To Job or Not to Job

I once suggested to John Savage that one of his wrestling comic series might include the “hero” tasting victory. John’s fantastic art and stories, including the superheroes and the jungle king characters, tell the excellent story of the classic heel who destroys and humiliates the boy scout. I thought it might spice things up to see a muscle hero snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Perhaps it could be hot to see a boy scout pushed beyond the edge, forced over the line and turned in the heat of battle into a nasty vessel of humiliating punishment for the cocky heel. John gently, but firmly assured me that was not a story I was ever likely to see in his work. A few other fans chimed in to remind me that a jobber is a jobber, and toying with that universal law is not kosher.

Similarly, I posted a fantasy fiction short story a few months back portraying one of the loveliest muscleboys with a devastating cleft chin, Brad Rochelle. I wrote Brad post-heel turn, digging deep and dirty to torture and humiliate Tyrell Tomsen, tying him to a corner and stripping the newbie musclegod naked. A few impassioned fans of seeing Brad’s masterful suffering let me know that it was a “nice” story (ouch), but that Brad would always and forever remain a jobber in their wrestling fantasies.
I think I’m frequently out of sync with the classic pro-wrestling scenario. I’m often one of the naive rubes rooting for the pretty boys who are destined to suffer humiliatingly. Before Paul Roma’s character evolved, he spent several years as the stunning Roman god repeatedly dismantled and destroyed by physically-lesser men. I totally get it, of course. Featuring a main character who uses skill and guile to own a stunning specimen like Paul Roma teaches the fans what type of bad-ass the giant-killer is. The massive, shining muscles of Paul Roma were the backdrop, providing perspective on just how dangerous must be the man who could conquer Roma’s godlike body. But I harbored a lustful desire to get a glimpse of those amazing muscles as devices of torture.
The job-as-career leaves me a little unsatisfied. Don’t get me wrong: I’m first in line to lap up the image of a handsome, confident muscle god brought to his knees in agony and fear. But any Johnny-One-Note loses my interest eventually. If Paul Roma had never scrambled his way into a real story line, even his stunning beauty would have eventually left me uninspired.
Marcus Bagwell was another early-career babyface who dabbled with jobbing. As the Handsome Stranger, Bagwell’s massive, round muscles were obviously the object of fanatic, sexual lust. As such, it’s no wonder he was often scripted for a severe beating. The beating wasn’t “about” Bagwell, really. He was simply the device to push the story of the devious heel who delighted in humiliating the Handsome Stranger in front of his worshipping fans. Bagwell was simply beautiful scenery in front of which the real play was acted out.
Seriously, I get it. But even Bagwell’s beautiful bod would have lost its allure for me if he’d never made his turn. If there’s no arc to a story, if a character is flat and entirely predictable, then my imagination is left flaccid. And no one should be happy with a flaccid imagination.

So, still, I say, mix it up. Tell me a story that keeps me guessing. String along the rubes like me that are lusting for the occasional conquering face, the boy scout delivering a knee the groin, the crisis of conscience for the muscle god who has to decide what to do when he realizes that his dominating power is just not enough. There will always be plenty of room for jobs, but if you plan to keep a jobber on the payroll for any length of time, make them more than a caricature. Give them character. Tease me. Toy with my naive sympathies that every so often want to see a good guy come out on top, perhaps a little tarnished and morally ambiguous, but at least momentarily planting his boot on his opponent’s chest and raising his muscled arms in victory.

Ode to Legs

Legs are fantastic tools of control and humiliation in wrestling. The alignment of gorgeous legs and homoerotic domination is hot, hot, hot. While my current obsession with sexy legs is at the forefront of my own thinking about the subject, clearly I’m not the only one appreciating the many excellent uses to which legs can be put in hot wrestling action.

Wrestling Arsenal has page after page of fantastic head scissors from every angle. He has one entire page marveling at the joys of Mr. Joshua’s crushing legs. As Wrestling Arsenal points out, Joshua Goodman likes to deploy his massively muscled legs not only to wear down his man, but to torture and humiliate him. In this shot, Joshua is looking down the length of his beautiful body to watch his opponent’s pained face squeezed beet red, just inches from Joshua’s notorious package.
Wrestling pornboy extraordainare Mark Wolff always had the thickness to make men squirm when trapped between his bodybuilder thighs. In Muscle Match 3, muscleboy Ken Daniels enjoyed turning those tables and eliciting a grunt of pain with Mark’s muscle-armored waist trapped between his knees.
It’s not just the homoerotic boys squeezing the breath out of their opponents in humiliating fashion. Paul Roma (well, okay, he’s got to be considered homoerotic!) frequently used those shiny, steel-trap legs to squeeze his opponent’s bodyparts tight and up close. This remarkable shot of Roma with Animal’s head trapped between his legs while hanging horizontally, propped up on the turnbuckle, is pure artistry.
Speaking of art, Kevin Von Erich was always the master of torturing his opponents with his legs… and what beautiful, beautiful devices of torture he had!
Still, I think the explicitly homoerotic boys get the most mileage from their legs-as-means-of-torture, better than the pros. Troy Baker could squeeze out a whimpering submission from sheer brute force, making it that much sweeter when the tables were turned on the doe-eyed muscleboy.
Standing scissors seem to me to be the most humiliating and dominating use of a wrestler’s legs. The complete, abject vulnerability of the victim in contrast with the upright, almost unconcerned affect of the squeezer tells the story I love to hear: bodies dominating bodies, possessing and taming them, controlling and claiming them.