Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Brett Barnes Part 1

Brett Barnes.

Sigh. With just those two words - Brett and Barnes - some of you may join me in a moment of quiet, joyful reflection. I fondly remember the adorable and fresh-faced blond fireplug from Texas who was just slightly ahead of his time, but certainly made a huge impact on me and many others.

Go on, ref, grab it. You know you want to.
Brett Barnes v Johnny Handsome (CF 112)

Brett broke out on the scene almost immediately. As with most young wrestlers, he started as a jobber, but he evolved into a champion on the local Texas indie scene. He had a ton of energy and bounce that made him fun to watch. I was lucky enough to see him live at a few PCW shows and his charisma was electric.

Young pro Brett made an impression.

But Brett in action was tough to find.
Brett Barnes v Jared Steele (PCW Texas)

According to Google, the largest block of my visitors are age 25-34. If this is you, you might not actually be familiar with Brett. You might even look at the pics and think, "What's the big deal?" You'll just have to trust me when I tell you that Brett Barnes was a superstar for many gay wrestling fans. Ginormous. He just had that "it" factor.

Now, I won't pretend that his rise as an object of affection was based entirely on his talent. Brett also trained as a powerlifter, which gave him disproportionately thick legs and a spectacular ass. Add that to his handsome, cherubic face and flawless smooth skin. Physically, my appreciation for a guy like Biff Farrell is probably based off the wonder that was Brett Barnes.

Those trunks don't lie.

Go ahead, you deserve it.
Brett Barnes v Johnny Handsome (CF 112)

So big was his presence that Brett even inspired a fan to make a web-shrine to him. Content was a struggle, so brettbarnesweb was heaven-sent during its short-lived existence, but doomed to be a momentary blip. This was pre-YouTube, of course. There were no GIFs. We weren't even really blogging. It was all Yahoo! Groups and message boards. How did we live?

We had a huge shortage of this butt
Brett Barnes v Alex Pinchek (CF 92)

This is where Cyberfights came in and saved the day. In the age where BGEast and Can-Am were the Coke and Pepsi of gay-oriented underground wrestling, indie wrestlers didn't cross over to these wrestling sites. At least not many. Of course, they weren't just gay-oriented sites, they were also porn sites. To me, gay-oriented and porn are not synonymous and just like an actor might go nude in a Hollywood movie, he's not racing to work for a porn producer or anything, even if his role doesn't involve nudity. No matter the reason, we couldn't see the guys via online video and we couldn't see them in a relevant video company. What a dilemma.

Anyway, Can-Am created Cyberfights as their answer. It was such a simple proposition. Cyberfights would bring the hottest young pro wrestlers together for dream matches. It was kept at an arm's length from the porn content, giving sufficient cover to future superstars, including a certain former WWE world heavyweight champion. Can-Am was the name brand, while Cyberfights was the generic product not-so secretly made by the big company.

My first Cyberfights video - I loved Chad Collyer
Kidd USA v Chad Collyer (CF 12)

Buff blonds battle it out
Brett Barnes v Scotty Mac (CF 86)

Brett towers over a future WWE Heavyweight Champ
Brett Barnes v Tyler Black (CF 120)

Not surprisingly, I loved me some Cyberfights. The action was intimate, fast-paced and chatty. Think Rock Hard Wrestling, except with working pros who know the moves, rather than fitness models who don't. In fact, RHW has a lot of similarities, with the 3-fall format (which CF abandoned around CF90) and everyone being a cocky bad boy. And Cyberfights' roster was hot, hot, hot. Which brings me back to Brett.

Brett starred in over 50 Cyberfights matches and I have about half of them. Singles, three-ways, tag matches and even battle royales. The fact that he did more than anyone else proves three things to me: his popularity with gay fans, the ceiling as a pro, and that if he'd been born a decade later that he would've been even bigger.

Fade knocks Brett out with a bearhug
Brett Barnes v Fade (CF 95)

Brett's so cute when he's cocky
Brett Barnes v Johnny Handsome (CF 119)

Can-Am wouldn't have used him so often if he wasn't doing well for them. He did work a little with the WWE, so that's a testament to skills. However, he was wrestling during the steroid monster period and the guy was short. He's listed as 5'8", but that had to be with his boots on, based on seeing him live. And indie feds weren't thriving like they are now.

In a modern setting where size doesn't matter as much and there are more ways to make a living, Brett might've thrived a little more.

Definitely a champ in my book.
Brett Barnes v Johnny Handsome (CF 112)

Modern Day Brett

I don't want make it sound like Brett's gone. There is some newer Brett on YouTube from Texas Championship Wrestling. It seems like it was around 2014 when Brett made a return. And the guy still looks amazing. Now in his 30's, he has a more rugged look with short brown hair and sexy scruff, but he's still go "it".

The last upload I saw on YouTube was from early 2016, so I've got no idea if he's still wrestling. What I can say is that if someone like Wrestler4Hire coaxed him into a match, my credit card couldn't be out fast enough. I say W4H, because Brett and Cameron have wrestled several matches. However, there could be multiple reasons why he wouldn't be interested, so I won't hold my breath.

Brett came back, maybe looking even better

Brett returns to do the job for the monster Cerebus
Brett Barnes vs. Cerebus (TCW)

Brett gets saved by then bonds with a new bro-buddy
Brett Barnes vs. Jason Kincaid (TCW)

That's it for today. Due to the amount of images, I'm splitting this into two posts. In two days, I'm going to add to this by covering Brett in Cyberfights more specifically. From eager high-flyer to superstar powerhouse, I'll showcase some of my favorites.

What do you think? Were you a fan?

Alex

10 comments:

  1. I was a huge fan of Brett Barnes/Brett Idol as well. In fact, he was featured in the very first wrestling DVD I ever bought, and I bought it because of him. However, I was incredibly disappointed that the promotional pictures from his Cyberfights matches with Matt Sydel showed him bearhugging the ripped young wrestler, but the hold was not included in the video. I believe he did three matches with Matt, and I've seen two of those matches, but no bearhug. I didn't waste my money on the third match.

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    1. Ouch. I feel your pain. They always put that disclaimer about the images might not appear in the video, but it sucks when it's the one thing you want to see. I was never a fan of Matt Sydal, but I'll see what I have with him vs Brett. I know I have them in a tag match together.

      Anyway, good to hear from another Brett Barnes fan!

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    2. He does bearhug Sydal in one of their singles matches. Don't remember which one. It looked like he might get a submission win with the bearhug since he applied it a few times but it didn't end like that.

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    3. Thanks! Good to know it happened. Probably just teased with the wrong video. Maybe it was one of those 30-minute matches that got split up.

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  2. Wow, Alex … What a topic!!!

    Yeah man, I remember Brett Barnes very well. Who could forget him? He checked off all the boxes in what anybody would want in a pro wrestler… and you mentioned them all…

    That hair! Those bulgy muscles! That flawless skin and handsome face … holy crap! It’s so wrong that one guy could be blessed with so many gifts like that, right?

    I guess I never realized he was so short … thats too bad because he would be a big indy star these days. I gotta say I am so jealous you have a number of his Cyberfights and your analysis of the Cyberfights company is interesting for sure. I’ve seen a few indy pros “cross over” to Thunders and bg nowadays and they should rustle up Brett. (I still find Cameron’s site much to annoying to patronize … every time I try to shop it, I can’t even get the roster to come up… thats a rant for another day)

    I know I have the occasional Cyberfights dvd here and there (though in this age of “streaming”, I’m gotten lazy about even shoving a disk in and rejiggering the TV to the dvr) but I think you have a much more extensive collection. Still on videotape, perhaps?

    Great post, Alex!

    (PS ... I loved Chad Collyer as well! --- insert wink emoji here... LoL)

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    1. Thanks! So glad guys are liking seeing Brett again.

      I really liked Cyberfights, so I did buy quite a few. I remember them as being a great deal, like $10 for the 30-minute matches?

      Many started on VHS, but were long ago converted to DVD then ripped to digital files. I have them all on an external hard drive, plus a backup external drive.

      And I had a great compilation of Chad Collyer pro matches, but I'm not sure I converted it.

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  3. This is how you know that you are the best wrestling writer out there. You just know your stuff! Never heard of him until now. That first image was great.

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    1. Thanks, but I'm pretty sure all the current bloggers know Brett. Beefcakes of Wrestling has posted about him a lot, for sure.

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  4. You read my mind with these posts about Brett Barnes/Idol. Everything you said about him is true. His body and especially that bubble butt are amazing. In addition he always wears trunks that fit perfectly and enhance the butt. As Bard would say 'He really knows how to fill out a pair of trunks. Check him out in tiny shiny silver briefs in this match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNnVhCf7a7I


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    1. Appreciate the comment and the link! I'm always open for more Brett, especially something tiny and shiny.

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