Friday, December 4, 2015

Casting The Cave: Thunder's Arena Edition

It's been a while since I did one of these. Back in March, I started with the Rock Hard Wrestling Edition, because of the similar look and feel of RHW 1.0. I followed up with the BGEast Edition in April, both new and old school. Then I did the guys who wrestle all over the place in the Multi-Promotional Edition in May. All were posted here in late August.

Now, it's Thunder's Arena's turn.

A couple of quick reminders of some of my criteria ...

  1. Has to be exclusive (or near-exclusive) guys. That means that guys like Frey, Braden Charron, Brian Cage, etc. don't count.
  2. Has to be guys I've seen in action. I wanted guys I had a good feeling about, not just judging based on random pictures. For example, Tanked looks perfect for Ryan, even having identical stats (6'4"/250-lbs), but I haven't seen him, so he's out of the running.
  3. Not based on who I like, but on tangible factors like looks, personality, skill, etc. So guys like Jersey and Tak were not guaranteed a spot.

So who would I go to?

Cody = Talon

Above all, Cody is not just a star, he is THE star of The Cave. Talon has star quality, with killer looks and charisma. He already pulls off charming self-absorption with ease. And apparently Talon sells like a beast and fans love him. I do question the talent level, as one of Cody's defining characteristics is that he knows wrestling, but with casting, that isn't usually my top priority.

Handsome enough to be my star

And a body guys want

Flexes more than Cody, but he looks so good doing it

First Runner-Up: A certain big and sexy wrestler. Given his current status, I decided not to make him my first choice, but he probably is my real first choice. Like Cody, he's not perfect, but his charisma is off the charts. He has the confident cockiness and the talent to be the lead dog for The Cave. And he's proven that he can win or job, whether he's The Bat or Pink Punk.

I read on TA's Tumblr that he's still trying to keep
this a secret (even though they're renting his matches
and posting his pics on Tumblr).

Ryan = MXD

I'm not going to lie, this is usually the hardest choice. There are a lot of big guys in Thunder's Arena, but personality-wise, most of the ones I've seen are arrogant. While the 6'7" MXD is 60-lbs thinner and less imposing than Ryan, he was pretty chill in both of the videos I've seen with him. And he was strong enough to manhandle Z-Man (my multi-promotional Cody), so he's also got that going for him.

6'7", he's a giant, like Ryan

Yeah, he's thin, but so smoking hot

He might be thin, but he's powerful

First Runner-Up: Johnny Bravo. Ryan is a big guy and a winner, so Johnny Bravo was my first choice for a long time. However, he just doesn't seem like a Ryan to me.

A giant winner, but only #2 in my casting call

Ben = Anarchy

Probably not the most obvious choice, but every cast needs a "Hugh-Jackman-as-Wolverine-WTF?!?" choice. The thing is, I really don't see any of the TA guys I've seen as perfect for my Ivy League, alpha male good guy. I actually picked Anarchy mainly for his appearance - dark, handsome and ripped. The tattoos are probably excessive for Ben, but we can't have everything.

Physically, I think he's a great match

Try to imagine him without the tattoos

Against Frey, he seemed pretty cool

First Runner-Up: Jersey. It's no secret that I like this guy. His charming, easy-going personality and northeast roots are great for Ben. I like that he can snap when pushed, knowing he could lose a fun match then take down a pro like Kyle in a storage room. However, his look and body aren't quite right, so I went with appearance over personality (ain't that always the way) and reluctantly dropped him to my second choice.

Sorry Jersey, but I can't play favorites!

Jeff = Vinny

Vinny is definitely a gorgeous blue collar brawler, much like Jeff. He's got a perfect body and I like that he's rough around the edges. He's cocky and fun, but brutal when he wants to be. In my head, Jeff originally looked much more like Vinny than my eventual model Steve Kuchinsky. I could happily see him in any of the predicaments Jeff finds himself in any day of the week.

This is actually closer to how I originally saw Jeff

I could see him as an aspiring pro wrestler

Vinny knows how to put on a show

First Runner-Up: Talon. I really debated this one. While not as blue collar or skilled as Jeff, Talon has the right body, looks and charisma to be my ultimate pro wrestling mega-stud. He's closer to Steve Kuchinsky than Vinny, but further from my concept of the character. Still, being my Cody is actually a better gig for him anyway.

You're not my #1 Jeff, but you got to be Cody

Jae = Marco

Once again, I tried to solve for Jae, but this is the first time I've actually made a choice. I'm figuring that Marco is the best choice, based on looks, his bodybuilder body, confidence and youth. Marco could easily be a Superman analog and be the guy who got Cody to finally settle down.

Young, ripped and gorgeous, just like Jae

Using Jae's ultimate weakness?

SuperStar being dominated?

First Runner-Up: Kai. Like Jae, Jersey's little brother is young, cocky and brave, willing to face any challenge. He can dominate or suffer and just needs a Cody to train him. However, I just didn't think he's quite physically right for Jae from a looks and body perspective. 

My runner-up has the right attitude, but not quite the look

Wrapping It Up

Below is a summary of the four casting calls I've done. I don't see myself doing another one of these any time soon. The only other companies I follow at all are Can-Am, UCW and Movimus, but they either don't have the right rosters for it or I don't know their talent well enough. I did try to work through a pro wrestling version (both WWE and indie), but it's been way too hard so far. Dolph Ziggler as Cody is about as far as I got.

So what do you think? Agree? If you disagree, who would you pick from Thunder's? And overall, any favorites that you think just nail it?



  1. Man, those are some tough choices. I think you've made the right calls by your instinct, though. Plus, we got to look at some hot studs flexing and in motion, almost as though they really were auditioning for these roles!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, being the casting director for The Cave or Route 69 TV series would be a fun job!

  2. To be honest I think casting call like this works better if you didn't post any photos with your stories. It's hard for me to shake off the association. This looks fun anyhow.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I like the pics with my stories too much for me to not post them, but that's a good point. I think of it as casting a movie like Batman, Superman, James Bond or even Star Trek where multiple actors can play the same character.

  3. For me, it's Waters, Vee, Adamov, and Decker.

    1. I forgot to tap Notify on my last Comment.

    2. Those are great choices! Thanks for the comment.