Xander Caden vs Axel, #503 (UCW)
So what does everybody think of the new guy at UCW? I haven't made my mind up. I'm intrigued, though. After Axel mildly disses Xander's stylings, we get a sense that the kid's more than the second coming of Twisted Torment. In a video log released shortly before #503's release, Axel compared him to a shortlist of other current fighters: Nero Angelo, Austin Tyler, and Eli Black. Axel didn't specify further, but I see Nero's shameless physicality, Austin's tonsorial nonconformity, and Eli's chipper sadism in Xander's mat work. Like Austin, who debuted last week, Xander comes to UCW with previous ring experience, and it shows.
The guy certainly raises Axel's hackles--those soccer kicks make the usually coolheaded Axel lose it, and that's a major plus for Xander. Anybody who can bring up Axel's predatory side is worth my attention. It's Axel's most aggressive and un-textbook battle since the October nailbiter against Eli. Xander pays a lot of attention to the former champ's arms and legs, a smart tactic, both debilitating and fatiguing. Like a lot of young ring wrestlers, he prefers to stay on his feet, but he does a fine job of working his man on the mat too. At 21 minutes, the match is short by UCW standards. A surprise attack involving a steel folding chair draws the match to a sudden close and leaves one of these young tigers out cold in the center of the mat.
We'll see more of Xander. Axel promises we will soon see him versus Nero, which is something to look forward to, but it may take a run-in with Austin Tyler for me to form an impression of this unarguably outré and sure-to-be controversial wrestler.