When Worlds Collide

Underground Wrestler vs Axel, Match 637 - Bragging Rights - Lost Video (UCW)

Nobody's cooler than Axel's opponent in Match 637, a custom video that, according to the closing slide, has inspired an upcoming rematch. Since nobody knows his name, I'm going with his billing here as Underground Wrestler. He's unforgettably handsome as well as built like a brick shithouse, as my mother used to say. I've seen him around, of course, but he's not as ubiquitous as Axel, but, then, who is?

Axel was and still is a phenom in the underground wrestling scene, both tough and irresistibly likable, proficient in wrestling and other martial arts. He made a name for himself (one of several) at UCW, starting back when the company staged its matches in an attic - a haunted attic, I'm been subsequently informed. He has held the UCW belt two or three times, and any match he's in is certain to impress viewers, particularly serious fans of technical wrestling.

Both wrestlers are proven winners. Both have lost some matches, but neither is used to the idea, having built reputations on beating almost everybody that has dared take them on. This contest falls into three chapters - a boxing match, then a pro-style wrestling match in the ring, and then a submission match on the mats. UGW is built for boxing, but Axel has speed and agility on his side. Axel has more ring experience as a wrestler, fighting at Rock Hard Wrestling and BG East well before UCW acquired a ring. UGW has wrestled pro-style at other promotions, but not as much as Axel has.

The nitty-gritty here is the third chapter, the submission match. Both wrestlers have sterling reputations in the fine art of making opponents tap out. In their success and training in this sport, they are close to equal. Happily, no attempt is made here to declare a good guy or a bad guy. These are serious, friendly, sportsmanlike contests requiring highly specialized skills and durability. In all three chapters, the action doesn't rise far above sparring, which is not to say that they are phoned in. These guys are born competitors, so, yes, you can feel the competition in the air, but they are also holding something back.

I don't know whether this is their first time fighting each other, but I get the distinct impression that the tripartite match is, beyond fulfilling a fan's custom request, meant to give these two a chance to get to know each other. As the end card informs us, a rematch is "going to Happen!" That could really be something to get excited about as we head into 2019.

I'm not spoiling anything when I say that for technical innovation and cool composure Austin Tyler, the challenger in this match, has no equal. By all rights, he should have had first shot at the UCW title. (That honor went to Max Ryder.) Frankly, I think he deserves the belt around his waist on the basis of charisma and sexiness alone, but that's not how things go at UCW - or most promotions, for that matter. But in technique and muscular thighs (major assets in wrestling) he outclasses the current champion from the start.

What the UCW Champion Tyson lacks in innovation, he makes up for in ball-grabbing and other dirty tactics. Austin probably knows this about his opponent, but almost from the start he leaves his crotch unprotected and vulnerable to attack (I could explain why I'm not complaining about this, but I don't think I need to). Right around the 04:00 mark, that's exactly the target the Hammer goes for, temporarily turning the tables on a match that the challenger took command of at the outset.

Tyson's height is not an advantage here. For the most part this is Austin's match. His knowledge of holds surpasses Tyson's, and though it's not his usual m.o., he will fight as low and dirty as anyone at UCW. That said, he is seldom the first to employ unscrupulous tactics in a fight. To his credit, in this match Tyson is not as vigorous in his ball-grabbing as he might be, a decision that, as the match proceeds, throws the advantage back to Austin, whose calm, steady, and often rather cold-blooded strategy is quick to overpower the Champ.

This is Tyson's third title defense in two months. His willingness to put the belt on the line gives him the high ground over most of his predecessors - Joker having been the most egregious offender in this regard. If he can win this fight fair and square, he justifies his possession of this high honor, for which he has worked his ass off for almost six years. Yet, to be fair, "fair and square" is not standard UCW policy, which bars opponents only from killing each other.

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  1. Very cool. I love the idea of inter-federation matchups. Axel vs. Nick Flex is the closest I've felt to one as a UCW/MBW crossover.

    While I wrote a couple of fantasy crossover series with my dream matchups (Battle of the Wrestling Stars), it's nice to see that idea getting some love for real.

  2. Underground Wrestler is Marco from Thunders Arena and Wrestle4Hire, I think, if I'm remembering correctly.


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