Sunday, December 4, 2016

My Little Pony Kicks

Xander Caden vs Axel, #503 (UCW)

So what does everybody think of the new guy at UCW? I haven't made my mind up. I'm intrigued, though. After Axel mildly disses Xander's stylings, we get a sense that the kid's more than the second coming of Twisted Torment. In a video log released shortly before #503's release, Axel compared him to a shortlist of other current fighters: Nero Angelo, Austin Tyler, and Eli Black. Axel didn't specify further, but I see Nero's shameless physicality, Austin's tonsorial nonconformity, and Eli's chipper sadism in Xander's mat work. Like Austin, who debuted last week, Xander comes to UCW with previous ring experience, and it shows.

The guy certainly raises Axel's hackles--those soccer kicks make the usually coolheaded Axel lose it, and that's a major plus for Xander. Anybody who can bring up Axel's predatory side is worth my attention. It's Axel's most aggressive and un-textbook battle since the October nailbiter against Eli. Xander pays a lot of attention to the former champ's arms and legs, a smart tactic, both debilitating and fatiguing. Like a lot of young ring wrestlers, he prefers to stay on his feet, but he does a fine job of working his man on the mat too. At 21 minutes, the match is short by UCW standards. A surprise attack involving a steel folding chair draws the match to a sudden close and leaves one of these young tigers out cold in the center of the mat.

We'll see more of Xander. Axel promises we will soon see him versus Nero, which is something to look forward to, but it may take a run-in with Austin Tyler for me to form an impression of this unarguably outrĂ© and sure-to-be controversial wrestler.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Hoo Boy

Falcon vs JJ, February 2016 (LDN Wrestling)

The video starts with the match already in progress, but the fight really takes off after the 03:00 mark as immaculately well-groomed heel Falcon (in purple tights) reveals his nastiness. The moment gives the fans a reason to rally for hometown hero JJ (5'10", 164#) to take out the strapping Canadian (6'4", 252#). He lands a good punch to the GQ bad guy's midsection, but given his energy early on, it's disappointing that his hope spot is as brief as it is. But these lads are far from finished with each other.

JJ gets a lengthier crack at Falcon's sculpted physique a few minutes later, and the heat escalates from that point on, with Falcon demonstrating aggressive intensity I really had not expected of him. Of course, the best give and take occurs in the last half  when a riled-up JJ and the arrogant Falcon take turns looking like they've got it all wrapped up. Hokey at times, at least in my opinion, the great moments and swell torsos put this match on my re-watch list.

 Credit to Beaury Mathieu for the video.


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