Segunda Caida

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

Monday, April 05, 2021

Paradigm Pro: UWFI Contenders Series 2 Episode 2

Cole Radrick vs. Yoya

PAS: This reminded me of a WEC Batanamweight fight, little guys moving fast and pressing a lot of action. Yoya really impressed me here, he did a bunch of really cool spinning mat attacks including one spot where he goes for an armbar, gets lifted by Radrick off the ground, spins on to his back for a choke and then slips right back into the armbar. Only flaw in this match was Radrick's selling, he sells this big kick like he got brain trauma with his arms sticking straight out in the air. That is cool stuff, but this promotion stops fights for way less, and it wasn't plausible that the ref would let him continue. Outside of that I enjoyed this a lot, interested to see what Yoya does in Bloodsport next week.

ER: I loved Radrick here and thought his selling was excellent. I've seen plenty of people try to work the fencing response selling into pro wrestling, and it almost always looks incredibly stupid (with the stupidest ever being Jimmy Yang taking a Tank Abbott punch in WCW), and here it looked like Radrick clearly had a concussion. And as Phil said, that was why that ended up being a pretty pointless use of such a realistic sell. We've seen a dozen matches in this UWFI series alone that have been stopped for less than a man visually suffering a traumatic brain injury, so the idea that the match wasn't immediately stopped was ridiculous. That really should have been the finish if they wanted to work that spot into the match, makes no sense to give a guy a standing 8 after he's doing a horizontal Frankenstein impression. 

That aside, everything else ruled. Yoya is super small and super quick, and Radrick can use cool power offense against him even though he is small against most other guys. At one point he does a fisherman's buster that starts with both men lying flat, just powers Yoya up. Radrick's selling was strong throughout, loved how he leaned into all of Yoya's strikes, fell into the ropes after a few of them without ever coming off as "acting". The shotgun kick that lead to the should-have-been stoppage looked great, really would have completely worked as the finish. But I did love Yoya pouncing with punches to try to capitalize, and Radrick really paid back that kick with wicked hammerfists and elbows before locking in a wicked armbar for the tap. These guys want to get a lot of their ideas into these quick fights (and Yoya has been one of the biggest "get my ideas in" guys in this series so far), but they really need to save some of them for later in the series. Can't have two cool finishes in one fight, you'll burn out the concept. 

Ron Mathis vs. Nick King

PAS: Mathis works a comedy gimmick on these shows as a garbage guy who claims he is a shooter. I get why you want to mix things up stylistically, but it doesn't do it for me. I liked King on last week's show, but he gets squashed here which is a shame. I would have rather seen King use his skill to flummox Mathis a bit, before Mathis figures it out. Instead he was a comedy guy claiming to be a shooter who steamrolls an actual guy in that style. Nice rear naked choke though.

ER: I was really looking forward to seeing more of King after his fantastic debut last week, and this was not quite what I wanted. What they did was good, but it was not the thing I wanted to see. Mathis rushes King with body blows that King anticipates, and outquicks Mathis into a great Vader/Inoki German suplex. When he recovers, Mathis comes in with a couple strong front chancery suplexes, then locks in the chancery again, but instead of going for another suplex, but instead he twists hard into an awesome rear naked choke for the tap. Paradigm has been good at bringing in unknowns and working them up the ladder through this series (guys who were unknowns in season 1 are now treated like known quantities, getting matched up with season 2 newcomers), so I know it's just a matter of time before King is getting to bigger matches. So, within context, I think this worked. 

Freddie Hudson vs. Alex Kane

PAS: Hudson is a former PPW champion who was returning to the promotion, and got a takedown here and even a suplex, but this was a Kane showcase. Kane really uses his hips when he throws people, and that head and leg clutch suplex he uses as a finisher is really sick. This US shoot scene needs an Otsuka, and Kane might fit that bill.

ER: I love when a new guy comes along with real suplex power, and Kane is like new Cobb. I like the set up of the match, with Hudson making his Paradigm return. I like the story of the guy with more matches in a promotion than anyone, returning to find the landscape is different than when he was last here. He comes into the match happy to be here, gets a nice suplex, but once Kane gets down to serious business it is over quick. Kane can really muscle guys around, and that Mark of Kane finisher of his is like he's throwing someone as far as he can after tying them up in La Nieblina. 

Kerry Awful vs. Aaron Williams

PAS: Awful was a lot of fun here, working this like Wellington Wilkins Jr., this old carny wrestler who might not know jujitsu but knows how to twist a wrist or pop a knee. I liked how he taunted Williams early to "take the cowards way out" by grabbing the ropes, which leads the crowd to chant "Coward" at him when he takes a rope break of his own. Williams had some moments too, and the finish was great with Williams hitting an Anderson Silva front kick and going for a stretch muffler for some reason, which Awful turned to a crucifix sugar hold for the tap. 

ER: This was a nice change of pace from the other matches this episode, worked very differently, a little more tentatively but not shying away from hitting each other. Williams' kicks all looked cool, loved when they went for a knucklelock and Williams kept kicking at Awful's head with axe kicks and front kicks. I actually thought this was going to end way earlier than expected, as Williams locked in a sick grounded full nelson that could have gone a few different directions, but Awful broke it by reaching back and clawing at Williams' head. The finish was awesome, thought the Silva front kick looked spectacular, and I loved the wrinkle of Williams going for an ill-advised stretch muffler but not locking it on quickly enough, allowing Awful to tap him with a slick anaconda crucifix. Very cool. 

10. Tom Lawlor vs. Lord Crewe

PAS: I think this is Lawlor's best performance in this style. Crewe is a guy with a bare knuckled fighter rep, and it was great to watch Lawlor ground him and work as a mat master. Loved how he kept controlling with a hammerlock, and how decisive and powerful his takedowns were. Lawlor had an awesome looking Anaconda vice head and armlock, and his reverse triangle choke finish was class. I thought Crewe was fine as a brawler who found his moments, although he should have left his spinning Vampiro kick on the drawing board. Lawlor versus Justice should be a lot of fun, and I hope he works it like this. 

ER: Love seeing Lawlor work a match like this with blinders on, working patiently through Crewe's strikes to land takedowns and work subs, all of which looked finish worthy. Lawlor was able to really convincingly work in a leg scissors submission and make it look like something that could happen in MMA, and I love that submission. There are a lot of ankle lock spots in wrestling now, hard to make one stand out, but I loved Lawlor refusing to break his ankle lock on Crewe, Crewe trying to kick him off, Lawlor grapevining the leg while yelling a FUCK YOU, Crewe hanging in with a worthy attempt of his own before wisely getting to the ropes. Crewe's standing strikes look better than most in this series, long arms sneaking in powerful shots, and once he started landing on Lawlor I loved all of Lawlor's muscle memory takedown selling. I really loved the sequence of Crewe missing a haymaker to set up a Lawlor rear naked choke, which I thought for sure was the finish, until Crewe slipped out and absolutely BLASTED Lawlor with an elbow strike to the cerebellum. Goddamn I thought Lawlor was hit so hard his spinal column separated. Hard to pull off two zombie sells on the same hour of TV, but I can't see any other way to sell that elbow other than Lawlor getting turned into a zombie statue. Lawlor's inverted triangle looked fantastic as a finish, thought this whole thing kicked ass. 


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