We're between catalogs for BG East, which is probably good for everyone else, because the preview pics in the BG East Arena for the upcoming catalog is driving me insane (excuse me, both my reigning favorite homoerotic wrestler - non-pornboy division and his #1 contender on the same DVD?!). In the quiet lull between BGE releases, therefore, some other contenders have more of a shot at the title of homoerotic wrestler of the month for appearing in releases that came out for the calendar month of April 2011. First up, I'll toss a bevy of Thunder's Arena wrestlers into the hat, including Sledge and BamBam for Bodybuilder Battle 28, Batar and Rambo No Holds Barred 8, and Sledge (yet again) and smoking hot Eric Fury for Bodybuilder Battle 27. Naked Kombat put up my #1 favorite homoerotic wrestling pornboy, Trent Diesel, in a tag team battle (which is all an excellent formula for success in catching my eye!), and I'll give all four competitors golden tickets to the finale this month, including Trent, DJ, Leo Forte, and Seth Green look-a-like (and surprisingly ferocious) Sebastian Keyes. I'm also giving a nod to NK's Brenn Wyson and Jackson for their April 20th match (reviewed excellently by Joe), and I'm picking just Nikko Alexander from the April 27th oil match, because he's a hot, hard, snarling thug hunk who works his ass off in a 2-on-1. I'm having trouble remembering when Rock Hard Wrestling releases came out (I wish they'd date them to make this easier on me!), but I believe that Cody Nelson and Jeff Hollister/Skip Vance get a nod for their recent match, and late in the month, we saw bodybuilder boy wonder, Lucas Payne back for his second RHW match, this time against newbie Trent Novak. Can-Am's Double-Teamed dropped in April, with an initial look that makes me include Jobe Zander, Rio Garza, and Brenden Cage in the mix. Pro Tag 1 also had an April official release, for which I'll toss in Rio again, along with Aryx Quinn, Donnie Drake and Cameron Mathews. And speaking of Mr. Mathews, he's been a busy boy both in front of the camera and behind it, producing his own series marketed through Can-Am, for which I'll give him several more nods, as well as a top shape Braden Charron in East Coast Mat Battle, and Aryx again for looking particularly tasty in what I've seen so far of East Coast Rope Battle.
So there are a lot of great looking hunks, hard working wrestling, and some perennial favorites who almost always have both "objective" and sentimental advantage when I'm doing the picking. But frankly, for raw entertainment and giving me something new that catches me off guard just a bit, I'm going with what I think of as an unconventional pick. Frankly, I think this is my first mention of this homoerotic wrestler ever, so clearly his stock is enjoying a remarkable spike in my rankings. But I'm just calling it like I see it, and this month, the homoerotic wrestler of the month that I see is...
...Rock Hard Wrestling's Lucas Payne.
After Joe's review of Lucas' debut match against Austin Cooper, I have to say that I was luke warm on taking the plunge to check out Mr. Payne. While Joe gives plenty of credit, everything that he points out as perennially missing from RHW matches leaves me looking elsewhere. A bodybuilder Lucas is a delight to worship, but that does not always translate into homoerotic wrestling gold. But something tweaked my fancy, and I whipped out my credit card and hunkered down for a concentrated introduction to what Lucas Payne and Trent Novak could do for me.
Turns out, more than I expected! The rookies are rookies, let's face it. And they're in the straight-end of the homoerotic wrestling pool, which means that those astonishingly tight trunks stay on and the story is all about aggression with none of the satisfying aftertaste of explicit sexual domination. So maybe my expectations were just so low that anything was going to catch me by surprise. Whatever. I was caught by surprise, and specifically, it was Lucas Payne's mouth that did it for me.
It's not the way that he sucks his lower lip as he concentrates on dishing out crushing punishment on fratboy Trent, though that is absolutely hot. It's Lucas' chatter on his feet that catches me by surprise and makes this match more than I expected.
To be clear, this isn't quite a squash, but it's a squash's 2nd cousin first removed. Lucas takes a little, but the story is about Trent's destruction at the hands (and pecs, and thighs) of the bodybuilder boy wonder. What gets me here is that I quickly, honestly believe that Lucas is a punk bully with more muscles than he's figured out what to do with yet. When he stomps repeatedly all around the perimeter of Trent's body as the fratboy writhes and wails in pain, Lucas starts to mock him, making fun of his crying. Right there, that's the moment! Lucas pisses me off with his completely unnecessary verbal humiliation as he's completely crushing his opponent. Lucas is every overgrown bully that I've ever known and feared, delighting in physical domination but really reveling in psychological domination. I buy it. He's a musclebound prick throwing his weight around, absolutely manhandling Trent and (figuratively) getting off on it. And for that moment of selling me a character I can relate to and feel something about, I'm completely a Lucas Payne fan now.
I don't know if I'm explaining it well. Of course, his innocent baby face and mocha skin stretched taught over competition ready muscles doesn't hurt his case (even the zit on his chin is somehow endearing). But I'm jonesin' on Lucas for more than just that. Early in round 2, he traps Trent's wrist overhead, behind the fratboy's upper back, displaying Trent's impressive physique generously. Trent writhes and sells the pain, stumbling as he tries to free himself, reaching for a rope. "You go where I say you go!" Lucas explains to him cooly. "That's right, that's right. Come on!!! Where's the fight!?" he taunts him. "You go where I say you go..." Lucas repeats, spinning Trent around in a headlock and shoving him face first to the canvas. "... and you go DOWN!" he barks, proving his mastery of his opponent.
Lucas tells this story both physically and verbally throughout, and regular readers know that I'm a sucker for ring banter. He occasionally growls like a grizzly, which brings to mind spicy hints of Rusty Stevens. When Trent is riding a short-lived rally, hammerlocking Lucas' right arm high up the middle of his back, Lucas refuses to give. "Let's bring it up a little further! How does that feel!!" the fratboy demands of the bodybuilder boy wonder. Lucas, however, quickly powers out of his predicament and has Trent screaming again in a single-leg boston crab. "Let's get it a little bit further," Lucas mocks as he pulls Trent's leg off the canvas farther. That's storytelling I enjoy! Lucas reminds us that he's not only back on the advantage, he's dishing out paybacks for the fratboy's earlier cockiness.
There's a lot that doesn't surprise. For example, the RHW high definition production quality is as amazing as always. For another example, the boys don't quite know how to transition from hold to hold, to build momentum with the wrestling itself. While they do seem to be nursing their holds a bit longer (thank you!), both Trent and Lucas pretty much always work a hold, and then inexplicably walk away, catch their breath, and then lock up for another hold (not sure how that makes much sense, other than that they just don't know how to chain moves together, to respond rapidly and work reversals). But unlike most of the RHW wrestlers, Lucas has carved out in my imagination a character who is smart, sadistic, and amuses himself by mocking his writhing opponents as he crushes them with his bodybuilder boy wonder physique. Now, I wouldn't mind seeing Lucas love his own body a little more explicitly (since in RHW, it seems like his opponents never will). I'd love to see him lord it over his screaming opponents, flexing in their faces, literally rubbing their noses in the sweaty crevice between his mountainous pecs. But that said, I love it when Lucas marvels at the power of his legs as Trent wails like a baby, trapped in a crippling body scissor. "Go ahead, try to fight," Lucas offers. Then, with that lower lip sucked in adorably, he explains, "They call me 'Thunder Thighs!'"
Not me, though. I just call him Homoerotic Wrestler of the Month.