Saturday, February 25, 2017
Free for All
Coleman Free vs Austin Tyler, Match 518 (UCW)
There was no way I was going to miss this match, and I pity any underground wrestling fan who does. Tyler is one of five UCW wrestlers rotating for the position of my personal all-time favorite. Whichever one of the five I am watching at any given time becomes my top pick--until, that is, I see one of the other four. I am fickle by nature, but my fickleness in this case is due to all five wrestlers being topnotch athletes and performers. Tyler is the latest addition to the group and, of the five, the one with the most pounce-worthy body. If I am being honest, I have to say watching him drives me a little bit crazy.
Free makes a fine debut here, putting in his bid to be UCW's new longhair wild man, jumping into the company on all fours--looks, talent, pugnacity (biting, gouging, kicking), and attitude. It's always fun when a newcomer takes to the company's ethos like he was born expressly for this kind of crazy. Few do, but those like Coleman make a lasting impression. UCW has been deservedly fortunate these past couple of years in pulling in knock-em-dead attackers who like playing hard. As I expected, Tyler keeps Free on his toes, and, somewhat more surprising, Free returns the favor. The match begins with an exchange of holds, with neither keen on submitting. The guys exhibit some close, tight working of each other's body, which is something I prefer over the more gymnastic approach to wrestling.
As tough and hairy as this match eventually gets--two-thirds of the way through, it fires up the energy and pugnacity level to all-out war--it's essentially a "friendly," that is sportsmanlike, contest, making allowances for the freewheeling way sportsmanlike can be defined at UCW. Hands are shaken before the match begins, friendly words are exchanged. In the end, the victor graciously acknowledges the loser's contributions to making this battle as strong as it is. Until then, though, there are moments I'm convinced these two are out to kill each other. Match 518 comes close to hitting the heights of Axel vs Chase Michaels (Match 516) earlier this month, edged out of the Number 1 spot only by my fever for oil wrestling. Problem easily solved, though: slick Austin and Coleman up for a rematch!