And the Nominees Are…

I love how the energy picks up when the ballots are made available for BG East’s annual year-end “Best Of” awards. They dropped yesterday, and there’s already a flurry of activity, back room dealing, out and out lobbying, and possible bribery on the table. There’s something so quintessentially pro wrestling about the depths these awards drag us into.  The link to the ballot is available in the banner of the BG East homepage, however, it looks like at least some mobile device browsers may not be able to view it, so you can go there directly from this link. You’ve got until midnight of next Thursday, January 12, to register your opinions.

It’s a very robust field of nominees this year. Six candidates for almost every category, and the field is packed with a nice range. Last year I ran out of time to handicap the entire ballot, so I’m going to try to move more quickly this time to take a look at the range of bests at BG East in the service of informing voters not so familiar with all of the candidates. Even at first glance, I’m seeing some major surprises in who is, and who is not, on the ballot, so fasten your seat belts and let’s start this voter’s guide to the BG East Besties. For today, let’s take a look the first two categories.

Top Babyface

The first category you’ll find on the ballot this year is for babyface. Jake Jenkins has OWNED this category for the past 4 years running. I think Jake’s possession of this title may be the longest streak in the history of the Besties. But he’s up against stiff, stiff competition this year, and I’m not just talking about Christian Taylor’s lovely erection in Wet & Wild 8. Let’s take a look at the field.

0302_lg.jpg
Defending Title Holder – Jake Jenkins

Jake wrestled in 3 matches released by BG East in 2016: Undagear 25, Chace LaChance’s Wrestler Spotlight, and Catch-weight 7. I’ve been a huge JJ fan from the very beginning. He’s dominant on the mats, dangerous in the ring, and totally convinced (often rightfully so) that his strength, speed, and skill will be more than a match for any and every opponent. He’s got to be the odds on favorite to win again, and I’m teetering on spending my vote on either JJ or one other particular candidate vying to unseat him this year.

0401_lg
Biff Farrell

My hunch is that Jake’s biggest competition, both literally and figuratively, is likely big, bulging, blue-eyed beefcake Biff Farrell. Biff starred in 3-Way Thrash 3, Babyface Brawl 4,  Hunkbash 18, and his 3 Wrestler Spotlight matches. The most productive candidate, Biff also commands an army of nearly rabid fans who savor every bulge and bounce, every muscle and move that Biff possesses. So many wrestlers have worn the stars and stripes, but Biff has nearly made them his signature gear, which makes a strong case for his upstanding, patriotic, Protestant work ethic credentials as a babyface. While I’ve always bought stock in big Biff, this year he isn’t on my short list for this category, but I know for a fact he’s on a whole lot of fans’ lists.

0101_lg-1.jpg
Christian Taylor

Christian Taylor is the babyface beauty who is tempting me to abandon my loyalties to Jake this year. Christian wrestled in Mat Hunks 10, Tag Team Torture 19, Undagear 26, and Wet & Wild 8. I agree with a recent comment I noticed online that called Christian out for possibly being the prettiest penny in BG East’s pocket… ever. He’s earnest without being uptight. His coverboy good looks disguise his seriously dangerous potential in the ring, on the mats, and in the pool. And if there’s anything that just might tip my vote Christian’s way this year, it very well may be the good natured, entirely enthusiastic way he seals off 90% of his matches, win or lose, with a kiss.

0503_lg.jpg
Kip Sorell

Living anatomy chart Kip Sorell is always in the thick of things when it comes to fan favorite babyfaces. Kip got demolished in Demolition 20, Demolition 21, and Bearhug Beatings 2. I do think he may have the babiest of baby faces in contention this year. There’s something sort of intoxicating about possessing the face of an 18 year old (at most) and the body of a 25 year old go-go boy. He’s been cannon fodder pretty much from start to finish in his career, this year in particular. I think of him more as a practice dummy than an earnest young babyface hero, but I know full well that there’s plenty of support to push him into contention as top babyface in 2016.

0601_lg.jpg
Trey Dixon

Trey Dixon was one of my hottest stock picks of 2015. He was nearly MIA in 2016, however, wrestling only in Masked Destroyers 1. The living model of the Oscars statue is sex on two legs, as far as I’m concerned, and if the category was which wrestler I’d like to give an all over tongue bath to, Trey would most likely win walking away. But he was devastatingly thrashed in his one and only match of 2016, and it’s hard to see him pulling this one out against so many much more productive, hard working, nose to the grindstone babyfaces. I’m sending up a prayer to the homoerotic wrestling gods that we get to see much, much more of Trey in 2017.

1203_lg.jpg
Kirk Donahue

Kirk Donahue is back, this time making a case for being Top Babyface in the company. Kirk wrestled in Babyface Brawl 4, Demolition 20, and Gazebo Grappler 18. I’ve made no bones about my antipathy toward Kirk. It was his shocking, nay, scandalous entry into these very Bestie nominations just two years ago that started me wanting to see this smirking Howdy Doody get his ass beat again and again. Truthfully, he probably does fall into the babyface category nicely, and he’s a phenomenal wrestler with an awesome capacity for soaking up punishment. I honestly don’t know the depth of his fan following, probably because I start bitching loudly about those shenanigans two years ago, shouting down any other opinions, anytime anyone brings him up in conversation. He’s hot shit, no doubt, but I think he’s a long shot for the title of Top Babyface, and that’s not just my longstanding grudge talking.

 

Best Abs

The Best Abs award has been changing hands in the last few years. Last year, it was Kip Sorell sending shock waves through the industry by ripping the title away from juggernaut and general of an army of fans, Z-Man.  Well prepare for another shocker, because  NO ONE who has every won this title in the past even broke into the top 6 contenders this year. Kip, Z-Man, Eli, sit the fuck down.  There’s going to be a new sheriff in town before this is all over.

0201_lg.jpg
Beauxregard

I am shocked shitless that newbie Beauxregard made it onto this extremely competitive ballot! Beauxregard debuted in X-Fight 40 and also appeared in Dark Knights 13. There was a collective gasp heard round the internet when this muscle freak started flexing his insanely built body in the BG East ring. Spines started tingling when that gravelly base voice started making opponents’ knees quiver. And I know I’m not the only one who got lightheaded at the first look of his monster cock. Based on past performance, my sense is that voters tend toward ripped and pretty when they vote for this category. Beaux’s abs are unquestionably granite hard, and he’s taken several dozen punches to the gut in just two matches, amounting to fuck all for his opponents, other than bruised knuckles. Still, I think the newbie is a long shot for this title, this year, based on a relative nascent fan base.

0201_lg-1.jpg
Lon Dumont

Regular readers know how I feel about Lon Dumont, namely, profoundly aroused and perpetually at the ready with a bottle of baby oil to worship him. Lon only wrestled in Demolition 19 in 2016, but his conditioning in that match was spectacular. Every year, I lobby hard for this pro wrestler turned competitive bodybuilder turned pro wrestler turned competitive bodybuilder to get the praise his magnificent physique and outstanding wrestling deserves. My vote is definitely leaning Lon’s way once again, and with past winners shut out of nominations, maybe this is Lon’s year to take the title.

0404_lg.jpg
Van Skyler

If this is the year that pretty wins the day, then it very well could be Van Skyler dazzling his way into the title. Van’s one and only appearance in 2016 was in Undagear 26. I don’t think of Van’s abs when I think of which parts of his show-stopping physique I most desperately need to worship, but no one can argue that his incredibly lean, taut, tight abs are perfectly suited to his lean, taught, tight everything else. My sense is that Van is quickly growing a very strong fan caucus that would vote for him for absolutely anything, so he very well might pull out an upset aided by those lush, pouty lips and that jaw dropping ass. I named him first runner up for possessing the best back of 2016, but there’s no Bestie for that.

0401_lg-2.jpg
Kid Karisma

Kid Karisma’s abs, like the rest of his physique, are persistently and perpetually impeccable. Kid K wrestled in Demolition 21, The Great Outdoors 2, Fan Fantasy 4, and Gazebo Grapplers 18, and his level of fitness is both phenomenal and a constant. There’s a reason I’ve kept my title of favorite homoerotic wrestler dialed into Kid K for so long now. Well, there are several, but one of them is his spectacular body. I’m jumping the gun when I say that he continues to be my hands down, no other possible choice for Best Body, head to toe. He also may, possibly, sway my wavering hand to vote his way instead of Lon’s, but it’s incredibly close.

1001_lg.jpg
Chace LaChance

I’m guessing that the odds on favorite to take the title this year is likely last year’s Best Body winner, Chace LaChance. Chace wrestled in Gazebo Grapplers 18, Catch Weight 7, and in 3 matches for his Wrestler Spotlight feature. Chace has a ton of quickdraw fans who enjoy studying his incredibly sexy body probably even a tad more than they like watching his wrestling. My only ding against Chace is that there are 3 different versions of his abs that showed up in 2016 products. I’m certain that it’s more an artifact of the way that BG East releases matches out of chronological order, so I’m sure it’s entirely unfair of me to knock Chace for it, but unlike, for example, Kid K, Chace’s conditioning and the particular presentation of his abs vary from match to match (even within his Wrestler Spotlight matches). His abs are never unsexy. I’d like to saddle up to that torso and pound one out on his go-go boy body, his bruiserweight belly, and his fitness model six-pack. Maybe there’s something foreshadowing about the fact that he ended the year by beating the living fuck out of the inaugural title holder. I won’t be surprised at all if Chace wins, regardless of where my vote goes.

0105_lg.jpg
Payton Meadows

The last shocker in this category is my latest crush, newbie sex bomb Payton Meadows.  Like Beauxregard, Payton debuted in 2016, wrestling first in Undagear 25 and then closing out the year with his highly combustible performance in Undagear 26, for which I just yesterday awarded him myHomoerotic Wrestler of the Month title. I say Payton’s appearance on the ballot is a shocker not because his abs aren’t out of this world, but because my sense has been his debut didn’t put him on a lot of radars, and the buzz about his late year match has only just really started. All of that said, going back to my earlier supposition that this title is typically based on equal parts ripped and pretty, Payton could very well be a strong contender. I still say the timing is off for him to take the title this year, but if his performance in Undagear 26 moves you even 1/10 as much as it moved me, I could easily understand how this French Canadian exhibitionist could talk you into voting “oui!” for his abs.

Like I said, I’m wavering here and there about where my votes will go, so comment below to let me know who you think deserves to win.

Best of 2016

I had every intention of posting some more niche categories for you to chime in on as we look back on the best of homoerotic wrestling for 2016. But alas, time and tide await for no man. The clock has nearly run out on 2016, and probably not a second too soon. So instead of polling the readers, I’m just going to put forth a few of my own personal picks for the best in homoerotic wrestling in a few more categories almost certain not to show up in any official year end fan polls.

 

Best Back

Fuck, I love a big, broad, thickly muscled back. I suppose a lot of guys probably don’t think of the back as a particularly lust worthy. I, on the other hand, think a hot, sexy back is immense value added. It seems far too often neglected by the gym bunny crowd, making a truly gorgeous, crafted classic V and wide wing span that much more notable. Again, for my tastes, there are mechanics involved, like proportion, shape, and thickness, but that last, little, hard-to-articulate aesthetic comes down to whether a back makes me ache to slap down a massive load across the expanse of it. So, as with everything, it’s about what it inspires in me as much as any particular objective, measurable quality that we could all agree on.  My top three favorite backs in 2016, in reverse order, are as follows:

0508_lg.jpg
Lon Dumont

2nd runner up is Lon Dumont. So much has been said about Lon’s phenomenal abs, and deservedly so. But damn, that back is a work of art! I would love to see 2017 be the year that opponents climb into the ring with Lon and acknowledge what a hot, rocking body this magnificent muscleman possesses, and fuck, that back should be on the list of things for an opponent with taste to admire.

0403_lg.jpg
Van Skyler

1st runner up for me is BG East’s muscleboy Van Skyler. He’s a dizzyingly sexy fantasyman from the front, sure, but fuck, that gorgeous back could be more perfect only with a stream of cum painted across it.

scrappy.png
Scrappy

I don’t have access to better pics, but trust me, Thunder’s Arena’s Scrappy has a magnificent back. His perfect V points like an arrow that supremely fuckable ass. He’s phenomenal to watch wrestle. The attitude, the power, the beauty from every angle. But my heart rate spikes every time I see his best side. Scrappy has his admirers, clearly, but I have think that he’s one of the most underrated athletes in the homoerotic wrestling industry. He’s a handsome fucker with some sweet mat skills, but I’m waiting for him to just turn around, extend that lat spread and flex those glutes, and bring the right opponent to his knees.

 

Best Tag Team.

There were precious few tag team matches in homoerotic wrestling in 2016. A producer once told me that tag team matches are few and far between because it’s just too much of a pain in the ass coordinating 4 different schedules (plus the production crew). So they’re a rare treat that I, personally, enjoy immensely. So here are my top 3 favorite tag teams in 2016, picked out of some inexact formula of ring skills, beauty, teamwork and chemistry, with just a little of that extra added allure of making we want to join them in a 3 way (and I’m not strictly talking wrestling now).

coopzack.png
Zack Johnathan (aka Z-Man) and Austin Cooper

2nd runner ups for me were the fascinating pairing of two sensational, iconic figures in homoerotic wrestling, Z-Man and Austin Cooper, teaming up for Rock Hard Wrestling in All-Star Brawl. I’m not convinced that they have a ton of chemistry when working together, but two hot, sexy stars this big and this popular make a sensationally sexy pairing.

328.jpg
Raving Savages Zach Reno and Matt Blakewood

1st runner ups, and thus first in line for me to climb into a petite, muscle packed, loin clothed sandwich with, are Wrestle4Hire’s Ravaging Savages, namely Zach Reno and Matt Blakewood. These bearded badasses were a thrilling surprise for me in their magnificent take down of behemoth muscle giant Mark Muscle. Despite pulling off some fabulously coordinated double teaming, I think they are just a little unequally yoked, as evidenced by Matt having to turn alpha and order Zach around a bit to finally finish off their superhuman opponent. But holy fuck, these micro beasts were a sensational turn on for me in 2016.

0405_lg.jpg
Team All-Americans – Rookie Charlie Evans and veteran Christian Taylor

In what has to be the hottest, most entertaining tag team match in homoerotic wrestling this year (this decade?), ginger newbie Charlie Evans joined forces with fantasy veteran Christian Taylor to bring down the house in Tag Team Torture 19. Their opponents, newbie Chase Addams and Trophy Boy Ty Alexander, could have totally taken this award, if their out of control vanities hadn’t set them on a path to self-destruction from the start. What Team Vanity lacked in teamwork and coordination, Team All-Americans excelled at. This was such a fabulous narrative of earnest babyfaces versus narcissistic heels, with the juicy melodrama of the upstanding All-Americans suffering heaping loads of underhanded brutality, and yet enduring, having each others backs, and through raw skill, will, and teamwork staying in the fray long enough for their egomaniacal opponents to make one too many mistakes. I would pay a premium for those dick selfies they snapped with Team Vanity’s phones. And absolutely, if there’s a tag team I’d most want to join for a rip and strip, baby oiled menage a trois, in 2016, it’s Team Vanity.

 

Best Gear

I’ve had some extensive conversations with Ty Alexander about the dangerous waters of expressing strong opinions about gear. I’m no Joan Rivers, and I hardly claim any particular expertise in fashion. But I definitely know when a particular gear choice does NOT do it for me. And, occasionally, I think to myself, that hunk was made to wear that! As with everything, there are mechanical factors that go into my estimation of gear, like fit, color, and complexion. But in this case, that hard to describe, major component of what I like has to do with me deciding, at least momentarily, that a wrestler actually may be even sexier in this particular gear than out of it (trust me, that’s a rare conclusion for me). Well, at least I think to myself that I’d like to see him in it before ripping it off of him. In any case, what I think may be the most sensational gear choices of 2016 are as follows.

0215_lg.jpg
Ty Alexander

2nd runner up is Trophy Boy Ty Alexander. To say that a pair of trunks look like they were made to be worn by a wrestler is, quite literally, the truth when it comes to fashion-obsessed Ty. He has an immense collection of custom made wrestling outfits that he showed off in 2016. Possibly my favorite were the opal trunks he wore in his grudge match against fleeting tag team partner Chase Addams in Tag Team Torture 19. Lush fit, beautiful contrast with Ty’s all-over tan, and generously providing reading material for when he plants that ass on Chase’s face. They tell a story all on their own, which, considering Ty’s panache for storytelling in the ring, adds compelling nuance and subtext to a match.

decrotch14-7-004.jpg
Jobe Zander

I let my attention wander away from Jobe Zander for a while, but suddenly, in 2016, I took another look and discovered a whole new man. I’m assuming there was some nefarious transaction with Satan involved, or perhaps a genie in a bottle, to transform Jobe into the ripped sex god he suddenly is today. However it happened, I was blown away by the super-low-rise, sky blue banana hammock he wore this summer in Can-Am’s Decrotchery 14. His hot, rock hard glutes look insanely sensational, and Jobe’s masterpiece is framed like the work of art it is. The seaming, the gorgeously tight outline of his monster cock… everything about these trunks scream Jobe. A fashion critique would likely note that the pouch pulls away from his inner thigh just a fraction as a result of a fraction too little fabric to manage to cover his famously gargantuan python. But who the fuck are we kidding. That tiny gap, the shadowed space stretched too tight at the side of his crotch, is exactly what makes this gear perfection.

valmor.png

My choice for Best Gear in 2016 is Rafael Valmor from BG East’s Fan Fantasy 4. Honestly, Rafael had an unfair advantage, considering Kieran Dunne made him try out about half a dozen pairs of trunks before acknowledging the obvious truth that these baby blue square cut swim trunks achieved absolute perfection. The combination of that baby blue against his bronzed, Brazilian body is so fucking lovely! But it’s the cut that boggles my mind. I swear it looks like these trunks were sewn together right on his body. From the back, they dip exactly to the top of his ass crack, squeezing each gorgeous ass cheek like loving friend. From the front, they suck to his muscled, upper thighs, and then leave exactly enough acreage to let his mouthwatering bulge stick out just right. I know, I know, I keep using the word “perfection” too often in this category, but I can think of no other description for Rafael’s gear here. Kieran agrees with me here. Mouthwatering, aesthetic, masterful engineering, absolute perfection.

 

Best Wrestling Character

I think of this last category like picking Miss Congeniality, only most of the time, the most compelling, sexiest wrestling personalities in homoerotic wrestling are decidedly uncongenial. As a fan, I talk about this aspect of wrestling often, the sell, not just of any particular move or hold, but of the wrestling story as a whole. There are plenty of homoerotic wrestling matches that seem to pop up out of nowhere, with the combatants’ motivation for stripping down to their barest essentials and beating the living fuck out of each other remaining mostly a mystery. But there are some sensationally entertaining hunks on the scene who absolutely emote. They set the table for us, sometimes with dialogue and explicit backstory, but often with just a smirk and a sneer. I love wrestlers who can convince me that they aren’t just waiting to clock out, but that they’re motivated and passionate about working up a sweat and settling some score. This is less about being a heel or a babyface or a jobber, but about conveying the virtual world in which hot hunks in the briefest of trunks defy gravity, obliterate the conventions of common decency, and pit nothing but their bodies and cunning against one another for a reason. That’s fucking sexy as hell for me. So here are my top 3 wrestling personalities who did all of that the best in 2016.

quinn.png
Aryx Quinn

I’ve missed seeing more of Aryx Quinn in homoerotic wrestling lately, but even showing up relatively rarely, he tears apart the competition in body and soul. As my 2nd runner up for best wrestling character, Aryx could easily drive fans wild with just that rocking body and those incredibly devastating wresting skills. And yet, every time he shows up, he brings that sexy as fuck, sneering, domineering, trash talking attitude that typically conveys a crystal clear motivation to rip an opponent apart in order to fuck them senseless in victory. I’d argue there’s no other wrestler in competition today who inhabits quite the wrestling character that he does with such supreme success.

0629_lg.jpg
Kid Karisma

My 2nd runner up for Best Wrestling Character is Kid Karisma. Kid K consistently conveys a transparent motivation for throwing down, built on several interlocking factors. He loves the way he looks, glistening with sweat and showing off his magnificent muscles, having beaten an opponent to submission and flexing over top of him. He clearly loves the way it feels, possessing another man, bending and breaking him, milking whimpers and screams out of him. Kid K sells a particularly sweet vintage of sadism without a hint of maleficence about it that’s incredibly novel and compelling. And, at least 2 times out of 3, he wrestles because it turns him on. So often, after ripping a lucky bastard apart piece by piece, you’ll catch Kid Karisma climbing on top, saddling up, and smacking down a lusty, passionate kiss. Both in his wrestling work and in conversation, he consistently comes across as a hearty partier, a prankster and a smart ass, who wrestles for the sheer pleasure of it.

daddy13
Matt Thrasher

Best Wrestling Character in 2016 for my tastes was Matt Thrasher. Again, like Aryx and Kid Karisma, Matt inhabits a relatively unique persona in the business, I think. Particularly in his work for Muscle Domination Wrestling, Matt is the Daddy’s Home franchise. He’s gorgeous, of course, but he absolutely owns the salt ‘n’ pepper daddy beat in today’s industry. Youngsters of all shapes and sizes keep throwing themselves in his way, calling him old, calling him grandpa. And with patience born of experience, Matt chuckles, and then turns the ageist bullshit on its head by beating the living fuck out of every ankle biter he meets. He’s bulging and hairy and sweats like a Margarita in August, but its the way he carries that off in his seasoned, savory picking apart of young bucks that makes him such a phenomenal character. He’s never impulsive. He’s deliberate and decisive. And he persistently possesses the sexy, compelling character motivation of crushing the dreams of youth as he turns cocky kids into his sniveling bitches.

So those are my picks for some of the aspects of homoerotic wrestling that I, personally, key off of, but which don’t tend to find their way into end of year fan polls. Feel free to praise any wrestlers who you’d have picked for these (or any other) category in the comments below.  And happy new year, people. Here’s to a hope and prayer to the homoerotic wrestling gods that we all survive 2017 with a few civil liberties left.

Lessons in Hard

I’d wager to bet having Lon Dumont in your corner increases your chances of pro wrestling success by a factor of 10. Lon disclosed in my interview with him several years back that in his very early years of coaching, he had a hand in shaping the foundation of the babyface dynamo Cameron Matthews, and just look at all that Cameron’s accomplished on the scene!  In addition to wrestling around the world and starring in dozens of blockbuster homoerotic matches for BG East, Can-Am, Thunder’s Arena, and the predecessor to Movimus, Cameron now runs Wrestler4Hire, a growing player on the homoerotic wrestling scene, featuring high quality indy pros as well as established studs from other homoerotic wrestling companies. I’ve sampled Cameron’s products in the past, before the formal launch of W4H, and liked what I saw. So I recently signed up to sink my teeth into the meaty membership catalog and see what the newest kid on the block (although captained by one of the most established and productive kids of all time) is offering to the scene.

cameron_maskedguy11.jpg
W4H has a sweaty, hard bumping pro vibe

W4H has a provocative pro feel about it. Even the occasional mat match has pro attitude. There’s also a strong whiff of overflowing testosterone, with big, beefy bros messing around at the chapter house, but knowing full well the cameras are rolling and the audience is whipping out their dicks. If Rock Hard Wrestling and Thunder’s Arena had a baby, it’s be a lot like W4H (I’m probably not the first to make that analogy, but I think it’s apt).

maverick_dolphdenner8.jpg
Well-known pros pound the mat for Cameron at W4H

With Cameron’s extensive connections in indy pro and homoerotic wrestling circles, the roster is pretty fucking amazing. There are up and coming, quickly rising indy pro stars showing up against sex wrestling veterans. And knowing Lon Dumont and Cameron go way, way back, little wonder Mr. Dumont shows up frequently on W4H. Even less a wonder, knowing my perpetual infatuation with the wrestler-turned-bodybuilder-turned-wrestler, I was immediately drawn to one of Lon’s match on W4H to enjoy first.

ahhl3.jpg
Brad Barnes is strong, but can he wrestle?

Coach Lon has apparently taken Brad Barnes under his wing, and holy fuck, it’s about time. Brad is as beautiful as they come. You can see Brad go full monty and jack off at Randy Blue. He has a sensational sexiness about him, built like Adonis and sporting a painfully pretty face with a superhero square jaw and leading man cleft chin. However, all that magnificent, mouthwatering muscle and beauty have been, at best, a liability in his homoerotic wrestling appearances to date. He’s so fucking pretty and so completely ill equipped to seriously defend himself in a wrestling match. You get the impression that the long, long line of opponents who have beat his pin-up boy ass senseless never, ever get tired of owning all that hollow promise and impotent raw talent.

222.jpg
Let’s do this, coach!

So thank the homoerotic wrestling gods that Lon has accepted the job of whipping the jobber Adonis into shape. As A Hard Lesson Learned starts, Coach Dumont is urging big Brad on as the kid does sit-ups. Lon is dishing out well-earned praise, liberally spiced with smart ass backhanded compliments (just the way I adore him). But despite Lon’s credentials as a physique star and personal trainer, not to mention his illustrious career heeling like a mother fucker for multiple indy pro circuits, Brad seems somehow a tad… ungrateful. It’s hard to put my finger on it at first. Lon has to remind the beefcake to show him the respect of calling him coach. There’s a spring in his step missing as he slowly rises to follow Lon’s instructions. But when he implies that Lon may not be strong enough to pick up the heavy bag that Brad has, moments ago, hoisted overhead, his contempt for coach really rings out. Not strong enough?! Are you fucking kidding me?! Have you seen Lon’s ripped, stage-ready physique and mountains of bodybuilding trophies!?

ahhl4.jpg
Don’t worry, Brad! Coach just needs to test your core strength.

It seems like Brad senses he may have crossed a line, because when coach orders him to test his abs by lying on his back (so Lon can gingerly drop the heavy weight on him, simulating the bodyweight of an opponent), Brad looks nervous. “Just don’t drop it on my nuts,” the jobber beefcake insists. He again expresses concern that coach may not be strong enough to handle the equipment. But he need not worry. Lon can handle his equipment like champ. He can also hoist high a heavy bag and slam it with authority into the unsuspecting gut of an ungrateful trainee.

522
Yeah, Lon’s got this.

“Ahhhh, FUCK, DUDE!” Brad screams, clutching his gut. Lon follows up with a stomp to one of the kid’s hamstrings. “Dude, what the fuck!!!?” Brad protests. Lon follows up with a stomp the chest, slamming his trainee to his back hard. “Don’t question my leadership skills, Brad!!!” Lon screams, slapping the kid’s ridiculously handsome face. “That is NOT something you want to do!” Lon unzips his warm-up jacket and peels it off, showing off the master-carved torso that has made me swoon for years. “Coach Dumont does not take kindly to that kind of activity!”

620.jpg
Coach gets handsy.

The heel clinic Lon treats Brad to is classic Dumont. He pounds fists into the kid’s gut with abandon. He chokes the kid with is bare hands. Ominously, coach picks up Brad’s ankles, spreads them wide, and then drives his full bodyweight down, pounding his knee into the prettyboy’s testicles. “Why don’t you try a sit up for me now, Brad!?,” Lon yells furiously.  “How do you like my coaching style, Brad?!,” Lon screams in his face as he’s twist-tying the screeching manboy into an abdominal stretch.

ahhl8.jpg
Brad grabs a handful of trouble.

Perhaps Brad is, finally, learning something from the avalanche of heel abuse he’s received up to this point, because he knows enough about pleasing fans to use Lon’s ridiculously long locks to pry his way free from one hold. He latches hold of Lon’s balls with a claw that elevates the heel’s typical baritone to a wailing countertenor. Brad racks coach across the top rope, bouncing him up and down on his balls a bit, to drive home the fact that he has, indeed, been taking notes.

1320.jpg
Lon’s muscles make me swoon.

I probably ought to be getting off on gorgeous Brad getting his big, bulging muscles owned like a bitch, but regular readers will be completely unsurprised to learn that I cannot take my eyes off of coach. When he has Brad screaming incoherently in a camel clutch, it’s Lon’s magnificent chest and shoulders that bring a tear to my eyes.  I know that it’s Brad’s bubble butt that I probably ought to be obsessing over, but it’s Lon’s zero-bodyfat glutes I can’t stop staring at as he digs a wedgie out of his crack.

1419.jpg
Brad delivers a forehead blow

I’m aware that Lon’s incessant, smart ass banter and perpetual psychological warfare make some fans absolutely hate him with a passion. Knowing Lon, I suspect he’s sort of proud of that. As for me, a match like this one demonstrates why I think Lon remains one of the most entertaining, provocative, engaging personalities in the homoerotic wrestling ring, and why I continue to submit my resume for the job of rubbing baby oil into every last one of his beautiful muscles before every bodybuilding competition and wrestling match. At the end of the day, I don’t know if Brad Barnes has what it takes to really benefit from coach’s lessons, but as for me, today, tomorrow, always, count me as a lifelong member of Team Dumont.

ahhl11.jpg
Those. ABS!!!

For the record, A Hard Lesson Learned (copyright 2014) is one of 9 “new” videos available for streaming for the price of membership at W4H.  There are also dozens of photo galleries of many more matches available for members to peruse for the price of admission. The roster is pretty damn charming, with brief, one-sentence character descriptions (presumably in Cameron’s own words… Lon is described as “The most intelligent wrestler on the roster,” so maybe they’re Lon’s words), along with the vital stats that, inexplicably, turn me on. There are also dozens more videotaped matches for streaming or download for an additional price or the purchase of credits, that will cost you between $9.50 and and $12 per credit, depending on how many you buy (and it looks like most matches cost 2 credits for download). The math seems to me to be getting complicated. There’s a 3-day streaming rental option for a break in the purchase price. The combination of abundant photo galleries and relatively few full matches seems pretty typical of the industry these days, though it is frustrating to feel like you just ponied up for sizable membership dues and then have to dole out more for access to 90% of the catalog. But, like I said, I don’t think W4H is remarkably dissimilar to other sites with membership upgrades.

The production quality is solid. It’s not the most polished you can find. It’s certainly not the roughest. There aren’t many close ups so the effect is sitting ringside, which has both its value added as well as its drawbacks. Just one camera, but also almost no cuts, so the narrative feels fresh, the gasping and clawing their way off the mat feels authentic. This match is right around 20 minutes in total, including the opening “coaching” session, which looks right around the average run-time for most of the matches in W4H.

I’ll keep exploring W4H. Like all of the homoerotic wrestling productions I follow, I certainly want it to succeed, so I’m keeping my eyes open for value, quality, and innovation in what can feel at times like an increasingly crowded field of homoerotic wrestling productions.

 

Turning the Tables on Bard

A few months ago, I sent an email to Bard asking if perhaps he would like to be interviewed for his website.  To see if we could get a deeper glimpse into the man who has provided us with such great blogging material since 2009.  A way for him to express himself in an entirely new way – where perhaps he is not totally in control.  An innocuous request, which I thought might pique Bard’s interest.  It did.  – AH.

 neverland2013c1

AH: You have been blogging since 2009, and you’re still going strong.  Congratulations!  What do you think has been the secret to your success and longevity?

Bard: Thanks, AH. My focus and productivity with Neverland has waxed and waned in the nearly 6 years I’ve been blogging. I think the biggest factor in my longevity is that this is a labor of love. Homoerotic wrestling is honestly something I enjoy immensely. I’m thinking about and talking about it a lot, so putting some of those thoughts into print for the blog doesn’t feel exactly like work. I also think that I’ve kept churning out posts by switching things up every so often. From my “what turned me gay” series to “name that ass” games and wrestler interviews, I’ve tried to keep things fresh and fun for me. Hopefully that comes across to readers, and hopefully it’s fun for them, as well.

AH: You keeping your blog fresh and fun definitely comes across to me, and I hope to all your other readers as well. I have especially enjoyed when you have had polls included in your posts.  Do you have a favorite recurring post that you’ve enjoyed the most?

frankzane3.jpg
Frank Zane turned me gay (not really)

Bard: I’m glad it’s stayed fresh for readers. Particularly early on, I really didn’t know who my audience was, and even still, I’m not always sure how my stuff is received.  So it’s nice to hear when it’s clicking for folks. One of the series that I think I enjoyed more than anyone else did was the “Guess that…” games. It started with “Guess that Ass,” but there were also some “Guess that Tat” and “Guess that Cock” episodes. I love puzzles, so putting those together was probably way more fun for me than for readers. I think my other favorite recurring series was the “What Turned Me Gay” sequence I did in the first couple of years of blogging. It was autobiographical and an honest examination of what I’ve found erotic over the years, with a heavy hit of social commentary and sarcasm. If I had to sum up my blog in one sentence,that would probably be the sentence.

AH: When you are watching a match that you plan on reviewing, what is the process that you go through?

Bard: Well, first of all, I grab the lube.  But, that’s probably not what you meant. I sit down with my iPad in front of me and push play.  I typically watch for purely descriptive stuff to start with.  What are they wearing? What’s the setting? Then I spend some time listening closely. Regular readers know what a sucker I am for compelling dialogue in the ring, so I listen for the story that the wrestlers tell when they first encounter each other.  Are they appreciating each other’s physiques? Are they trash talking? How do they make sense of this familiar moment when two ripped hunks climb into a ring and throw everything they’ve got at beating and dominating one another?  What’s in it for them: ego strokes, erotic attraction, an honest lust for competition? I try to take notes on the the highlights of the action, particularly the parts that impress or surprise me.  But, sooner or later, inevitably, I put the iPad down and pull out that lube. It’s an extremely rare homoerotic wrestling match that doesn’t make me need to get off if I spend enough time watching it.

AH: I think I need to be invited to a viewing party at Bard’s house!  I’ll bring the lube!   I tend to look over pictures and see if there are moves that grab my attention.  Gear is definitely a big plus in my book, too.  I go back and forth on the dialogue; sometimes I think it enhances a match, sometimes I think it hinders it.  Is there one type of match that is your “default” for watching, or does it depend on the mood?  Seems like you’re big into the muscle worshiping and eroticism of matches more than the moves/wrestlers themselves

0326_lg
An OTK backbreaker ALWAYS turns me on.

Bard: Fascinating that your impression is that I’m less into the moves and wrestlers and more into eroticism!  I wouldn’t necessarily have said that. For example, I’m like a dog with a bone when it comes to an OTK backbreaker, or to a hot wrestler getting trapped in the ropes. A flying dropkick, relatively rare in homoerotic wrestling circles, is a sensational turn on for me. My moods swing me toward ring matches more often that mat matches, so the ring would probably be a “default” setting for me. My moods also tilt me toward matches with some back and forth momentum and at least a pretense of competitiveness about it. So, while I occasionally get a hankering for a sweet, crushing, humiliating squash, a competitive match would be my default setting for what I’m typically looking for. All that said, I get bored pretty fast on a complete diet of relatively straightforward, G-rated wrestling with no explicit and very little implicit erotic content. I can tune into mainstream pro for that. So even if it doesn’t have nudity or making out or fuck stakes involved, I’m very partial to wrestling that gives at least a nod to the homoerotic sensibilities of our audience.

0416_lg.jpg
Pass AH the lube

AH: Perhaps my impression was on purpose, Bard….to get a rise out of you!  You’ll never know!  My go-to move for any match is any variation on the sleeper.  Pass the lube if that occurs.  You mentioned mainstream pro wrestling; to the best of my knowledge, you’ve never mentioned any pro wrestlers/pro wrestling on your blog.  Is that again because of your audience, or is it because like you say in the about me portion of your blog, “devoted to contemplating in excruciating detail the world of homoerotic wrestling”?

billyjack6.jpg
Billy Jack Haynes was one of my earliest pro wrestling infatuations.

Bard: You provocateur! I heartily approve. Early on in my blogging I talked about my complicated relationship with mainstream pro wrestling. I’ve posted about my major, youthful crush on muscle hunk Billy Jack Haynes in my “What Turned Me Gay” series. And I think I have some early posts about the classic vintage Brit pro Keith Hawarth. And, hell, the banner for Neverland is the fantasyman himself, Tommy Zenk. But I grew disenchanted with watching contemporary mainstream pro over a decade ago when it kept striking me as blatantly homophobic. Throughout most of my blogging, I’ve enjoyed reading other bloggers who keep their eyes on straight up pro, like Beefcake’s of Wrestling, Ringside at Skull Island and Inner Jobber. But I find wrestling explicitly for gay eyes to be just as entertaining, more titillating, and much less of a moral dilemma to enjoy, so I spend most of my viewing and blogging time on the more gay-forward homoerotic wrestling companies.

AH: I’m sorry. Obviously I didn’t do my research.   Since you mentioned other bloggers there have many multiple blogs and bloggers on the subject of homoerotic and underground wrestling pop up in the ensuing years since 2009.  How do you feel about that?

Bard: Hell, I forget half of what I’ve written, so I certainly don’t expect anyone else to have my entire 6 years of blogging memorized.  I think it’s fabulous that there are a number of homoerotic wrestling blogs. The old Rants, Roids & Wrestling blog was just shutting down as I was starting up. I loved the artwork and storytelling there. Joe started Ringside at Skull Island about 6 months before my blog, and I’ve always enjoyed Joe’s take on the scene. And of course Wrestling Arsenal is a classic that’s been around forever and has a fantastic, unique voice and angle all his own.  There have been times when I’ve been just about to post something when I discover someone else (usually Joe) has already reviewed it, said it, asked it. But honestly, I think it’s fantastic that there are several voices out there, a lot of different perspectives and tastes reflecting much more of the diversity of homoerotic wrestling than any one of us could by ourselves.

AH: What do you think of wrestlers having more of a Social Media presence than ever before?

Bard: I think it’s the future of entertainment of any kind, including the homoerotic wrestling business.  Pro wrestling is as much driven by personality as it is by athleticism or hot bodies. We have more access to interact with and know about the people in our lives, and social media has given us the opportunity to build the illusion that public personalities are “people in our lives.” So, anonymous guys with hot bodies showing up in a ring, wrestling with more or less skill, and then disappearing from view is much less compelling these days than wrestlers turning us on in action and then populating our Twitter and Facebook feeds with photos and attitude and the illusion that their professional character is part of our social network. Wrestlers like Ty Alexander, Kayden Keller, Ethan Andrews and Cameron Matthews have done great work at the sell in and out of the ring. I know fans enjoy seeing them in social media, and I strongly suspect that those who exploit that fan experience beyond the confines of a particular wrestling product will only literally sell more products. And have you seen the number of photos that Ty posts of his ass!? Fuck, that guy is working it with a vengeance!

12713959_1762381543995991_1843401508_n.jpg
Just one of the hundreds of ass shots Ty Alexander shares on social media.

AH: True.  There have been plenty of wrestlers, through all of the homoerotic sites that have been “one and done” – they have the great bodies, but if the personality is not there or they don’t sell for the camera and draw the audience in, they are not featured again.  It does give us a kind of “behind the scenes” look at some wrestlers.  However, don’t you also think that there could also be some fatigue with specific wrestlers who appear over and over again combined with their increasing online presence?

Bard: My thinking has evolved on that question over my time blogging. Early on, I was pretty harsh on wrestlers who seemed to show up everywhere at the same time. I took some swipes at Cameron Matthews and Rio Garza a few years ago when both of them were showing up in simultaneous new releases across two, sometimes three different companies, sometimes even wrestling the same opponents across promotions. I still think that repackaging the same match-ups across promotions is bad for consumers, and my hunch is that there’s probably some corporate intrigue about the choice of a producer to tape and release copycat matches at the same time. Like, what’s the wisdom of releasing at the same time Rio and Jobe wrestling each other in the ring in two different matches? But I think instant downloads and social media are sensitizing us to a faster pace of information and exposure to wrestlers. And, frankly, I’ve simply found myself charmed and titillated by popular wrestlers like Cameron, Jonny, Drake and Ethan inhabiting multiple platforms, giving us long-form text, photos, and videos alongside of snapshot status updates to construct 3-dimensional characters in and out of the ring. Getting more access to these sensational wrestling characters has actually increased my anticipation and excitement for their new releases. There may be fan-fatigue for some wrestling consumers, but these days I see multi-platform promotion for wrestlers to be compelling. Now if we could just get Drake to update his fucking blog [laughing].

drakeropessouth.jpg
What do we have to do to get Drake to update his fucking blog!?

AH: Haha, there you go bashing Drake again.  Can’t you leave the poor guy alone?  Are you trying to get fans to sympathize with poor Drake?  I didn’t want to name names earlier (cough Austin/Frey cough) about showing up across different companies and multiple matches a month, but hey, he must be doing something right in the eyes of the people producing and shelling out the products.  And he is not the only one. It does seem to make it harder for a rookie to get noticed and make a lasting impression, although I have to say that 2015 was a particularly strong year for them (at least for me.) with Chet, Biff, Van Skyler, etc.

Bard: I do like the increased social media presence of some of the wrestlers you mentioned, although like new releases, they are updated rather infrequently.  I think that actually works in their favor, as it keeps the audience salivating until there is a new post, a new video, new pictures.

AH: Since we’re talking about wrestlers populating social media, what are your thoughts on all the bloggers talking about homoerotic wrestling

Bard: Oh, can’t forget Austin Cooper!  His heel work at BG East in particular is crazy good.  But regarding other bloggers, I have tons of respect and take a lot of enjoyment in all of them.  There was a period where I was diligently reading everybody and intentionally cross promoting other blogs, but I just ran out of time to stay on top of that.  I still visit Beefcakes of Wrestling several times a week to check the mainstream pros I ought to be looking up on Youtube. I check in on Ringside frequently, now that Joe’s back at it again, particularly for a glimpse at some of the promotions that I don’t really follow. Alex is always sensational, and his work at The Cave is a great mix of sensational writing and inspiring reviews. I think each of the bloggers with an eye on homoerotic wrestling have unique perspectives, different things that draw their attention or spark their interest. And that’s what I like about blogging as a format. It lets us step inside someone else’s head for a moment and recognize the arousing and provocative things that we may not see on our own.

AH: Seems like each blog has a corner of the homoerotic wrestling scene all to themselves. I love it when multiple bloggers discuss and dissect the same match as it leads to differing views and makes me want to watch the match again trying to hopefully see it through a new lens.   Before finding all of these blogs, I never thought that all of these posts would be so arousing!! I just thought the videos and pictures would turn me on. Glad to be proven wrong.  So you have your avatar on your blog that shows off that chest and gives a glimpse of your abs. You’ve let your audience into your mind – but you have left the rest of your body and self, vague. Is that intentional on your part?

eli2.jpg
Man of Mystery

Bard: When I started blogging, I didn’t have a clear picture of exactly what I wanted the blog to be. But I did feel committed to make it relatively confessional as a gay man strongly turned on by wrestling. With an interest in a frank discussion of eroticism, I decided that I’d feel freer to be blunt and honest about my sexual turn-ons if I were relatively anonymous otherwise. One of the greatest things about blogging has been hearing from guys who say, “I’ve had the same experiences, but thought I must be the only one!” But I don’t know if I’d ever have had the balls to dig down to those moments of homoerotic confessional truth, to talk about some of those things that many of us experience but may seldom discuss with friends and family that don’t get it, if I thought that my mom or my boss might stumble across my words. These days, I think of that avatar I use like a wrestling mask in the pro ring. There’s something that it hides, but there’s something that it frees to be seen, to be more open and passionately me as well. And, quite honestly, over time I’ve discovered that there are some relatively unhinged people in the webosphere who take all of this way, way too seriously, who I really wouldn’t want to know me in any more detail than what I share on the blog.

AH: Very well said.  I was quite late to the game in finding homoerotic wrestling sites and blogs dedicated to it.  But once I did, I had that “Aha” moment, where I was like I am not the only one who likes this stuff!  And we thank you for digging down deep, through your anonymity, to bring us your fresh take on these subjects that so strongly turn you on. I hope this interview does not provoke any unhinged people out there to search either of us out.

Bard: Some guys are extremely… passionate… about their opinions about homoerotic wrestling. It’s a fine line between passionate/playful and unhinged, but there is a line, I think.

AH: Rock Hard dabbled in luche style masks I believe once in their history (although it was obvious who the combatants were) and BG East has had masked wrestlers as well.  Do you ever watch lucha wrestling videos on youtbube or know that history, or were you just using the wrestling mask as a metaphor to prove your point?

0228_lg.jpg
Masks are hot!

Bard: I am familiar with lucha wrestling and some of the standard parts of the lucha mystique as it relates to masks and unmasking. Mostly, I was speaking metaphorically, though.

AH: So, 2016 is a momentous year. We have a Presidential election as well as the Olympics. Who would you put on the Mount Rushmore of homoerotic wrestling?

Bard: Yowza, that’s a challenging question.  Coincidentally I traveled to Mr. Rushmore just last summer. I found it oddly underwhelming. But if I were to select 4 faces to get carved into stone as pivotal people in homoerotic history, I’d definitely start with Kid Leopard. I think BG East has been uniquely shaped by his vision and commitment to homoerotic wrestling, and I think BG East has, in turn, uniquely shaped the entire industry. Honestly, I think if anyone else’s face was carved next to him, Kid Leopard’s visage would pummel him. Who else is as iconic? Maybe Ron Sexton of Can-Am. I have no idea what he looks like, though, so I’m not sure if anyone would recognize him. But I think of him as, perhaps more than anyone else, bringing together the two worlds of wrestling and porn in ways that completely laid the groundwork for the likes of Naked Kombat. If pressed, I think perhaps a third face to carve into the Mr. Rushmore of homoerotic wrestling might be Steve Sterling. Bodybuilders in homoerotic wrestling are a mainstay these days, but I think of Steve as one of the first, if not the first, legitimate, incredibly muscled, competition bodybuilders to bring serious, aesthetic, massive physiques into the homoerotic wrestling fan’s immediate gaze. As for a fourth “founding father,” I’m sort of stumped. I think I’ll put Scott Williams’ face in that final spot. Not because he fundamentally shaped the industry at all. Just because I think he’s fucking handsome as hell, and I’d pay the price of admission to get to see that sensational jawline literally carved in stone.

rushmore.png
My nominees for the Mt. Rushore of Homoerotic Wrestling: Kid Leopard (L), Ron Sexton (not pictured), Steve Sterling (C) and Scott Williams (R)

AH: Shit, I am getting into my car and driving directly to your Mt Rushmore of homoerotic wrestling!  Where do you think this art form goes from here?  There has definitely been an evolution, one you know better than me, about homoerotic wrestling.  Now, you don’t need to wait a period of time for that “package” to arrive in the mail – you can instantly stream/download a match from just about any wrestler, any promotion, at any moment (and get a shock when you get your credit card statement too).  Mr. Firestorm has dabbled in newer matches (with the google-glasses bird’s eye view, and his choose your own adventure style match against your personal friend Drake); do you think that is the way to go – where it seems the audience has more of a say in what goes on in matches, or should we leave it to the people behind the scenes who have crafted gold into our memories for so long

screen-shot-2013-12-03-at-1-14-20-pm.png
I paid for my own custom fantasy match: Lon Dumont vs. Jonny Firestorm.

Bard: I think there’s value added in both consumer directed products as well as the fare that established wrestling producers know how to put together so well. The custom and fan-choice matches scratch that great, postmodern itch of breaking down some of the barriers between viewers and the action, which I think is sensational.  It’s also why I love behind the scenes glimpses and the online presence of some homoerotic wrestling personalities these days. It pokes holes in that wall that divides the passive viewing fan from the extremely active, intense, visceral nature of wrestling. However, 9 times out of 10, I’d let Kid Leopard pick a sexy hot pairing for a sweaty, high flying, low down ring match drama and be confident I’d be 100% entertained.  I love the unexpected. I love to be surprised and shocked by how a match turns or by the depths to which wrestlers will go to dominate. So I certainly wouldn’t want everything to be a Chinese menu of homoerotic wrestling choices. Some producers have a fantastic eye and taste for this that takes me places I’d never know that I need to go.

AH: Once again Bard, fantastic analysis; That’s the great thing about this subject and others like it – it’s so open for discussion and debate. Do you have any last rumblings and grumblings you’d like to share that perhaps you haven’t yet voiced in your blog yet?

Bard: I think the only other thing I’d pontificate about today is one that many readers have heard before from me and from others. I regularly get comments to my blog with pointed, often personal, frequently crass criticisms of wrestlers.  Most often the ones that really trigger me are the personal attacks on wrestlers’ bodies, like someone is too fat, too skinny, too ugly, too whatever and so somehow deserves disrespect.  On the one hand, I’m at the front of the line when it comes to loving and leaning into the fantasy of professional wrestling. When wrestlers belittle each other and heap trash talking contempt upon one another’s physiques and appearance, I can understand why fans would turn to social media and comment logs to participate in the same sort of posturing. However, as many can probably attest to, I do my best to censor those types of comments out of the comment pages on my blog.  I know this pisses some readers off. But I just have to say, again here today, that this practice of trashing wrestlers with personal attacks feels a lot like me inviting a whole bunch of friends over, and having one of the guests in my own home trashing and attacking another of my guests. I know you’ve got your opinions, and I know many of you aren’t shy about expressing the highly critical ones. But no. Not in my house. Not aimed at my friends.

Because that’s what’s happened as I’ve been blogging over the years. I’ve had the great privilege of meeting many of the wrestlers who I’m completely infatuated with. And it’s a mind fuck to actually sit down and talk with a stud puppy who, perhaps just the day before, I was pounding out a screaming climax to while watching him wrestle on my screen. And while I have zero problem getting off again and again to the wrestling work of these hunks I’ve got to meet in person, I just can’t behave as if these wrestlers are somehow not real people who deserve common human decency and respect. A few of them I’m particularly privileged to count among my friends, and I take that seriously. So not liking a match they’re in, or offering the critique about something they wear, or what you wish they’d done to a particular opponent is fantastic by me. But body shaming them, or calling them losers, or questioning their intelligence, or assessing them as worthless is crossing a line.

So, like I said, readers have heard this from me before, but in closing, I’d just say it again. Keep it classy. This little corner of the world inhabited by gay guys with a particular thing for getting off on wrestling is probably bigger than most of us might have originally thought it was, but we shouldn’t take for granted the balls it takes for wrestlers to strip down, gear up, and put their bodies on the line for this community of ours. I know for a fact that there are homoerotic wrestlers who have been shamed and punished when they’ve had friends, family or coworkers discover they’ve wrestled for a gay audience. That’s shitty. But the last thing they should also face is that very audience shaming or harassing them out of petty cattiness.

Anyway, I officially step back off my soap box and thank you, AH, for turning the tables on me and interviewing me for a change. It was a fascinating experience to be on the other side of the questions!

AH:  No, thank you very much, Bard.  The honor was all mine, and thank you for agreeing to do this!

And the Nominees Are…

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.

0403_lg.jpg
Kid Karisma (my pic)
0103_lg.jpg
Van Skyler
0303_lg.jpg
Z-Man (2013 Best Body Winner)
0201_lg.jpg
Lon Dumont
0903_lg.jpg
Chace LaChance
0401_lg.jpg
Logan Vaughn (those legs!!!)

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.

0503_lg.jpg
Pete Sharp (defending Best Bulge 2014 winner)
0103_lg-1.jpg
Kayden Keller
0102_lg.jpg
Jobe Zander
0203_lg.jpg
Jonny Firestorm
0101_lg.jpg
Gold Shaft

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.

0103_lg.jpg
Joe Mazetti (my pick)
0802_lg.jpg
Guido Genatto
0301_lg.jpg
Flash LaCash (Drake’s pick)
0203_lg-1.jpg
Lane Hartley
0403_lg.jpg
Jonny Firestorm
0404_lg.jpg
Kayden Keller

So who do you like, and who do you think got snubbed by the academy this year? Remember to vote by midnight tomorrow night, Friday, January 22.

And the Nominees Are…

As anticipated, BG East has posted their poll for the Bestie awards, recognizing the fan favorites for their wrestlers and matches featured in 2015. Drake and I did our pre-scout report last week, but now that we have the actual nominees in hand, I wanted to do a quick comparison in the interest of aiding voters in making the best choices. I’ll just stick to the individual categories because you only have until midnight this Friday to submit your votes.  First up, lets take a look at the faces of the nominees for Top Babyface.

0106_lg.jpg
Biff Farrell (my pick)
0603_lg.jpg
Richie Douglas
0401_lg.jpg
Chet Chastain (Drake’s pick)
1507_lg.jpg
Jake Jenkins – Defending Top Babyface 3 years in a row!
1002_lg.jpg
Pete Sharp

Next up, let’s compare the awesome abs nominated for Best Abs of 2015.

0703_lg.jpg
Lon Dumont (my pick)
0101_lg.jpg
Cal Bennett
0803_lg.jpg
Chet Chastain
0704_lg.jpg
Pete Sharp
0701_lg.jpg
Z-Man (Defending Best Abs of 2014)
05_lg.jpg
Kip Sorell

I’m not the first person to note that a prominent 2-time champion of the Best Abs Bestie was not nominated this year, despite appearing on the mats in 2015 for BG East. I don’t know if the academy intentionally snubbed Eli Black, or if there was a calculated judgment that Eli’s killer abs were truly out distanced by the 6 lovely, lean hunks above.  In any case, just a look at the abs that are not in contention this year…

0201_lg.jpg
Eli Black – shut out of the nominations for 2015 Best Abs

I’ll take a look at the field for Best Body and Best Bulge tomorrow…

Homoerotic Wrestler of the Year: Reader’s Choice

278 of you voted for which of my homoerotic wrestlers of the month you’d pick to be homoerotic wrestler of the year for 2015. The results are definitive and indicative, I think, so let’s break it down.

0504_lg.jpg
Ty Alexander

With 28% of the vote, Ty Alexander wins the plurality as the reader’s choice homoerotic wrestler of the year. Ty worked for it. Ty always works for it. Both in the ring and in the world of social media, the Trophy Boy is a perfect study in having a plan and executing it to perfection. Fans love his bubble butt, ever tightening, taut twink bod, and his reckless enthusiasm for running face first into one steam roller after another. Ty has such a following because homoerotic wrestling fans love a full throttle, unapologetically erotic wrestling jobber.  I suspect that July’s homoerotic wrestler of the month also owns this poll in part due to his ability to mobilize his social media following, which I think is indicative of the next level of the homoerotic wrestling business. Fans respond not only to Ty’s sensational sell in the ring, to his succulent body, to his endless ambition, but also to his commitment to exist, on a day to day basis, in our Twitter and FB feeds, to weave the fantasy of a hot, horny, humpable young stud into the fabric of our day to day lives. As I said back when I anointed him HWOTM in July, I think there’s a whole market waiting to get tapped by serious franchise players like Ty loving it, living it, and making us continue to peek behind the scenes of a wrestling shoot to fantasize in all sorts of new ways about the sexy studs living their wrestling dreams.

0223_lg.jpg
Ty took a beating in Ring Releases 2.
0708_lg.jpg
Mad Mykel brought him to his knees in Ring Releases 3.
0513_lg.jpg
Mason Brooks ripped Ty apart in Florida Fights 5.

Making a major play in the polls for second place with over 21% of the vote was 2015 rookie Sensation (with a capital S!), big, bulging, beautiful, buff, blond, blue-eyed, bombshell beefcake Biff Farrell.

0104_lg.jpg
Biff Farrell

I have to think Biff has got to make a very strong showing for this year’s rookie of the year in BG East’s Besties. He certainly grabbed my attention, and I know captured the homoerotic wrestling imaginations of a whole lot of us with incredibly impressive appearances in an amazing 4 new releases in his rookie year. It’s a rare newbie who makes such a splash at BG East to earn his way into 4 releases, 3 of which are stand alone single matches, 1 of which he’s even the title character for!  Fans love his look, his magnificent muscles, his obvious enthusiasm for professional wrestling, and his sensational, muscled ass (I know, that’s part of his magnificent muscles, but it deserves it’s own mention). I’ve also been on the big Biff bandwagon for the duration because I’m growing more and more infatuated with the character he’s selling better and better with each match. Fans love a big, muscled babyface rookie who can, from the start, take it every ounce as successfully as he dishes it out. I believe the sky’s the limit with my December homoerotic wrestler of the month, and I’m just saying a prayer to the homoerotic wrestling gods that he hasn’t peaked too soon, because I hope to see a lot more of him in 2016.

h0109_lg.jpg
Lon Dumont gives fans what they want, forcing rookie Biff to flex.
0136_lg.jpg
Biff learns what BGE heels do with pretty faces in Rookie Wreckers 2: Biff’s Beating.
0136_lg-1.jpg
Biff’s first babyface victory, wrecking his own rookie in Ripped Rookies 2: Backyard Battle
0129_lg.jpg
Biff finished very strong, determined to cut short Joe Mazetti’s epic Comeback.

Coming in third in the voting with 13%, sophomore heel rising Kayden Keller grabbed hold of hearts and loyalties (not to mention balls) with a vengeance in 2015.

0404_lg.jpg
Kayden Keller

Kayden only appeared in 2 releases for BG East this year (though it seems like more, doesn’t it?  honestly?).  But that was enough to keep his fans gagging for more. If his showing in the polls demonstrates anything, I think it shows us that homoerotic wrestling fans always, always have a place in their fondest fantasies for a sensational, sadistic, explicitly erotic wrestling heel. He abundantly earned his HWOTM title for October by selling one of the best surprises in homoerotic wrestling for 2015, getting sleepered out cold by the shockingly eager erotic debut of little, lithe, lovely Leo Tomasi. I know there are some fans who saw that as a major blow to Kayden’s obvious play to climb the ranks of BG East’s resident, reigning heels, but I found the unexpected drama to be probably the most compelling wrestling narrative of the year. And in case you haven’t seen the match, suffice it to say that despite Leo’s shocking moment in the sun (with Kayden’s face shoved where the sun don’t shine), the 6’2″ powerhouse heel doubles down on the total soul and body crushing domination before all is said and done. It takes a whole lot of man to heel, match after match, and even more of one to get completely owned and humiliated by a jobber and STILL come out with his heel cred shiny. Kayden Keller is every ounce that man.

0331_lg.jpg
Kayden is a heel who can multitask in Ring Releases 2: Triple Release
0421_lg.jpg
Kayden showed us a whole new side in Ring Releases 3.

Congratulations to all the winners this year, and thank you all for a sensationally sexy year in homoerotic wrestling!