Saturday, April 9, 2016

Review: Vinny vs. Talon (Thunders Arena)

As I posted on Sunday, Vinny is back at Thunders Arena and I’m excited about it. I said I’d be first in line for Vinny vs. Talon and here I am. I actually shifted my whole schedule to post this review today.

So let's get to it ... just a warning - I tried not to spoil anything, but you might be able to infer SPOILERS in the text or images below. It's reader beware from this point on.

Vinny's back in Hulk mode

Vinny looks absolutely spectacular in his return. The muscles, the scruff, the muscles, the face, the muscles (did I say that already?) … I just love this guy. Interestingly, he has really matured in his presentation. He's more intense, more focused and he delivers an even better overall performance than I expected.

Just gorgeous

I could compare this to Vinny vs. Dom. I think Dom and Talon are very similar wrestlers, so it’s interesting to see the change in the big man. Vinny is no longer a no-selling, laughing flex machine. Of course he flexes, but now he does it at the right time. He shows real growth in terms of wrestling ability, selling and personality. I think Vinny works with Talon reasonably well. There are a few missed spots, but overall, it’s pretty damn good.

Talon looks great here. He’s bearded and buff, bringing his game face for this tough contest. Even though he’s smaller, the pumped Talon looks like a match for the bigger Vinny.

Talon looks awesome flexing

And lying on the mat

Right off the bat, I was very pleased with this video. Vinny and Talon start with a tense face-off. The banter is awkward, but it works fine. The story here is two alpha musclemen challenging each other. They aren’t here to have fun. It isn't a 'welcome back, let's roll around' adventure. No, they’re here to kick some ass and prove that they’re the top dog. The lack of respect they have have for each other is great and the tension is palpable.

"I don't even know who you are."
"You don't need to know."

Hair pulling! Flexing in his face! Now that's alpha. 

In this back-and-forth match, the guys show a lot of power - lifts, bearhugs and intense submission holds. It’s all mostly well done. You can see the strain and the pump with both these muscle gods. Vinny’s initial headlock is especially intense. There are a couple of missed spots, but even an action junkie like me was able to forgive them.

Big guys mean big bearhugs

No flexing from Vinny in this bearhug

A rare atomic drop

Talon matches him with a reverse atomic drop

They sell the action surprisingly well. They grimace as they’re bent and manhandled. One surprising thing that I really liked is the sound of the match. They both grunt and groan in a sexy way that conveys intensity without being over-the-top. Vinny is especially convincing and thrilling every time he vocalizes his effort or pain.

On the other side, the saggy boxer-briefs ‘gear’ is not my favorite on either guy. Vinny’s last stint in Thunders featured tiger print posers that were much better. And Talon’s blue squarecuts and blue poser are both much better at showing off his assets. Oh well.

I also have to say that the final three minutes were disappointing to me in terms of the action. Why? Well, an arm drag takedown wipes out one of these muscle studs. He just lies there like it was a piledriver or DDT. Really? Unfortunately it exceeded my ability to suspend my disbelief. The ensuing domination is fine, but then the match also ends on a down note for me.

In the end, I give this match 4/5 stars. It’s not a classic, but it is very strong for 17 of the 20 minutes. When I re-watch this match, and I will, I’ll just focus earlier. Or maybe edit it in iMovie as I'm wont to do. I could probably make it into two pretty good muscleman squashes.

The match is entertaining with top notch talent. These guys are worth the price of admission and I say that as an 'action > looks' viewer. They deliver a great performance. I especially like the new Vinny a lot. I hope he’s around for more than these three matches. I guess it’ll depend on him and how these sell. While Vinny/Flaco is still a pass for me, I'm definitely considering Vinny/Kid Titan more seriously now.

There's a lot of goodness in this video

Not many guys lift Vinny like that, so I better enjoy it!

So what do think? Are you excited to see the return of Vinny? If you watched it, did you like it? My comment box is feeling lonely these days …



  1. Alex, I just want to say how much I appreciate your willingness to read and respond to comments. I find that many of the other bloggers that cover this genre of wrestling aren't anywhere near as good as you are in engaging your readers. On the flip side I find a lot of readers are also bad about commenting on posts. It's almost like everyone wants to enjoy this shared interest of ours on their own and not engage with others...this is unfortunate.

    So in this spirit of engaging with others, I must say I disagree with you on this match :) NOW, I have not seen it in it's entirety, and what I've seen so far hasn't been bad, but there was a chance here for Thunders to release one of the greatest matches of theirs ever and I feel they botched.

    As always, I start with the gear. What in the world are Vinny and Talon doing NOT in bikinis or, at the very least, wrestling briefs? Those men have two of the most incredibly sexy bodies at TA and NEITHER of them are wearing anything remotely sexy. They both might as well have been wearing pants. In fact, I find wrestling singlets sexier than these boxer briefs that TA, for some reason I have yet to understand, keeps around for their wrestlers to wear. COME ON!

    This is one of three new Vinny matches after years of being absent and he chooses to wear a very unflattering white boxer looks almost like he's wearing tighty-whities which is a HUGE turnoff.

    You got Marco in recent matches wearing an outfits that perfectly shows off his unbelievable body while these two guys are rolling around in what are essentially granny panties in the erotic wrestling world. Shoot, even WWE wrestlers typically wear less! It's just unexplainable and I DO NOT understand why Mr. Mike over at Thunders let's the guys pick such unappealing outfits.

    Secondly, you praise Vinny for being a better performer now, but I honestly don't see it. I find him worse than before. Not only does he look at the crew waaay too much like he's checking to see what he should do next, but I really enjoyed his supremely cocky (as you put "laughing flex machine") persona that he had in the past...

    Unlike Travis (who I believe you compared Vinny to in a previous article) Vinny is actually sexy and knows how to sell it with his body and his taunts/laughs/mockery. Travis is essentially a mute who does the same pose over and over and over again (double biceps) while not saying's really awkward and unappealing.

    The Vinny-Mogley match is, to me, one of TA's best matches ever produced. It was like watching the buff, ripped jock beat up on the whiny nerd. It is one of the few matches I have returned to more times than I can count.

    Finally, what was that initial stare-down between them at the beginning? Vinny wasn't even looking at Talon. He is taller and was looking over him at the wall like he was reading cue cards. Talon wasn't much better though...he was stuttering and stammering for comebacks and the whole thing was just a terrible beginning. If the guys aren't good at improvisation that's fine...write a brief ain't hard.

    Ultimately, I know that everyone has their own unique interests and tastes, but I just don't see how anyone could be upset with how I would have filmed this match: two studs in revealing gear engaging in a match that featured a lot of trash talk and sexy pose downs...coming up with the premise for sexy matches is not difficult with all the resources TA has at their fingertips...and, sadly, I find they squander said resources more times than not.

    1. Thanks! I read every comment and respond to virtually all of them, so I'm glad you like that. Comments rock.

      For anyone who's confused reading my review and your review, I actually think we agree on some of the down points, but they were just a much bigger deal for you than me. I think some of our disagreement is about degrees, so readers should determine how important these things are to them.

      As I read your post, I do agree that this matchup could've been a classic and it's not. However, I still enjoyed most of it for what it is.

      Gear. We agree that it wasn't good. I identified the gear as a negative for me, too. I called them saggy boxer-briefs. You had a much stronger negative reaction to it. I was able to overlook it. Doesn't sound like you could.

      Talk. I mentioned that the initial banter was awkward, but you're right that there's no eye contact. I was cool with it, but it really didn't work for you. I get that. I didn't notice Vinny looking at the camera that much. I'll have to look for that next time.

      Where it seems like we do disagree is that I don't like flexing and posedowns, so Vinny was better for me in that respect. When Dom bearhugs him, he flexes. When Talon bearhugs him, he groans. I much prefer the latter.

      So thanks for the counterpoint. I'm sure it'll help some readers decide whether they want to buy this or not.

    2. Hmm maybe the other bloggers didn't appriciate your tone in degrading the wrestlers because they were outside of your taste hoochie. I remember reading your comment on ringside and I don't blame them for deleting your post to be honest. You say that Alex respects all taste which he completly does and does an amazing job at it. You however really have no respect for others. If that were the case you wouldn't be such a hyper critical ass.

    3. Hm. Okay, let's settle down Anonymous. I don't want a flame war in my comment section, especially bringing stuff from other blogs.

      Perhaps this is my first test as a blog owner. I'll leave this reply up for now as illustrative purposes as I lay out some ground rules.

      Here's what I expect in my comment section ...

      (1) Be respectful. No one should be calling anyone names (e.g., ass) for any reason.

      (2) Let's stay on topic.

      (3) Leave issues from other blogs at other blogs.


    4. This is Mr. Mike and I gotta say, gear??? You do realize the moment we try something new, which this was an experiment in gear, we have 50 other people that hate it and 50 people who love it. We have had tons of fans ask for an underwear style match and this was our first time doing it. May fans have loved it, but I don't understand why everyone has to be so seriously opinionated on gear, we do switch it up to try and give everyone get what they want, we do square cuts one film day then bikini cuts another film day and on this day it was underwear day. Because seriously when I put the guys in reveling trunks I get a LOT of why you making the guys wear "panties" emails next day and when I put the guys in square cuts I get a lot of why not show off the bodies more emails. Why can't you just enjoy the match and see and enjoy the amazing hot bodies in action? These guys work so hard on their bodies and their moves to bring you the best show they can give you. Skipping their favorite treats and never missing a meal when you have to eat 6 times a day to stay ripped and big is a lot of work and planning. So it seems so crazy to me with all the hard work the guys put in on their bodies to get so upset over what they are wearing when they are really trying to put out a great show...seems so hyper critical.

    5. Wow, folks are salty today. And I thought tomorrow's review would get all the heat.

      Anyway, Mr. Mike, thanks for commenting. In this case, I think Vinny/Talon is the kind of match that going to stir passions, because of the quality of talent involved. They're fantastic.

      As to your reply, the old adage "clothes make the man" comes to mind. I'll say to you what I say to fans ... there are many different tastes. There are guys who literally only like one kind of gear. There are guys who only like one kind of look. And there are guys who only like one kind of action. It's personal taste. You're not going to change them, but you don't have to. You just have to make the kind of matches you want to make and maybe have some variety to appeal to different kinds of fans.

      I will say that on gear and looks, we do know the score going in before buying. Action is only real surprise. So we could make our peace on gear and appearance and either buy or not buy if it's that important to us.

  2. I loved your review Alex. These two studs really are a perfect match. The sweating was just beautiful. I liked how Vinny sold that bear hug by opening his legs far and wide, showing his perfect body in all its glory. That man is one hell of a stud. What a body. Kudos to Thunders for bringing him back! I read the comments on the gear...the white was gorgeous...a little too conservative...those two hunks are worthy to show every inch of skin they can. Its kudos to them for working so hard on it. So...maybe a rematch? ;)

    1. Thanks for the comment! I have quite a few matches with both guys, so I think a rematch sounds awesome. :)

  3. Wow, I'm shocked that I got a response from the CEO of TA himself!

    ...and what a response it was.

    To start, I think name-calling is so uncalled for. Just b/c I have differing tastes and passions for certain things than you do does not make your tastes or passions any better than mine.

    You should applaud the fact that I am so passionate about your matches and wrestlers that something as seemingly simple as gear choice causes me to write out such a long statement...I would be flattered if I were you that I have such fans/customers and not take it personally by insulting them with name-calling (i.e. hyper-critical ass) and ridiculous broad-sweeping character judgments (i.e. "you have no respect for others").

    You say you don't blame neverland for deleting a comment of mine in the past (I have no idea which comment you may be referring to btw) but I already knew you weren't averse to censorship when comments are unflattering as I've seen you do it on your own site, and while it is your site and you have a right to do so, it is disingenuous and keeps many of your fans/customers from feeling like they have a voice.

    Finally, I think you should take note from "Fricks Sexy Picks" and Alex who both agreed with me that the outfits in this particular match were negatives. You even talked about how tirelessly your wrestlers work to stay so fit but you don't realize that you are making my case for me: if they work so hard to look so great then they should show off the amazing work they do on their bodies...not cover them up.

    Anyway, I'm sorry that my comment(s) upset you so much that you felt you needed to respond the way you did, BUT I wish you would see my passion as a good thing and not something to sneer at.

    1. To be fair, the first Anonymous comment wasn't from Mr. Mike. He was only frustrated about the focus on gear.

      Mr. Mike didn't name call, say you have no respect for others or talk about deleted comments. That was all the first Anonymous post. As I said, I left that up to illustrate my following "don't do this" post.

    2. I guess that's true, even though it is curious that both used the term "hyper critical". Not a term that you hear used very often.

      However, I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt in this instance unless Mr. Mike comes back and says that it was, indeed, him the first time.

      If it wasn't him then I apologize to him for assuming it was.

      I hope he realizes that, despite all the things I said about this match, I have really enjoyed TA over the years which is the reason I invest so much time and money and passion into it.

      He and his crew have most definitely produced some of the best wrestling matches of any site out there.

  4. Well, you can't really please everybody. So all those complaints must really be frustrating.

    I do enjoy more "manly" and less revealing gear. It's all a matter of tasta and expect the company to release something you like.

    Specially about this match, it seems really hot but I didn't like any of Vinny's match so I'm pretty relutant to buy it, lol.

    I mean, he is sexy as hell, but he acts like... a tree? But that's TA for me: great videos when I want to see hot bodies and faces with a modest fake wrestling. :)