Skin and Bones
Austin Tyler vs Angel Estrada, Match 537 (UCW)
Tyler vs Estrada is one of those brilliant who-woulda-thunk-it pairings that UCW is known for. Sometimes these are simply a question of who shows up on a shooting day, but more often it is a product of the inspired oddball chemistry that has come to define UCW as a company.
Both wrestlers are consummate professionals on the mat (and in the ring), but their professionalism is not of the high-gloss phone-it-in variety. These two are 100% present in the moment and focused, their brains ticking, their eyes sharply scoping the opponent's body for an opportunity to seize.
Better yet, the pairing does not telegraph the match's outcome or cue me as to what to expect--and a match where anything can happen is usually a terrific match! On first viewing, the give and take kept my expectations in check till the final minute, when one man's doom is imposed with speed and merciless force.
For the full 32 minutes, Angel and Austin are meticulous in their assaults on each other, confirming my respect for them both. Tenacity and pure capital-M Meanness make the moves and holds when they're sideways and off their feet particularly tasty. The camera closes in on some of these, as in the eighth screenshot above, where Tyler folds Estrada's foot like a fortune cookie, but even in the full shots, every detail is convincingly, dramatically agonizing and (need I say it?) exquisitely sexy.