And the Nominees Are…

I’ve learned that discussing how I vote in the BG East Besties is dangerous territory. The longer I’ve been blogging about homoerotic wrestling, the more I’ve grown to know many of the hard working men who make it happen. They never begrudge me my vote, but when I handicap the field and disclose how I cast my ballot, I’ve needed to smooth over some ruffled feathers and tend to friendships at times.  So here are some special instructions for the BG East wrestlers I know and have affection for: don’t take any of this too seriously. We love you all. This is way more about the fans than it is about you.

With that preamble out of the way, let’s dig into the Bestie nominations posted on Friday. As opposed to my own personal categories of favorites that I started sharing yesterday, these are my thoughts on those that BG East has nominated for their awards. I don’t see when polls will close, but I’ll try to make this quick so that it may inform any undecided voters looking for tips.

1. Sexiest Match

Instantly, I’m navigating those complicated waters with the first category. I’ve met six of the wrestlers involved in the six nominated matches and interviewed most of those. There’s a spectacular double debut match that burned holes in my retina it was so hot. None of these were misses, but some hit the spot just a little more squarely than others for me.  The nominees are…

  • Ty Alexander vs. Steve Mason (Wrestleshack 21)
  • Drake Marcos vs. Goren Ford (X-Fights 45)
  • Ty Alexander vs. Bruno LaBestia (Ringwars 28)
  • Tommie Hawk vs. Noah Samson (Undagear 28)
  • Kayden Keller vs. Leon Cyrus (X-Fights 44)
  • Cage Thunder vs. Mitch Colby (Motel Madness 14)


When I sort through who to vote for sexiest match, I look for a match where both wrestlers express explicit, mutual lust. Kissing is nearly essential. Naked bodies and fully engaged cocks are a major plus. I want to believe that the action is stimulating the wrestlers as much as it is me. Of these nominees, the match that did this best is, arguably, Ty Alexander vs. Steve Mason in Wrestleshack 21. It hits all of my buttons, and the big (HUGE) reveal of Steve’s crotch monster is epic. My fall back option is the astonishingly sexy match between Tommie Hawk and Noah Samson in Undagear 28. Since Ty is splitting the vote this year, I’m guessing that someone else may take the popular vote, but honestly, I don’t even have a good guess as to who that will be.

2. Best Mat Battle

The best mat category is probably the most competitive for me this year. I met 5 of the hunks in these nominated matches last summer and was delighted by them all. When it comes to evaluating mat matches, I look for competitive, intimate, battles with long held moves and close ups of exquisite anguish. I like to see amateur moves translated into a gay, pro context. I prefer the serious sell, with big egos convincing me that they want it, and that the final, humiliating victory is up for grabs. The nominees this year are…

  • Kirk Donahue vs. Carter Alexander (Backyard Brawls 9)
  • Cage Thunder vs. Mitch Colby (Motel Madness 14)
  • Tino Valencia vs. Ski Vance (Catch Weight 8)
  • Austin Cooper vs. Christian Taylor (Undagear 28)
  • Calvin Haynes vs. Nino Leone (Catch Weight 8)
  • Ace Aarons vs. Ash DeLeon (Mat Rookies 3)


So much to choose from! I’m bitterly torn between Austin Cooper vs. Christian Taylor in Undagear 28 and Ace Aarons vs. Ash DeLeon in Mat Rookies 3. My hunch is that when it comes time to pull the lever, I’ll go with the shockingly intense Undagear match with that sensationally surprising ending. My hunch is that the popular vote will swing to Austin and Christian as well, as two of the popular headliners that regularly draw the fans (an advantage over Ace and Ash). Cage and Mitch’s match is, however, already the stuff of legends. But if you really like shocking endings, Calvin and Nino’s battle is soooo sweetly surprising. Damn. This category is tough for me.

3. Best Ring Match

In judging the quality of a ring match, I’m looking for a match that exploits the context. I want a match that treats pro wrestling with the respect it deserves. I like to see power and speed, with a strong narrative and larger than life characters. The nominees for best ring match are…

  • Joey King vs. Zip Zarella (Ring Kings)
  • Jonny Firestorm vs. Kirby Stone (Pros in Private 11)
  • Kid Karisma vs. Jobe Zander (Bulge Battles 1)
  • Kid Karisma vs. Ethan Andrews (Heel Bash 2)
  • Cole Cassidy vs. Joshua Goodman (Ringwars 26)
  • Toney Rico vs. Chase Addams (Ringwars 28)


Another highly competitive slate! Kid Karisma may split his vote. My vote will almost certainly go with Toney Rico vs. Chase Addams in Ringwars 28 this year (see my review for all of the reasons). Kid K and Jobe is awfully close, though.  Jonny vs. Kirby has got to be the best ring wrestling of the year, but the narrative isn’t as colorful as Toney and Chase’s. Cole and Joshua put together the most colorful characters and delightful drama, but the wrestling isn’t as pro-forward.  My very tentative guess as to who the majority will break for is Jonny and Kirby, mostly based on the hardcore Jonny fanatics out there.

4. Best Squash

My least favorite category. Though I know a lot of you love a good squash. I guess when squashes work for me, I have a reason to both particularly want to see the victim suffer and the dominator dish it out. I also need to be convinced by the stud on the receiving end. Squashes can become boring for me, so the guy getting squashed needs to seriously convince me that he’s hurting, and he’s not phoning it in. This year’s nominees are…

  • Kayden Keller vs. Carter Alexander (Wrestler Spotlight: Kayden)
  • Thrash vs. El Favorito (Masked Mayhem 12)
  • Kid Karisma vs. Reese Wells (Ringwars 27)
  • Lane Hartley vs. Kirk Donahue (Demolition 22)
  • Kid Vicious vs. Devon Britt-Darby (Gut Bash 13)
  • Cap Landon vs. Kelly King (Knock Outs 3)


My choice is Kayden vs. Carter in Kayden’s Wrestler Spotlight. While I do love watching Kayden dig back from a deficit, I never grow tired of watching him plow pretty boys under. I’ve also had a craving to watch Carter getting hurt ever since he let slip in his match with Kid Karisma that he not-so-secretly (anymore) enjoys getting his hair pulled as he’s dominated. For a squash, Kayden keeps the pace intense, and Carter suffers exquisitely. He has this choking, half-laugh sob that makes my crotch twitch. A close second place in this category for me is Thrash vs. El Favorito, though El Favorito has more offense than I typically credit to a squash. Same goes for Kid K vs. Reese. I’ll guess the majority will break either for Kayden and Carter or Lane and Kirk, depending on whether the tide breaks for the leaning-to-erotic or the hardcore indy pro vibe.

5. Best Submissions

Somehow making this category plural clears up my confusion about how to evaluate it. I’m using a standard of making my pick based on the number, variety, and creativity of submissions in a given match. The nominees for the match with the best submissions this year are…

  • Austin Cooper vs. Christian Taylor (Undagear 28)
  • Tino Valencia vs. Skip Vance (Catch Weight 8)
  • Kayden Keller vs. Richie Douglas (Kayden’s Wrestling Spotlight)
  • Jonny Firestorm vs. Kirby Stone (Pros in Private 11)
  • Joey King vs. Zip Zarella (Ring Kings)
  • Chase Addams vs. Charlie Evans (Ring Rookies 5)


By a long shot, for this category I’m going with Jonny vs. Kirby in Pros in Private 11. The submissions fly nearly frantically, except everything is polished, exacting, and precise. Both of these pros are marvelously talented, and they bring out the best (and worst) in each other. It’s just an added bonus that Kirby’s ass drives me crazy. When it comes to the rest of the field, my next choice is a tie between Chase and Charlie and Joey and Zip.  I won’t be surprised if Jonny and Kirby win this category, but if not, I suspect it could swing Austin and Christian’s way.

6. Hottest Liplock

When I’m deciding which wrestling liplock is hottest, I’m looking for passion. I prefer liplocks harshly ambivalent, with equal parts rage and lust. The nominees this year are as follows…

  • Christian Taylor vs. Mason Brooks (Bedroom Brawl 3)
  • Calvin Haynes vs. Nino Leone (Catch Weight 8)
  • Ash DeLeon vs. Ace Aarons (Mat Rookies 3)
  • Lauden Sevior vs. Drake Marcos (Undagear 27)
  • Nino Leone vs. Bruno LaBestia (Wrestleshack 21)
  • Ty Alexander vs. Steve Mason (Wrestleshack 21)


I’m solidly voting for Ash and Ace in Mat Rookies 3. Talk about a gorgeous concoction of passionate lust and passionate aggression! Damn. A runner-up option for me would be Lauden and Drake. I don’t know who the popular vote will follow, but if I had to guess, I’d say Ty and Steve, based mostly on Ty’s get-out-the-vote credentials.

7. Best Overall Match

This category seems self-explanatory. I feel obligated to swing toward one of the “Best of” matches I’ve already picked, though there are a couple of matches in this category that weren’t nominated above, which makes open to a dark horse pick in my mind. In any case, this is the slate of nominees:

  • Cole Cassidy vs. Joshua Goodman (Ringwars 26)
  • Jonny Firestorm vs. Kirby Stone (Pros in Private 11)
  • Ty Alexander vs. Bruno LaBestia (Ringwars 28)
  • Austin Cooper vs. Christian Taylor (Undagear 28)
  • Kid Karisma vs. Jobe Zander (Bulge Battles 1)
  • Kid Karisma vs. Reese Wells (Ringwars 27)


So yes to all of the above, but of these options, I’m going with Kid K vs. Jobe in Bulge Battles 1. This was a sensational match against two astonishingly accomplished homoerotic wrestling veterans. The suspense is fantastic. The action is graphic. The personalities are over the top in a way that only the likes of Kid K and Jobe can quite pull off. Second place for me is somewhere between Cole and Mr. Joshua, Jonny and Kirby, and Austin and Christian. My hunch is that Kid K splits his vote again and neither of his matches take the category. Instead, I think Cole and Mr. Joshua might pull of an upset, based on the fevered pleasure both Alex and I have for that match, though again, there’s Ty and his aggressive get-out-the-vote campaign.

So that’s my take on the first half of the ballot.  What’s yours?

So Close

I was recently chatting with a friend about the potent allure of a baby heel. I love it when they’re fresh and young and hot and mean as fuck. I also love suspense, so when an up-and-coming heel cockily climbs into the ring with an air of vulnerability about his nascent career, I get excited to see what happens.

Charming as Fuck

Chase Addams has successfully excited me for the past year and half as he’s started clawing his way into BG East. He’s frequently indulged my prurient curiosity in him by granting me interviews. In fact, I’m guessing I’ve never interviewed a rookie this often with this few matches under his belt. I like the look and sound of Chase. I like his explicit devotion to promoting quality professional wrestling for a gay audience. I love his moves and his ambition. I want to see him kick ass as he settles into the role of a vicious, obviously dangerous, unapologetically sexy baby heel. But he’s still raw, rawer than he’d probably like to admit. For all of his studied skills and training, he could get his ass kicked based on chance and inexperience alone. He’s a mean fucker, so my money is typically going to be on him, but then again, he could lose, and that potential turns me on twice as hard as I watch him step into the ring in Ringwars 28.

Big Toney Rico looks even bigger in person

Chase’s opponent is big Toney Rico. This is my first serious look at Toney in the ring. Fuck, he’s huge. I actually saw Toney in passing during my visit to BG East this summer. He’d been stuck in traffic on his way to tape this match, in fact. So when he blew in, he stripped down to those shiny silver square cuts, hydrated extensively, and then almost immediately headed to the ring room with a now slightly iced Chase. On the one hand, this gave me a chance to interview Chase and to study the fit of those black, custom trunks that I sponsored for him a couple of months ago. With a knowing grin, Chase let me eye fuck him as he showed off every angle, lifting his arms and turning on my command as I read his ass.

Chase giving me a long look at how these Bard-sponsored trunks fit, moments before his match with Toney.

So, sure, I owe big Toney for more Chase time. But on the other hand, I sensed that Chase was feeling just a little miffed at being left hanging. I’m sure he wouldn’t want to admit it, but the delay may have frayed the young stud’s nerves just a tad, as impatience crept into his voice.


Toney wants Chase to know that there are no hard feelings.  WTF?!?

I’d half suspect that big Toney did it on purpose, if it weren’t for the fact that he’s such a fucking Boy Scout. A hunk this beefy and this sportsmanly is a rarity in this business. He holds the ropes for Chase to more conveniently climb into the ring. I know what you’re thinking. I was thinking it, too.  Chase was thinking it, as well. Toney was in perfect position to exploit Chase with one foot in and one foot out of the ring. He could have viciously yanked up on the middle rope and racked the baby heel. He could have driven a knee to Chase’s chest as he crouched underneath the top rope. It was a vulnerable moment that Chase cautiously walked into with his eyes wide open. But Toney didn’t do any of those things. He was just being helpful. What the fuck?!

Chase knows that Toney breaks for ropes, the dope.

Chase similarly struggles to believe the read he’s getting on Toney as the big rookie repeatedly offers a sportsmanly handshake to demonstrate he has no hard feelings. He’s so fucking upright.  With a body that beautifully built, he could dictate his own rules against an opponent Chase’s size (40 pounds lighter). But he’s such a Dudley Do-Right that he just obeys all the rules of fairness and civil conduct. He’s banking entirely on his physical strength and newbie ring skills to give him the fighting chance he needs to demonstrate his clean-cut superiority. Oh, fuck, I’m hating this guy so much. Make this fucker weep like a baby, Chase!

Toney diligently keeps the action in the middle of the ring.

The battle is a sweetly engaging teeter-totter, baby heel vs. baby babyface. Big Toney can essentially shot put Chase across the ring at will. Toney works his advantages with blunt force, muscle dominating Chase with tests of strength and effortless lifts. He impales Chase’s gut with a shoulder block in the corner, but like the goodie-goodie he is, he pulls Chase off the ropes to snap mare him into the middle of the ring.

Chase, on the other hand, exploits the ropes to their full, rule-breaking advantage.

For his part, Chase sucks down the pounding punishment like a pro and delivers surgical, vicious, rule-breaking strikes to level the playing field. A sudden heel strike to the side of Toney’s knee drops the big man abruptly. Instantly, he positions Toney’s throat across the bottom rope and chokes him relentlessly, kicking, butt dropping, and eventually full out standing on the babyface’s shoulders, full bodyweight pressing Toney’s throat into the rope and cutting off air to his lungs. The baby heel is unquestionably vulnerable against the overwhelming muscle and mass of his opponent, but as fresh as he is, this is definitely not Chase’s first rodeo. They trade momentum back and forth, but I can totally believe that Chase is on his way to pulling this out.

Like a baby

But then Toney scoops Chase up in an effortless cradle and holds him there. It’s a boss move. It’s completely fair and totally bad ass, demonstrating that Chase’s hot body is at his mercy. Finally, big Toney drops to one knee and slams the living fuck out of Chase’s back, holding him for a couple of seconds in an OTK, literally bouncing the baby heel on his knee before spilling him to the mat in a heap of anguish. Toney deliberately drops to the mat and pins his opponent’s shoulders to the mat, slapping down a 2 count before Chase kicks out. As they start to get to their feet, Toney offers another handshake to demonstrate that he’s still got no hard feelings, despite his sick ass brutal muscle domination. “Get that away from me!” Chase snaps furiously. “What is wrong with you!?”

Chase gets pissed.

And right there and then, I’m starting to get worried about our boy. It seems almost as if Chase was prepared to go toe to toe with another rule breaking bad boy, but is thrown off his game by big Toney’s extravagant sportsmanship. That note of impatience that I sensed in Chase’s voice a half an hour earlier creeps back in, as if Toney is ironically crawling under Chase’s skin with his iconoclastic, straight laced, dispassionately rule-abiding earnestness. There’s a bubbling rage in Chase that makes me seriously worried that he could get plowed under here, if his emotions get the best of him.

Chase broken in half in a series of power OTKs.

Indeed, Toney is pitching in probably a little over 50% of this match, and every gentlemanly offer of a handshake just keeps riling Chase up worse and worse. The baby heel gets rung out in more than one sensationally intimate bearhug. The desperation rises in Chase’s voice as he’s slapped down and ground underneath this mountain of straight-edge muscle. As I think about it, I was probably interviewing Kayden Keller out back right around the time Toney was scooping Chase up again in that total boss cradle, parading him around the ring, and pounding him down into another OTK. Then Toney muscles him up again, still in that same cradle, takes a step, and fucking drives Chase’s back down across his thigh, making the baby heel cry out. Then again, Toney muscles him up in that same cradle, takes another step, and drives him down again, pounding Chase’s tingling spine across his OTK still again, making our boy scream.

Welcome to BG East wrestling, Toney!

This is nowhere near the end of this match, and fortunes turn back and forth with sweet suspense. And since we’re talking about boss moves, you’ll have to watch for Chase trussing Toney up in a corner, spread-eagle suspended across the bottom ropes, before taking a running point-after kick driving Toney’s balls up into his throat. Both of these sweat soaked battlers celebrate victory with a pin fall.  It’s just that one of them celebrates too soon.

Chase digs deep to level the playing field

So if you can’t tell, I love this match. I love the personalities. I love (to hate) big Toney’s relentless good guy schtick. I’m sucked in, as always, by the acrobatics and dexterity of Chase’s high class pro submissions. I love the psychological battle almost as much as the physical battle. I love not knowing who’s going to walk out of the ring the winner, leaving his battered opponent completely unconscious and drowning in a pool of both men’s sweat, liplocked and bested.

Baby heel in trouble

But I also love this match for how it sucks me in. When my boy Chase is getting pummeled and humiliated, it makes me want to dive into the ring and rescue him. Watching Toney bounce him in that OTK, listening to Chase scream, it ignites in me that same type of fantasy that drew me in so completely, watching pro wrestling as a kid. It makes me want to be there, to pick sides, to put my finger to the scales by wrapping my big bicep across Toney’s throat just when he thinks he’s got Chase owned.  I want to hang from Toney’s chinlock as I bend him backward across the top rope, for Chase to deliver another vicious punt to the big man’s balls. I think it’s why I favor competitive matches, and why I’m so eager to pick my favorites. At its best, pro wrestling always drags me into the action in my mind. In this case it’s just that much more poignant knowing I was literally just 100 yards away.

Charming Chase classes up the place

In addition to getting off on the action as well as on the rewrite in my mind that ends with Toney screaming a final submission completely suspended off the mat in my Boston crab back-to-sweaty-back with Chase’s chinlock camel clutch, I’m also enjoying this match for whatever comes next. I have been craving a big, dominant, babyface bruiser to leave a wake at BG East for a while, and holy shit, Toney Rico could very well fill those wrestling boots. Of course I can’t wait to see him suffer, but I get the strong impression that big Toney will take down more than his fair share of hopeful heels along the way, perhaps balancing the scales just a bit at the notoriously heel-dominated company. And I’m also looking forward to watching Chase become, match by match, more himself. I want to see him grow meaner, more focused, and enjoy it just a little more. And I hope he just can’t shake that little twist of baby heel vulnerability that makes me believe he could use a little hand now and then from an amorous fan.

Watch your back, Dudley Do-Right!

I’ve got your back, Chase.