The Hole

Axel vs David Flawless, Match 615 (UCW)

I blame the tight, stretchy gear he wears of late, but these days I can't watch Axel wrestling on the mat without getting a hard-on. Even he gets it that his taut package poses an alluring distraction for fans and competition. It's not the only pleasure of watching him, of course. He's one of the top three wrestlers in underground wrestling, virtually all over the map these past six years. Watching one of his matches is like a concise education in the science of mat grappling. He's at his best against tough, taxing competition, but his matches against talented but less experienced wrestlers, like David Flawless in Match 615, are often dazzling, too. (His training sessions with pretty fledglings like Jack Marino, Johnny Deep, Pippin, Hiro, and Kenny Star are practically sacred texts at my house.)

Ninety seconds into the video. Axel kicks Flawless in the chest from a supine position. The blow sends Flawless stumbling backwards into the wall. The impact cracks the drywall, leaving a butt-shaped imprint. (Same thing happened to me in college, except my butt followed up by taking down a sink, too.) Some previously released matches have featured the mat-room hole, so 615 works as an origin story.

Though a newcomer, Flawless is an impressively composed young man, wry, articulate, nerdishly attractive. He comes to UCW with a ready-made backstory - an old feud between his boyfriend Damian and the recently returned Michael Hannigan. Having received basic training from Axel, David faces him as a for-reals opponent for the first time. The novice is not altogether ineffective in battling Axel, but, to his credit, even he seems aware that his opponent outclasses him. There are some great moves here. At the 05:42 mark, Axel applies a memorable (and killer) hammerlock on the newbie. He follows with a nonchalantly prolonged headscissors that's sexy, too. Axel's techniques for incapacitating his opponent are plentiful and inventive - and they, along with the aforementioned "package," are all reason enough for me to give the match a thumbs-up (thumbs, at the very least).

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