Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review: Scrappy vs. Karl (Thunders Arena)

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

I have to admit that Scrappy vs. Karl was not high on my list to watch. Obviously, since I'm reviewing it, I finally took a look, but Thunders' past Vegas matches haven't always worked for me. I like Scrappy, but Karl was an unknown quantity. While massive looking, I didn't know if he could wrestle.

So when I pressed play for the first time, I kind of assumed it'd be a sloppy squash with too much posing and not enough wrestling. It isn't. And so, I was less right than I usually am. This was really worth watching for multiple reasons, including the guys, the action, specific moments of domination, and a subtle story that I manufactured in my brain.

Scrappy ventures outside of his weight class
for this Vegas battle against muscleman Karl

Scrappy is cocky and determined. He's got a great body and his shiny purple trunks frame up his body well. But we all know looks and body aren't enough. Scrappy has a great personality and attitude for wrestling big men. I like how he's enthusiastic against the bodybuilder behemoth, while still selling the domination beautifully.

The young American is in for a fight.

Let's dance?

Karl is incredibly thick with huge muscles. The beefy bodybuilder doesn't seem taller than Scrappy, just a lot wider. I feel like you could hit his barrel chest with a sledgehammer and your wrists would give out before his muscles did.

My first surprise comes when Karl speaks. Okay, I'm terrible with accents, so I'm not exactly sure where Karl is from, but it feels like Eastern Europe. And so, he's made even more menacing by his deep voice and the thick accent. He feels like a Bond villain's henchman. Put up against plucky American muscle boy Scrappy, we've got a classic Cold War setup.

Karl takes Scrappy for a spin.

One of my favorite moments.

The action technically starts with a headlock, but it really starts with an extended standing head scissors. Scrappy is crushed by the thick thighs, completely helpless in the hold. His squirming, moaning and struggling is exquisite as the big man torments him. Scrappy is forced to acknowledge that the big man's legs are simply too big and powerful for him, a humiliating admission just minutes into the video. During the battle, the young American just looks remarkably small as he's lifted and squeezed by the massively wide muscleman.

You actually should make Karl angry.
Viewers will like Karl when he's angry.

Scrappy: "You know I don't just give up like that!"

Karl: "How do you like it down there
between my fucking huge legs?"

There's a surprising amount of action in this video. At least I was surprised. Other Vegas matches I've seen have been light on action and heavy on posing and posturing, but not this one. There are multiple knockouts, including Scrappy getting a hot one on the bodybuilder. Importantly for me, there's also bearhugs, a backbreaker, rack, scissors and more. It's great to see a lot of holds in a hotel match with a rookie.

Scrappy: "I want you to feel my legs.
The big guy's not so big now."

Scrappy is scrappy, but is he outmatched?

In the end, I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. With the underlying contrast, strong selling and big finishers, it took me several viewings to get through it (for good reasons). This is really going to appeal to squash fans and muscle lovers, but this big foreign bodybuilder vs. little American battle could work for a lot of people. Karl's a massive muscle monster and Scrappy is a feisty and adorable victim. And the interlude with Scrappy's reversal worked great for me as well.

What are other bloggers saying?

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



  1. I was also pleasantly surprised by this video. Most of their Vegas Battle videos have been terrible but this was a welcome exception. Karl reminded me of the days of Johnny Bravo and Specimen which I wish Thunders Arena would get back to.

    1. Thanks. Glad to hear someone else agrees with me. I hadn't thought of it, but it does feel like Thunders roster has downsized a little, with Vinny maybe being the biggest active guy? I think the new roster has helped the quality of the action, but I can see how fans of the massively wide bodybuilders might feel like they're missing out.

  2. I too was pleasantly surprised by this video. The thick legs and wide back of Karl (from Romania) are quite impressive. It was great seeing Scrappy get a fall too! I think the only comparable big man on the roster now is Tank, but we haven't seen him in a while.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I forgot about Tank. It has been a while since he's appeared. And Karl's from Romania? I was on the right track, which is closer than I usually am with accents.

  3. Hay what is with the downsize talk, have you not seen Viking yet? He's 6'6" and 260 lbs. This is Troy Stevens all over again! We find the biggest and bring them to you.

    1. Thanks for chiming in. I haven't seen Viking wrestle, but he is a great looking tall man. And I see that huge Mark Muscle is in a new video, too.