After too long an absence, over three months after winning the belt, the UCW champ, the most adept and colorful one ever, returns for a title defense - but Angel has been waiting in the shadows for almost ten years for this day. Now Derrick Cole is back in town - after what looks like a sunscreen-free week at the beach. The champ is severely pink, and from the looks of it, Angel might be able to grab a quick victory simply with a finger flick to one of Cole's scorched nipples.

Both men are strong competitors, equally generous in stacking the hurt on an opponent. equal as terrors on the mat and in the ring, even when nothing so important as a championship is at stake. Cole has a weight and muscle advantage, a better win record too, yet in the past Estrada has been unusually adept at wringing terror-stricken submissions from supposedly advantaged opponents, usually by doing not very nice things to them.

Derrick enters, insulting everything about Angel from his opening promo ("That was the worst thing I've ever heard") to his taped-up ankles. Angel retorts, "Today is the day you lose your championship." Derrick is not even moderately concerned about the threat Angel poses to him. Possibly a mistake, since Angel thrives on others' low expectations of him. Cole looks truly on top of things for 30 seconds or so, until Estrada scores the first takedown and locks on a firm arm bar.

Cole complains to the ref that Estrada pulled his hair. The ref replies that hair-pulling is allowed. Everything is allowed at UCW. The ref is here only to validate the match's results - since, under previous rules (or the absence thereof), challengers could claim victory after awakening the champ in the middle of the night with no witnesses to the actual result. Funny that the UCW champ would be unaware of that fact, but perhaps he only wants confirmation that no tactic is forbidden.

Derrick escapes by stomping on Angel's foot and then closed-fist punching the back of his neck. Angel falls to the mat, and Derrick proceeds to punch the guy's feet. (Foot-punching? You heard right.) The champ puts the challenger in a chin lock, which Estrada escapes by driving his sharp elbow to Cole's midsection. A thorough stomping follows. Cole feelingly squawks, but it seems that the violence directed against him serves only to fortify him. The guy's a pro, after all, and steely as a battleship.

The match is give and take, with each battler finding his opponent to be stronger, faster, smarter, and dirtier than he had initially thought. Nerves, joints, sinews, spines, and balls (eyeballs and other balls) are run through the grinder. Derrick and Angel give each other a meticulous working-over by hand, foot, and tooth, as strong and vicious as I've seen at UCW - which is to say as strong and vicious as I've seen anywhere. The torments never stop until the end, which comes suddenly with a spine-cracking pendulum swing, resulting in a frenzied submission and a totally incapacitated loser.

Does UCW now have a new champion? That, friends, is not my news to tell.

Visit UCW here.


  1. You're right, Joe. This match is a real humdinger. I loved every minute of it. I hope my beloved Eli gets a shot at the winner. And I hope that match (if it occurs), is at least half as good as this one. UCW hits another one out of the park.


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