After reading a recent article on “Ringside at Skull Island” that mentioned “doughboys”, my old pal Doughboy Watcher (DW) came out of semi-retirement to send me a new article! Here is what he had to say about his doughboy obsession (including bad doughboys)…
A recent blog at “Ringside at Skull Island” contained a series of GIFs depicting Matthew Riddle “kicking the shit out of” Matthew Jacob Friedman” and, for the blogger, in that moment of the match, “fantasy became reality”:
“It captures a lot of fantasies built on a single memory of high school – when muscular C beat the crap out of chubby bully D in the locker room – which my imagination has made more elaborate over time. Fake details accrued, borrowing from other life experiences, movies, et cetera.”
The whole notion of “fantasy becoming reality” with added elements from movies, from the imagination and from life experience, caused us to ponder even further our own ongoing obsession with chubby, out-of-shape jobbers, a wrestler-type coined by this site as “doughboys.” What is it about these oversized ham ’n eggers (employed by the likes of Vince McMahon and others to draw attention to the alpha-males in the ring) that have a unique appeal to us?
According to “Ringside,” some of the resonance of that match moment involves the notion of comeuppance:
“The bad doughboy has long been a fascination of mine even before Wrestling Arsenal coined the term. Even more than I like bad doughboy vs good doughboy matches, I love good well-built athlete vs bad doughboy, like here. There’s no moral to this story, just a memory from a locker room far away and long ago.”
A jobber bad boy getting his justly deserved comeuppance is a theme that comes into play in many of our doughboy fantasies. I’m thinking, for instance, of Dexter Wescott (even his name exudes a whiff of snobbery). With handsome frat-boy good looks, a bit of a smirk of superiority about him and with just enough pudge at the waistline to put him in our doughboy camp, Wescott enters the ring overdressed in an impressive yellow and blue get-up, this at a time when most grapplers were still content to let simple black trunks serve as their attire.
Don’t get us wrong here. The tights are what especially attract us to him! But fancy gear like this is usually reserved for the star wrestlers, the alpha-males in the ring, not the jobbers. That amazing yellow and blue outfit (along with that smirk of his) give the impression that perhaps this preppy fellow thinks a little too highly of himself and needs to be taken down a notch.
The arena audience seems to sense this about the guy as well and pledge their allegiance instead to a down-to-earth heel like Bugsy McGraw (featured here in this GIF, absolutely demolishing Wescott!) This lack of a fan base further segregates Dexter Wescott into the jobber ranks (and, as a result, garners for him more empathy and appreciation from doughboy enthusiasts!)
Getting back to the “Skull Island” blogpost, in his discussion of wrestler Matthew Riddle, “Ringside” admits:
“Riddle is a little noisy for the particular fantasy I’m thinking of. (C was quiet and circumspect, shocking everybody when he suddenly pounded D into the wet concrete floor.) Still, I like the wild-man type – part of my cowboy and jungle lord fantasies and other genres.”
Right there, “Ringside” touches upon a pair of other fantasy-types that resonate with us.
Regarding the cowboy genre, we took on the topic here at Project Doughboy in a couple of posts. First, there was the Brokeback Mountain parody…
As for the “jungle lord fantasies,” I recall at a very early age seeing a rerun of the TV series “Jungle Jim.” Though details of the plot remain a blur, I recall the climax of the show as Jungle Jim joins forces with the local natives to bring down a group of white trappers. Even at a tender age, I felt what were perhaps the first pangs of doughboy empathy as I viewed that force of white bad guys falling into the traps set for them by the black natives. (This “jungle lord fantasy” idea is a loaded theme, best taken on another day…)
We also touched on a well-worn wrestling gimmick with a humorous take on the wrestler Kamala, billed as the “Ugandan Cannibal.”
Finally, “Ringside” makes a point which touches at the heart of doughboy appeal:
“(Doughboys) are fascinating performers in the squared circle, where their girth becomes part of the mythology of wrestling and a tempting target.”
The idea of a doughboy’s girth serving as a target—like crosshairs etched across a jobber’s flabby belly—brought to mind a match featuring the physically-perfect Mr. Perfect paired with an out-of-shape jobber by the name of Mike Daniels. Mr. Perfect is so put off by Daniel’s protruding flab that he tosses the guy out of the ring in disgust.
Perhaps all doughboys go through wrestling life with an imaginary target emblazoned across their extra girth. Some observers respond with laughter to the hilarity of these “goofy looking dudes” and “human punching bags”—others, like Mr. Perfect, react with disgust…