Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Commentary: Gear Philosophy

I have a philosophy on wrestling gear. After there was a little discussion on the topic last month, I thought I'd share my point of view. After all, I have a blog. I have opinions. And not only was April my biggest month ever for views and comments, I was lucky enough to have the leaders of both BGEast and Thunders Arena post in my comment section, so I'm feeling cocky enough to tackle this controversial and very personal topic.

I do believe that gear matters. However, as Mr. Mike has apparently learned to his chagrin, there is no pleasing everyone. Tastes and preferences on the right attire are as personal as our feelings about eye color, smiles, tattoos, hair styles, body hair and any other element of personal appearance. We all have our thing and we should accept that other guys have their things.

Do clothes make the man? Or the match? Let's discuss ...
(Image: Bucky vs. Talon - Thunders Arena)

There are guys who don't care at all. There are guys who care a lot. I fall somewhere in between. The action is what matters most to me. The scenario, holds, moves and verbalizations all matter a lot more to me that what guys look like or what they wear. Seemingly small things can make a match a winner vs. a loser, but those things aren't usually the gear.

When it comes to "the right gear", it's easy to get confused, because there is no "right gear". If you wrestle or even just talk to wrestling fans, you will run into guys who are very particular in their own tastes, but unique from everyone else. I know guys who love socks, jocks, pro trunks and no trunks. Guys who love jeans, a certain type of shoe or boot, singlets, underwear, suits, athletic uniforms, spandex bodysuits and loincloths. It can get very detailed and specific. Color, fabric, fit and even brand can make a difference. For a guy like me who's open to many things, I usually just shrug and go with the flow.

This doesn't mean I don't have preferences. I do. That's why gear usually comes up in every single review I do, but it's never the only reason I like or dislike a video. Remember, this is MY gear preference. I'd love to hear yours, so please make use of the comment box! And be nice and respectful of other points of view.

My philosophy? Gear is situational. Choose the gear to suit the situation.

The main point I want to make is that I like gear to suit the wrestler and the environment. I don't prefer one thing on all guys or in all settings.

The wrestlers point is somewhat self-evident to me, but maybe not to others. Certain things are better fits for a guy's persona, skin colors, body types and confidence. On the persona, the obvious stereotypes are heel-black/leather and jobber-white/pink/light colors. Sometimes it's fun to break stereotypes, but it depends on the guy. A heel in pink can be amazing. With skin tone, typically bright colors pop against tanned/darker skin.

It's easy to guess the heel
(Image: Biff Farrell vs. Joe Mazetti - BGEast)

Darius shines in neon green and yellow
(Image: Darius vs. Jayden Mayne - BGEast)

If a guy is shy, as much as I might like him in something small, he'll probably do better in something else. As a fan, I think that Dash Decker looked his best in briefs, but I have to admit that he kept fiddling with them. I don't think he was comfortable as he acted like they were riding up his amazing ass (even though they unfortunately weren't). It's no wonder he only wore them once. I think fan service is #1, but the wrestlers should have some say, as well.

Dash's incredible trunks/pads/boots look
(Image: Dash Decker vs. Colt Stevens - RHW)

However, he just didn't seem comfortable
(Image: Dash Decker vs. Colt Stevens - RHW)

In terms of the environment, I see the gear as an extension of the space. What do I mean?

In a pro ring, I like guys to wear pro gear. Look the part. Pro trunks, pro boots, pads. You can also add in masks, ring jackets, tights (yes, tights), wrist tape and other accessories. I think that the entire fantasy of a ring is based on pro wrestlers, so look like them. It makes the experience more real and exciting for me.

I know this can get expensive, especially with the cost of real pro boots, but it's my ideal.

Pro heels looking like pro heels
(Image: Jonny Firestorm vs. Guido Genatto -
Link unavailable

It all just fits when you've got a complete look
(Image: Rolf Fulton vs. Kelly King - BGEast)

Boots, pads, trunks and bonus points
for the logo on his ass and knees
(Image: Ty Alexander vs. Beauxregard - BGEast)

It's easy to tell the pro from the joe
(Image: Joey King vs. Dozer - Thunders)

In a ring match, I'll take Joey King's trunks, pads and boots against
Dozer's underwear and shiny shoes any day
(Image: Joey King vs. Dozer - Thunders)

On the mats, smaller is usually better, but I like guys to wear something. That's right, I'm actually not a huge fan of nude wrestling. Singlets are an exception to the smaller = better idea. I do like a nice tight singlet and it's perfect for the mat.

Why small or singlets? When you're on the mat, it's usually submission-style. The bodies are straining and working hard. Smaller briefs keep the focus on the guys, while singlets play off the amateur look.

Max's muscles are the focus on the mats
(Image: Max Anderson vs. Jeff Jordan - Movimus)
Link unavailable

Impact and Brock are definitely ready for the mat
(Image: Impact vs. Brock - Thunders)

Eli helps Jake make the case for singlets
(Image: Eli Black vs. Jake Jenkins - BGEast)

It's a compelling argument
(Image: Eli Black vs. Jake Jenkins - BGEast)

In living rooms, motel rooms and bedrooms, this is where you can get creative. Underwear works fine here for me. Jeans, too. Street clothing, suits, whatever floats your boat. Nude makes sense to me here as well, although it's still not my preference. These are informal environments and depending on the scenario, it's kind of an "anything goes" deal.

Geo's rocking his boxer briefs in this house setting
(Image: Geo vs. Brendan Cage - Thunders)

Beds are made for comfort, so be comfortable, Braden
(Image: Braden vs. Batar - Thunders)

In other environments, like locker rooms, pools, backyards, oil pits, bars, or whatever, usually I'd opt for smaller unless there's something about the setting. Like if you have a storyline about cops or athletes wrestling, maybe put them in uniforms to start. I'd think about the environment and the story I'm trying to tell then decide.

Jake is perfect for the pool
(Image: Jake Jenkins vs. Christian Taylor - BGEast)

Dante's dark tan and yellow poser are oil-ready at the bar
(Image: Dante Rosetti vs. Psycho Capone - BGEast)

One last thing is superhero outfits and loincloths. I love both and think they can really add tension and opportunities for surprises. However, if you're going to use them, they should be part of a storyline. Now I'd never discourage the use of superheroes or loincloths as my imagination can fill in any gaps, but I think they're best with context.

Will Bowman struggles against an evil villain
(Image: Eye of the Cyclone)

Will Bowman's defeat is sweeter than if he was just a guy in tights
(Image: Eye of the Cyclone)

Tarzan Tyler Reese brings some jungle man to his match
(Image: Cole Cassidy vs. Tarzan Tyler Reese - BGEast)

Tarzan Tyler Reese wears his tiny loincloth well,
but never wrestled outside in the gazebo or on the lawn
(Image: Cole Cassidy vs. Tarzan Tyler Reese - BGEast)

So that's my basic view on things. Ultimately, the producers and wrestlers have to work out their priorities and choose accordingly, but for me, choosing gear based on the wrestler and setting will always work out pretty well.

What about you? How much does gear matter to you? If it does, what kind , when and where? Comments rock!



  1. I had wanted to comment on this for quite a while but had not been able to. Finally I get to go at it. The gear. Oh the gear. How Important the gear is. Its hugely important. The gear sells the character. For example, lets take your stories. Look at a character like MoneyMaker. Look at the gear that you desgined for him. Its not only hot, it also sells the character. It makes me desire that character and really get into his matches and stories. So I assume personally that people that get into wrestling understand that the gear is part of it. For example, Brian Cage wears that awful singlet, that covers his amazing body, and its almost like he himself hates it, because he always pulls it off wanting to showcase the amazing piece of art that his body is! So you mention Dash Decker and him pulling his gear up. He might be doing it to force the viewer look at his voluptuous rear end. If that's the case maybe he just needs to do it better. Now if it is because he feels weird in the small trunks, then he has to practice more in them to get more comfortable and sell it. That's what wrestling is about. For gods sake, WWE historically has had way more homo erotic gear than that. The Ultimate Warrior anyone? So if you are a wrestler that clearly targets the homoerotic audience, please expect and want for the promoter to put you in the best storylines and the gear appropriate for your character and/or story. That's what we the audience wants!
    I also assume that guys with hot bodies that get into wrestling, is because they want to Flaunt their hot bodies and of course have lots of interaction with other guys. So yes, I agree 100% that they should be more into knowing how they are seen by the audience. If its a hairy heel daddy type, taking on a young muscular hunk, for sure that hunk better have some really sexy gear that inspires the heel. Specially in the underground wrestling the gear is even more important, because since a guy doesn't have to be tied up to a character, they can use the gear that better suits each match. By the way, if any promoter needs a gear reviewer, I volunteer and I would think that Alex Miller wouldn't have a problem designing it since he has proven that he has quite the eye for gear!!!!

    1. Thanks for your comments!

      I think you bring up a good point about inspiring the opponent. I think gear can set the tone for the match and get both guys more into it. If you're across from a guy dressed like an intimidating heel, it's easier to go with it and vice versa with someone in jobberific gear.

      In spite of my reservations about the dark places it went, Ty vs Guido was like that ... having Ty in tiny, tight and pink clearly made an impact on Guido.

  2. As I've made known before I always prefer speedos, bikinis, posers, thongs, jockstraps, and/or wrestling singlets. So unless it's something skimpy they better be in a singlet or else the gear don't work for me...for example:

    -Austin Cooper AND Jake Jenkins in their BGeast match:
    Incredible gear for these two studs. Start in singlets and end up in jockstraps. One of my favorite matches of all time and a big chunk of it is due to the gear.

    -Marco and Dominic and Vinny from TA when they wear those yellow tiger striped bikinis. *panting*

    -Talon in his matches against TAK and Wolf (WOOOF!)

    -Frey's outfit in his match against Specimen used to be his go-to in a lot of videos. It was marvelous!!

    -Dash's outfit in his match against Colt from RHW.

    Now, there've been some matches that were all but ruined for me due to the gear unfortunately. That can be pretty disappointing to say the least!

    P.S. I am waiting for the day to see Bruce Ballard in a tiny outfit. Anyone who has seen this guy knows exactly what I'm talking about. I would absolutely lose my mind!

    1. Thanks for the comment! Yes, your response doesn't surprise me at all. :)

      I agree with all of your examples that I've seen. The one good thing about gear is that you know in advance of buying, whereas with things like action and chemistry, you don't.