Axel vs El Fuego, Match 622 (UCW)
This match is a landmark and new personal best for Axel, as an athlete and as a performer. Here's the Axel that was obviously there from the start, but polished, dramatic, and fiercer than before. Mucho credit goes to El Fuego, who pushes Axel past his veneer of self-control and temperance towards edgier and rawer impulses. No other adversary has brought Axel this far out of his customary reserve. Not even Eli Black or Chase Michaels raised the man's hackles quite like this.
El Fuego is new to UCW, but he's right in step with the company's reputation for pushing boundaries and turning ass-kicking into an art form. Like Axel, he's initially laid-back and genial. But the battle cranks up fast, within seconds the fighters are already at a pitch that's only reached at the midpoint of most other matches. The chemistry here could not be any better than it is for fight fans like me. Fuego and Axel are ever the technicians, but technique has never been this hot and dangerous.
Now the unfortunate part of this story is that soft camera focus robs certain shots of the sharp detail they deserve. The low image resolution does not ruin the video. It's most obvious when the camera zooms in on a hold that ought to affect viewers almost viscerally but the closeup is out of focus. Still, this match in low res is better than most matches in high res.
The grueling action and heightened drama are state of the art, and it may be a long time before something this tasty comes our way again. There's a clear winner at the end - a jock-starching across-the-shoulders backbreaker - but the hard give and take lasts to the final half-minute. These guys seriously want to win, and there's no winning this one without pulling out the stops. There are no stops (or rules) at UCW, a lesson neither of these guys has to learn. This match plus Axel vs Keelin, plus Wolf Boy vs Chase Michaels, plus Mike Honcho vs Trevor, plus Axel vs Chase Michaels, is the Torah of new-style UCW!
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