Initiating Imtiaz

Axel vs Imtiaz, Match 659 (UCW)

Even when I wrestled, I was lousy at it, but I loved the roughness of the sport and, of course, the body contact, and I enjoyed being with athletic guys who (unlike me) knew what they were doing. I may have even provoked my opponents, as Imtiaz does here, with shit talk like "That's all you got?" But can Imtiaz really believe he will take two-time former champion Axel in a fight?

Imtiaz is slenderly built like some of the company's best fighters, for instance, former champion Angel Estrada and Axel himself in his early days, yet, at present, lacking their dare-all attitude and pugnacity. His stiffness in front of the camera occasionally puts the brakes to a match that comes to life whenever Axel refuses to play the friendly host. Imtiaz's mask and lack of affect limit his ability to sell the emotions of the match - either his own aggression or his responses to Axel's punishments. 

When, as it seems to me, Axel decides to show the new guy what a real fight tastes like, this fight catches fire for me. The single best part is Axel backing Imtiaz to the wall and pounding the shit out of his midsection - a classic welcome-to-UCW ritual. I see the whole setup as a classic hometown-boy-versus-stranger-from-elsewhere angle. Axel is the local hero, and Imtiaz is the out-of-towner who has no clue how far out of his depth he is until it's too late to pull out.

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