Thursday, January 26, 2017

Review: Dolf vs. Steel x 2 (Thunders Arena)

Full disclosure: One of these two matches was provided to me by Thunders Arena.

Thunders Arena sent me Dolf vs. Steel on the mats (here), so I figured I'd buy their first meeting in the ring (here). Both guys are always worth a look, so I didn't mind checking things out. It was like getting the videos at half price. The 20% off promotional code they had running at the time really sealed the deal in terms of value.

I was planning on doing two posts, but I think one single review is better and based on an analysis of comments and view results, so will you. Back-to-back reviews usually don't perform well. In this case, the matches are so similar that they should be discussed together, anyway. The setting changes from ring to mat. One video has a winner, the other doesn't. Other than those two points, the vibe, action and tone are comparable, although not identical.

It's a flex off on the mats

Two big bulls bump chests in the ring

Together, these matches have a lot of what's great about Thunders videos. They also have some of the things that aren't great for me. So ultimately, I think this is one of those cases where you likely know if you are going to be into them.

What do I mean?

Well, the guys are incredible. They are the huge, gorgeous musclemen. Dolf and Steel are the kind of guys only Thunders really showcases these days. The gear works. There's a lot of flexing. There are a lot of the dominating power moves you expect. The guys are cocky when they're in charge. They're moaning and writhing when they're not.

All that works. However, chemistry and action flow aren't the best and you've got a lackluster ending in both cases. There's no winner in the ring match, ending on a not-great move. The mat match goes one move too long, putting the loser down to another move he should never go down to. Now, I will say that the second last move is a hot finisher, so you could assume that it has a delayed effect on the loser.

So the eye candy is great, but the action is so-so.

Steel's amazing standing head scissors

Those big legs crushing his opponent's head
is becoming Steel's signature move

Steel is a favorite of mine. In my 2016 Cavey Awards, he was one of my two Favorite Rookie winners. Here, the young bodybuilder looks even bigger, especially in the mat match. And his gear is terrific in both matches. I actually prefer the bigger blue trunks in the ring, but I don't see any complaints coming from either choice.

Best of all, he shows his award-winning attitude, with a wonderful willingness to sell and be manhandled. With added muscle comes faster sweating and seemingly lower stamina, although maybe that was a plot point. One can never be sure what's real or what's not. He tries to dial up some chatter, but Dolf is quiet, so it doesn't amount to much.

On the topic of chatter, I am amused by Steel's repeated empty threats. On the mats, he says stuff like, "Give or you'll go out!" and "Tap or I'll snap it!" These warnings are usually followed by an immediate Dolf escape. In the ring, he also had big talk moments which amounted to nothing ("You're really pissing me off!"). It makes him seem like a punk to me (in a funny way).

Steel is sexy and sweaty

And the young beefcake is definitely mighty

Opposite the young muscle beast is Dolf, a pint-sized powerhouse. To me, Dolf is a classic fireplug with a ton of muscle packed onto his small stature. The guy looks great from the front, but in the ring, he looks even better from the back in tiny bright green posers. Like Steel, Dolf looks bigger on the mats, so maybe it's an environmental thing.

I didn't think that Dolf showed much personality here, relying entirely on his physical appearance to appeal to viewers. He flexes whenever he can, so maybe that's his personality. And if that's your thing, you should be very happy. However, he doesn't really talk in any way that I can remember, although he does moan and sell.

Compact muscleman Dolf loves to flex

Dolf can't quite extend, but still impressive

In their first meeting, the guys hit the ring. The action is solidly back-and-forth. After bumping chests, they get into it, trading dominance every 1-2 holds. It's billed as Part 1 of a 5-part Revenge Series, but the reason has not become apparent, yet.

If you love bearhugs, you will likely love this match. There are a whopping seven different bearhug moments in this match - one reverse hug at the start, but then six of the final eight moves are traditional bearhugs. These include slamming the opponent's back into the corner while holding him aloft, which is a great display of their power.

Other popular attacks involve arm punishment, with five different arm attacks, plus about four headlocks. There are a few holds that use the ring, including some corner and rope work, so that was nice to see. Dolf executes a belly-to-back suplex and a couple of lift-and-drop pro moves, but it's mostly submission-type stuff that could be done on a mat like the bearhugs.

Bearhugs are big in the ring - 7 in total

And there are a few ring-oriented moves

After so many bearhugs, the guys go down like this?

Yep, that's it for the ring, folks

The mat version of Dolf vs. Steel is billed as Part 2 of the 5-part Revenge Series. However, it's not a direct continuation of the ring match. The guys feel like strangers here and there's no mention of any previous meeting. So does that mean there's another match? I don't think so. I assume it's just to keep them discrete enough for folks who buy only this one.

When the guys hit the mats, it's also back-and-forth after almost four minutes of flexing. There's even more arm punishment with about seven arm holds, including one mid-video submission coming from an MMA-style armlock. The three choke lifts are probably the most impressive moves and perfect displays of dominance. Dolf's gorilla press is a valiant attempt, but he can't quite manage it.

Naturally, some of the moves repeat from the ring, but not in a bad way. Steel's standing head scissors is worth seeing twice as it's a signature move. Other than that, the full nelson and reverse bearhugs are the opposite of the ring match and the chokes are differently done here.

There's a ton of arm punishment on the mats

Both guys go for it, but only one gets a
mid-video submission with an arm hold

The beasts trade three big choke lifts

Dolf got the full nelson in the ring,
Steel tries it on the mat

In the end, both Dolf vs. Steel videos are interesting in their own way. For muscle lovers, these are especially appealing. You can't really beat the guys - handsome and huge, they're very watchable. For action junkies, these are more like a series of moments than amazing matches. Some moments are really good, though.

What are other bloggers saying? Joe and Bard both covered the mat match ...

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



  1. I can just get off watching them bump chest.

    1. I know, right? Thanks for that. I love that GIF, so I appreciate reading that someone else does, too.

    2. Yup! And Pec Bash is my favorite BG East series. I love them juicy pecs (Brad Barnes vs Kid Karisma is heaven). Watching Dolf and Steel bump their meaty chests makes this video a definite buy for me. I don't even care about the rest of the video, LOL!

  2. These are two serious muscle hunks... First things first. That first match....damn isn't Steel a total dominant in his attitude at the beginning. Ant talk about that sexy bikini he has on. That muscle butt wanted to explode. But Dolf has a serious muscular ass as well! Whne Steel has him bent over that ass is in glorious display. There is so much beef between this two. YUM! And Steel just blows up in size when he gets pumped up from the wrestling. Even like you say, the action is so-so. THe arm locks get a bit blah. Too manyLOL. But there is always a something a reason to complain and I'm not not going to do that. These studs are too hot. They will get better. Besides Steel look amazing when he is sweating, and later Dolf joins him in the sweating and its hot. That is how it should always be. Those two studs were breathing hard after ten minutes. Loved that. I think that perhaps let wrestlers battle a little more for control and domination in the collar and elbow to really get them pumped up. For them to tug and pull more. Here it happened not as much but enough. Liked it. I haven't seen the Ring one but the mat one was good. Now that chest bumping gif is really hot and definitely calls for that video to be watched. LOL.

    1. Thanks for the comment! Steel is sweatier in the ring match, so that should make you happy.

  3. I think Thunders Arena has missed the mark with Steel. He has the swagger and attitude of a 1980's muscle heel like Rick Rude or Lex Luger but they have not utilized him as such. I keep waiting for Thunders Arena to put him in a pure domination match against a smaller opponent like TAK or Flacco but they keep disappointing me.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Steel could've definitely pulled off the young super-heel. I actually like how they're using him, but I can totally see your point.

  4. I am sure I am in the minority, but I think both of these studs are just begging for a beating - destroyed and knocked out cold. It could be 2 on 1 or some other unfair fight, but I'd love to see them really worked over for most of the match and conquered and on display at the end. Steele can really sell and I think Dolf can do it, too. They are just too hot not to have some heel have their way with them - just a different view

    1. Thanks for the comment. I'm not sure how small that minority is, because I think a lot of guys like seeing big, handsome guys like this crushed by a nasty heel.

      I'm sure Steel has lost at Thunders, because I remember someone else complaining that they're not using him right because of it.

      As for Dolf, check out my Quick Hit from 8/13 about Joey Angel and Austin Cooper vs. Guido Genatto from W4H. It might be interesting for you.