It was disheartening techno-puritan crap like this that prompted me to end the blog early last year*--along with the usual fatigue of keeping up a stream of patter about my limited expertise on the subject of wrestling. The blog did not stay "ended" long enough to suit someone. That much is now apparent.
Fuck them. Fuck the internet.
But on to other things, specifically ...
Eli Black vs Chase Michaels, #487 (UCW)
Chase starts things rolling with an abs challenge, blow for blow, to determine whose grille-work more effectively staves off the pain of a hard-driving fist. Eli appears to win this one right off the bat, folding Chase in half and cutting off his oxygen for a good five seconds. But Chase wants another try, and the contest briefly continues. This time Eli's punch topples the tall newcomer to his elbows and knees. "You win," Chase concedes, barely able to push the words out of his mouth.
Now the wrestling starts. Eli deftly turns Chase's attempted takedown to his own benefit. But Chase immediately takes over, angrily smashing Eli's unprotected ribs and attempting to raise him for a piledriver, which Eli foils spectacularly with an over-the-shoulders body slam. "Slimy little bastard," Chase mutters. Eli objects only to the "slimy" part, pointing out that he hasn't even broke a sweat yet. (Chase, however, is already a torrent.) With the cool, calm, collected assault for which he is justly famous, Eli kicks his stricken opponent around the painted circle, with hardly a flicker of human emotion on his face.
Barely three minutes into the match, and Chase is huffing and puffing. Eli takes him for a one-shoulder airplane spin and drops him hard. The tactic is devastating for Chase, but it also throws Eli off balance, who staggers and sways as the room appears to whirl around him. A headscissors follows, with Black's sinewy legs tightening against Michaels' temples. As if by miracle, Chase breaks free and compresses Eli into a small package, one hand tugging at the heel's wavy hair.
Here commences give and take action that lasts nearly the full 24 remaining minutes. Both men are in tiptop shape physically--and Chase puts up a bigger fight than anybody could have predicted, especially following the beatdown he receives for the first five minutes. Eli is not used to having to fight this hard to prove his alpha-superiority to other wrestlers on the UCW roster. He was clearly expecting to "phone in" the rest of the contest till this dramatic pivot in the match.
So far I've enjoyed pretty much everything I've seen these two fighters do. Here, Chase explodes any expectations I might have had of his performance against a kill-machine like Eli. Much of this match is persuasively real--the pain and desperation seeming far too hardcore for a choreographed work. If these guys are pulling their punches, I can't see it. If these guys don't really want to kick the total shit out of each other, you can't prove it by me. And if the sudden, un-telegraphed piledriver finish doesn't actually knock somebody out cold, the victor storming off without even pausing the second or two it would take to proclaim his hard-fought victory, it sure fooled me.
* I refer to Google Blogger's threat of taking down blogs with "offensive" material, which they purportedly backed down from, only to disappear poet and novelist Dennis Cooper's entertaining and intelligent blog earlier this year.