Dark Horse?

Keelin vs Derrick Cole, Match 604 (UCW)

I didn't expect new man Keelin to make as strong a start as he does against Derrick Cole. In fact, Keelin's is the strongest UCW debut I've seen since Derrick's two and a half years ago. It's also far more fast-paced than most underground matches, a pace that relentlessly pushes each man to his breaking point but never looks sloppy or hurried.

Both wrestlers make excellent use of the ropes throughout and prove resilient through the sort of ordeal that usually finds one man fleeing the ring to catch his breath. There's no backing off here, and the seemingly mild-mannered Keelin kicks ass, though he's got a ways to go before he matches Cole in charisma. It's safe to say that the new hire unexpectedly runs the show for at least half of the video's 31 minutes.

Although there's no pulling of punches, the match is not as ero-chaotic as most UCW fights - no nipple twists, ball grabs, fish-hooks, biting, or eye-gouging. Balls do get smashed, however, against ropes and boot heels, and at one point Derrick delivers a fine closed-fist punch to Keelin's face. It's a rip-snorting brawl but with few to no elements of the male catfight I usually associate with the company. 

As usual, Derrick is a dynamic performer, a pro through and through. It's his emotional energy that fuels the drama. If Keelin's ring prowess takes him by surprise, the shock does nothing to dim Derrick's fire and determination.  Keelin is pure technique wrapped in a beautiful body. He's coolly methodical in his stalking of his loudmouth opponent, and as Cole raises the bar on violence, Keelin is right there with him, giving as good (or better) than he takes.

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