Put Up or Shut Up
"The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules." The Joker, The Dark Knight (2008)
Joker vs Max Ryder, Match 581 (UCW)
There's no predicting this match. I tried. I ought to know. Let's just start by stating what this match is NOT. It is not one-sided - for either the sniveling little cheat in pink or the hard-sweating beefcake who's twice as big as the cheat. It's not a big-vs-little match in any sense that would make sense to anyone who's ever seen a big-vs-little match. It's not the Ryder you're used to seeing, but it's neither a heel turn nor a face turn for either him or Joker.
It is, however, a tough and raucous fight, composed of equal parts pro-style wrestling and drunken bar brawl, performed in a big bright room with no ring or bar in sight. The surprises start rolling in fairly early. In the first minute Ryder catches Joker with his guard down - one of those things (just ask anyone) that almost never happens. Max is shrewder than I've ever seen him, and his determination not to play patty-cakes with the ever-shifting Joker is what makes this match interesting. Most adversaries play along with the guy, usually under the mistaken notion that they're the better wrestler.
Max makes no such assumptions. He just steps on the match ready to rumble - and while he might not mind bending the rules ("What rules?" one might say - It's UCW), he's not going to play straight man to Joker's incessant clowning. I've seen Joker in tight spots before. I've seen him give and take before. But I don't recall ever seeing him land in this much trouble. He might want to play his usual games, but Max Ryder won't let him. Ryder rides Joker so hard that Joker is forced to take the big guy seriously. Max just refuses to take any of Joker's shit, forcing the former champion to put up or shut up.
Match 581 is both unlike anything either wrestler has done before and a culmination of both men's UCW careers.
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