Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Paradigm Pro: UWFI Contenders Series Episode 3

Big Beef vs. Crash Jaxon

PAS: These are a pair of big dudes who both lost their first match, and this was a fun Beef showcase. Jaxon had a moment or two, but mostly was eating big shots including a nasty stunning slap, and a couple of big suplexes including a nasty German, plus a wrenching powerbomb for the KO. Jaxon is a good foil for these matches, his size makes it really impressive when he is dropped. 

ER: Beef comes off like a real bulldozer under these rules, and I love watching it. Jaxon threw some iffy looking kneelifts (the first two he did I had no idea what they were even supposed to be until commentary called them knees, just looked like a silly little leap), but he certainly hung in there to take some gnarly strikes from Gnarls. Beef backed him up with a right hand, and landed some nasty crossfaces on the ground. I dug Jaxon trying to stuff a suplex attempt so it wound up looking like Beef dropped him with a leaping Flatliner. Beef's clubbing forearms to the back really echoed and the shoot powerbomb for the win looked really cool. 

Hardway Heeter vs. Chase Holliday

PAS: Heeter comes in to Waiting Room so the old DC punk in me is on his side. Holliday has a medal which he puts on the line in the match. They tried a bit too much here, seven suplexes in a three minute match is total overkill. I actually liked some of the non-suplex stuff a lot, Heeter had a nice jab to the body and the coolest thing in the match was Holliday's jumping knee, but then they just went back to suplexes (none of which looked great). Finish was pretty bad too, with Holliday trying Goodrich elbows which didn't land well at all.

ER: Before he had his first match, I noticed Heeter standing around me during a SUP show during SCI 2019 weekend. I thought he had a cool look, jacked dude with glasses, strong beard, rocking no shirt under a vintage jean jacket. Coming out to Fugazi just adds to all that cool. I'm with Phil, in that the suplex stuff did not work for me at all. It wasn't even that I thought there were too many (there were), but most of them were set up in the most pro wrestling way. If you're going to set these things up with one strike that almost connected, why not just do other pro wrestling finishers? Let's see a bad stomach kick to set up a twist of fate, or maybe someone can wait around bent at the waist to take an axe kick. I like the parts where they were keeping each other at bay with strikes, like Heeter's great jab to the body, or Holliday's swarm of open hand strikes that allowed him to get in close. But just throwing a strike and then hitting a vertical suplex, with no fight whatsoever? I'm sure I could have been into this more if there was some decent struggle, instead of guys taking wrestling suplexes. I much rather would have seen them work around Holliday's early match grounded front chancery and build to his great running knee as the finish. Instead we got Goodridge elbows that all looked like Holliday was trying to rub off one of Heeter's nipples. 

1. Austin Connelly vs. Lord Crewe

PAS: This was my favorite match of the series so far (it's either this or Hoodfoot vs. Flash from Episode 1). Connelly wrestles this like you might imagine Buzz Sawyer would have worked UWF. He charges Crewe, swarming him with wild shots and a Karelin lift which wasn't hit clean, but in a cool way. Crewe peppers him with kicks and slaps and Connelly just keeps moving forward, landing a big slap to the ear and a second big Karelin lift. They exchange big shots until Connelly gets dropped to his butt, with Crewe following up with a nasty sliding elbow for the KO. Whole thing was super intense scrap with constant forward movement.

ER: This was so great, genuinely in the conversation of greatest under 3 minute matches ever. Connelly is billed as a crazy man, and he ran in with no defense the entire time, scrambling for takedowns like an animal (commentary laughed at him using Groundhog Style, which is great), and Crewe just threw full arm strikes the whole time. Connelly threw him with a Karelin lift that Crewe sandbagged (Connelly still got him over) and later muscled Crewe over with a waterwheel suplex. But Crewe just picked this guy apart, throwing more landed strikes in 2 minutes than we've practically seen in this entire UWFI series so far. He was just smacking Connelly above the ear, in the temple, in the mouth, in the forehead, any direction Connelly turned there was an open hand to greet him. Crewe threw a couple nice high kicks whenever Connelly was stunned, and ran in with a sliding elbow for the finish, and all of it looked great. These guys were total maniacs, really showed what kind of special exchanges are possible in this format. 

YOYA vs. Akira

PAS: I liked this a lot too, YOYA is really tiny and it allows Akira to pull off some pretty cool shit throwing him around the ring. Akira is normally a death match guy, but pulled off some slick shit here, including a monkey flip into a cross arm breaker and Indian death lock choke combo.Akira also landed a sick headbutt to break a leg bar, a crazy running back elbow and a koppo kick. YOYA was really fast and used hand speed and some leaping submission attempts. Finish was sick with Akira doing a lifted keylock suplex into a keylock submission which looked like it ripped out Yoya's shoulder. There was a pretty lame run in post match by DD Trash setting up a future tag match outside of UWFI rules, but the in ring part of this match was cool.

ER: This was a lot of fun, and they had a ton of ideas, although I'm not sure we needed every single one of their ideas. I think my problems were more with layout, as YOYA took a ton of hard shots that each counted as a knockdown, and I just did not buy his big comebacks down the stretch. 125 lb. is really small, making that 65 lb. weight difference far greater. I'm under 160 and the idea of me taking knees in the face and being on "Bambi legs" and taking more of the same for 5 minutes, followed by me getting a couple throws on someone weighing 225 lb. sounds laughably implausible. YOYA had some really cool stuff that really worked, and his sliding rolled through kneebar by far one of the coolest things we've seen on the UWFI shows so far. But Akira unloaded so many tricks on him for so long, and I'm not sure I would have bought those throws at any point of the match anyway. 

There were several different pieces of Akira offense that I thought were the end of the match, like YOYA shooting in for a takedown only to meet a perfectly timed knee to the chin. That happens a minute in, and I can't get too excited for a wicked spinning backfist several minutes later, no matter how great it looked. The finish was at least the most disgusting part of the match, and I was genuinely scared for YOYA's elbow, shoulder, and arm. When Akira yoinked YOYA up into the keylock I thought that was the finishing submission right there. I didn't expect him to THROW him by that same arm and then keep the hold applied! Disgusting finish, though it's kind of wild that the 125 lb. guy absorbed more punishment in this match than anyone in any match so far. 

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