It isn't every day that a man with meat on his bones and hair on his thighs steps foot on the UCW-Wrestling mat. Fan expectations might well soar to Olympian heights. So the man can be forgiven if, unnerved by the video recorder in his face, he mixes up his mythology a little. Ares is the god of war, not the son of the god of war, as Marcus "The Spartan" Ares misstated in a recent interview on the UCW website. It's an easy enough mistake since the ancients themselves were a bit kooky about the genealogy of their gods, sometimes naming Zeus as a goddess's father, sometimes swearing the goddess emerged parentless from the ocean-tossed balls of Zeus's castrated grandfather. According to Pausanias, the Spartans loved Ares so much that they erected a statue of him in chains to keep the mighty war god always on their side in battle, but in the Trojan War (the big one, the war against which all other wars are still measured) Ares sided with his main squeeze Aphrodite against Sparta. Or so the story goes. Homer's story.
I'm happy to report that Marcus* Ares the mortal wrestler hits like gangbusters in his UCW debut [#360], a 32-minute hair-raiser against Axel, a legend too in his own right. Anyone who can put this much color in Axel's sweetly impassive face has got to be something special, though he (like anybody else) is not getting past Axel without accruing a host of mat burns, bruises, sprains, and dented ego along the way. The new guy is not lacking in ambition. First day on the job and he's already talking about walking away with the UCW belt around his waist. It's Axel's job then to give the rookie a much-needed reality check ... if he can. At first, I'm not so sure he can, much as I like and respect the guy. But when he opens with an all-out assault on Marcus, aiming a trio of knee-jabs to the newcomer's midsection and squeezing the Spartan's head like an overripe grapefruit under his arm, I think maybe he can. But the first sign that Marcus is exactly where he belongs at UCW is a shameless nard-grabbing counterattack worthy of a company man like Quinn Harper or Eli Black. That's how this match lets us know it's going to be interesting. All the other usual injurious hijinks follow like clockwork: hair-pulling, arm bars, fireman's carries, high kicks, body slams, crotch-sniffing headscissors, the whole shebang. Both wrestlers put up an Olympian effort, making this not just a notable debut but a continuation of the fine stream of winners UCW has produced in 2014.
* "Marcus" derives from the Roman name for Ares: Mars.