Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Last Temptation of Eli Black








This is the fight that Eli Black deserves. For too long he's played cock of the walk at UCW-Wrestling with nobody to stand up to him. I'm not claiming that anybody has rolled over and played dead for him, exactly, and he has not notched up only wins at UCW, but up till now every competitor has seemed a little cowed by Eli's MMA creds and mouthy arrogance. He struts in to this contest with cute lackey Jack Marino in tow, toting a patently phony "Eli Black World Championship Belt," made almost entirely of duct tape.

New guy Nick Diesel is unafraid and unimpressed. He debuted against Marino, but it's obvious that Black is the man he wants. He's bigger and stronger than Eli, and he's been in enough street scrapes to feel confident that he can take the "champ." He's determined to beat Eli up, by any means possible, ready to sink to the lowest of low blows if need be to prove he's the better man. There won't be any easy "sells" in this fight, and somebody is about to get hurt real bad.

Eli promises to make Nick cry before the night is over. This doesn't happen. Nick takes Eli's worst and comes back for more, taunting him by pointing out where he wants Eli to strike him next. Eli obliges but learns that Nick knows how to use his size advantage to good effect. Nick wants more. "Take me down," he sneers sarcastically, "like the champ you are!" It's a typical setup for a rookie to take a big plunge to the canvas, but this match doesn't jump through the usual hoops. Expect some surprises.

"Tormenting me is only going to tempt me to hurt you worse," Eli warns as Nick insists on upping the stakes with stiffer chops and dirtier tactics. When Eli complains that some of Nick's shots are "cheap," Nick replies, "You're fair. I'm not." Well, it turns out that Eli is not so "fair" himself, as if who didn't already know that? This is the most give-and-take competition Eli has faced in his 15 months at UCW. Nick won't back down, and the two come to a standoff. They decide to settle it with a blow-for-blow duel, abs against abs, and the punishment gets realer and realer. Both try to choke each other out. Balls get clobbered, and tempers rise. 

This is Eli's most heated contest to date at UCW, and the guy has had some damn good ones before. It's what's usually called a "defining moment" ... for both these guys. Of course, I've been ready for somebody to come along and cut Eli Black down to size for a while now (bad blood ... don't ask ... but he's been needing shutting-up, I suspect, for his entire life). At the very least, Eli has been in need of some serious competition. It looks like Nick Diesel may fit the bill.

Images edited on request (17 Feb. 2014)

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