Congratulations to the winners of the BG East Besties for 2017! It was a fabulous year in homoerotic wrestling, and all of the nominees demonstrated the deep bench that BG East can rightfully boast. Some of my picks earned the most votes overall. Some didn’t. They all (but one) get nothing but respect from me. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve seen evidence that my tastes intersect and diverge with other homoerotic wrestling fans. Happily, there’s plenty for all of us to enjoy, and awards or not, my sincere thanks go out to the beautiful men in front of and behind the camera that make BG East a leader in wrestling for a gay audience.
Sexiest Match: Sexiest Match – Ty Alexander vs. Bruno LaBestia (Ringwars 28)
Best Mat Battle: Austin Cooper vs. Christian Taylor (Undagear 28)
Best Ring Match: Cole Cassidy vs. Joshua Goodman (Ringwars 26)
I thought I’d better post something before someone prematurely starts writing my obituary. I’m still adjusting to offline changes in my life, but I’m also happily carving out stolen moments here and there to enjoy watching hot wrestling. My thanks to those who periodically check-in when you notice I’m quiet for a while. It’s always nice to be missed. And a big word of humble gratitude to man-of-my-dreams Scott Williams who not only noticed my absence, not only dropped a comment on the blog asking how I’m doing, but also let me know that he’s thinking about arranging an opportunity for me to see him wrestle in person.
Fuck, that’ll bring me back from death’s doorstep anytime. Honestly, if you ever find me in cardiac arrest, skip the CPR and just get Scott Williams on the line letting me know when and where I can get a live show of him making Ty Alexander cry and beg. I guarantee you that’ll be an instant miracle cure.
If you know me, you know I’ve got opinions piling up about the best and brightest new releases that have come out over the past couple of months. While I’m assembling my thoughts and trying to sort through a backlog of reviews, this post is mostly just to let you know I’m still kicking. And in that spirit, here are some hot, decisive kicks that make my heart beat harder.
I’ve noticed that I have this pattern of sparse posting this time of the year most years. I’m sure it’s work-related. I’m determined to keep up with the Homoerotic Wrestler of the Month titles this year, and March had a ton of worthy nominees. But although I haven’t had a chance to post about most of the wrestling I enjoyed from last month, I do have a favorite. Even though I’m a couple of weeks late getting this down in print, my new reigning homoerotic wrestler of the entire month is…
Honestly, it’s daunting to try to write a review of a Custom Combat match, like the one Jonny starred in last month against notorious heel Lane Hartley. It’s literally dozens upon dozens of different matches, depending on how you navigate the decision tree along the way. It’s conceivable that one of the iterations of Custom Combat 2 sucks, but since I haven’t watched every last possible combination of options, I haven’t seen the sucky version. I doubt that, though, because this is Jonny Firestorm and Lane Hartley. They are both their hottest versions of themselves, when it comes to aesthetics and fitness. And the dozen or so versions of events that I’ve constructed are consistently incredibly entertaining and top notch quality, any way you slice it.
With two such top tier talents, it’s a reasonable question to ask how Jonny earns my favored status over Lane. With a collaboration like this, where they must have been taping for hours on end, that consistency I mentioned has got to be a sign that both hunks bought into and then sold this concept with equal expertise. And Lane is fucking lush. As always, he’s ridiculously handsome, magnificently smooth, thick muscles everywhere. The moment I first saw Lane way back when he debuted with BGE, I instantly thought he was going to be a legitimate, honest to the wrestling gods powerhitter muscle babyface. That he’s turned out to be a bulldozing dominant heel instead has always felt like a missed opportunity. But then again, this is custom combat, and I’m calling the shots, so you can bet you know how my first foray into Custom Combat played out.
But Jonny edges out Lane for the HWOTM title because he just turns me ON that much more. First of all, those trunks. FUCK. Those shiny blue square cuts scream “STAR!” His ass is suction packed into them, but it’s his mammoth package that really grabbed my attention hard from the moment he climbs into the ring. On the one hand, Lane is obviously the bigger man in the ring, staring down a reported 7 inches of height advantage and around 50 pounds heavier. On the other hand, Jonny’s bulge knocks big Lane into second place just like that.
And then there are Jonny’s arms. Literally, I swoon. I’ve crushed on Jonny’s arms before, so much so, in fact, that Jonny once sent me close up snaps of his forearms as a Christmas present. But honestly, I’ve never seen his biceps bigger, nor his forearms thicker, than when they’re wrapped around Lane’s action hero as the giant GI Joe doll gets sleepered out. Jonny flexes repeatedly, satisfyingly, and the veins just about pop right out of his skin. Sure, without a doubt, Lane is one huge, dashing, handsome fucker, so it says a whole lot that I cannot take my eyes off of Jonny’s hot, hairy, muscle packed body.
I probably need to award this month’s title to the genius who conceives of and storyboards a product like this. There are at least 15 decision options that I’ve counted, everywhere from tit-for-tat-even competitive wrestling to bashing Lane’s balls to breaking Jonny’s back. The unique combo of give and take, advantage and reversal, are in the viewer’s hands each time he pushes play. Sewing together a seamless product to be able to watch one particular match (and then another, and then another) as convincingly as Custom Combat 2 accomplishes is astonishing. The fact that Jonny has starred in both Custom Combat products makes me think he gets at least a little of that genius credit, and even if not, he gets a ton of credit for working his magnificent muscled ass off selling everything. Everything. Winning. Losing. Suffering. Dominating. Weeping. Getting broken. Laughing. Doing the breaking.
Like I said earlier, if I were king of BGE (I know, I know, that title is definitely already taken), I’d have cast big Lane Hartley as a dangerously competitive babyface. Custom Combat 2 lets me do just that, and Jonny is never hotter than when he’s going all out heel. “Do you know what I like to do to pretty boys like you?” Jonny asks in one version of this confrontation. Right there. I so love that moment when Jonny doesn’t just call Lane the pretty boy he so obviously is, but he follows up by landing a solid knee drop to Lane’s balls. In my fantasy match, Lane literally tries to crawl out of the ring to escape the weapons of mass destruction that Jonny isn’t even bothering to try to hide from close inspection. The invincible, superhero muscle hunk Lane is literally left begging for mercy, humiliated and humbled by a vicious brawler seemingly half his size everywhere except for where it counts. The only way that this could have been more customized to fulfill my fantasy is if there’d been an option to have Jonny rip off Lane’s trunks (after KO-ing, sleepering, pinning or submitted him) and spank his naked ass. But even short of that, this is incredibly high quality wrestling with pretty much every hold and move and dirty trick you could order up delivered by incredibly talented pros.
You’re a winner any way you like it, but the muscled hunk who gets me off over and over in novel ways each time I watch this match is ultimately Jonny Firestorm, who is, once again, my reigning homoerotic wrestler of the month.
I hope everyone had a shocking Halloween. I’m also hoping to get another photo report from our favorite homoerotic wrestlers who delight in dressing up and showing us their costumes. In the mean time, I was mulling over a topic I’ve touched upon tangentially in the past, that seems particularly relevant this time of year: terror.
I should confess I’m a terror movie junkie. I tend toward the mind-fuck variety of horror flicks, particularly the sacrilegious, but the raw, mass body count movies are also on my list. I like the extra heavy heart pump they inspire. Even when I know the outcome, I can feel the blood pulse harder through my veins when I’m watching good, terror inducing entertainment
So it’s a short hop to thinking about the element of terror in homoerotic wrestling entertainment. Just like in a good horror flick, terror is a delicate ingredient. You can’t throw in too much, too soon, or the escalating adrenaline drops from habituation. On the other hand, too infrequent, too improbable (hello, Paranormal franchise, I’m looking at you) and the heat doesn’t have time to reach a boil. And under or over sold, and the whole suspension of disbelief comes crashing down in a heap.
But in homoerotic wrestling, when done right, it’s incredible value added for my tastes. When a brave, cocky, impenetrable stud throws himself into the fray, gets outmatched, gets convinced that he could very well get broken, broken into, or crippled for life, the unfolding drama is sensationally arousing to me. He’s got to believe he’s going to make a respectable showing to start with. And then, incrementally, he’s got to be dragged to the despairing, horrifying truth that he’s getting owned, and his opponent is just nasty enough to seriously jeopardize life and limb. And then, that juicy, potent psychodrama has to play out on his face, in his eyes, in the rising octaves of his screams and choking sobs.
When done right, I get that same adrenaline pump I do when I’m watching fine horror. That, paired with hot, hard bodies and the inherent eroticism of grinding, crushing, dominating wrestling, and I’ll swing for the fences every time.
Interestingly (for me, at least), I occasionally stumble across this ethical dilemma in seeking out terror-rich homoerotic wrestling fare, when I come across the implicit threat of rape. On the one hand, rape is not sexy. In real life, it’s vile and destroys lives. I don’t enjoy it, and don’t get aroused by it in gay porn. Frankly, it creeps me out. On the other hand, in addition to being terrorized by threats to life and limb, homoerotic wrestling terror at least occasionally drifts into the psychodrama of sexual violence. Threats that revolve around “what I’m going to do to you when I’ve beaten you to a pulp,” start down that path. Hell, every so often there’s the pretty explicit dialogue about how a victor will fuck his cowed conquest like the spoils of war. And, all that I just said on the first hand notwithstanding, I fucking get off on that.
Of course Naked Kombat pretty much is all about sexual domination as the spoils of erotic wrestling. But there’s an implicit contract in the fighter’s opening introductions. They’re signing up for this. They know the stakes are win or be fucked, so it’s more like high stakes gambling than actual rape. The loser my not enjoy it, but the bitterness and brutality are mostly about the humiliation of the loss, not about being involuntarily fucked. And the more recent post-match testimonials almost always make explicit that the everyone involved had a grand old time.
Can-Am has come pretty close to explicitly centering a narrative on wrestling as pretense for sexual assault. Their Wrestle Bait release made me check my political correctness credentials a few times, for example. The plot, as I remember, is that a sadistic jail guard (Jobe Zander) gets his psychojollies off on forcing inmates to wrestle for fuckstakes and freedom. Jobe literally holds a gun to their heads and coerces them to strip, beat the shit out of each other, and then have the winner force fuck the loser. If they don’t fight hard enough, he threatens to shoot them. So, guns turn me off. The threat of watching someone get shot turns me way off. The implication that the losers in each Wrestle Bait match are getting fucked against their will tugs at my conscience. But despite myself, even as I question my moral compass, I’ve pounded out dozens of times to that shit. In my defense, it was the first time I ever saw Rusty Stevens or David Taylor.
But I don’t have to have boundaries crossed for the terror ingredient to spice up my favorite homoerotic wrestling fare. It’s the terror itself, rather than any questionable-consensual sex act, that’s the common thread. So when it dawns on one gasping hunk that he’s got no shot of winning, and in fact has a very good shot at spending a few nights in the hospital, and that recognition visibly washes across his face… fuck. When a sniveling pretty boy literally tries to flee the scene, crawling on his hands and knees in a primal effort to distance himself from his natural predator, I’m so sold. When he chokes and quivers on the fear, when he weeps and begs, abandoning all pretense to dignity, when he out and out screams because he’s certain he’s about to break for real, that will top me off every time.
So today, I salute the homoerotic wrestling scream queens who toy with my moral compass and somehow shove their hands right down my pants by selling out and out terror as a device for propelling a wrestling match to a screaming, pleading, magnificent conclusion.
Time’s a wasting, so if anyone is going to still benefit from seeing side by side (or top to bottom) comparisons of the nominees for BG East Bestie awards before polls close at midnight tomorrow night, I’d better get on it.
The Best Body category is an enigmatic one for me. Taking in the whole of a wrestler’s physique speaks to different tastes and attention. How the academy narrowed the field down to these six specimens, I can’t imagine, but it’s a very, very hot field to choose from.
Competition for Best Bulge is probably equally as subjective, but when we zoom in on the crotch, I have to think that size matters. In this case, these are the boys with the heft and volume to get nominations from the academy.
Nominees for Top Heel somehow seems like one of the clearest categories in the poll. The pro wrestling heel is an iconic role, and at BG East, it’s inhabited by some of the hottest, most merciless and vicious bad asses on the planet. Defending Top Heel of 2014, Kid Karisma, didn’t even make the cut this year, but this year’s field is incredibly competitive.
Mere hours are left for you to register your votes for the 2014 BG East Besties. The last 4 categories I have to reflect on are what I think of as the most dramatic and titillating. Like saving “best picture” and “best actor in a leading role,” I’ve held off on reflecting on these because these mean most to me in any ways. First up, let’s look at those who sold the most compelling characters this year, beginning with nominees for Top Heel.
Shockingly, the reigning Top Heel the past two years running, Jonny Firestorm, was absent from this year’s slate. Was Jonny’s work somehow less dominant, less dastardly, less sadistic? With him suspiciously out of the way, however, someone is definitely taking the crown for the first time. I’m leaning toward Guido because of both quantity and quality of his matches. His trash talk alone is terrifyingly hot, but his muscle domination and indy pro heel superiority are absolutely soul crushing. I’m guessing fans will break his way or possibly Morgan’s. I think Cage Thunder is a long shot this year solely because he didn’t put up more evidence of his heel mastery in 2014, but he very well could be the sentimental favorite of long-time fans.
Top Jobber is crazy competitive this year. I would argue a jobber is not someone who just gets squashed, but someone who sells that he whole heartedly believes he has a fighting chance, even mounts some offense and keeps the suspense building, but sooner or later, inevitably goes down in crushing defeat. A jobber isn’t a pushover. He’s not a joke. He inhabits a full story arc, even if the outcome is as certain as the sunrise. You and I know a jobber is doomed from the start, but he doesn’t. Let’s take a look at the contenders for this nuanced category.
Tough call, with a ton of blurry lines depending on exactly what you think and feel about jobbers in general. Two-time winner Rio Garza was not nominated this year, leaving the field open for a first-timer to be guaranteed the crown. With the fond memory of him out cold, stripped naked, and with his trunks stuffed down his throat in the middle of the ring after coming face to face with a certain blogger, though, I have to punch Drake Marcos’ ticket (once again) for Top Jobber. I think his biggest competition for this one is Ty, with the difference being, in my mind, mainly the certainty that Ty would love to be Top Jobber, while Drake would hate it. Paradoxically, I think that gives Drake the edge here. Long shot I think is JJ, mostly just because some people will vote for him regardless what the category is. He’s so complex, though, and you have to partition out his mat work to fully justify him as Top Jobber.
Hottest Liplock may not be a category others think of as the top tier choice to make, but I fucking LOVE this category. Like “Best Submissions in One Match,” the context isn’t entirely clear. A particular liplock? Perhaps not, since the nominees are just matches. I love wrestling liplocks, though, so however you slice it, I’m so into this category.
So many fantastic liplock moments that speak to the very heart of what moves me most about homoerotic wrestling! If I could vote for all of the nominees, I would, because they all rocked me dizzyingly hard. Just one, though? Fuck. It’s razor close between Babyface Brawl X and Gear Wars 4. My vote finally goes to the homoerotic jobber wonder twins, Drake & Ty, whose Babyface Brawl X was incredibly innovative and pushed the envelope in all the right directions. I have no idea what the majority will vote for in this category. I won’t be surprised for whoever wins, though I’m pulling for the jobber wonder twins.
Now for Best Overall Match of 2014…
I’m fascinated that all three ring match entries are squashes. That, along with Guido’s double entry, really fucks with my confidence in predicting a frontrunner. My vote is going to Mason and Drake because of several factors, including Mason’s gorgeous naked ass, Drake’s horrified whimpers, bitter trash talk, a gallon of sweat, and the ball rolling that would lead to me snapping Drake’s photo flat on his back under my foot about 9 months later. Extremely close 2nd place for me is Trey and Skrapper. Holy fuck that’s one over-the-top hot, hard fought, insanely sexy match. My barely better than a random guess for the majority on this one is Cameron and LJL, mostly because of Cam’s fan following. I think long odds are on Guido & Kirk.
If you haven’t voted yet, this is your Bard approved final ballot to point your way to where my tastes take me:
I just realized that I left Austin Cooper (the Doctor) and Ray Naylor hanging in the last Friday Fashion poll. We’ll let the two of them duke it out some more, but it’s been quite a brutal squash so far. I’ll tally the votes officially on Friday, so Ray fans better get their asses in gear if you want to save his lean, sizzling bacon. In the mean time, OMI smuggled out of BG East a couple more batches of photos for our scrutiny and fantasizing. There are fan favorite babyfaces, sweaty heel muscle, and an intriguing little bit of drama to speculate about.