Tuesday, July 8, 2014

All Hell Breaks Loose










Eli Black and Quinn Harper are scheduled to fight side by side as tag-team partners in #358, but leave it to Eli to throw a wrench into the works by showing up late and then threatening to kick Quinn's ass for botching their last contest. Neither of these two egomaniacal badboys is anybody's idea of a dependable partner. For one thing, something as basic as trust is totally out of the question. So forget loyalty and cooperation. Eli cares about nobody but Eli, and Quinn cares about nobody but Quinn. 

Complicating matters is UCW-Wrestling's freewheeling approach to the championship belt, which, currently adorning Eli's waist, is perpetually up for grabs, 24 7 365, for anybody with the balls to snatch it, by fair means or foul, day or night, on or off the mat. In the absence of a ranking of qualified contenders or rules of orderly succession, everybody is edgy these days, never so much as now, with a loose cannon like Eli at the helm. 

Having now declared war on his own tag-team partner, Eli pulls out Oliver Wood to be his new partner (for the time being). Tall, muscular Oliver glares down his nose at Quinn while Eli keeps up the trash talk. In a pronounced show of contempt for both his opponents, Quinn picks still wet-behind-the-ears rookie Jax as a replacement partner. Quinn dismissively characterizes the babyface as something of a handicap, all the better, he says, to spotlight his ability to thrash Black and Wood singlehandedly: "I don't even need one of the badboys."  Eli shows a similar disregard for his partner, proclaiming himself, and him alone, as the one genuine "bad man" in the group. Eli's and Quinn's pissing contest escalates till, thankfully, ref Ice Burg intervenes, calling for the bell and the start of the match.

The focus of this contest is Quinn against Eli, as you might expect. These two are and have long been the ones to watch at UCW, and it's damn near impossible to take my eyes off them in this wild and woolly contest. There are twists and turns along the way, of course. UCW has distinguished itself with more trick endings than O. Henry. Oliver and Jax lend vigorous support, at moments outshining their more accomplished partners*. Nipple-pinches, gut-stomps, Quinn's notorious "oil checks," body slams, dubious tags, hair-yanks, nut-bangs, eye-gouges, toe-chomps, pile-drivers, and pile-ons are a few reminders of UCW's tradition of lawlessness, nowhere more recklessly pursued than by Harper and Black. Predictably, ref Ice Burg's brave attempt to maintain order fails, fails monumentally.

* Let me give one example. (I could cite more than one, but only at the risk of spoiling some of the battle's many twists.) At the halfway point, Quinn tags Jax in to finish off a nearly beat Oliver. Jax, however, bypasses Oliver and  shoots across the mat to engage in a sweaty and impassioned slugfest with Eli, who had unceremoniously tossed Jax off the mat a couple of minutes earlier. That flareup of hot temper marks a star-making turn for young Jax, who shows more jiz here than in his previous two matches, but who also leaves himself open for a blindside attack from Oliver, leading to a savage beating at the hands of an unforgiving Eli.

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