Hard Target

Tyson the Hammer vs Axel, Match 588 - Abs Bust (UCW)

I realized years ago that what you least expect is the norm at UCW, so I have come to expect it. This match notches up recent character developments for Tyson and Axel while being a complete story by and in itself. Axel is feeding  his dark and menacing side of late, and Tyson is polishing his image as perhaps THE up-and-coming babyface hero at the company. 

As the subtitle suggests, abs are about to be busted. Tyson sports the best abs (arguably) in the promotion. They have not gone unnoticed by Axel. UCW being UCW and Tyson being Tyson and Axel being Axel, you can be sure that nuts and nipples get their fair share of attention, too. And in another chapter in the company's shift to ring battles, the ropes get a lot of play towards the end, including what I take to be a UCW first (?) - wrestler chasing wrestler outside the ring, one of those cheap but exhilarating moments that loose floods of memories of the olden days of TV wrestling.

Here it lasts only a moment, and it carries  a different connotation than it has traditionally carried, but the chase has the advantage of dramatizing the wrestlers' drive to confront and fight each other. My concern over ab-centric matches is that, in the past, they have focused purely on endurance and gut punching - incredible entertainment for some, but a bit of a drag for me. But fighting holds center stage here with the belly blows recurring periodically to punctuate a theme of hard-boiled roughhouse.

It's not my favorite match by either man, but it's an important one. Some of the setups are a little squeaky, I felt, but the action does barrel along with no loss in energy or intensity. Clocking in at just under 30 minutes, the match upholds the company's reputation for not skimping on commotion or heartfelt excess.

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