Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Deserving It

There's a fascinating aspect to pro wrestling and, of more interest to me, the homoerotic wrestling genre, that focuses on the rules of engagement. Behavior that would be condemned outside the ring as anti-social, underhanded, or despicable can be transformed in a wrestling fantasy into it's own brand of moral rightness. New rules apply inside the wrestling ring. As a result, we may (often) find ourselves rooting for the heel, cheering for the low blow, delighting in a battler taking sadistic advantage of a vulnerable and defeated opponent.


When Jeff Phoenix gets stood up by his tag partner, the golden boy with a crazy hot body cockily predicts that he can defeat both Jose and Cruze singlehandedly. Of course, Jose and Cruze are notorious cheaters. They're bullies, sadists with credentials as long as their fight records, invariably happy to cut corners, pull trunks, torture opponents in the ropes, and revel in a completely unfair 2-on-1 mugging. And, frankly, from the moment handsome hardbody Jeff steps into the ring, I can't wait to see him suffer.  He "deserves it" inside the ring in a way that doesn't necessarily translate outside the ring. He's too hot, too handsome, way too confident, and the only right thing to be done is for him to get beaten to a pulp, humiliated repeatedly, broken into a quivering mess in the middle of the ring, and left to pick up the pieces of his dignity. Outside the ring, a 2-on-1 cheating, humiliating beating of a hard working muscle man might seem "wrong," but inside the ring, it's ooooh-so-right.



If ever someone deserved it, Troy Baker did. I happily own his debut match for BG East, in which he teamed up with his brother. Troy's character took a little while to develop, but even in that first match, we can see the seeds of his destruction. He's beautiful. He's stunningly built. He's a little slow in piecing together some wrestling moves, but he's supremely confident that his sheer strength and bright, white smile will earn him victory. In match after match, his self-love of his own beautiful body becomes his undoing, and there's just nothing "righter" than watching him think that he's got it in the bag, only to find himself suffering and destroyed at the hands of an "inferior" opponent.


Inside the ring, that's the formula that demands brutal, humiliating destruction of the classic golden boy. Inside the ring, justice simply requires that a less stunningly developed, less beautiful, perhaps less "deserving" of victory heel beat the living shit out of Troy again, and again, and again. Outside the ring, good looks, blond hair, a hard, tight body, and a healthy dose of entitlement and confidence will generally be very well rewarded. Inside the ring, they require crushing defeat and prolonged humiliation.


I think the morality tales of straight-up pro probably work the same way, but I think homoerotically directed wrestling has an even more salient subtext. Someone like muscle-beautiful Zack Johnathan/Vazquez getting completely taken to school by "skinny" kid Brody Hancock, for example, lets me work out all sorts of long standing "issues" I have as a gay man. Outside the ring, the most beautiful, straight-laced, used-to-getting-their-way straight boys tend to prosper and receive more than a heaping helping of social approval. But inside the ring, at least for this gayboy, there's something deeply satisfying about seeing the classic jock pummeled. It speaks to me powerfully to see the classic cards of strength, youth, and power stacked against an overmatched opponent, who with sheer audacity and ferocity, does whatever it takes to pull the rug out from under the muscled juggernaut. The morality tale, for me at least, has more than a hint of the skinny (or fat), disregarded and underestimated sissy who spits in the face of the bullying jock and exacts humiliating revenge for getting thrown into the lockers.


I think what's so engaging for me about homoerotic wrestling is this notion of new rules that overturn the standard morality of polite society. Well, okay, there's that, plus the gorgeous, hot hunks squeezing and dominating each other in (or out) of completely revealing gear that leads to or at least inspires me to imagine them fucking for days. But no, really, the chance to rewrite the rules, to turn conventional morality and wisdom on its head, makes so much of wrestling homo to me, even when no one literally gets fucked, just fucked up.

1 comment:

  1. That Wade vs. KL match is one of the best. The ending is exactly how more matches should end.

    ReplyDelete

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