Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Review: Alex Waters vs. Bruce Ballard (RHW)

When I started this blog, I didn't really plan on doing a ton of reviews, but here we are and reviews have become my go-to filler for the two-week gaps between stories.

As I do this, I'm trying to mix up the companies, showcasing action from the main ones I buy from. Since my last Rock Hard Wrestling review, I've done one BGE, two Thunder's and one Movimus. I have two UCW reviews coming next week, so I figured I'd do another RHW match. I've covered several Dash matches, but barely talked about Alex Waters. A gross oversight on my part.

How have I not had an Alex-specific post?

After my lukewarm review for KOTR 4, I wanted something more positive. RHW remains my favorite and my inspiration for The Cave. Only one new match has come out, but I don't really plan to buy it. So instead, I looked back at a few matches on my iPad that I never got around to watching.

Alex Waters vs. Bruce Ballard was one of them.

Looking good, boys!
I bought this as soon as it came out, as I do all Alex Waters matches. I don’t know why I never watched it, as Alex is tied with Dash as my favorite RHW wrestler. I can honestly say he has never disappointed me. As it turns out, I really can't believe I never watched this.

It is literally perfect.

Yes, I mean 'literally'. This match is everything a Rock Hard Wrestling match should be. The guys. The action. The tension. The chemistry. The subtext. There's so much to love here. I think this is as good as any KOTR match and easily jumps to number two in my personal ranking (surpassed only by Dash/Alex in KOTR 2 - for now).

Let's start with the guys. We've got Alex Waters, who is always amazing. The hair, the body and the cocky attitude are in full force. From day one, he was one of the most confident and comfortable wrestlers working today. They even addressed his only flaw - the unwillingness to shut up and sell - in a creative and fun way.

Sell, Alex, sell! 
And then you've got Bruce Ballard. This guy is a perfect example of RHW's fitness model aesthetic. I've not watched much Bruce. I've seen the tag matches with Dash, but that's about it. My opinion of him has been that he's a basically a good looking jobber, so I haven't rushed to check him out.

Well, Bruce is great here. The guy is a cocky, confident muscleman throughout the match. I can see why so many have jumped on the Bruce bandwagon. He hasn't been a must-buy for me, but maybe he should be. Maybe some of his fans can tell me if this is reflective of what he's like in his other singles matches.

Bruce is positioned as a possible replacement for Alex. He's the new breed, matching the superstar in every way - attitude for attitude, muscle for muscle, look for look and move for move. The bigger stud actually manhandles Alex for long stretches of the match. It works really well.

Now that's a slam!

Throwing the smaller stud around like a ragdoll!

They're so similar that Alex even warns him against copying his style. If I'd watched it earlier, I could claim he inspired Mimik (and especially my upcoming 10/1 match), but I didn't. It's just a coincidence that we have a very similar plot point.

Alex: "Did you Google me or something? Trying to have
the same haircut as me, same attitude. I don't think so."
Alex: "This is my move!"
Alex: "God you're dumb! Don't EVER pose over me!
EVER! I've got way too much pride for that."
I said Alex suffers well. Yes, he does keep talking when he should be suffering. This is usually a bad thing, but not here for two reasons. Alex intersperses sexy moans and cries into his ceaseless chatter. And it's part of the plot for the first round. Bruce complains that the smaller heel won't be quiet (damn, do you ever shut the hell up?), so it feels like it's his mission to force Alex to stop talking.

Bruce: "Shut that big ass mouth up!"
The gear is really good, which you can’t always say about RHW. Nothing matches Dash’s red speedo in his match vs. Colt, but the tight, light squarecuts are sexy and revealing. Alex adjusts his bulge multiple times and tents his trunks noticeably in most of the second round. Bruce looks brilliant going commando in baby blue – front and back are fantastic.

I'd be holding myself in the same situation, too
Re-position then flex
Baby blue suits Bruce (who dresses left, apparently)
Me likey this move!
If you haven't bought this match, I highly recommend that you do. I'm not sure RHW ever gets better than this. It's a whopping 33 minutes of hard-hitting, body-showcasing action (not including 3 minutes of setup) from two of their best looking studs and an undercurrent of rivalry and tension between the two that feels real and intense.

Bruce always looks good in the ropes
If this is Alex's last match, which it might be given the lack of new Alex material since its release, what a way to go out. And I hope there's more of Bruce as this guy. He's so much better here than I expected. This is the guy who would've risen to match Alex and Dash as mega-stars, in my opinion. He's like a wonderful combination of Dash's beef and Alex's mouth.

I know I’m late to this match and to Bruce, so some of you must have watched it. What do you think? And if you haven’t seen it, do you want to? Please let me know what you think in the comments!



  1. I just watched this match for the first time last night myself. Like you, it was my first time seeing Bruce in action, and like you, I had the video for awhile but hadn't watched it yet for some unknown reason. And like you, I was beyond impressed! I completely agree with everything you wrote!

    1. Thanks for the comment! Glad to hear I'm not the only one buys and neglects to watch these things. :)

  2. Alex it is truly great to see another aficionado of this genre of wrestling that appears to share many of my similar tastes.

    First, I want to say how shocked I am that you've taken this long to watch this utterly outstanding match...glad you finally saw what you've been missing out on.

    Moving on, I completely agree with you about RHW: Their best match is KOTR 2 and this is easily the 2nd best...

    Now let me sing Alex Waters' praises: he is indescribable and his absence from RHW lo these many months has been very disheartening and disappointing to say the absolute least. Even though he has his share of losses, he'll always be the King of RHW to me.

    If a wrestler is intoxicating both while winning and losing, like Alex Waters is, you've got a bona fide star on your hands. Wrestling is an art as much as it is a sport. It's not just who can win...it's who can put on a great show at all times, against any competitor, under any circumstances. None of the other guys on the RHW roster come close to Alex in terms of pure entertainment.

    I mean, every single Waters match is able to be enjoyed over and over again. I cannot say that about any other wrestler at RHW, TA, BGeast, or anywhere else. If I was told that for the rest of my life I could only watch one guy's matches I would pick Alex in a heartbeat, no question.

    RHW appears to hint at the fact that he will return, but until he does I will continue to demand that he is brought back to the joy of all of his adoring fans!

    1. Thanks! Trust me, I'm kicking myself for not watching it earlier. I could see it becoming my favorite over KOTR 2, it's that good.

      I agree on Alex. I hope you're right about the hints that he's coming back. For me, he really is one of the best anywhere ever.