Friday, October 2, 2015

Review: Dozer vs. Bolt (Thunder's Arena)

I’ll start with a warning. I’m feeling a little salty after watching several disappointing matches in a row, including this one. This review might come across as a little more critical than my usual fair. This match isn't horrible, it's mediocre. Bolt is apparently popular and this match in particular has four 5-star reviews. I, however, am in a different place.

Grrr, I'm on a bad run with my video choices.
I've been buying a lot of Thunder's Arena stuff lately, thanks to Jersey, the massive volume of their recent releases, some decent sale prices, and my lack of interest in what other folks have been offering. To wit, at the time of writing ...
  • Rock Hard Wrestling has only posted one match, but I'm Austin-Coopered out
  • BGEast's catalogue 109.3 had only two matches I was interested in, one of which I already reviewed here and Bard reviewed the other here
  • UCW hasn't featured the guys I'm most interested in, although #429 (Diesel/Victor) looks interesting
  • Same with Movimus, but I see that Nero Angelo is back, so I probably will buy that
Anyway, so lots of Thunder's Arena. I find them kind of like the arrogant bad boy of the gay wrestling world. They are often openly derisive of other sites and wrestlers, like an obnoxious heel who has an inflated view of themselves and disrespects everyone else (like a Xaq).

I bring this up because when they profiled the 5'7"/150-lbs Bolt, they made sure to point out that it was Rock Hard Wrestling that found him, but he "refused" to wrestle for them because their guys are too small. He wanted the challenge of TA's bigger guys.

Bolt wants big competition.
Dozer definitely fits the bill.
Based on viewing Dozer vs. Bolt, my reaction is two-fold. First, good for RHW for being out there actively recruiting. Maybe they didn't get this guy, but they might get the next one. Second, Bolt should've gone to RHW, because he can't actually handle the big guys. At least he couldn't convincingly handle Dozer.

Now that might be the point. Maybe Bolt is the cocky little guy who bites off more than he can chew and we're supposed to enjoy seeing him manhandled. Unfortunately for Bolt, there's a guy named Tak who already has that role and he's damn good at it (I've bought like 10 of his matches).

150-lbs is just a warmup for Dozer.
This overhead press should make a few fans happy.
In several ways, this match is a pale copy of Dozer vs. Jersey. I loved that match (reviewed here). It's got a smaller-than-Dozer rookie in a poor gear choice. It's got the same Dozer with his chatty, fun, "coach" persona in full force. Now one big difference is that his gear is really bad, mostly due to his inability to fill out the front pouch. It's distractingly empty.

The match tries to hit a lot of the same beats as Dozer/Jersey, but just doesn't work as well.

Dozer's having fun.
The first 4+ minutes is flexing, bragging and posturing. Bolt talks big, repeating the same stuff about his background, skill and easily beating up a 325-lbs guy. It's repetitive and gets kind of boring, but okay, I get it. He's another cocky smaller guy who will take on all comers. That can work.

Unfortunately, we never see him back up the big talk and his personality isn't charming or fun enough to engage me. And it's not a squash the other way, so if the intent is to appeal to people who want to see a smaller guy get crushed, I think it would still be disappointing.

Attitude only gets you so far.

Bow before the big man.


Despite all the boasting, the big man had to basically lie down throughout the match. Yes, Bolt can lift the bigger bodybuilder, but lifting isn't wrestling. Dozer talks and/or flexes when Bolt is working, never fearing the smaller stud.

Bolt gets his leg workout in.
A surprise reversal would've been interesting. Maybe if Bolt had some Eli Black MMA moves in his arsenal, he could've shocked the confident muscleman. However, the smaller stud never shows any moves or tricks that lead you to believe he could actually hurt Dozer. Even his sleeper isn't sold at all and that's a staple for catchweight encounters.

Moments like this are few and far between.

Dozer doesn't look like he's getting sleepy.

Dozer flexes, even when being pinned.

Now, it's not really fair to blame Bolt 100%. Sure, he can't back up his attitude, but in a catchweight, it's clearly up to the bigger guy to choose to sell or not sell. Dozer did play along well against Jersey, who is a lot bigger than Bolt, but smaller than Dozer. However, the big guy doesn't really do much here. He almost over-sells, with exaggerated grimaces and obvious lying down for no reason.

I can't say that the outcome is never in doubt, as Thunder's often has random endings, but it's clear that Bolt is outmatched in every way.

So after one match, Bolt isn't on my list to buy again. And Dozer has taken a step back to 'maybe' status. His match against Talon (who is also apparently amazingly popular) didn’t help. In fact, I found Dozer vs. Talon to be a huge waste of money.

Here's a full bonus review of that match with visual support ... flex, flex, flex + blah, blah, blah + half-hearted ball grabs = yawn.

It's a lot of this.
And a lot of this.
With a few of these.
And this was my reaction.

I still have a few more Dozer matches to watch and they're against wrestlers I've liked previously (Jersey, Marco and Eric Fury), so we'll see how those go. But first, I'm definitely going to turn to Jersey to reverse my losing streak. I have Jersey vs. Tak, Talon and Dozer to watch.

And in late breaking news, I see that there's two new matches that look interesting. There's a BBB Lane Hartley (BBB = Before Bulking and Beard) match on BGEast's catalogue 110. And RHW just released a new match featuring a rookie that looks interesting ... Rex Bedford.

If you want this match, I'd say buy/re-watch Dozer vs. Jersey instead. If you just want to see Bolt in action, maybe start somewhere else. He might be better against a different opponent, but you could also just get some Tak matches and be guaranteed a good time!

So, what do you think? Am I crazy? As I said, Bolt is a big seller and this particular match has all 5-star reviews on the Thunder's site. Maybe I'm an outlier. It's also quite possible I've missed the entire point of this match. Oh well.

Please let me know what you think in the comments!



  1. Bolt is a popular seller, following in the footsteps of Marco. Perhaps TA is slowly trying to build 2 factions of their roster to appease fans - the big, muscle-studs, and the leaner, lankier, wrestler, a la, Marco, Bolt, Archer, Tak.
    I wanted to purchase the Marco vs. Bolt match, because I am a big fan of wrestling in underwear, however Marco seems to go through the motions in some of his matches, and I need to read/see more of Bolt to make the purchase.
    It's funny. I used to complain all the time that there were never enough pictures on the websites to go along with the matches; now there are more, but the pictures always don't tell the whole story. The pictures and gifs you provide make it seem like a hot, semi-competitive match with usual TA hi-jinks.

    1. Thanks for commenting. I agree on not being able to count on pics. In this case, I think it has the elements of a good match, which is why it was easy to pull good images. Overall, I found it disappointing as a complete experience.

      I won't be able to help you with advice on Marco/Bolt, as I don't plan on buying any more Bolt, but Jose at La Sustancia P has watched the match and gave it a blue square (meaning he liked it) on his September wrapup. Maybe ask him for some details in his comment section for the post.