Sunday, June 22, 2014


From his first day at UCW-Wrestling, Quinn Harper made it clear that he wasn't out to win any popularity contests. He grabbed the first way-too-cute kid he could get his hands on and tore him to shreds. Since then, his mission has been to corner all the pretty boys who flock around BodySlam, Axel, and the UCW den, eyes bright with daydreams of wrestling glory, and, one by one, he scrapes off as much of the pretty as he can. Once Quinn's bare toes contact a wrestling mat, the crazy just bubbles to the surface. He can't help himself.

Everything about Quinn, from his sandpaper voice to the scruff on his chin, screams defiance of rules, boundaries, order, and common decency. If anybody bothered to warn Jax, in his sophomore match for UCW (after a highly promising debut), the kid must have shrugged the warning off. Even the evil glint in Quinn's eyes when he tells Jax, "I'm one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet," should have been enough to convince the rookie he needs to rip up his UCW contract and hightail it back to Colorado, while he still can.  "Always, always do your homework!" Quinn scolds him, right after a perfectly untelegraphed strike to the nose drives Jax to the mat.

Jax is one good-looking guy. He should have tried harder to stay that way. He should have asked BodySlam to start him off on the "bunny slope." Instead, he begged for a challenge, the tougher the better. As it turns out, the Mighty Quinn was available. Quinn doesn't even wait for the bell to sound. It dings a split second after Quinn's fist rises up between Jax's thighs and smashes the kid's crotch. You could almost believe it's Jax's nuts that clang, so comically perfect is the timing.

I'm pretty big on Quinn. His boundless charisma is matched only by Eli Black's. (He and Eli hit it off in a big way last year, establishing a mutual respect when UCW squared them off against each other.) Like Black, Harper makes an impression, more often than not the kind that raises welts and loosens teeth. Jax shows a lot of spunk and takes his opportunities as they come, but Quinn's savvy enough to ensure that those opportunities come few and far between. A master at dispensing pain, Quinn loves his work and thrives on the screams and convulsions of his victims.

In minutes, Jax is like a beautiful lone impala separated from the herd, rundown and exhausted after a too-short chase. Pain and panic make pinpoints of his pupils as he's caught in the predator's clutches. Soon his face turns dazed and expressionless. Even when he rallies in the last of the match's 28 minutes, his skin looks raw from the intense rough-handling and his eyes look burned clean out. It's been an onerous fight, but rally he does, leading to a knockout finale, with an off-the-wall (literally) finisher that's sure to catch everybody by surprise.

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