Hammer Time

Tyson "Hammer" debuts at UCW-Wrestling in a match [#254] against Michael Hannigan this weekend. At first, mohawked Hammer seems a little put off by the Saw-meets-Hostel sadomasochistic trappings of the UCW studio, especially Hannigan's kink for patent leather and PVC. Michael seems nervous too, at one point tossing a wild word salad about Hammer's being a taller, leaner version of CJ Devastation mixed with CJ's trainer Twisted Torment (who twistedly tormented Hannigan in his UCW debut). Flashback? Hallucination? The jitters? Talk gets them nowhere, so the fight begins without a lot of fronting or fanfare, and, happily, they are both more at ease in action on the mats.

With only five months behind him, Hannigan may be an odd pick for breaking in Hammer. But his training has been intense, both in the school of hard knocks in previous video releases and off-camera under the tutelage of BodySlam and Axel, and the kid likes to fight, always ready to rise to a provocation. It doesn't hurt a bit that he's good looking, a slim boy-next-door-type who likes to work out his aggression by tussling with likeminded punks. Hammer looks good, too, with the type of solid core that Eli Black keeps going on and on about.

Hannigan takes a quick lead, targeting the new guy's arms, having learned that at UCW the best strategy is a preemptive strike that weakens an opponent and dampens his will to fight. After playing the victim for about five minutes, though, Hammer earns his moniker with a powerful right-handed blow to Michael's abs that turns the tables. He delivers some solid payback for Hannigan's presumptuous manhandling at the start. Well matched in size and determination, Hammer-vs-Hannigan then turns into quite a tasty give-and-take match, with both fighters striving either to choke the other guy out or crack his spine and snap off his limbs. It's a sterling debut for Tyson and an exhibition of just how much Michael has learned during his two seasons as an underground wrestler.


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