobber can put up a good fight, even dominate for a while in any given match. But the fates have determined his course to be flat on his back and beaten by the end of his matches, and you, and I, and his opponent, and he, probably all know it. As part of the nominating committee, my top pick for 2020 was Tim Messina. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his body of work, and he makes victory look so, so sexy and sweet (i.e., the victory of his opponents over him). My second-choice nominee was Jake Jenkins, which feels like a bit of a cheek because JJ wrestled in only one 2020 match (but fuck, those cheeks are so lovely). My third nominee was Charlie Evans, because I love watching him fiercely charge into the fray with guys twice his size, give them a run for their money, but sooner or later get tenderized. My esteemed colleagues on the nominations committee gave you a full slate of options to choose from, but I’ll give my vote to Jake, because the second he steps into a wrestling ring, you know he’s going down in a blaze of glory.

Carson Crawford
Kenny Starr
Kip Sorell
Jake Jenkins
Richie Douglas
Rocky Sparks

The poll is still up, so vote today! I’ll try to round out my voters guide within the next day or so, hopefully before the polls close.

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