Wednesday, February 11, 2015

WHO DESERVED BETTER? My Thoughts on Chris Kanyon's Autobiography

Professional wrestling can be awesome. It's fun to watch and most of the guys who work in the business absolutely love it. But at the same time, like any performance industry, or hell - life in general, it has it dark sides. It's no secret that many wrestlers have died young. Accidents, drugs, health problems and other causes have taken many wrestlers away from the ring before their time. Suicide has also claimed the lives of several wrestlers, including Chris Kanyon.

Who was Chris Kanyon? He was a professional wrestler from Queens, NY. He trained in small promotions throughout the East coast, eventually ending up in the now defunct WCW. He had mid-level success there and when the WCW closed its doors he had a short run in the WWE. But in 2010, Chris Kanyon died of a drug over dose. His depression lead him to take that final step. And that depression was exacerbated by living life as a closeted gay wrestler.

I didn't know this until last year. When Kanyon was actively wrestling, it was mostly on WCW. I've always been a WWE mark, so other than the big names, I didn't pay too much attention to what was going on in WCW. I knew who he was of course. I remember his pretty dark hair and his catch phrase, "Who better than Kanyon? Nobody!" But that was pretty much it. So when I came across his name in an article listing deceased wrestlers I was surprised. One, because I didn't know that he was dead. Two, because other than Pat Patterson and Darren Young (who came out in 2013), I'd never heard of any openly gay wrestlers. I did a little Googling and discovered that he'd co-written an autobiography, Wrestling Reality: The Life and Mind of Chris Kanyon, Wrestling's Gay Superstar. I ordered it, not sure what to expect.

What I quickly realized, was that Kanyon was an awesome story teller. Yes, the book is co-authored by Ryan Clark who did an amazing job. But I couldn't tear myself away from Kanyon's stories. I know that it can be incredibly painful to be a gay youth in America. I see examples all the time and have some small personal experience with it because of a beloved family member. I don't pretend to understand that struggle. But reading Kanyon's experiences as a confused gay teen touched my heart. His recounting of confiding in a member of his church made my face hot with anger. And the story of his first kiss with a boy and the events that came after made me sad, both for him and the boy he scared away.

I did laugh a lot as I read Wrestling Reality. It was interesting to read his journey from kid who idolized wrestlers to becoming one himself. And I groaned at some of the backstage wrestling idiocy he revealed. But overall I was just ... sad. This man lived his entire life in the closet just so that he would be accepted and able to pursue the career he loved. He was so terrified of people finding out his secret that he went years without being in a relationship. That loneliness must have been awful. I couldn't imagine having to make a decision like that: be who you are in your personal life or have the career you want. He couldn't have both, so he sacrificed who he was in order to perform.

Were there other gay wrestlers in the industry at the time? Oh, I'm sure there were, percentages alone tell you that there have to have been. Were any of those wrestlers partially out - where their wrestling buddies but not the general public knew? More than likely. But Kanyon felt he wasn't able to come out, and when he tried to do so, it seems as though he were punished for it. After that, he hit a low patch in his wrestling career, his depression worsened and finally, he committed suicide.

After I finished Kanyon's book I felt so bad for him. So I decided to do a small thing in his name. The first book in my M/M professional wrestling erotic romance will be dedicated to the memory of Chris Kanyon. And a portion of the proceeds from the series will be donated to Out Athletes, a nonprofit organization that helps build inclusive sports organizations. It may be silly and perhaps some might not approve of involving his name with the type of books I write, but it makes my heart feel better.

Chris Kanyon's book, WRESTLING REALITY is available on Amazon. I invite you to check it out. If you do, be sure to tell me what you think.


Monday, February 9, 2015


Continuing on with our Hot Wrestler of the Week posts! This week I'm venturing into territory that is still new to me, New Japan Pro Wrestling. As I've mentioned, I've been a wrestling fan since I was a kid. But I never really paid attention to what was going on in Japan, first because I was clueless. Then because I was a typical lazy American and didn't want to put forth the effort to discover Japanese wrestling and listen to Japanese commentary. But NJPW is gaining popularity in the American wrestling audience so I gave it a go. And I love it! The athleticism and story telling in their matches are amazing. Their wrestlers are so talented that I don't even care that I can't understand the commentary. One of my favorites is Kota Ibushi. He's pretty. And he's super talented. And he's pretty.

From: Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Age: 32
Promotion: NJPW & DDT
Height: 5'11
Weight: 190

Since I'm still learning about NJPW and Ibushi, this post will be mostly pictures.  But you don't mind, right?

I do know that Ibushi has been a Junior Heavyweight Champion on multiple occasions, both as a tag team and a singles competitor.

How is it possible to be this adorable after wrestling a match?

Kota Ibushhi has some moves that make my heart jump into my throat when I'm watching him wrestle.

Standing Shooting Star Press into a Moonsault

Corkscrew 450 Splash

This guy has NO fear.

But he's also strong and has moved up into the Heavyweight division.
The first match I ever saw of his was versus Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 9. Ibushi lost, but it was by far my favorite match of the program. 
 I bet there are more championships in his future. In the meantime, he can go on being amazing and looking gorgeous while doing it.

Move over Old Spice Guy, Kota Ibushi is on a white horse.

Hmmm... which Ibushi do I like better? Beach Ibushi?

Or Bubbles Ibushi?

Kidding, Bare Bum Ibushi is my fave.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to figure out what's happening in these two matches. 

Professional Wrestling, ladies and gentlemen. 

Visit New Japan Pro Wrestling for more on Kota Ibushi and others. Thank you to creators of pictures and gifs. None of the images used are my own.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Continuing on with our Hot Wrestlers of the Week! This week I'm jumping over to a different promotion, TNA. What's a promotion, you ask? A promotion is a wrestling company. It can also be referred to as a federation.  The different promotions range in size, talent and wrestling styles. Smaller indie promotions can be found across the globe. They often put on shows in places ranging from VFW halls to small arenas. Two of the largest wrestling promotions are World Wrestling Entertainment and New Japan Pro Wrestling. There are also two mid-sized companies, Ring of Honor and TNA. One of the most popular (and good lookin') guys in TNA is Bobby Roode.

From: Ontario, Canada
Age: 37
Promotion: TNA
Height: 6'0
Weight: 240

If you like the burly, manly, Canadian type, Bobby Roode is for you. When Roode first debuted in TNA he was the enforcer for his group, Team Canada. An enforcer is the guy who you don't want to mess with. He comes in and solves problems by knocking heads, enforcing the superiority of his stable. And with a physique like this, it's obvious why Roode held that role.

Roode has been a key player of TNA Impact Wrestling for going on eleven years. That's the type of longevity that shows a wrestler has a passion for the business. His skill and and passion have paid off with multiple championship titles. He's been one half of several TNA championship tag teams.

Bobby Roode as the "money" in Beer Money Inc.
Tag Team Champ with Austin Aries

He's also reached the highest levels as a singles competitor. Roode has earned the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on several different occasions, including one reign that lasted for 256 days.


Whether he's sporting a classic diamond encrusted robe or slowly unbuttoning a white dress shirt, Roode has the look of a man who means business.

He says he's got the It Factor, and I definitely agree. Take a peek at a few more of his pics and tell me what you think of Mr. Bobby Roode. Enjoy!

Thanks to creators of pics, gifs, and videos. None of the images used are my own