Damn, Hannigan's Back!

Michael Hannigan vs David the Flawless One, Match 606 (UCW)

Michael Hannigan returns! And he's seemingly bent on reigniting a blood feud that's been dormant for five years. Hannigan makes a big splash in his comeback, blindsiding new hire David, the boytoy of Michael's sworn enemy Damian Flawless, long rumored to be also planning a return to UCW. Disguised at first as the masked Wrestler X, Michael quickly reveals his true identity and engages David in a 30-minute brawl, presumably to lure Damian back to the mats.

What a difference three years makes, though! That's how long it's been since I last saw Hannigan wrestling. He bounds in the ring with more energy than I've ever seen in the man. Three years a recluse, and here the once mild-mannered babyface is swooping in off the top rope like a hornet! He tears into the Flawless One like a hornet, too, seemingly unstoppable until, two minutes in, David strikes back with a quartet of stiff punches that backs Michael to the turnbuckle. Then Flawless body-slams him to the center of the ring.

Hannigan rolls out of the ring for a breather. But not for long. Back he comes with some soccer kicks, ultimately flattening his opponent to the mat, where he subjects him to an excruciating arm lock and some top-shelf pectoral trauma. The two men trade gut punches, with Michael eventually plastering David's face to the canvas. He exhibits a level of toughness I never imagined him capable of, and though the Flawless One is still fresh meat at UCW, he is no doormat by a long shot, making Hannigan work - and work hard - for everything he gets! 

This is strong give and take by anybody's standards, and it not only serves to introduce us to a new talent but reintroduces us to Hannigan, whose revamped style is markedly hardcore. Halfway through the match, while David lies writhing behind him, Michael gets his face right up into the camera lens to call out his old bête noire Damian: "You couldn't do better? You couldn't treat him better? You couldn't train  him better?" He's not even halfway into his rant, when David pulls the feet out from under him and locks on a crab-hold variation that practically puts tears in Hannigan's eyes. Damian's done all right with his boy, it would seem.

To say more would be a disservice to fans as well as to the well-honed theater that this match evolves into. I'll admit this is not the match I expected it to be, with only the names of the two competitors to judge it by. Half the fun of 606 is seeing my preconceptions shattered, not gently one by one, but in big balled-up clusters.

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  1. Interesting match, although from the photos, it looks one-sided domination. Still, always good to watch.


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