The year-end awards season often seems to focus disproportionate attention on the big boys in homoerotic wrestling. Superlatives like “best” seem to inevitably lend themselves to “biggest,” which for many fans may be just fine, but not for me. I have a well documented appreciation for small wrestlers, the lean boys, the “scrawny guys” as Charlie Evans proudly self-identified. In fact, I’ve got a whole lot of lightweight love to give this year, so I’m unilaterally handing an award to my favorite lightweight who I enjoyed seeing wrestle in 2017. I’m also unilaterally deciding to focus on wrestlers under 150 pounds for this honor. It seems to me Wrestler4Hire and BG East have the deepest benches of lightweights, which I’m sure reflects something about the wrestling content across the industry. In any case, here are my favorite lightweights from action in 2017.
My third favorite lightweight homoerotic wrestler in 2017 was W4H’s Dashing Dustin. Dashing Dustin is paradox to me. On the one hand, he looks skinny enough to snap like a twig. Cameron lists him as 5’8″ and 140 pounds, which is seriously lightweight. But on the other hand, there’s something substantial and fierce about him that makes him seem like he’s bigger than he is. He is, indeed, dashingly handsome, and if he really is James Quarterstaff’s boyfriend, I hope they’re wrestling like gladiators and fucking like bunnies morning, noon, and night. Strike that. I actually think that Dashing Dustin is way out of James’ league, and the Dashing one ought to consider trading up to a cuter boyfriend/blogger.
My second place pick is the super tall drink of diet water Fabrice via BGE. At a reported 6’1″ and 145 pounds, it’s hard to put a finger on a “scrawnier” wrestler in competition. Like Dashing Dustin, Fabrice is deceptively substantial though, and he’s a nasty son of a bitch on the mats. I don’t think I ever realized how much I need a tall, skinny mouthful with a seductively sexy vicious side until I saw Fabrice in action. I’d still like to see quite a bit more muscle on this gorgeous boy just in the interest of good health, but he’s an incredible lightweight homoerotic wrestling contender as he is.
My favorite lightweight of 2017 is easily the boyband lead singer-come-wrestler, baby boy Nino Leone. At 5’8′ and 140 pounds, he regularly tackles (quite literally) opponents 50-60 pounds heavier. I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to meet Nino in person this summer at the BG East compound, and I was delighted to discover that he possesses a razor wit and disarming charm to go with his hot, hairy, beautiful body. Nino’s epic takedown of bodybuilder Calvin Haynes this year is a perfect demonstration of how the homoerotic wrestling world is infinitely sexier and more surprising with fierce, tough, sexy “little” guys in it.
There are plenty more lightweight wrestlers who more than deserve honorable mentions for putting up with size-obsessed wrestling fans, including Charlie Evans (5’8″, 130 lbs), Eli Black (5’7″, 130 lbs), Ricky Vegas (4’9″, 90 lbs), and Kid Romeo (5’5″, 130 lbs).
PR is YUGE these days. From top to bottom, everyone seems to be doubling down on the postmodern paradox that nothing and everything can be true, and being persuasive is more virtuous than being honest. I think it’s a thoroughly pro wrestling sort of notion. Create reality by promoting the fuck out of something. Dance on the edge of believability in the service of working an angle. Manufactured grudges. Dramatic heel turns. Back office intrigue. It’s classic pro wrestling shenanigans that we all recognize as product, not process.
When I sat down to contemplate an unusual format of a match for W4H, I had a few things on my mind. 5-Way-Free-For-All draws me in on several counts. I’m a total sucker for a voyeur angle to homoerotic wrestling, so whenever two wrestlers are working their asses off in front of an audience (of any kind, including other wrestlers waiting their turns), I find it value added. And written there in the match description, and expanded upon in the promotional tweets and posts from W4H, is the sexy little implication that among the five wrestlers in this free-for-all, there are two pairs of boyfriends. I’ve been on record a long, long time as desperate for the drama of battling boyfriends. I’ve specifically begged for a rival couples backstory to fully realize the homoerotic potential of tag team pro wrestling. The promotional material doesn’t explicitly say that any of this is expressly part of the drama of this match, but of course, that’s where my mind goes. Just drop some innuendo of my fondest wishes, and I’m instantly, completely on board.
5-Way-Free-For-All delivers on some of the implied promises, but not all. First of all, the voyeur angle is super sweet in these 28 minutes. Any two wrestlers taking their turn are surrounded by three more sweaty studs jeering and critiquing and adding literal insult to injury. Matty O’Boy is the stand out trash talker. He’s got a smarmy, deep baritone and a quick wit. He’s also super game for this innovative format. He’s first to jump into the round robin initially, and he never shies away from an opportunity to join the fray again and again.
Matty is also, apparently, one member of a couple in the competition. The match description on W4H suggests that his boyfriend may be Zacky Darlin, based on the opening sentence that says Matty “is shoved by his boyfriend into the middle of the mat.” Said shover is lean, hairy hottie Zacky. However, a Facebook post promoting the match includes a pic of Matty bearhugging Jayden Mayne, with the caption, “Matty O’Boy is making sure his boyfriend, Jayden Mayne is flexible.” Not that I’m one to be trapped by binaries. Maybe Matty, Jayden and Zacky are a committed threesome. In which case, where do I send the housewarming gift and how do I get and invitation to the underwear parties!?
Anyhow, still another promotional post on social networks by W4H names Dashing Dustin and James Quarterstaf as boyfriends as well. With James’ magnificent ass and Dashing Dustin’s really, really tasty looking bulge, I’m completely ready to buy that these two are fucking soulmates. So, potentially, 5-Way-Free-For-All is a melee of a couple of couples and a hot 5th wheel, or maybe a menage-a-trois and a conventional couple. In any case, fuck, yes. Put more homo in homoerotic wrestling, I always say. I love this set-up.
Buyer beware, however. If you’re grooving for this battling boyfriends angle or rival couples bit like I was, it is not an explicit part of the product. It’s glittery, provocative packaging, but when you unwrap it, you get something quite a bit more conventional. Namely, 5 hot, pretty boys in super brief speedos scrapping hard one-on-one, devolving into 4-on-1s and splitting into side-by-side 1-on-1s next to 2-on-1s. If I hadn’t read the hype, I’d not have picked up anything at all about any romantic relationships in the mix. It’s super hot, mind you, but not because it’s all that upfront gay. It’s hot like 80% of the homoerotic wrestling industry is, because it’s produced with an eye for gay guys into wrestling. There isn’t a gay narrative here.
That said, 5-Way has a ton going for it that you just might find scratching your itch. For one, the action is fucking intense. I mean, WAY intense. There are about 3 or so camera cuts with some refocusing of the storyline happening, ultimately leading to 4 hotties sleepered out and one, undisputed winner posing on top of the pile, tugging at the edges of his speedo and flexing for the camera. Okay, sure, that’s way gay. But not like, “I just humiliated my boyfriend on camera, and I’m going to fuck all 4 of these losers now,” gay.
The promotionals also signal that all 5 of these guys are twinks. I’ll buy the shorthand. They’re all lean, young, and pretty. But they definitely aren’t carbon copies. Jayden is fucking RIPPED. The last time I talked to him, several years ago, he said he was planning on bulking up. I don’t know what may have happened between now and then, but as of this taping, he’s an anatomy chart. I’ve always been a Jayden booster, even when he’s been famously getting squashed like a bug. But, damn, I’ve never wanted so much to just have an hour with nothing more than him, a bottle of honey, and my tongue. In fact, I think he may have cut too severely for this match, because he’s waving off turns in the round robin, huffing like a steam engine. At one point, he scores a fall and announces he’s got places to be, turning his back and heading for the door. Matty O’Boy grabs him from behind and literally tosses Jayden’s exhausted ass back onto the mat to get quadruple teamed. Now, if Matty and he are boyfriends, that move is about 100 times hotter. But, like I said, you and the PR folks at W4H have to supply that.
After Jayden, the wrestler second most likely to star as the lead in a Hollywood superhero movie would be Dashing Dustin. He’s also ripped, and like Jayden, he’s ridiculously handsome. He’s a stunningly beautiful boy who stands out in this crowd, which is saying a lot. He spends a lot of his time in these 28 minutes bitterly focused on outscoring James, which, if they are indeed boyfriends, is super sexy. But, alas, see my last sentence in the preceding paragraph.
James is a surprisingly tough mother fucker. He looks soft compared to the other 4, and that ass is SO fuckable. But then he turns out to be surprisingly dominant and aggressive, at one point earning the ire of all 4 opponents and getting roughed up and humiliated hard by all of them at once. Even then, though, it’s Dashing Dustin who wedgies that astonishing ass on James. It’s Dashing Dustin who schoolboy pins him, shoving his hips forward and grinding his big, quivering package into James’ face. It’s Dashing Dustin who wrenches hard on a hammerlock, pounding James’ face into the mat and demanding, “Say you’re a little bitch. Say it!,” as the other 3 wrestlers laugh and egg him on. Seriously, isn’t that about 50 times hotter if Dashing Dustin and James are steady boyfriends?! But, alas, see my last sentence of the preceding paragraph.
The sensibility of the match is great. The boys like tossing each other (particularly James, for some reason) into the metal wall behind them. The ringing of metal is oddly satisfying punctuation on the brutality. Like I said, there are a handful of notable camera cuts, but like so much of W4H, the action is primarily unscripted, spontaneous, and relentless. The boys have to negotiate from time to time who’s going to wrestle next, but those slightly awkward moments of choreography are totally worth the momentum, and if anything, I think they give the whole scenario a sexy authenticity. The rapid fire holds and submissions convey the spirit of strong, lithe, fit boys stripping down for a bragging-rights free-for-all in some anonymous warehouse.
I can’t watch this match without the seeds planted by the PR team at W4H. Which is it’s own sort of genius, really. You can became the leader of the free world on more flimsy accounting of facts and plausibly deniable innuendo, now can’t you? But even without any corroborating evidence of actual romance involved, the match is beautiful to watch. Jayden is art. Dashing Dustin could easily become a star. But I think it’s Matty O’Boy who really shines through this match as the catch of the day. He looks sexy. He sounds sexier. And of the 5 of them, he certainly seems to have the firmest grasp on the bawdy, brutal, loudmouthed sensibilities of homoerotic pro wrestling. The match is messy and improvised and nonsensical at times, and somehow Matty just looks hotter and hotter by the second.
Frankly, I hope Matty and Jayden do own a condo on the beach in South Florida. I hope that Dashing Dustin and James Quarterstaf are high school sweet hearts who’ve recently spiced up their sex life with balls out, brutal, no holds barred wrestling. The video evidence is extremely sparse, but the camera doesn’t lie: 5-Way-Free-For-All is an intense, 28 minute sprint to an incredibly sexy finish.