Saturday, June 24, 2017

Bart 2

Bart vs Finn McCool, Vegas Battles 20 (Thunder's Arena)

I'm not sure I've seen all Finn McCool's work at Thunder's Arena (I've seen three other matches, I think), but right now this 21-minute match is my favorite. The sturdily built rookie puts up the most fight I've seen in him yet in this hotel room tussle with up-and-coming pro star Bart. He's pretty enough all on his own, but something about wrestling makes a pretty man even prettier. The posing does not upstage the wrestling in this video; a little bit of posing occurs within the match, for instance, when Finn dominates Bart and can't stop himself from popping his biceps in celebration.

Bart looks great here, too. This is a better overall match than his debut against Scrappy (who can be seen on the sidelines, watching) because Bart's at his best in a fight, even a friendly tussle like this one. He's better in the squared circle (so I hope Thunder's makes that happen soon), but he does plenty even when confined to a single mat on a hotel room floor. His video with Scrappy focused more on holds, each one presented as if individually wrapped like a Hershey's Kiss. This one offers more in the way of a continuous work, with Finn keeping the pace up as a convincing adversary.

Cool versus Hot seems to be the theme here. Fittingly I watched VB20 first during the summer solstice. Finn's trunks are in winter shades (blue-green and black) which nicely offset his lightly freckled pale skin. Bart's so tan I can almost smell the coconut oil from here in North Carolina, and his retro-'60s tropical trunks hit the right note of campy and hot. Finn keeps the pro wrestler busy, and the outcome remains in question till literally the final minute.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Max vs Axel

Max Ryder vs Axel, Match 539 (UCW)

Max Ryder sweats extra-large. That right there is reason enough for me to be happy he's back at UCW after a year's absence. That may be the main reason, in fact, but I'm quick to add that he also does facial expressions like few others anywhere. Max Ryder grimacing makes me grimace, the way I yawn every time my dog yawns. (I should add that Axel, Max's opponent here, is developing a mighty fine O-face too, as well as some manly scruff on the chin that might as well just come right out and say "Suck my dick.") To me, Max looks like he just stepped out of a tight-fisted Mickey Spillane novel like Kiss Me, Deadly or One Lonely Night. Maybe it's just the name Max Ryder, but that's definitely a good thing.

I'm double-thrilled Axel is throwing the welcome-back party for Max, with more big releases scheduled for the coming months. In a promo video, Axel credits most of the sweat on display to Max and the heat wave that struck the Mid-Atlantic states the weekend the video was shot. Axel doesn't sweat much, but he admits that even he contributed some of the shine to this match. He definitely contributed a fair share of the heat.

Match 539 reaffirms my opinion that 2017 may be remembered as the Year of UCW, with so much fine talent accumulating in its claustrophobic and broiling (and increasingly iconographic) fight space and a string of fights (this one included) that will surely be talked about years from now. Max and Axel fight strong and hard here in a contest refreshingly free of bro banter and heavy on ass-kicking.


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