Martin Casaus remains the UCW Heavyweight Champ … for now! Illustration: Dylan Chadwick
Local wrestling promotion, UCW-Zero is tailor-made for true wrestling fans and sports a talent roster as deep and wide as Abdullah the Butcher’s belly, featuring wrestlers and character gimmicks from all across the board. Sure, they do all their own work, taping the matches and broadcasting them on their YouTube channel (with color commentary to boot!) and every live show is exciting and fresh, never stale or contrived, with a DIY spirit and attitude to match amid the promotion’s utmost professionalism. That’s why, when I caught wind of a match this past weekend at the Infiniti Events Center, you can bet your Stone Cold Steve Austin commemorative pot-holders I was there front and Center.
See, what UCW-Zero may lack in glitz, they more than make up for in pure entertainment and raw enthusiasm. To quote my girlfriend (who did, in fact, enjoy the match I forced her to attend with me): "It’s like watching a movie, only you get to scream at the performers on the screen!" Hell, sometimes they yell back, too.
Every encounter is chock-fulla highlights, and this one proved no different. Deacon of Doom (currently wrestling as a tag partner to "Pitbull" Jason Jaxon) grabbed a folding metal chair from the audience and used it to lay a whoopin’ on Dante Acosta. Of course, this was after cat-calling the entire audience and then propositioning my girlfriend to come meet him in his hotel room after the show.
Bronson, in full "drama club" garb, cut an in-ring promo, begging the crowd not to call him "loony tune" (a really bad idea) only to get slapped back with an arena-wide chant of the name. Then, after pitching a hissy fit, jocular crowd favorite Tyler Cintron pinned him.
A women’s match between Lacey Ryan and Telia provided maximum entertainment, with each contestant executing a series of moves escalating in complexity, finishing in in a mean suplex by Ryan. The match’s climax, though, was a mild fan altercation—which may or may not have been scripted.
The ultimate high point came in the form of a main event match, though. It was one of those Triple Threat affairs ("the three way dance" in ECW parlance) between three of the company’s top heavyweight stars: Junior X, Jayson Bravo and current UCW heavyweight champion and former WWE Tough Enough contestant, Martin Casaus.
The parameters are simple: Three dudes enter the ring, but only one walks out with the belt. Bravo was first to walk into the action to a flurry of "boos," which only seemed to super-charge his ego, even prompting him to get in a fan’s face and clap his hands obnoxiously (Get it? His last name is "Bravo?") Casaus’ entrance was steeped in his trademark cocksure swagger, with the belt draped over his shoulder for added effect, but the highest "pop" of the night came when Junior X made his way to the squared circle. Maybe it’s his rabid "I’m gettin’ that belt back!" chutzpah, or maybe it’s the fact that he literally moshed to the ring … but the fans went electric upon his arrival and essentially stayed there for the duration of the festivities.
Right off the bat, Bravo and X seemed most rabid for victory, with the latter backing Casaus into a corner, jimmying him into an arm bar and then a landing a clean, standing moonsault on him in the middle of the ring. Though Casaus broke free from his pin on a two count, it was evident he’d already been beaten like a government mule (We love you, Jim Ross) and was hoisted up and over the top rope with little resistance. This freed up the two belt-contenders to lay a whalloping on each other uninterrupted … temporarily, at least.
(Check out video footage here
Though X’s high-flying acrobatics kept an edge over Bravo, a battle-weary, yet strategic Casaus, used his time out of the ring to recoup his strength and stagger back into the action. His comeback was steady and, despite the best efforts of Bravo manhandling him from the top rope (see the video below), he laid the final pin to retain the UCW belt.
(Check out more footage here
Still, given Bravo and X’s undeniable in-ring talent, along with their audience pops, I’d say Casaus had better cling to that belt with all he’s got, lest he be dethroned from the top of the UCW roost.
UCW-Zero is the highest-quality promotion in the land. If you missed out on this match, fear not! The next one’s on Oct. 5 at the UCW arena, 47 S. Orange Street, Salt Lake City. Don’t you dare miss out!