Sunday, January 22, 2017

Review: Scrappy vs. Jake (Thunders Arena)

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

I didn't buy Scrappy vs. Jake and apparently you didn't either.

Scrappy opens Jake up, but none of you know it

All the bloggers got a message from Thunders Arena that basically asked us, "Why isn't this video selling?"

I don't know how anyone else responded, but I responded by asking about hot topics like the sales analytics around the wrestlers' sales histories and the impact of seasonality and frequency of releases. I basically posited some potential issues, but explained that they have information that would tell them a lot more than outsiders watching a video.

I didn't hear back. Not that I expected to, but it amused me that Thunders would ask bloggers this business and marketing question when I think what they're really asking is, "Would you please promote this video?"

I do think it's an interesting way to do it. Thunders has sent me three videos this month (reviews coming), but this is the only one with its own back story. When I just get sent videos, I watch them and then either I feel compelled to talk about them or I don't. With this particular approach, I'm being recruited onto the team. I'm being asked for help. And the video is being presented as an underdog. Poor little unloved video. Who doesn't root for an underdog? If anything, it predisposed me to go easy on this video, because it's having a hard time of it. I mean, I shouldn't kick a video when it's down, right?

So with all this said, I watched Scrappy vs. Jake to see what's going on.

It's a perfectly cromulent video, once you get over the disappointment that the "Jake" in question isn't THE Jake (as in Jenkins). This 14-minute match is more an intro to this Jake than a showcase for Scrappy. The newbie dominates the picture and sound regardless of position or circumstance. The camera zooms in on his body and expressive face while suffering then celebrates his dominance when he's on top. He flexes and taunts, groans and gasps.

This Jake enjoys being on top

And I think it works as a rookie intro. I ended up liking Jake and being more interested in him. Considering I never even noticed him in his two previous outings, it did make me curious to go see what's up. That's how I found out that he actually has two previous outings. I won't talk much about Scrappy, because it's not his video. He's as hot as ever in tiny yellow posers, but the gorgeous young stud is more of a passenger here.

Back to Jake  He gets to display a lot of personality. I will say that he starts out giggly, which was weird in a bad way, but he does settle down. Once relaxed, he turns into a confident, engaging bad boy. Jake has a very expressive face with snarls and pained gasps. And he loves to talk. He does ask, "You like that?" a ton. And I mean a ton. It's like his go-to phrase. Scrappy doesn't really answer, except with moans, so I'm guessing his response would be, "No."

Appearance-wise, the guys are smoking hot with great bodies. Butts and bulges are prominent, especially Jake's as his particular ... attributes test the capacity of his tiny blue trunks. The gear wonderfully loses the battle in back. Nothing is going to stop his mountainous behind from getting free. In front, the fabric prison holds, but it alternates between sagging and tenting from the start. The cameraman loves Jake's entire body, zooming in tight.

Oh, he enjoys being on this side, too

Jake's grapevine has Scrappy suffering

Jake gasps in Scrappy's grip

In terms of action, Jake displays surprisingly good mat skills with multiple well-executed takedowns and grapevines. He looks like he has some wrestling experience. However, a lot of it repeats and it's not very Thunders. Much of the action feels to me more like a chatty Movimus with less intense wrestling. The guys spend most of their time on the mats. You see multiple takedowns, grapevines, and hooked leg cradle-type positions. There are two reverse bearhugs, a full nelson and an over-the-knee backbreaker, but I remember the heavy and repetitive mat work.

Jake dominates the younger stud

Scrappy knocks the giggles out of Jake

Thanks for playing, Scrappy

In the end, this video was worth my time, but I didn't pay for it. Only you know if it would be worth your money. On the plus side, it's fun, the guys are hot and it's a nice intro to a new wrestler. However, I don't think it's great, either. Why? It's short and yet the action is repetitive. If you bought it for Scrappy, you might be disappointed. I will say that the pluses outweigh the minuses for me.

So why isn't it selling? I still don't know, but I don't think it's the quality of the video. Quality has little to do with initial sales.

We all got this match, so what're we all saying about it?

So that's my take. I'd love to hear yours. Why didn't you buy this? If you did, why and what'd you think?



  1. At least you had the decency to give the backstory. The other two bloggers just shamelessly gushed; are they getting kickbacks now? It's astounding that Thunders Arena, instead of trying to figure out WHY this match didn't sell, instead chose to payola bloggers to drum up business.

    Yeah, both guys are hot- but there's no good plot line, no clear heel or jobber- if I wanted straight technical matches with skimpy gear I could go to Movimus, for less English literacy I could try PWP. Maybe also the fact they didn't build up drama for this match-up, or in general have stopped trying to have any sort of coherent arc to their matches? At least UCW, RHW, BGEast, Can-Am, even NRW (to a lesser degree) have character development.

    Finally, Thunders Arena for years now has been beating the horse of huge guy beating down on smaller guy. OMG GIVE IT A REST. If you want to be a company that ONLY caters to that taste, fine, but don't whine when you suddenly without any build-up throw out two smaller guys fighting, and expect us to just fork over our money like sheep.

    Sorry, end rant. #mymoneymychoice

    1. Wow, I feel like a jerk. Maybe I was unfair or unclear in the way I set the post up, because there's nothing nefarious going on. I thought it was an interesting blog topic, but it's just my take.

      Thunders isn't whining, just asking bloggers a question. They didn't ask us to do anything we wouldn't ordinarily do. They did ask why the match didn't sell, so they are trying to figure out why the match didn't sell. I think they asked the wrong people, but that is the only thing they asked. Bodyslammer did say in his post that it was provided to him and Joe isn't the type to rave if he doesn't mean it.

      I apologize to everyone if I wrote this in a way that implied anything untoward is going on. Again, I just thought it was interesting, because I find results and analysis interesting.

      This is why I should stick to my schedule and let posts sit around for a week. LOL.

    2. With that said, thanks for the opinion on why it didn't sell. I think you bring up some good points on indeterminate plot, wrestler matchups, and why people go to Thunders. They could look at sales of smaller vs. smaller with a newbie involved and see if that ever sells well.

  2. First off gentlemen, let me get something off my chest, to the person who says "bloggers are getting kickbacks" I got to say how offended I am at that statement. I GAVE my product away to people who write smart and clear insights into my matches we produce. We have a very slow moving match, I thought the photos were good, description was good, so I asked if anyone of the bloggers could tell us what they see that we are missing because it was not selling like our films normally sell. So Im asking person for HELP in explaining to me why a match I thought would be a block buster ends up being a slow mover; and that makes me a "payday" for bloggers because I give them gifts to have them give me an insight into what I might be missing? How crazy are you to bad mouth someone giving away stuff to fans? NOBDOY is ever paid for their reviews of our matches. We give matches away to help promote this sport and this "nitch" and the bad attitude of the one reviewer is what makes me want to stop. The whining and the bad mouthing people who are JUST trying to entertain some people. I love how he tears into my videos as using too many big guys, which is WHY I have been very successful over the years, none of the other sites specialize in big men like I do, that's called my nitch. Rock Hard does model guys, 150-180 and BG does smaller guys 130-150 with a few big guys sprinkled in for fun. I do the 180- over crowd. It's simply rounding out the offerings to everyone so we all make money offering different thing to the fans. But to insult the bloggers who do this for NO money but just want to share the joy and fun of their love for wrestling and say they are getting paid off when they just appreciating a gift and then sharing their opinion on a gift from another fellow wrestling fan is terrible attitude. Clearly the angry commentary person doesn't have enough friends to give him gifts to say thanks for and just say how much we enjoy the same sport.

    1. Thanks for the comment. It's been a while since my comments section was this spicy.

      You are obviously right that we are blogging for free and for fun. And given the mature nature of these types of blogs, advertising revenue isn't an option, even if our traffic warranted it.

      I take some of the blame for how I wrote the review, but appreciate the support.

  3. This comment section is blowing up like a hot muscle wrestling match from Thunders! I can feel the sweat!

    1. That's a very nice way of putting it. Thanks!

  4. OK, heterosp, you say I shamelessly gushed? That's it! You crossed the line! I'm coming for you! Ha ha, just kidding. If anyone looks over my blog, they'll see that generally I don't critique. It's just not what I do. I just blog about things I like. Other bloggers do a great job of critiquing wrestling products. I don't need to, or even want to. To be honest, I really do my blog for me, and if someone else happens to get anything out of it, then that's a bonus. And I don't mind if my blog helps promote companies like Thunders Arena or Rock Hard Wrestling. Again, it's not my purpose to do so, but since I like their products I certainly don't mind it. I'm even flattered that Mr Mike thinks I write smart and clear insights into matches he produces. OK, maybe now I'm shamelessly gushing just a little bit. Anyway, just my two cents.

    1. Thanks for posting, Bodyslammer. I enjoy your blog a lot, so whatever you're doing, it's working out great.