Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: Jake Jenkins vs. Eli Black (Rock Hard Wrestling)

It’s time to look back at classic Rock Hard Wrestling again. I’ve looked back on matches with RHW exclusive phenoms Alex and Dash, as well as multi-federation superstars Zack, Austin and Jake. It’s amazing the talent that has spawned from RHW. Today, I’m reviewing a match that I believe was the debut for another prolific mega-star, Eli Black.

Two stars before they were stars

It just goes to show you how influential RHW once was. At the time, Jake Jenkins vs. Eli Black wasn’t exactly a marquee matchup, but it sure looks like one now. They met up again in BGEast, a match that I will be reviewing in two days on Friday. But here, Eli is an unknown rookie and Jake is the handsome, muscular bully.

These two really need no introduction nowadays. They've become two of the most popular topics for bloggers, so I'm once again late to the game. As an example, when I went to see if anyone else reviewed this match, Joe at Ringside has 72 posts tagged Eli Black and 60 tagged Jake Jenkins. At Sidelineland, Bard has 66 Jake and 41 Eli. Wow.

If you’re here, you're a fan of the gay-oriented wrestling scene, so you likely know what you think of them. I certainly know what I think and have made my feelings on Jake abundantly clear. And my lack of coverage for Eli, except for my review of his match against Marcus Ares (here), probably speaks volumes, too. More on the reason for that in Friday's review.

Jake the bully

Eli shows his stuff with a face rake in a camel

Eli's abs just beg to be tested

Focusing on this match, Jake Jenkins is the leader in this bout. He is cocky and dominant from the start. Jake knows the ring. He mocks and manhandles the thin rookie. Eli starts quiet, but he does get into the trashtalk once he finally takes control. The two studs work well together and both deliver a strong performance when they're on top or bottom.

In terms of the action, the match moves quickly, with three falls and multiple switches within each fall. They seem fairly evenly matched. Jake is more muscular, but they're similar enough. There are some sloppy moves, but for the most part, it's a fast-paced match that gives you lots to look at and enjoy.

Lightweight vs. lightweight has its advantages

Jake crushes Eli

Classic - gut kick + fireman's carry slam

The only issue I have is that the submissions come from holds that are fairly lackluster. The first two are moves where you wouldn't expect either guy to really submit. Often in RHW, the submission to end a round is the climax. Here, there are better moments during the rounds, so no need to hold out for a big finale or anything.

I do recommend this match if you haven't watched it. I've literally never been disappointed by a Jake RHW match. This is how I like him best. Facing a real challenge where he's tested and worked over, but competitive with moments of dominance. While I enjoy his BGE jobber matches because he's so good, they're not my favorite. It feels like a waste to have him as a complete doormat for a monster heel when he's such a competent wrestler and plays the cocky stud so well.

Shiny Jake on top

Jake opened up

Cocky dominance as Eli's thin shoulders
collapsed in the camel

What did other bloggers say when this match was new?

So that's my take. What's yours?



  1. Great write up! Looks well worth getting!

    1. Thanks for the comment! Yeah, I liked it. Eli's personality was still developing, but Jake is always great and the action is pretty good.

  2. Is RHW done? They have been posting these "encore" matches for a few months now...

    1. It's a great question. I wish I knew the answer, but I don't. They came back with a couple of new matches, but now they've been back to encores for awhile.

    2. I don't even know who asked for those encore matches.

      I hope they do come back. It would be a shame to see them go under.

    3. If they did "go under" they would only have themselves to blame. They have been lackluster for over a year. I thought the return of Alex Waters would signal a comeback, but after that match they released only a few more which included Austin Cooper vs. Z-man: a match-up we have literally seen at least half a dozen times over the years.


      Last time they went into "reruns" they returned after 4 encores. We are now on the 4th encore of this cycle so hopefully a week from today we will see a new release, but even then I'm not expecting it to be anything special...sadly.

      BTW Anonymous, no one asked for encore matches...for goodness sake it isn't like these matches were previously unavailable and RHW took them out of "their vault"...they've been available for years.

      It's just sheer laziness and incompetence on their part. Thunders Arena has their many faults BUT at least they produce about 10 matches per month. RHW can't even put out 2. That's beyond pitiful.