On the April 29th episode of NXT, they put a bleach-blond Shane Thorne (formerly known as Shane Haste) in the ring against a beastly Heel named Dexter Lumis (formerly known as Sam Shaw) — did you see this hot match? It was pretty much a squash job with the creepy Heel in the black leather gloves generally choking and stomping his prey into submission while staring off into space is if he was hypnotized.
I’ve been into Shane since his days in TMDK (The Mighty Don’t Kneel — cool name for a wrestling Tag Team.) They’ve dyed his hair bright yellow to play up his youthful vulnerability and they’re generally using him as a helpless jobber — which generally works for me. It was the final moments of the match that really made it compelling to watch.
They’ve dressed Lumis in tight, bulging pants with a thick leather belt, which I found fairly sexy — like some brawler from the 1920s who would fight you for two bits when the traveling circus was in town. Obviously trunks would be even better, but at least Shane provides us with that eye candy.
The action became very interesting when Lumis applied his patented Triangle Choke sleeperhold variation. They are presenting Lumis as a cold-blooded serial killer to amp up his ruthlessness and ferocity. The horror in Shane’s eyes as he feels the arms constrict around his throat imply that he is being symbolically murdered.
The camera zooms in on Shane’s face as he fades away, dramatically capturing the moment of his “death.” However, I’m reminded of certain videos I’ve purchased where Sleeperholds are fetishized for the explicit purpose of turning on (and getting off) the viewer. The fact that this is happening in an empty arena further blurs the line between wrestling as mainstream sports entertainment and rasslin as porn.
And then Lumis starts gently petting his victim and it gets really gay…
Their intent is to present a creepy scene — a serial killer doing stuff to a cadaver. But the queer sub-text is obvious — the handsome blond (nearly naked) utterly powerless and submissive with his dominant “killer” gently caressing his face and hair. At least one person on Tumblr also noticed the sex appeal inherent in this “murder” and post-match petting:
It’s obvious that Lumis can do whatever he wants now to his helpless victim — and this is part of the sex appeal inherent in all pro wrestling matches: the potential for the winner (and potential for us in the audience) to gawk at or even touch the helpless man, or maybe kiss him, or do other nastier things, and the stud can’t resist or stop us. This potential is in the back of every sexually frustrated adolescent, queer wrestling fan’s mind when he sees a spectacular unclothed male laid out and vulnerable — fully accessible, unresistant, open to being used and/or abused.
This is not the first time we’ve seen this creepy/queer post-match petting after a wrestling match. Bray Wyatt used to perform a similar gimmick when he was the serial killer of the day.
Lumis has also petted other jobbers after putting them out with his sleeperhold:
It got me horny — I’m here for it and want to see more.