Sunday, September 25, 2016

Review: Austin Cooper vs. Lucas Payne (RHW 1.0)

This match is one of the few Rock Hard Wrestling videos I have that doesn't star at least one of Jake Jenkins, Dash Decker or Alex Waters. A mere 10 out of 48 total don't feature one of them. However, that doesn't mean Lucas Payne vs. Austin Cooper is not a good video.

I'm not sure why I bought it, but I am glad I did. It's a fun, exciting and very re-watchable video.

It's Lucas vs. Austin in a double debut match

As I covered in his match against Jake, Lucas Payne had a ton of potential. He was a good looking teen bodybuilder, with muscles and attitude that made him perfect for RHW. Other than bad gear (those drab brown squarecuts), Payne was a major stud. I think that he could've been a Dash-type with the right push, but that never materialized. Still, we can admire his body in his four appearances.

Cocky teen muscle power

Coop always gets what the fans want to see

Payne is spectacular 

Amazingly, both guys were rookies here. Yes, this was Austin Cooper's debut, too. Who could've guessed how things would go? Still Lucas got a great draw here, facing a talented and charismatic rookie, rather than a dud. I actually prefer early Austin Cooper, before he bulked up to become Frey. He looked great here and already has the confident attitude that helped make him a star.

Showing the rookie the ropes

I love camels with extra abuse

Cooper looks great in any position

The two studs starts with a flex-off, but this is RHW, so the action starts fast and keeps going. We get to see them pounded, pummeled, stretched and slammed through the full three falls.

They both got their time on top and bottom. Cooper was more dominant during the match, which I like. Payne showed a good sense for selling, which are my favorite parts. His face was very expressive and his big muscles could really take a beating. He also displayed a lot of power, easily hoisting Cooper up and throwing him around the ring.

Cooper showed a lot of promise here, too. I won't claim that I knew he'd become the most prolific wrestler of his generation while Lucas would vanish, but he definitely does a great job in the ring. As I've said before in these RHW 1.0 reviews, it's amazing what RHW had going on.



I love a parade ...

In the end, I really liked this match. Both guys looked, sounded and moved amazingly well. They both displayed a lot of star potential here. We all know about Austin Cooper, but Lucas proved to be more than just a tower of muscle. He was a pretty good performer that actually earned a Homoerotic Wrestler of the Month recognition from Bard during his very short career.

Just the right amount of rookie wrecking
and teen muscleman power

What did other bloggers say about this one? Two positive reviews from 2011.

What do you think? It wouldn't normally have been on my radar, but that doesn't mean it wasn't or isn't on yours. Comments are welcome and appreciated!



  1. Those were definitely the glory days of RHW. Jake and Austin made their debut on the same DVD and I reckon that DVD was almost the start of a new era in underground wrestling. Not that there weren't great wrestlers before but Austin and Jake had the killer combination- handsome, athletic, muscular plus that great combo of wrestling and acting ability. I too am a bit more of a fan of the original Austin but I still like the way he has built a character over the years and these days I like to see him in the cocky heel persona he has developed.

    Lucas on the other hand is one of a number of talented wrestlers that seems to be exclusive to RHW and faded from view. Others would include Brodie Fisher, Jason Kane and Nick Collins. I would particularly recommend Eli Black v. Jason Kane.

    Oh and thanks for all the informative reviews Alex.


    1. You're welcome, Sid. Thanks for the recommendation.

      You're probably right on Austin. He actually has a logical character progression in his five years of action, given his size and experience gains. And with the way BGEast releases videos out of order for years, there's probably more young Austin still in their vault.

  2. Lucas was indeed a hot muscle stud. And I agree 100% he is one hell of a good salesman. His face and his body sale everything that Cooper did too him. I loved the pace of the action as well. Not too mention that they were rather aggressive, specially when you compare it to matches that involve Bruce Ballard. There was much more slamming and just harder stuff. I think that is something I personally think its preferable to most viewers. Let the boys be a bit more aggressive. It looks and sounds great! Sad that Payne didn't do much. His body was just amazing. Perhaps a smaller trunk would have been a better choice as well. But overall this was great.

    1. Thanks for the comment! That's a good point on these classic RHW guys and the action. I really expect power moves when you're in a ring, so it's always a plus for me.

  3. Nice post Alex. The early days of RHW (and Thunders Arena too) really got me motivated to start blogging. I wish we could have seen more of Lucas. But the wrestler I miss most from the early RHW days is Cody Nelson. I don't think he and Lucas wrestled each other, but that match would have been epic!

    1. Thanks. I actually never bought a Cody Nelson video. I'll have to check him out! Appreciate the tip.