Eli Black vs Nick Diesel, Match 520 (UCW)
In 2013 Eli and Nick fought each other twice in two of the best matches of the year. This rematch four years later, with both at their personal best and in line for a title shot, is, no surprise, a triumph. Both men bring their best to every fight, and their best is always rewarded when they face each other. Together and individually they have a knack for exactly what I want in a fight--raw confrontation steeped in sadistic instincts and grappling knowhow. The holds here are among my favorites: side headlocks, arm bars, figure-fours, and leg locks in abundance, and nobody executes them with a keener sense of their dramatic potential than these two. These two are kings at selling holds.
Eli is one of a small handful of wrestlers who talk smack I can halfway stand listening to. His self-assuredness knows no limits, and he makes an art form out of disrespect. This time he may be crossing a line, though. He raises the stakes of Match 520 to loser-quits-UCW--the guy who taps out or gets knocked out has to clean out his locker and hit the road. Nick's taken by surprise by the proposition. Even Eli looks a little shocked at the words tumbling out of his mouth. But neither man balks at the challenge, and the fight, as they say, is on. There is no escape clause on this deal--no DQ, no draw, no backing out.This 30-minute battle will be a game-changer for the whole company!
As usual at UCW, we get biting, punching, finger-splaying, and choking. You'll find no tougher or nastier fighters than these two. Eighty percent of the time they are so locked in on each other I expect somebody will have to pry them apart. Watching this match is a richly satisfying experience, though I will take it hard when either of these guys has to leave town for good. But if he's going, he (whoever he is) is going out with a bang. Match 520 is a dead heat from the beginning to the lights-out ending.