Saturday, May 14, 2016
Kenny Star vs LS Powerhouse, #468 (UCW)
UCW's greatness lies in the fact that it pushes past what underground wrestling is supposed to be or do and pursues the unexpected instead. Lately especially, it appears to consider first the ways its competitors would stage an event and then it deliberately goes in a different direction. Take, for instance, its most recent release, pairing rising hottie Kenny Star against newcomer LS Powerhouse. Classic youth-vs-experience angle, right? David vs Goliath. But UCW strips away the usual role-playing, giving the questions of age and size or the babyface-heel dyad hardly even a nod, preferring to construct the match as two unknown quantities on a collision course wherein anything can happen.
This approach is risky, of course, since wrestling fans prize certain archetypes and never tire of their repetition, but the payoffs can be, as here, golden. My expectations reversed every two minutes of this 28-minute hurricane of grappling warfare. At first I braced myself for a one-sided squash match, expecting Powerhouse to mop the mat with the hairy-chested kid. Minutes later, I revised my prediction, certain that Kenny would use stealth, vigor, and speed to conquer the brawny baldy. About a third of the way through, I gave up trying to second-guess the course of the contest and settled in for the rough ride ahead, open to all possibilities, including the possibility that Star vs Powerhouse might end in a dead heat, the contrasting strengths neutralizing each other in the end.
The chemistry between Powerhouse and Star surprised me. I wasn't ready for it. The "odd couple" pairing is not just unusual, but kinda inspired. Lissome Kenny continues to surprise me with the levels of aggression and sadism he's capable of reaching. Powerhouse has more agility, grace, and drive than his cast-iron physique would suggest. The fight is tenacious and untiring, with the goal being, as in most UCW matches, not just beating one's opponent, but wrecking him. It's a strong fight that will (or should) strengthen both wrestlers' standings as company mainstays.