"The Real Nightmare ... Is Me!"
Eli Black vs Donny Hardwood, Match 585 (UCW)
Halfway through this 26-minute slam-dunk squash, Eli has Donny in a chinlock, both wrestlers on their backs, Donny's head lolling against Eli's shoulder. It would look like the two young men are lounging on the lawn, playing What Shape Is That Cloud? except - and this is a very big except - they are actually indoors in a wrestling ring, and while Eli garrulously reflects on his recent identity crisis, Donny writhes and gasps for air in Eli's vise-like grip.
"I was taking a walk the other day," Eli reminisces, "and I had an epiphany - because like I felt so lost recently like I felt like that there was a different part of me taking over my real life like, and I was nice and all bubbly - it was really weird - it was like a nightmare - like Axel was my friend or something. but then all of a sudden Joker in my last match woke me up and reminded me of my former glory and what the real nightmare is ... is me."
The good-natured Donny steps into the trap at the very start of the match, gushing about how happy he is to wrestle Eli because Eli seems to be such a "nice guy." I hope nobody else was getting used to the idea of Eli Black as a nice guy because Bad-ass Eli is back ... and back in a big way. He taunts Donny to come at him and put him into holds, but it's all a cruel trick on Hardwood, who no sooner tries to get a hold on Black than he finds himself wrapped up in the razor wire that Eli's lean, severely cut body can sometimes simulate.
And if I had the least doubt about Eli's capabilities as a ring wrestler, Match 585 sandblasts it away. Eli springs from the corner ropes like he was born for this, like his parents equipped his bassinet with turnbuckles. At one point he pushes himself up on the top corner ropes while clutching Donny's neck in a figure-four choke and then transitions to a headscissors and flips, flinging a punchdrunk Donny along with him. Later he drapes Donny upside down on the corner ropes, retreats to the opposite corner, and dashes in, drop-kicking the guy in the ribs.
Seriously, no sane person can even pretend he did not see this coming. In the end, Eli chokes Hardwood out, singing a lullaby whose lyrics tease an upcoming clash with the aforementioned Axel. And if he gets past Axel - an iffy proposition - who can say he won't next go after Angel Estrada and the UCW championship?
Visit UCW here.