Axel vs Angel Estrada, Match 544: Strip Match (UCW)
UCW resists categorization. Is it sex wrestling? pro wrestling without the ring? submission wrestling? comedic wrestling? an ongoing free-for-all? If it's not quite "real" wrestling, is it altogether "fake"? And if the roughhouse veers towards Jackass, with spots as risky and painful as they appear to be (and they are--I've seen the welts), is it, in effect, S/M lite? The answer is yes to all the above--UCW is what it is, a genre unto itself. That being the case, do subcategories such as heel or babyface even apply here?
Joker recently ranted that he is not a "heel." He simply takes advantage of UCW's lack of rules-- none whatsoever now that it's one and only rule (don't kill anybody) has been broken--callously--and by the most standup guy and biggest do-gooder on the roster. Angel Estrada is particularly interesting to me because of the difficulty of pegging him. He's neither as sympathetic as we would expect a babyface to be (his cowardice exempts him from hero status) nor as menacing as we would expect a heel to be (I haven't counted, but it seems that his losses outstretch his wins), but still he makes sure his opponents never get away unscathed.
Here's another stumper: Are Angel and Joker pals or sworn enemies? Again, the answer appears to be both. They hang out and do live podcasts together, but in Match 544, Joker interferes, attacking Angel, resulting in a temporary alliance between the two booked opponents, Angel and Axel, to forcibly remove Joker from the mat. Also, the match wasn't initially set up as a strip match. Four minutes into the video, Angel suggests that stripping off the other guy's trunks should count as a win, and Axel agrees. This is but one example of the sort of improvisation the company encourages.
Okay, there are no answers, no rules, no sure boundaries. UCW is the reason America can never be great again and the reason America is possibly the greatest nation ever. Axel vs Estrada is fun, silly, painful, inconsequential, and historic. To be a UCW fan, you have to stay on your toes--and go with the flow (even the clichés are paradoxical).