Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Review: Alex Waters vs. Zack Jonathan (RHW 1.0)

It feels like I'm settling into a heavy BGEast/Thunders Arena focus on my blog. It's not intentional, just the way things are happening nowadays. I'm trying to break it up, but I'm bound by what's released and what I want to watch.

I feel like someone with 500 channels complaining there's nothing to watch. UCW would be the easiest to do more on, but Joe is all over their videos. I only do downloads and don't do subscriptions, which impacts Cameron MatthewsJonny Firestorm and BWN. Yes, Cameron and Jonny have offered downloads, but you have to register at Wrestler4Hire and Jonny's VOD's are pricey. My tastes in Movimus are based entirely on the wrestlers, so I don't buy a ton from them. I don't know what's up with Can-Am, but it's all crotch stuff these days. I've bought from Krushco and MDW, but so far they're not really my thing. I've looked at Spotland Scrappers, but I'm not sure where to begin or what I'm really getting. Did I miss anyone?

Oh yeah, Rock Hard Wrestling.

Alex vs. Zack = Classic RHW Action

For obvious reasons, I don't get much of a chance to review RHW videos these days. They're neither plentiful nor do I find the rare new ones that do come out all that inspiring. I've decided not to let that hold me back. At one time, they were my favorite producer and most of those matches came out before I even had a blog. My reviews of older matches do pretty well, so there’s no reason I can’t look back.

I'm going to try to do a 'classic' RHW video every month. For some of you, these might be new and inspire you to try them. For others of you, these might be fun trips down memory lane and inspire to re-watch a classic. Or give you an opportunity to tell me that I have no idea what a classic is.

For some reason, I have always been very myopic in my approach to RHW. Perhaps it's the homogeneity of their roster and products. I started with Jake Jenkins and only Jake Jenkins. I can't remember why, but it was likely a review or coverage by another blogger. I bought every Jake match I could and that's all I bought.

Out of all of his opponents, only Alex Waters made the leap from "that nameless guy Jake wrestled" to "my new must-buy stud". Why? Well, obviously his looks, but more than that, Alex has incredible charisma. He's got a southern swagger that's charming and endearing. He's cocky and arrogant, but somehow still likable. It's a tough combination to pull off, but he does it.

Alex is a natural

Alex vs. Zack was one of the first Alex matches I watched. I think it's a great showing for him when he was very new. Now, if this was RHW 2.0, Alex would've been squashed by Austin or Ethan and you'd never know how great he is. Here, veteran Zack actually lets the new guy shine, while bringing his own personality and talents out, too.

Alex: "The back of a champion."

Zack gets to be strong without making Alex look weak

The dynamic is set up brilliantly as 'cocky new stud' vs. 'boss of the ring'. Alex is working out with no shirt on (tsk, tsk ... he doesn't even rack his weights, either). Zack takes umbrage with his lack of gym etiquette. A minute in and we're headed to the ring. The guys strip off their shorts and Alex quickly proves that he might be new, but he's no novice.

It's 30 minutes of action with three falls and great stretches of domination by both guys. They play well off each other. Alex loves to talk and Zack responds in kind. The moves and holds are well done. All the RHW favorites are here for your viewing pleasure. The gorgeous tanned bodies are pounded, pummeled, stretched and bent to their limits and beyond.

Alex goes for a ride

Alex: "I hear you're the boss of this ring. I don't
know about that. I don't see it."

Alex is all shook up

Zack put on display

As an aside, can I just say how much I appreciate that Zack's torso is actually red after receiving some punches and slaps? You don't see that very often. It's a little thing, but this match is full of little things that make it just awesome. Alex fighting back in an over-the-knee backbreaker. How often do you see that? Alex's obvious distress in a real camel clutch. The whole thing feels intense.

Alex pounds those gorgeous pecs

And you can actually see the results

Alex is really suffering

I love that he tries to fight the backbreaker

I really recommend this one if you haven't bought it. I wouldn't rate it as the very best of RHW (I covered that here), but it's darn good. It's a perfect introduction to the essence of the RHW experience. I also think that it makes Alex's best matches (vs. Dash Decker, vs. Bruce Ballard) even better by providing character background and context for who he is.

So that's my take. Have you seen it? What did you think?



  1. This is a great match of course...I mean any match with Alex is a must watch as he WAS one of the greatest RHW HAD...

    Wait...did I say "WAS"? Did I say "HAD"??? I should have said "IS" and "HAS" b/c according to RHW's facebook page today Alex has FINALLY RETURNED after being gone for well over a year!!!


    1. That's excellent news. Thanks for the update!

    2. Oh, and against Chad Daniels? That's even better.

  2. Two things:

    1. How did you know it would be against Chad before it was released?

    2. I've never been a big fan of Chad's. I'm definitely excited for Alex's return BUT I wish it would have been against one of the new guys. However, now that he's back I'm sure it will only be a matter of time before that happens. Now RHW only needs to bring back Dash and add a few more fresh faces in order for them to be headed back to the top of the heap!

    It's also a bit of a letdown that the next match is KOTOR 6 with Z-man vs. Austin b/c I've seen those two wrestle each other about 10 other times already.

    Despite my nagging, though, I really can't be too upset knowing that one of my favorites of all time (ALEX) is back!!


    1. 1. I have a little trick ... when it gets close to a new RHW release, I just go to the current release's URL (in this case it ended with 2602) then change the last number to see what the next release is (2603). They always upload the page in advance of release, so you can get a heads up by a few days.

      2. See, I think all the new guys are duds. Chad won me over vs. Dash. I enjoyed that match a lot.

      I also don't think Z-Man is King-worthy, but oh well.

      Yes, focus on the positive ... Alex's return is hugely exciting!

  3. Thanks for the RHW tip!

    Okay as for the new guys at RHW: I thought at first that they were all duds too but I've come to appreciate each of them for different reasons. Also, I think too much was put on their shoulders.

    Think about it, when RHW went 2.0 they seemingly lost their two best stars (Alex and Dash) along with a host of other wrestlers that disappeared without a trace (Gage, Blake, Chad, Colt, Matt, Tyson, and Zack).

    Those three guys were brought into a company that was in a downward spiral and they were expected to boost it. All three had the look but none of them had the skill or persona to carry it all on their shoulders.

    AND don't forget they were tasked with facing three larger than life wrestlers (Austin, Ethan, and Bruce) that humiliated them again and again and again.

    Anyway, that's my take :)

    1. Well, if they're still around, I'm sure Alex will face them. Maybe they're seasoned enough to hang with the new Alex Waters and win me over! Alex's match vs Bruce made me a fan of him, so it could happen again.