Sunday, January 10, 2016

Three Can Play That Game










UCW's latest release [#446] starts off with a kaboom. In the first six seconds Billy (in blue) attacks unsuspecting newcomer Kenny (in red) from behind, pulling Axel (in gold) to the mat for a not-to-be-missed two-on-one match. Gunn is one of the biggest bullies in UCW history, Star is the company's hottest new babyface, and Axel is everybody's go-to man for righting wrongs mano a mano. The three together make #446 a 32-minute power punch to the heart. How I do love it when a fight breaks out all at once, no prelims, no posedowns, no drawn-out working of the mic! Just snap! out of nowhere fists go flying!

Sexier and more agile since he's lost the baby fat (eight or nine babies' worth of fat, I'd say), Billy Gunn has barely finished smashing Kenny's spine when Axel rushes in with his championship belt and a ref in tow. The bell sounds, and already Axel is kicking shit out of Billy in the corner. Done kicking, he body-slams the bully with a ugh-umph that echoes off the walls. Star stands to the side, shaken but eager to get his hands on the thug who sucker-punched him, unprovoked. After a two-count foils Axel's attempt to end the match fast and on the up and up, the champion starts choking Gunn without pity. The ref ignores Billy's protestations either because he knows who signs his paycheck or because he sees the underlying justice of it. A quick note to Billy, though: Next time do not bring ropes into the UCW fight room ... especially not around your neck.

Billy gets free and boxes Axel to the wall. He takes after Kenny too, practically inviting the duo to double up (and double down) against him. Then Kenny, tagged in and legal, tears into Billy like a dog on a bone while Axel, like a good mentor, coaches him from the sidelines. Soon Billy muscles out of a weakly held crab hold and gets back to the business of beating up good guys. He's too much for the raw recruit one on one. With great difficulty Kenny summons the strength to break Gunn's grip and tags Axel back in. Axel wastes no time before slapping loudmouth heel-meat to the mat. He serves up retribution like the avenger he is until Billy escapes a head scissors in the least gentlemanly manner ... by biting Axel's ass! 

Billy Gunn is one of those bad guys who don't fight to win; they fight to hurt and injure. Often, he doesn't seem to mind taking two hard punches just for the pleasure of delivering one back. I don't even think he likes competition. He'd be happy if UCW simply tossed him a bound and gagged weakling, a sacrificial victim he can hammer and kick to unconsciousness with no resistance at all. When this sadist goes beyond the pale and fish-hooks Axel's mouth and eyes (!),  Star steps in for the save, but once freed, Axel wants Gunn all for himself.

UCW has never been a good fit for fans who like only sportsmanlike competition. Even at its politest, UCW is just a hair's breadth away from gut-bashing, ball-twisting, orifice-gouging savagery. Young Kenny Star appears to know what he's got himself into, but it may take some time before he develops the crust it takes to survive here--and, hopefully, rise to the top. His taut physique and readiness to get down and dirty foreshadow star potential, not to mention the promise of his surname. 

And what more can be said about Axel? I have blogged more words on this guy than on any other wrestler anywhere--and that's not even including his bouts away from UCW! Though I can't get enough of my bad boys, Axel, both the man and the qualities he represents, is an indelible part of what I love about pro wrestling. In a word, he personifies justice. He may not always prevail, but his goal is always the same--to beat the bullies, shame the snobs, chastise the cheats, and punish the posers.

The final one-on-one showdown alone is worth the whole price of the download.


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