Michael and Shane are classic boys-next-door who like to wrestle. I like them both a lot, so I was happy UCW decided to pit them against each other [#393]. I have watched Michael, not so long ago the UCW champ, go through two heated feuds and develop into one of the company's most popular and skilled wrestlers, all in the space of a couple of years. Shane popped up a couple of months ago, apparently filling the shoes of the disappeared Jax, who was UCW champ for (tick tick tick) about an hour last summer. Like Jax, Shane is affable, fit, fun-loving, fairly low-key--like Hannigan, come to think of it. They're good boys who like hurting other boys, typical boy stuff. I particularly like Shane's build, fleshed out, firm, with a sexy trunk and well-developed legs.
The two introduce themselves and shake hands the way American boys used to do about, oh say, fifty years ago. I can't remember seeing Michael this sure of himself ... and talkative. It's like he just completed a month-long seminar on "How to Win Friends and Influence People." I'm also unused to the speed and viciousness with which he lights into Saunders, kicking him in the gut before the bell sounds and, with no warning, whipping the kid against the concrete wall. Some of this is a little stilted--Shane is still learning the trade, still tending to keep one eye on the camera--but it all works just fine.
Hannigan then knocks Saunders down to the mat, grabs him by the feet, and spins him around, before bending him in two in a Boston crab hold. Michael does his best impression of an asshole, tapping into his inner bad-boy to taunt poor Shane while holding him helplessly in his grip. To be sure, Michael does "asshole" about as well as Axel does "trash mouth" or Quinn Harper does "sincerity," but I find the whole routine charming and vanilla-ishly sexy. As far as I'm concerned, I'm happy so long as these boys are having fun taking the starch out of each other. Saunders muscles out of the hold and locks Hannigan into a body scissors hold. He adds an arm bar to stiffen the pain.
Lively give-and-take brings us to the halfway point of the match, when Michael attempts to strap Shane to the wall. Lately UCW has embraced the bondage side of underground wrestling, no doubt to many fans' delight. I get it, though it's not particularly my thing. (However, I do credit UCW and Nick Diesel for warming me up to the idea during my last visit to Philadelphia, where the matches are shot.) In this match, the bondage schtick gets no further than a struggle that quickly brings us back to the main order of business: wrestling, which fills the final 11 minutes. A piledriver and a crossbody three-count tie up the loose ends.