Sunday, December 23, 2018

Review: Dev Michaels vs. Kid Karisma (BGEast)

On one of my Kid Karisma reviews, a commenter wished things had gone the other way. The match, not my review. He wanted to see the smaller heel get put in his place, which I think is a natural feeling. I threw out Dev Michaels vs. Kid Karisma as a great place to see a more dominant performance by a big man against the ginger superstar.

Boy and Tarzan get ready to battle it out.

It’s not like any version of Kid Karisma has never lost. It’s that uber-heel Kid Karisma doesn’t lose. The cocky super stud we’ve all come to know and love over his 30+ match career. That's the guy who doesn't lose, no matter how much we want to see it happen. Sure, he’ll lose a fall here and there (and who doesn’t love seeing him scrunch up his face and hear him whine his submission?) but it's usually due to overconfidence and you never really think he'll lose.

This match is memorable and hot in part because it just feels different. Kid isn't momentarily tripped up by his greatness or a lucky fluke. He's tripped up by Dev's superior power. It's not that Kid does anything wrong. The older stud is just the better MAN. Kid's shocked as he discovers that he's just no match for the bigger hunk. And that's really hot to see.

Dev Michaels is a different opponent. He’s more mature. More confident. He looks huge, even though he's only listed as a couple of inches and 30-lbs heavier. And he’s a total badass who isn’t intimidated by Kid’s reputation. Bard described Dev as "one of the top two most devastatingly dangerous challenges of Kid Karisma's wrestling career". Not sure who the other is, but I definitely agree with Dev being dangerous and a challenge.

Dev is one big slab of hot beef.

Kid looks great on the receiving end.

Dev lets us check out the
smaller stud from all angles.

Everything looks amazing here as shiny white bodies pop against the dark background. The impressive muscle hunks start out wearing animal print briefs. Almost like a tag team or a grown up Tarzan (Dev) and Korak (Kid). Joe noted a difference in the Dev's jaguar print (predator) and Kid's giraffe print (prey), but that's way too subtle for me. Eventually, they both end up in animal-print thongs, revealing Kid's award-winning butt and somehow making Dev look even bigger and badder. And it keeps the jungle man feeling. Yay!

The arrogance flows from the start. The tension is palatable. Kid confidently stands up to the older muscleman like one of those little dogs who thinks he's a big dog. Three minutes of flexing and posing shows us the contrast and sets up the story. This is followed by a just-right 22 minutes of wrestling followed by some delicious final sweaty posing over the crushed loser.

You're not in Kansas any more, Kid.

It's not easy to keep a big man down.

Woof. Like he's nothing.

Action-wise, these two wrestle differently as Dev uses brute force to overpower the smaller stud, lifting, squeezing and bending him with ease. It's not a squash, but Dev is more dominant. Kid gets his moments by using his speed and skill to dominate the mature muscleman. And he even gets to show his power, surprising Dev and me with a test of strength win and moves like a big bearhug. But if he's going to win, he's going to have to earn it.

With two powerful hunks like this, every move seems bigger and sexier. I love how you never really get a rest spot, because even the stationary submission holds feel energetic and intense. Especially when they're bare-assed, emphasizing the primal nature of the fight. The bearhugs are brutal and you can feel the pain they're feeling. The tests of strength are more competitive than you'd expect. The sweat flows, the muscles pump and someone ultimately does get put in his place (which is flat on his back in the middle of the ring).

Crushing Kid from all angles.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Yeah, I mainly put this in for Kid's amazing ass.
But it's still an impressive show of strength.

In the end, this was a great match. It's got a lot of drama and the fun of seeing a heel get wrecked by an even bigger one. The guys are perfect. The matching gear is sweet for fans of jungle men. And the wrestling is amazing. I definitely loved this one.

Obviously you can't do this too often, because it's appeal is predicated on Kid's invincibility. So I admit that this kind of competitive beatdown shouldn't be the norm, but I would love to see another MAN who can climb in the ring and really manhandle the arrogant little super-heel for long stretches like this. After all, this came out in 2013. Maybe it's time.

What are other bloggers saying? Only good things, of course.

So that’s my take. What’s yours?



  1. Sometimes I think the only gay wrestling fans who make projections about how "good" a wrestler is based on whether he wins or not all have wrestling blogs where they can go on and on about it. I'm sorry, but winning or losing doesn't have a damn thing to do with skill or a respective wrestler's heart or training or real life desire. Hell, 90 percent of the outcomes in gay wrestling matches boil down to who's generally hotter. One guy could be a freaking ninja with the power to explode someone's heart in his chest with a single punch in real life, but if he's got better abs, doe eyes and dimples, he loses, period.

    I generally enjoy most of your reviews and all of your stories (tho I must comment that it's always struck me a bit that you write stories about characters who, if they were actually wrestling for one of the gay wrestling companies you'd probably dislike them. I mean, your characters are generally far more Kip Sorell than Kid Karisma types). But sometimes you so over-analyze things (no, two wrestlers with great asses wrestling bare-assed is not about the "primal nature of the contest," it's simply about the fact that they have great asses and on that day they and the people producing the video were comfortable enough to show off), I can't help but wonder, wtf?

    1. “I can’t help but wonder, wtf.”

      I had the same reaction to your comment. I really don’t understand a single thing you’re complaining about. I love jobbers and praise them all the time. I made TWO jobber categories at the Caveys this year to honor more guys who always lose. At no time have I ever equated wins with talent. I don’t like Joe Robbins and Eli Black and they win all the time.

      As for me over analyzing, I think that’s funny because I’m the most shallow of all bloggers. That particular comment is about my reaction, not about what the producers are intending. Put two guys bareassed in animal prints and I’m thinking primal. I hardly think that’s deep. It’s just having watched a lot of Tarzan movies.