I’ll dispense with the pleasantries and distill my opener to this one thought: you should have been at this taping. Why? Because it was everything a wrestling show should be. Great character-based storylines, splintering partnerships and culminating feuds, a great talent roster that keeps getting deeper and the best fan-driven wrestling in Utah. Do you need any more reasons? Read on then.

We began with a quick homage to the Ultimate Warrior, a passing that’s still fresh on the minds of wrestling fans everywhere, and then to a visibly ecstatic Commissioner M.K. taking to the ring clutching a "Best of State" Poster. He began praising us fans for being so great (yep!) and not 30 seconds into the festivities does that damn Madball intro drop and Stevie Slick, Martin Casaus and Derrick Jannetty (The Foundation) come barreling in to rain on the parade.

Slick and Jannetty looked jocular, while Casaus a little more subdued, maybe even uncomfortable. Slick made haste with yelling at the crowd, telling us all to go suck eggs (or some variation), before using his mic time to publicly apologize to Casaus for interfering with the last match, offering him an opponent "he can beat" as a peace offering. The offering? A rookie at the wrestling school named John Chase Earl. Casaus didn’t take kindly to Slick’s ludicrous offer, and in a push for "the business" turned a quick tide to booked Slick in a match with the greenhorn. A good move? The riotous "Yes!" chant from the fans should be answer enough. Jannetty and Slick returned to the dressing room wearing their varying states of bewilderment, while Casaus wore a self-satisfied grin.

Junior X (w/ Los Mochi Paco) v. Bronson
Bronson, representing the crazier half of the Reign of Insane, entered to his standard bombardment of "Looney Tune" chants, while Junior X got a monumental pop. What began with Junior X toying with his competitor quickly devolved into nihilistic sadism with Bronson (per usual) babbling to himself, fleeing the ring and rounding up foreign objects for an assault. The brawl quickly developed into Bronson getting cagey with his best Bobby Knight impression with the steel chair, and a ringside Los Mochi Paco growing visibly impatient with the chicanery. Villainy won out in the end, despite Junior X’s control in the early part of the match and Bronson clinched an underhanded win.

Here’s hoping for a full on tag-team feud between The Reign of Insane and 801 District, and for Kade’s return to see that happen because as it stands, the two factions are becoming increasingly more and more evenly matched.

Stevie Slick (Accompanied by Derrick Jannetty & Martin Casaus) v. John Chase Earl
John Chase Earl (JCE) entered to a rock rendition of Coolio’s "Gangsta’s Paradise," and so greener-than-gooseshit or not, he gets my vote for best entrance of the night. Slick wasted no time showcasing his MO here, chopping the rookie hard across the chest, cackling like a Bond villain and sarcastically bellowing "You wanna be a pro wrestler do ya kid?" Evidently though, JCE has already picked up a move or two in wrasslin’ school, and he flung Slick over quite easily with a hip-toss. He’d have had his way with him too, were it not for Slick abandoning the ring like he usually does.

At this point, Casaus became even more visibly disgusted with his manager and began actually cheering on JCE. This act of defiance sparked a verbal altercation with Jannetty, who, sensing Casaus’s disaffection from the group, became enraged and began shouting. All the while, Slick had returned to the ring to bully JCE by stepping on his throat and choking him with a small rope that he produced from his wrist. This was all Casaus needed to finally intervene and, sensing that the timing was just right, JCE had Slick down and out in an explosive neck-snap for a win.

Maybe it’s the match that may have done The Foundation in for good, but I’d say Casaus has some pretty incredible prospects as a singles wrestler, and we’re all stoked for John Chase Earl’s great showing!

UCW-Zero Women’s Championship
Morgan v. Sierra Rose

The rematch we’d been promised had heated up and boiled over. Sierra Rose wore a fedora with blinking LED’s on it, which garnered a chorus of boos and Morgan did not. What Morgan did accomplish was a chop that rang out louder than a damn thunderclap, a shoulder block and ever my personal favorite, the flying clothesline.

Rose kept good pace with Morgan though, taking the action out of the ring and onto that cold and unforgiving concrete. As has been the case in times past, this quickly turned into full-on submission wrestling, and it was Sierra’s modified camel clutch which got Morgan to tap and helped her retain the Women’s title.

No. 1 Competitor Match
Martin Casaus (w/ Derrick Jannetty and Stevie Slick) v. Jason Jaxon

At Incarceration, Jason Jaxon took the heavyweight title from Casaus with a ripsnorter of a match. Now that Zack James has the title, both of the former title-holders are gunning hard for it. The winner of this match gets a shot at James for the heavyweight title at the next taping.

Both competitors had incredible entrances and it’s evident that Casaus, who’s on the outs with his current tag-team situation, is enjoying being cheered again. It wasn’t long before Slick and Jannetty, having created enough chaos for one night, were sent back to the dressing room, so as not to interfere with the match. Neither Casaus nor Jaxon wasted any time in the ring, trading drop kicks like insider stock tips, and Jaxon’s massive elbow drop shouldn’t go unmentioned. While the combat maintained a back and forth rhythm, the tide finally turned when Jaxon found nobody home from the top rope. Then, a long and punishing sleeper hold by Casaus helped him secure the win.

At the sound of cheering fans, The Foundation rushed in to try and piggyback off of it. Casaus was having none of it, and both he and the freshly defeated Jaxon squared up to fight off the intruders. Casaus put an end to any discussion by putting Jannetty in a fireman’s carry and slapping Slick hard across the face. The people like him now, and that’s all that matters. Plus, now he gets a fresh opportunity for the UCW-Zero heavyweight title. Certainly something to grin about.

NO Disqualification Match for UCW Ultra X Championship
Dante Acosta v. Durango Kid

Acosta brought a wooden dowel to the ring with him, and didn’t seem at all phased by the “Leprechaun,” “Lucky Charms” and “Hornswoggle” chants which rained upon him. Durango Kid’s entrance has only gotten better, as he now has an entire chorus of swooning teenagers who squeal his name when he’s announced.

When our competitors met last, Acosta doubled crossed the ‘Kid, forging an alliance with Brandon Austin (not present tonight) and ganged up on him. Acosta’s still got a serious mean streak in him at this point, and utilized the “no DQ” stipulation of the match to its fullest by clobbering ‘Kid across the head with a metal baking pan (“Betty Crocker!” chants) and by using his makeshift kendo stick to dastardly ends. Acosta’s masochism peaked with a big knee and a successful attempt to remove ‘Kid’s mask. He succeeded, prompting ‘Kid to race back to the dressing room with his face covered and a befuddled crowd wondering what’d happen next.

At this point, an unspecified crowd member started approaching the ring, growing increasingly more vocal. Wouldn’t you know, it was Lacey Ryan! Was she there to assist a beleaguered Durango Kid? Maybe she’s just got a serious vendetta against Acosta? All I could adequately make out in the flurry of events is that she’d grabbed a chair with the intention of entering the ring and Durango Kid had re-emerged from the dressing room with a new mask. Quicker than snot on a door handle, Durango Kid made short work of executing a flawless enzuigiri kick to Acosta and got him down for the quick cover and pin, but the action didn’t stop.

Lacey made the purpose of her intervention clear, as M.K. desperately tried to talk her down from another chair shot, threatening another suspension. “I want a match for Durango Kid’s title!” she yelled, while Slick, smelling blood and an opportunity, slinked in. (Haven’t we seen enough of him yet?). He assured her she’d get the match and walked her out of the arena. A great match that’s created even more opportunities. What’s not to love?

Dark Angel v. Dallas Murdock
UCW-Zero’s only deaf wrestler, Dark Angel, still gets the best entrance (in my book) with “jazz hands” a-plenty and an awesome entrance song. Dallas Murdock’s hard brawling style always gets him a good reaction. Together though? I wasn’t entirely sure how this one was gonna go. Angel had the initial advantage with a series of armbars and even a side headlock at one point, all of which had Murdock gassing up. Murdock’s reciprocal Samoan drop should’ve had Angel out of commission, but every time the dude would attempt to cover, Angel’s resilience would shine and he’d kick out. Ultimately it was a stiff boot to the face that gave Murdock the win, but ever the class act, he still helped Angel to his feet for an arena-full of jazz hands. It’s good to see guys like Angel getting great matches, as they’re all making their attempts to climb the card for a UCW title. A great match for both wrestlers.

Triple Threat Match
Manny Fresh v. Rocky Ocean v. Los Mochi Paco

Good entrances from all three here, Manny Fresh looking psyched to be back, Rocky Ocean doing his best not to get down on the “rocky sucks!” chants and Los Mochi Paco decked out in something fairly reminiscent of the Ultimate Warrior in his WWF heyday.

Bronson joined Deacon and Josh Damien on commentary, undoubtedly to get inside the head of Paco and Junior X (at ringside, supporting his tag partner) and the match got quickly underway. High energy from the get-go, Fresh was quickly rolled out of the ring to leave Ocean and Paco as the main competitors for the majority of the match. Highlights came in the form of Ocean’s monkey flip out of the corner, Paco’s HurricanRana and of course, the triple super-plex which elicited the coveted “That Was Awesome!” chant from the showgoers. Utilizing some theatricality from his tag partner, Paco imitated a duck being shot out of the sky (you had to have been there) off the top turnbuckle into an elbow drop for a cover and pin and damn if the dude didn’t deserve it. His moveset was incredible and he led the match from the get-go. Not sure why he went over to the broadcast table to provoke Bronson, but luckily (or unfortunately, depending on who you are) an altercation didn’t broil up. Maybe it was just a holdover from Bronson’s initial underhanded win on Junior X? Let’s get these guys ALL back in the ring to settle it!

Zack James (C) v. Jayson Bravo (accompanied by Sierra Rose) for the UCW-Zero Heavyweight Title
Maybe you’ve been in Zack James’s position: you’ve lost your girlfriend to a self-applauding, bearded oaf and you have to be reminded of it everywhere you go. He’s always popping up to try and rub your nose in it, and there’s nothing you can do: until you’re granted a 60 minute time limit to settle your differences once and for all in the squared circle. That’s the way it worked out tonight, and though Jayson Bravo may have stolen Zack James’ girlfriend, James is the one who’s worked his way up the card to earn the UCW-Zero Heavyweight title, so who’s really been slighted here? Anyway, the prospect of seeing this feud culminate in a main event match was just what the fans have been begging for, and the build has been great.

Bravo’s entrance was the usual mix of cheers, boos and an argument with someone. Zack’s got a phenomenal “Zack Attack!” chant going and we were off. Both competitors seemed evenly matched from the outset, with James even attempting a “Bravo Combo” on his competitor for the ultimate insult. Blow for blow, this thing dripped with intensity, with Bravo leading the charge, landing a vicious hangman’s neckbreaker and then grounding James with a fujiwara armbar. The resilient champion however, fought his way back into the contest with a flying clothesline on Bravo. Evidently it was enough to make Jayson see stars for a bit because he eventually stopped putting up a fight.

Once James finally had Bravo down though, Sierra Rose quickly began making her presence known, trying to interfere with the match and even laying a smacker (no wrasslin’ terminology here, I just mean a kiss) on Zack’s lips. This only created more tension in the ring, prompting a verbal spar between the ref and Rose. It was during this shouting match, while the ref wasn’t looking, that Zack executed a smooth-as-butter moonsault followed by a cover that stretched to a 10-count. Eventually, as Bravo began showing signs of life, the ref returned his focus to the match to make the hotly anticipated 3-count for a tremendous win!

What a match! Truly one of best I’ve seen yet!

Now, in case you haven’t been keeping track, here’s what we’ve got to look forward to in the coming tapings:

  • A heavyweight title match between Martin Casaus and Zack James
  • A UCW-Zero Ultra X championship match between Lacey Ryan and Durango Kid
  • More tag team destruction between the 801 District and the Reign of Insane
  • ..and what’s Stevie Slick gonna pull now that one half of his tag team has abandoned him?

All this and much much more as part of Utah’s premiere wrestling promotion! Don’t miss it! A Jake Roberts Hall of Fame Speech to those who came out and a thousand hours of Mr. T. talking about his momma to those who didn’t. Come out for the next taping on May 10 at the UCW Arena (47 S. Orange St). Follow UCW-Zero on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to their YouTube channel. Finally (and then I’m done yammering), remember that nothing really happens until the bad guy shows up. Stay heel.