Sunday, May 22, 2016

Review: Jake Jenkins vs. Austin Cooper (RHW 1.0)

It's time to look back at some of my favorite RHW 1.0 matches again.

To me, Jake Jenkins vs. Austin Cooper is another must-have classic from Rock Hard Wrestling's library. It's only three falls and you'll wish it was five, but we didn't know any better back then. This was a KOTR-level match before there was a KOTR.

Jake looks and sounds his best here. Decked out in dark red squarecuts, the smaller muscleman is stacked, his smooth pecs looking especially plump. His quiet charm is endearing and his moans will stick in your brain for a long time. Of course he also gets his fair share of dominant moments, showcasing his sexy confidence.

Yeah, I could've watched two more falls from these two

This isn't even the end of the match
if you're worried about spoilage

The chatter is continuous as these tag partners bring the heat. It's fun, familiar and flirty at first, but gets more serious as the action intensifies. Jake is soft-spoken until he's suffering. Put the guy in a rack or a bearhug and he suddenly finds his voice.

After a minute of intros, they start out wasting my time with arm wrestling, but mercifully it is only one minute long. Jake is suitably adorable, so I just focused on his smiling face and thick mop head haircut.

Austin: "How do you wanna start?"
Jake: "Surprise me."

The next 28 minutes are awesome, full of power moves and submission holds. These guys know what they're doing and they show it. You've got stomps and punches, backbreakers, crabs, camels, suplexes and huge body slams. There are even less common moves like the hangman and a DDT. There's a lot to enjoy and this one might take you multiple viewings to get all the way through.

Cocky camel

Crushing crab

Jake gives as good as he takes

Look at that ... Jake brings his A-game

Even though it's an older match, I won't spoil the ending. I actually don't think it matters that much. No matter who you want to see win, there's a lot here for you. This contest of egos shows both guys at their versatile best - brilliantly dominant and heel-ish when they're in control and wonderfully submissive and jobber-ish when they're not.

Not surprisingly my preference is seeing the sexy Jake on the receiving end, because he's just so good at it. However, I actually prefer Jake in this kind of back-and-forth match to the 100% jobbing he does in BGEast against Guido Genatto or Kid Karisma (reviewed here and here, respectively). I loved those matches, but Jake is also really good as a cocky bad boy who knows how to bring the pain. When he's on top of the bigger Cooper, it's fan-fucking-tastic, too.

Jake looks great being bent

Austin amps up the rack

Adding a lot of extra punishment to break Jake

I don't want to be unfair here. Austin is also good in both roles. He expects his size to win out in the end, savoring his periods of control. When Jake's on top, Austin lets you know he's feeling it. His begging prior to submission is just as awesome as his arrogance when Jake is the one giving in.

Austin brings the power ...
 (three times in a row with these punishing body slams)

... and suffers the pain

If you're an RHW fan or a fan of these wrestlers, this is an absolute must-have. Top talent, great action (arm wrestling notwithstanding) and awesome sound.

Have you seen it? What did you think?



  1. This is an astounding match. It's easily one of my favorites ever and I've returned to it many, many times.

    This match took place during the most recent golden age of underground wrestling (imho) when Jake Jenkins was still in the game and in tip top shape.

    You are 100% correct when you said that both guys play the heel and the jobber excellently here.

    This is one of those rare matches when I am fervently rooting for whoever is "on top" at any given moment. When Jake is dominating I think he is so sexy and cute and it really turns up the heat for me...but seconds later when Coop takes over I feel the same way about him and find myself dying to see him crush the smaller man.

    Also, I LOVE the screams and cries of both guys when they are being beaten (of course, Jake is one of the kings of suffering in this sport).

    To sum up, I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of this match and I encourage ANY person who is a fan of underground wrestling to get this match IMMEDIATELY if you don't have it. I just KNOW you won't regret it.

    P.S. Alex, I loved you describing Jake's pecs as being "plump"...such a fitting and delectable adjective!

    1. Thanks for the validation! Yeah, this one is repeat viewing for me, too.