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Doug Rand vs Terry O'Daly, Ring Rookies 5 (BG East)

I like Doug Rand's look, black close-cropped hair, tantalizing treasure trail, and intimidating sneer, but, more importantly, I like his fight, his bristly temper, and his effectiveness against bigger opponents. Rand comes on like gangbusters from the start, suckering Terry O'Daly in for a handshake and then booting him in the gut (and an inviting gut for booting it is). For three minutes, he beats up on the guy, saying hardly a word, letting O'Daly's grunts and moans serve as the soundtrack. He lands the guy in a cross armbar, yanking at the man's shoulder and elbow like he's trying to uproot a tree stump. But stomping is his main M.O., and he does it with such nasty glee that he absolutely wins me over.

A little later, he makes the mistake of letting O'Daly corner him. O'Daly puts his full weight behind his shoulder thrusts to Rand's midsection. Then he whips him to the opposite turnbuckle for more of the same. Rand takes about as much of this punishment as he needs to get his fight on, building steam for some payback. Poor O'Daly doesn't catch another break for the rest of the 27-minute fight. Rand commands the ring and his adversary with one deftly executed act of sadism after another. I'm particularly astounded by his head scissors, vengeful chokes, a murderous figure-four ankle lock, and, again, his boots, which he uses to grind O'Daly's face into the mat, his face animated with the sort of rapture one usually reserves for beating off.

In time Doug Rand could be a topnotch heel in a company that has no shortage of heel talent. He has natural ability and a mean streak a mile wide. I can see this guy going toe to toe one day with A-listers like Jake Jenkins and Kid Karisma. Throw him some more hot hunks to cut his teeth on, and the sky's the limit.






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