Joker vs Eli Black, Match 575 (UCW)
Walking the straight and narrow has done wonders for Eli Black. He's always possessed a rawboned feral sort of magnetism, but lately he looks like he's spending some serious cash on haircuts and product. Still slim and sinewy, he has added muscle over the last year. It looks good on him, adds some ripple in those fetching tattoos of his. All in all, he's more mannish than boyish now. No amount of moral reformation, however, will ever rob him of the look of cunning and danger that unfailingly draws my eye. And, here, his red trunks closely match the somewhat richer and darker red of the ring canvas.
Joker and Eli previously crossed paths in a knockout-or-10-count-only match in the summer of 2012 - but a lot has changed since then. Joker won the UCW title and then left it undefended for a year. Subsequently it was tossed around by a shark frenzy of contenders who seemingly crawled out of the woodwork. (Nice mix of metaphors!) Just last year, Eli died and resurrected as an amnesiac babyface, and nothing makes Joker chomp at the bit like a born-again goody-goody who only wants a fair fight. No doubt it's even sweeter when the babyface is the same guy who used to pick his teeth with unprepared rookies. On top of everything else, UCW has a proper ring now, and these guys know how to make it roar.
Always prepared, Joker shows up for this match with a recycle bin full of potential weapons. Eli protests the introduction of bat, pie pan, toilet plunger, and steel folding chair to the ring, but the glint in his eye reminds me of an AA member at the samples table at the end of a distillery tour. Is Eli on the verge of falling off the wagon? And could this match be the one which un-reforms him after four straight months of clean living? In truth, neither man needs any greater weapon than his own body to fuck an opponent up, and this match shows both at their destructive best.
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