Friday, January 29, 2016

Review: Talon vs. Bucky (Thunders Arena)

Full disclosure: This video was provided to me by Thunders Arena.

Talon: "I'm waiting on some action."
Bucky: "What kind of action are you waiting on?"
Talon: "Whatever you want, I'm ready."

Oh Talon, you know just what to say to get my mind going. Of course Talon vs. Bucky isn't "that" kind of video, but I have a feeling this exact exchange will start one of my stories at some point. In this case, those words are the start to a new Thunders Arena ring match starring fan favorite Talon and newcomer Bucky.

Pro vs. Joe: Hair-pulling intensity

Talon retaliates with a boot to the throat

Regular readers know I've been a big fan of Thunders Arena ring matches, positively reviewing three already (Dirty Daddy vs. Marco, Dirty Daddy vs. Brian Cage and Johnny Bravo vs. Brian Cage). I didn't even know this one was out, but there it was from Mr. Mike in my inbox. I was going to hold back, but I watched a few minutes, got hooked and here we are again with my third Thunders post in 8 days.

I'm going to tell you this upfront, this one is my favorite Thunders ring match yet. Surprising? Well, it surprised me, given that I wasn't a crazy Talon fan, don't know Bucky, not even from pro wrestling, and it's short (18 minutes total, about 16 minutes of action).

I like the idea of Thunders guys working with real pros to add a new element to their skills. Marco and Bravo did a good job, but Talon was the most impressive to me. He really gets into the pro vibe more than Marco, who basically called bullshit on multiple moves. And Talon is able to work a little more smoothly with his pro than the super heavyweight Bravo did with his.

Talon goes all-in for his ring debut

A nice variation on the standard Thunders moves

Talon looks great, of course. He's is in his original blue squarecuts with the jiggling, bulging pouch that I admired when he wrestled Jersey (review here). Other than putting on sneakers, he looks like he just stepped out of the living room into the ring. His 6-pack abs are here, even drawing admiration from Bucky.

Talon's ripped and pumped

He looks great stretched out, too

Now Bucky is different than the typical Thunders stud. His aesthetic is less bodybuilder and more pro wrestler - thicker and meatier, with bulging pecs, rounder stomach and thick legs. The gum-chewing hunk has a rough Southern swagger that screams badass. Yes, gum-chewing. It's all perfect for a pro ring, he's in red pro trunks, black wrist tape, pads and boots.

Bounce those meaty pecs

Pro wrestling beef

However, this isn't a pro vs. joe squash. Talon is tough. It starts with some banter and all seems pretty fun and friendly. At first, Talon is less cocky in the strange environment. Once the action starts, the Thunders star channels his inner heel, while Bucky gets rough and tumble. The initial takedowns feel real, as do the moves that follow.

Talon throws the pro down with authority

Talon sells the sidewalk slam beautifully

There are a ton of great moves and holds, but I really like the elevation with hair-pulling, eye-raking and fish-hooking. When holds are broken, it's with force and disdain. Bodies bounce when they're stomped. This feels intense. The guys sweat and show the effects of the action. I could've done a dozen GIFs without any problem.

Hard-hitting corner work

Talon's no jobber - he fights back with big forearms

The whole match looks and sounds great. The action is pretty damn smooth. Both guys are expressive and into the action. Bucky is a great find, while Talon suffers amazingly well. The camera work is close in, but not too close. It's probably the best ring camerawork yet. Like a real pro match, the guys work together with whispered instructions. Unlike a real pro match, there's no ambient noise to muffle them and they do get caught here by the intimate camera. It didn't bother me, but it might bother you to hear "lower" during a bearhug or "finish" right before the finisher.

Just to repeat, this is my new favorite Thunders ring match. The chemistry between the wrestlers, the commitment to the pro milieu, and the pro vs. joe dynamic all just clicked with me. This is a match I might've bought, but it's one that definitely warrants a repeat viewing.

So another ring winner for me. What are other bloggers saying?

What do you think about Talon entering the ring? And what about Bucky? Inquiring minds want to know!



  1. I agree with all of your points in this matchup. Best one yet. Loved the hairpulling,eye raking (numerous times) as well as fish hook gouging. Down and nasty pro action. I just saw next pro ring coming soon tag team with young stud Travis as one of combatants. I hope it comes out soon or you get an advanced copy and can shed some light on this.

    1. Thanks for the validation!

      Thunders has sent me three videos since Thankgiving, two of which I really liked, so I kind of owe them a purchase. I'll check out the match you're talking about and maybe I'll review it when it's available whether they send it out to bloggers or not.

  2. I love beefy Bucky! I saw him in a match against Austin Cooper from Cameron Matthews' site, and fell in love. And as this match looks to be more give-and-take, it'll be a thrill to see Bucky on the receiving end!

    1. Oh cool. I didn't notice that match over at CW, so he was new to me. Bucky is very cool. Thunders is very sales-driven, so hopefully he sells well and they keep doing these ring encounters.