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Bruno vs Chase Michaels, Match 718 - Oil Match (UCW)

Chase's pale, rail-thin body poised against ruddy Bruno's strongman physique kind of gave me the shivers. But, as the end card of Match 718 states. oil is the great equalizer in wrestling. Dwarf or giant, thin man or stout, MMA expert or couch potato, oil levels the playing ground for the slathered and slippery. It gives speed to the powerlifter and strength to the pole-vaulter. Fairly early in this match, it's obvious that Bruno and Chase will run neck and neck to the finale.

Both men are gentlemen at the beginning and the end, with lapses into pitiless fury in between. After the closing "I give!" the loser congratulates his vanquisher, and the winner is modest in his victory. The 29-minute battle accelerates up to the last five minutes, when both athletes have worn each other down and are nearly paralyzed in each other's grip.

This is Bruno's initiation to the UCW club. Chase has the honor to test-drive the new hire, and he chooses the oil match as the best measure of Bruno's toughness and resilience. For me, Chase epitomizes what oil wrestling is all about. Win or lose, the guy is amazing to watch, all shined up and ready to play as rough as his opponent can go. Bruno gives everything to this fight, and Chase is lucky to walk away on his own two feet.

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