Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Review: Z-Man vs. Eagle - 10th Anniversary (Thunders)

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

Wow, time flies. Thunders Arena is celebrating Z-Man's 10th anniversary. I'm not gonna lie and claim that I've been with him since the beginning. For some reason, he never made my must-buy shortlist. I like him, but I only have his matches because of his opponents, including guys like a certain big and sexy wrestler, Jake Jenkins, Alex Waters and pro wrestling super studs Kelly King and Lane Hartley.

So maybe I haven't seen everything, but what I can say is that as I looked back at my collection, I enjoyed every match of his that I own and what more can someone ask?

Thunders is celebrating 10 years of Z-Man

In a broader sense, Z-Man could arguably be this generation's face on gay-oriented wrestling's Mt. Rushmore. I don't think it's even arguable that the guy is an icon, having wrestled for almost every major company, including BGEast, Can-Am, NRW, Rock Hard Wrestling and Wrestler4Hire. So if anyone deserves a 10-year recognition, it's him.

10 years is a long time in this business. Especially for a guy to keep physically and mentally ready. Thunders lays claim to discovering him and I do think that he has done his very best work there. So how does this match go?

In Z-Man vs. Eagle, the handsome and chiseled veteran brings his usual bold and brash arrogance to his special match. The guy can talk and he dominates the verbal game. He looks just fantastic, especially his chest and arms. Z-Man's body is always stunning, but I feel like he must've worked extra-hard before this video.

Eagle wants to help Z-Man with his leg workout

Opposite him is Eagle, looking perfect in purple posers. The guy has been bringing his A-game to the gear war in the last couple of videos I've seen. Amazing. And his ass is looking spectacular, especially in the Boston crab and when he flexes his back. Woof. He's his usual soft-spoken, easy-going self. Even when he's being cocky he seems like a nice guy.

Is Eagle the next big thing?

Somebody's been doing his squats

Eagle's got a sexy back

At first, I found it interesting that they put him against Eagle and not someone with a bigger personality like Frey or Marco. While Z-Man's biggest and sexiest rival is unavailable these days, for me those are still his best matches anywhere. Those two studs had a chemistry that drove an exciting and compelling rivalry full of competitive, fun and hard-hitting action.

Now after watching the match, I think Eagle was a good choice. Z-Man shines here and is the focus. Eagle is unique to Thunders, while Frey/Z-Man is RHW's featured matchup right now. And I have to say that Eagle is good about selling the premise, the moves and showing respect for his opponent with his wrestling, so that's a plus in an anniversary video.

There's a ton of action here and it's all good. The guys go back-and-forth. I wasn't sure if this would be a story about passing the torch to Eagle or giving Z-Man a victory in his special video. I don't think anyone will complain about the amount or quality of the action.

The guys work a new-old school vibe, so it's very cool when Z-Man brings out old school moves like a long-held headlock and chinlock then applies them with force and intensity.

Z-Man goes classic with a powerful headlock

And his chinlock keeps on going

In terms of holds, there's a ton of classics - bearhugs, scissors, full nelsons, crab, over-the-knee backbreaker, ab stretch, figure four leglock and a sleeper.

Eagle is surprisingly bendy

Eagle flexes free

Z-Man's ab workout

There's also some nice hard-hitting action with punches, slams into the wall and an intense choke.

A little break between gut punches

Eagle gives it to the veteran

Z-Man can get intense

In the end, you've got two extremely hot studs looking as good as I've seen them delivering constant action. Who rules the school - old or new? I'm not going to spoil it, but it's conclusive with one stud knocked out. I found the extended ten-count ending very satisfying after a strong back and forth battle.

We all got this match, so what are other bloggers saying about it?

So that's my take, what about yours? Any comments on the first 10 years of Z-Man's wrestling career? Any favorite matches or opponents? Of course, if you've seen this match, let's hear about it, too.



  1. Have to be honest here, wasn't too impressed with this match and I really, really wanted to like it.

    I love Eagle because he is just a beautiful guy with the face and body of an Adonis. I also loved his outfit and the shoes. Something about a buff guy wearing a bikini and tennis shoes makes me crazy.

    Unfortunately, Z-man is the downer here. His schtick is...well...old. He always mouths off in this really cheesy fashion about how he's the best )despite his fairly poor win-loss record), and when he attempts to act like he's pissed it's so over-the-top and fake.

    Yes, he is to be commended for keeping in such phenomenal shape for so long. But let's be real, Z-man as a brand is tired and worn out and has been for at least 5 years.

    It's true that he's been featured on just about every big wrestling site and that's great and all, but it also lead to Z-man fatigue really quickly. Austin Cooper is also facing the same thing right now.

    Fortunately for Coop, he is a much more skilled wrestler than Z-man and there's something about him that can really get me going if he is facing the right opponent, wearing the right outfit, and in the right mood...not to mention he has been in several of the hottest matches ever.

    Anyway, I first found Thunders Arena in 2006 when it started and yes, it was Z-man who first drew me to it with his charm and his killer body, but after 10 years I legitimately cannot put Z-man anywhere near the top spot at a company that has hosted the likes of Big Sexy, Sebastien, Dominic, Frey, Talon, Impact, Dozer, Jersey, JB, Marco, Viggo, Ace Hanson, Troy Stevens, and BamBam to name a few.

    Yes, Z's had his moments with Big Sexy, and I would agree those were his best matches (the bathroom one and the one where BS and Cody drop Z-man in the pool come to mind!). Unfortunately, other than that he was really only a good start to the post Brad Rochelle-era of gay-oriented wrestling but was quickly outclassed by the likes of so many others who were sexier, stronger, bigger, faster, and just all around better.

    P.S. I also found the match to be waaay too playful for my tastes. I don't need the guys bleeding but there were too many awkward pauses and it came across as hastily choreographed. For a guy who's been around for 10 years Z-man deserved better even if it's clear that it's now time for him to throw in the towel and retire.

    1. Thanks for the contrary opinion.

      I haven't watched enough Z-Man for me to feel like he's tired. Against the right opponent, I'd continue to buy him, same as always. Now, I have felt that way about Austin Cooper and Axel, so I do understand the feeling. I ended up not buying their matches for a while. Cutting back worked out well and now I might buy them selectively.