Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hero in Training

Axel is showing the inexperienced Hiro the ropes. At UCW, "the ropes" consist of the company's trademarks and, to an extent, its selling points: against-the-wall gut punches, crotch-grabs, nipple-twists, et cetera. Every wrestling company has its characteristic moves; some are repeated ad nauseam. From the start Axel and Hiro mix it up, though, Axel dodging the expected collar-and-elbow lockup and grabbing Hiro from behind. 

Axel is a good second-match [#329] opponent for Hiro. In truth, nobody's "officially" a UCW wrestler till he's faced off against Axel. He's a strong and resourceful wrestler, and he juggles the roles of trainer and opponent well, cutting Hiro zero slack, yet supporting and encouraging the newcomer even while roughing him up. Even as an adversary willing to go for the low blows, Axel exudes down-to-earth-ness and, not to downplay his toughness, unaffected sweetness.

This is Hiro's second fight at UCW, and he's still a bit awkward. But he loosens up as the fight wears on. As I said in my review of his November debut, I see potential in Hiro. He looks good. He sells the moves rather well, though the segues between holds need work. And though he's on the receiving end more frequently than on the giving, he has, when the opportunity presents itself,  a quiet sadism that belies his innocuous appearance. One thing he already has is durability. In that department, he's a natural. Axel gives him hell for most of the match's thirty minutes, and Hiro takes it, and he sells it. 

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