Monday, January 4, 2010

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.

4 comments:

  1. Hey, as always, I enjoy your insights. I've been meaning to email you for a while. I'm the guy who writes a lot of the match descriptions for BGE, including the one for Strip Stakes, which you mentioned liking. Thanks a lot for that--as you probably have found out, people rarely comment on "writing" in gay wrestling. Anyway, I wanted to add, I think the allure of the hunky jobber in gay wrestling has a lot to do with fantasy fulfillment: the "untouchable" hot guy who gets touched, sometimes brutally. Sometimes, he deserves it as payback for being cocky. But a lot of the time, he's just a good guy who doesn't know what he's in for. It's one of the few uniquely "gay" angles in wrestling, which is why it's so rare on the national level. Anyway, always enjoy your blogs and stories. My email if you or anyone wants to chat is sodoff19@aol.com.

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  2. Josh - 1) Your text work with BGE is hot! The description, the tease, the scene-setting... it turns a series of stills into a storyboard, and gets our imaginations kicked into drive. I'm sure that there are consumers who buy a product based on a pic of a hot hold, but I've got to believe that for most of us, the real fetish-find is in the text.

    2) Your theory about the untouchable hunky jobber has a nice ring of authenticity about it. I'm totally on board. I still like the idea of the hunk who gets owned, but perhaps later buys himself back (and the story can continue to evolve back and forth). I know it's not rocket science nor is it Shakespeare, but a little bit of character development keeps me from getting bored.

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  3. Hey, let me join Bard in paying my sincere respect to you, Josh H., for your terrific script work in the BGE materials. You sure know how to describe, with succinctness and erotic allure, the elements of a given match that turn us on so powerfully. Don't ever doubt that we appreciate you! I'm also a fan of the "man of 1000 holds" who runs "Wrestling Arsenal" (recently transformed into a blog), who also does a terrific job of capturing (often with mock earnestness -- "Oh, how can they continue to punish such a muscular young man! Look how his bulging trunks are absorbing such punishing blows!")
    Anyway, I also agree with Bard about being turned on by Jobbers who occasionally turn heel. If I may be a bit more personally and sexually explicit about all this, I sometimes find that, after I've jerked off to a fantasy involving a muscular jobber getting worked over by a heel (with yours truly taking on the heel position), I often go for a round 2 jerk-off fantasy by imagining the jobber going vicious on me and working me over. I suppose it's a pattern in general for my fantasy JO sessions: the first one is rather ordinary, and then I need a bit of extra viciousness for round 2.
    Brad, cadwrestl@yahoo.com

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  4. I agree with all you dudes. Josh, great job at BGEast! Brad, I agree, wrestling arsenal has great commentary too, i love it.

    my ideal jobber/heel match revolves around the heel being all cocky and just demolishing the jobber in the first round. in the second round the jobber happens to gain the upper hand and puts the heel in an embarrassing submission or pin for the win. by the third round the jobber is too cocky, thinking he's unstoppable. but the heels has had enough and gains the upper hand once again. but this time it isn't just about winning, it's about DESTROYING the jobber, putting the jobber in his place, totally and utterly humiliating him! multiple fake 1-2 pins until finally he puts him in the ultimate submission hold but can't hear his submission because he covers the dudes mouth. eventually the heel puts an end to it and gives him a killer finishing hold for the 1-2-3 pin. hopefully he then drags him into the locker room for some more "after hours" action ;)

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