Thursday, April 22, 2021

Review: Austin Cooper vs. Kirby Stone (BGEast)

Kirby Stone: "You talked a big game. Seemed like you had something in you. Instead, you're all stars and stripes and a stupid haircut."

Let me begin by saying that this match is not available outside the BGEast Arena yet. It's coming on catalogue 151 as part of a compilation curiously called "Big Boy Battles 2". I get that "Big Boy" is a subjective term, so I'll focus on the guys, not their size. There's a young Braden Charron vs. Mike Pitt, both of whom I like. The match with the biggest boys is Joe Robbins vs. Jeremy Tyler. And then there's Austin Cooper vs. Kirby Stone, which I decided to watch first. 

Kirby Stone finally gets to go all out. 

The amazing Austin Cooper has definitely gotten a ton of love on this blog. The only wrestler I've featured more often is Scrappy. Of course, it helps that he's wrestled a lot in a lot of places. In this case, this is a very early Austin. He's leaner and more ripped than I ever remember him and sporting a ginger faux-hawk. He's looking great in USA flag trunks and coordinating boots, tape and pads. Patriotic gear must be a current interest for me, because this is three videos in a row featuring the stars and stripes.

Kirby Stone is back, older, wiser and rocking brighter pink gear. Kirby is still cute, but with some meat added to his smooth swimmer's body. The first time I watched him (reviewed here), I was impressed. And I quickly realized that he's one of those guys who looks like a babyface jobber but is actually a stealth heel. Now, facing a cocky bodybuilder who'd rather use the ring to flex than fight, he's ready to really show how badass he can be. As much as I like Austin dominating, I'm #teamKirbyStone.

Austin's looking great ...
but he might not be feeling great.

Early-Austin has some surprises
for the confident Kirby.

Chinlock to neckbreaker. Sweet.

Right from the start, Kirby is unimpressed by his opponent. I'm impressed by sexy Austin, but the pro in pink doesn't view him as real competition. After some back-and-forth for the first third of the match, it becomes a squash. Austin prolongs things by kicking out of pins, frustrating Kirby. The babyface heel even admits that the all-American stud is tougher than he expected. However, it continues to be one-sided. Bigger Kirby's just too good for early-Austin, manhandling him and forcing multiple submissions before finally getting the pin he desired.

Yeah, soften up those muscles.

Watch out, Kirby ... Austin's got moves.

Hm, can't flip out of this one.

Action-wise, this is a classic-style pro match. Most of these images come from the first 15 minutes and none are from the finishing series, so it's definitely action-packed. I love Stone's classic approach ... wear your opponent down until he's putty in your hands. The pro in pink relentlessly attacks the back with boots and bendy holds. He adds in energy-draining chokes, knees to the head, sustained submission holds and humiliation in the form of faux-hawk grabbing, a low blow, false pin, and general mocking. The finish includes big pro moves, including a piledriver.

I will give a special shout out to Austin's selling. His moaning and suffering is top-notch. The all-American stud reacts to everything on time and in the right way - verbally and reaching for his back, side and head when he should. He cries with pain without going over-the-top. It's all just perfect. I think I under-rate him on this because he's such a great dominator. While I instinctively think of Austin in the top role, he's also a pro as the muscleboy victim.

Ouch! Kirby's going to teach all the
young punks out there a lesson.

See, that's how you apply a crab.

Man, early-Austin has no shot!

In the end, I really liked this. So satisfying. It features two hot young hunks that I really love. It has classic pro wrestling pacing and action executed really well. Kirby always had the potential to be a great babyface heel, so it's awesome to see his potential realized. Early-Austin works perfectly as the ripped muscleboy who finds out that skill beats muscle. Since we know how good he becomes, my brain fills in a story that the future all-time great learned a valuable lesson.

So, that's my take. Since this is not yet widely available, you probably don't know what you think, but please come back when you finally do see the match! Or, if you have an opinion just based on what I've shared, that's great, too.



  1. Yawn, another squash from BGEast. Out of the 6 matches in their last catalog, 4 or 5 were basically squashes, and one featured Austin Cooper as the heel. Do they even produce anything else nowadays?

    1. There seems to be a balance on this compilation. I don't think any of the three matches were produced recently but this is appears to be the squashiest. The others look back-and-forth.

      I only bought one match from 150, Captain Flagg vs. Assassin, which I reviewed. It wasn't a squash, more of a 50/50 video where one guy dominates then the other.

  2. I echo the above comments about squash matches being too prevalent (from many promoters) as, for me, the reversals are exciting. I think Alex has this match correctly described as it is back & forth to start. I found it compulsive viewing (even before I did view it). Austin looks fab and I have always been a fan but Kirby is the star here. He looks better than ever. I love the ash blonde hair the big eyes and expressive face and expressive body language. I love the alabaster flesh and the pink pro gear. He also had a brilliant match with Cameron a few years ago. I hope there is more Kirby Stone to come. Mike P vs Braden C is fantastic too!

    1. Kirby definitely has star quality. I need to look at his match with Cameron, because I've never been disappointed in him.

      I need to use the term "squash" more carefully. To me, a real squash is one guy dominates throughout. This is only semi-squashy, because of Austin's early competitiveness.