Thick and Thin













Donny Hardwood vs Max Ryder, Match 577 (UCW)

Out with hand, foot, and rib injuries for roughly 2000 years, Jesus Christ is making a huge comeback at UCW. In his latest match, the King of Kings, now wrestling under the moniker Donny Hardwood, takes on heavy sweat-er Max Ryder in a mat match that's nothing short of a miracle.  Max has a definite advantage in weight, muscle, and mat experience - but can Ryder turn water into wine? 

Match 577 is surprisingly intense - and dirty. Max doesn't go easy on the rookie. Just the opposite, he puts out his most fierce and dynamic performance yet. Donny shows amazing resilience and a propensity for un-Christlike dick-twisting and ankle-biting that would suggest that he has studied UCW's matches over the past couple of years. Honestly, I wasn't expecting this energetic a fight from Max or Donny - but they pull out the stops - and the contest is close all the way up to the final 45 seconds (of a 28-minute battle).

From Max, I expect sweat, and he delivers, perhaps not as copiously as in the past, but the ventilation and temperature control at the new fight space - which appears to have that pristine new car smell - are undoubtedly better than the garage's. He's in fine shape and as confident and self-assured as I've ever seen him. I'm not a fan of physically mismatched opponents in the martial arts (or martial entertainments) - neither big vs little nor, in this case, thick vs thin. Donny is at least as thin as UCW's current champ, Angel Estrada. Posed side by side, I suspect Donny would make Eli Black look like AJ Styles.

But don't come to this match expecting an all-out squash. In fighting spirit, the two are well matched, with Max having the advantage of added experience. I should also say that Donny's attacks on the much more powerfully built Max remain (more or less) plausible - Max doesn't roll over for the newby and, for the most part, Donny's tactics are those I might reasonably expect to work against a stronger opponent.

I lost my religion a long while ago, so I'm solidly in the Ryder camp for this fight. Max exudes animal energy and magnetism. His physique is a triumph of the flesh. Since he first caught my attention in the spring of 2016, I've yet to detect a personality or gimmick behind the brawn. It would be easy, then, for me to imagine that the man has no soul. But who needs a soul, when you've got pecs and thighs like these?


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