Saturday, August 29, 2015

Review: Marco x 2 (Thunder's Arena)

(Originally posted on New Stories 6/12/15, prior to the arrival of Jersey)

I have to start this by saying that Thunder’s Arena is hit-or-miss for me. I've bought 25 matches from them over the years, so I feel like that’s a decent sample size. Certainly enough to make a judgment.

They always have a great selection of hot guys. The pics, clips and descriptions sell hard. The matches are fun and light in tone, but often the action is often sub-par. The camera work and editing aren’t always the best.

My biggest challenge is that the value is tricky. It’s tough for me to justify over $30 for 20-minute videos where you can have 5 minutes of posing and/or nonsense. I saw that they have a new ring match for $35. If they can get it, good for them. I don't begrudge them charging what the market will bear. I, however, will not pay that much for one match.

So for me, it's tough to know what to buy and not regret it. I had basically dropped to only trusting Big Sexy matches, but both he and his matches are long gone from the site.

Right as Big Sexy left, Marco came along. He got rave reviews, he’s hot and I enjoyed an interview he did on a former blog. However, he debuted right when the prices increased. I held off, but I kept checking the site. I was definitely tempted to give him a try. So when they had their recent sale, I bit the bullet and bought a few.

Marco to the rescue?

Marco is a lot of good things. He’s got a great body. And a spectacular ass. He’s fun. He seems like he can wrestle well enough for Thunder’s. He’s no Big Sexy, but I do like him. I say he’s no Big Sexy, because it turns out that he’s hit-or-miss for me, too. I was hoping he’d be a reliable must-buy superstar, but I'm just not feeling it.

I’ve watched three-and-a-third matches with him - full matches against Dom, Tak and Wolf, plus a portion of a match vs. MXD that they were selling that felt like a third of a match.

Marco vs. Dom

Marco vs. Tak
Marco vs. Wolf
Marco vs. MXD

I decided to review the matches against Dom and Wolf, as they are representative of how I view a typical “hit” and a typical “miss” from Thunder’s.

Marco vs. Dom

This is the type of match that’s a “hit” from Thunder’s for me. It delivers on what Thunder’s does well. It's two short, wide bodybuilder type guys posturing, challenging, posing and struggling. It’s fun, but not a joke.

Dom isn’t usually my favorite, but he knows what he’s doing by this point. He’s a good guy for Marco to go against, because he works. Both guys feel like they’re trying. So I liked Dom and Marco a lot in this one.

In 25 minutes, there’s a couple of minutes of posing then a long stretch of power wrestling between two strong guys, a little more posing and then a quick ending that has nothing to do with anything that happened up to that point (which is typical of Thunder’s action, too).

The holds and selling are well done. There’s banter, but it never took me out of the action. The ripped bodies are put on display in a few nice holds. Gear is often not the strength of Thunder’s. In this case, Marco’s gold trunks are great, but Dom’s blue-patterned squarecuts seem deliberately designed to obscure his bulge and butt. Like a blue dot over an informant on television.

This would be better with different gear on Dom

I definitely enjoyed this match. Don’t know if I’ll ever re-watch it, but I wasn’t disappointed I bought it.

Marco vs. Wolf

For me, this match sums up every “miss” with Thunder’s Arena. Hot guys, terrible action and I was left with an overall unsatisfied feeling. I hesitated to review something I didn’t like, but I’m going to see how it goes.

This match was the first Marco one I watched. I like big hairy guys, which Wolf is. He’s definitely a guy I’d love to wrestle or watch wrestle. However, there is so little wrestling in this video, I don’t know if he can actually wrestle.

I would describe this as a fun match to be in, but it’s not a fun match to watch. The guys are jokey and casual, but in a distracting way. None of the holds or selling is convincing. It feels like there’s more flexing, posing and touching than wrestling. It reminds me of hotel and living room matches I’ve had where both guys are so into each other the wrestling takes a back seat. I enjoyed them, but I would never ask anyone to pay $30 for a video of one.

It kind of feels like it never gets started. The whole 20 minutes feels like the intro. There’s a lot of rubbing, posing and pinning. Wolf loves to caress Marco’s body. And who wouldn’t? But it bored me to watch it.

Wolf’s big moves are (1) rubbing his hairy pecs on Marco’s face; and (2) sitting with his balls and/or butt on Marco’s face.

Copping a feel

One of Wolf's big moves

Marco returns the favor. He does do a couple of holds, but they’re not great. Near the end, he waves his boot  two feet over Wolf's bulge then kicks air. I’m still not sure if I’m supposed to think he stomped Wolf’s bulge or was just threatening to do it? His boot is a mile away and Wolf doesn’t sell the kicks, so I guess it wasn't a stomp, but it was weird.

Yes, I would trade places with Wolf

Marco gets a submission from a boston crab that lasts 7 seconds. An armbar is the final finisher. It gets a submission and is over in 8 seconds. When it's released, Wolf lies down like he’s beaten and Marco poses a little. Done in by an 8-second armbar? Disbelief NOT suspended.

The armbar finisher ...

... and Wolf is done?

There's a sleeper that's a great example of my problems with this "match". Was there no editor? Usually Thunder's has no problem with sticking in weird cuts. They do it all the time. Maybe no one at Thunder's made it through this match? Anyway, as you can see in the GIF below, Wolf goes down then he looks up with a big smile. Marco pushes on his arm and he goes down like he’s unconscious. What?

Um, I think you're supposed to be asleep

The camera work is too close. You never get an angle of the holds. In the aforementioned Boston crab, there’s no shot I could pull with both guys in it. It pans from Marco to Wolf tapping. The pic below is the best I could do. Now it lasting only 7 seconds doesn’t help, but I feel like there was too much zoom. I get their fans want closeups of bodies, butts and bulges, but this was too close for me.

The boston crab

Definitely not worth even the discounted price in my opinion, but maybe it sounds good to you. It might be unfair to use this to evaluate Marco, but I feel like a star can elevate his opponent.

I'm not done with Thunder's or anything, but definitely I'm waiting for sales. I did notice that Guido Genatto is over there as Dirty Daddy, so I might check that out. It is more convenient than BGEast's VOD system and I feel like he would elevate anyone he was wrestling.

Well, that's my perspective. Have you seen either of these matches? What did YOU think? Am I right or wrong?

Also, I'd love to hear if it felt fair or too harsh? Should I stick to only positive reviews? Please let me know what you think in the comments.



  1. I'm a huge Marco fan and I have every one of his matches but I can definitely understand some of your concerns. Marco is hit or miss which is unfortunate because he is so sexy. No film of him wrestling should be a waste because of his skills and looks, but there are disappointingly more than a few that are not hits.

    Here's where I would place Marco's matches:

    Hits: Viggo; Dominic; The Brit; Lex; Lupe; 2nd Archer match; Archer oil match (more of a chat than a match).

    Misses: Brian Cage; 2nd Frey match; 1st Archer match; Vein.

    In the middle: Sly; Dozer; Wolf (more of a muscle worship session); 1st Frey match; MXD; Specimen bedroom; TAK; Mean Mike; Specimen oil match (more of a chat than a match).

    1. Thanks for this! It's incredibly helpful.

      I think we're probably similar, as you put Dom as a hit then Tak and MXD in the middle, which is my feeling. Plus, your description of the video with Wolf as a muscle worship session is right on. That's why it didn't work for me at all. It sounds like the oil matches would be misses for me, too, as chats don't excite me.

      I'll refer to your post next time I'm looking to buy from Thunder's!

  2. Alex R:

    Well he might be a miss for Thunders Arena, but I think that you can write a good story with him in it and the way he should be used! He looks phenomenal. Lets see him in action in the Alex Miller Universe!

    1. Well, he's hit-or-miss. I think he can be good, like in the match with Dominic. And I'll probably check out a few of the 'hits' listed in the first comment.

      I never really think about using these guys in my stories. Although coming this weekend (Friday-Sunday), I have three posts scheduled that could lead to writing about a few guys ... let's see what folks think.

  3. marco is so hot, he done some straight porn videos too.

    1. Thanks for the info.

      I just completed a review on Dirty Daddy vs. Marco ... it'll appear on Wednesday (11/4) if you want to check it out!

    2. "He's done some straight porn videos, too"

      How do you know this? Where did you find them?

      I ask b/c I've been looking for stuff with him in it besides Thunders.

    3. I'm not sure Unknown will come back to see your question, so I'd suggest trying to follow his trail by clicking on his name to see his Google+ account.

      Otherwise, you could send an email to Joe at Ringside. I think he's more up on what these guys do than me.

  4. Thank you for your honest review of Thunder Arenas Wrestling. If bought a gew of their products.I feel the camera work and editing work is the worst of all wrestling DVDS. I'd read an interview with owner Mr. Mike, and he stated pretty much that mostly AMATEUR people are hired to film and edit. It shows.Sometimes most of the action is out of frame,poorly centered and gar to much zoom missing reactions , or only one wrestler is in the frame.Can- Am And BGEast do much better filming.

    1. Thanks to you for commenting, David. I try to be both honest and informative in every review. If I see a production issue, I try to remember to mention it and say how it impacted my experience. Glad it's helpful.