Pulling Up Stakes

Austin Tyler vs Axel, Match 652 - Rope Match (UCW)

I was mostly offline for a few days in March, so I'm late to this match, Austin Tyler's last at UCW before heading full-time to Impact. Making the event  more auspicious, he takes on Axel in a rope and choke match. I'm sad to see Austin leave because he's easily in the top five of sexiest dudes in underground wrestling. After more than two years as one of the company's star attractions, Austin at least gets a fine sendoff in this dream match. 

Austin's allure has always been hard for me to put into words. How could he be, simultaneously, one of UCW's most sophisticated and handsome wrestlers while also being one of its toughest and most coldly sadistic? He is a blend of punk and GQ model, two things that don't normally go together. More importantly, he is a scarily efficient and bold antagonist. Few underground wrestlers rise to his level of destructive power and calm menace.

This contest is one of Austin's best, one of many since Austin never phoned a match in. He has committed 100 percent to every match. Nobody is as suave and matter of fact in the ring or on the mat than Austin, and nobody has his particular knack for hurting an opponent. The guy knows his ring (and mat) psychology. His instincts are true to what underground wrestling fans crave.

Axel has shared the UCW spotlight with Austin on at least six previous occasions, sometimes adversaries, sometimes allies. They are well suited to each other, especially in their skills. In a rope match, the opponents are bound together at the wrist by a (looks like) six-foot rope, and a pin does not count unless the wrestler has first tagged all four corners of the ring. Axel and Austin employ a variety of armbars, figure-fours, gut punches, suplexes, chokes, and scissors, using the rope to strangle, hang, yank, trip, and bind each other over the course of 28 minutes.

It's a beauty of a hard-fought match. I wish the victor had calf-roped his adversary in the end, but if Tyler has to go, this is definitely the way I would have wished for him to go.

Visit UCW here.


  1. I'm supersad to see him go, but happy for him. It's a great match. Axel has said there are some lost matches of his yet to be released, so we still have stuff to look forward to.


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