Sunday, September 27, 2015

Review: Marcus Ares vs. Eli Black (UCW)

"Mr. Simpson, this is the most blatant case of fraudulent advertising since my suit against the film 'The Neverending Story'." 
-- Lionel Hutz, attorney at law
Today is my fifth and final review of the Marcus Ares UCW matches available. It was the one I was least interested in, but it turned out to by one of my two favorites.

So why did Marcus Ares vs. Eli Black turn out to be so much better than I thought it would be?

Eli "flipped" my expectations for this match
(see what I did there ... clever, huh?)

The video preview implies that it is a squash of Black by Ares. It shows one offensive move (a ball grab) from Black, otherwise it's all the big man. I had no interest in that at all. But an Anonymous commenter on the Ares/Axel review told me that there was "a good bit of back and forth" and that it was "more evenly matched than I was anticipating". That did make me a little more interested.

I expected a lot of this
But I got a lot of this!

After viewing the match, I felt like Anonymous actually understated the situation. If you bought this to see Black crushed, you would be very disappointed. It is not a squash of Black, but it's much more like the opposite.

Okay, it's certainly not a 100% squash of Ares. It is a 60/40 match, but I finished it with the strong feeling that Ares had been completely dominated. Black is in control more often and when he's dominating, it is much more memorable than the reverse.

The combatants position this as skill and technique (Black) vs. size and strength (Ares). That is a very accurate description.

Ares looks like a giant against Black!

Throughout the match, Black ties the bigger muscleman in knots with submission moves that look like they could actually get a submission. Many of these moves put Ares in a writhing position with his muscular physique on clear display. And these long-held holds even have the helpless Ares selling another wrestler's moves!

Wait, is that Ares showing pain? Me likey!

Yep, he's doing great at suffering!

Ares only gets Black in a comparable position a few times. He focuses more on power moves, like slams, splashes and punches. When he does try a figure-four, it's an upside-down version that might work, but it just seemed backwards and I didn't want to work out the physics of the hold at that particular moment.

Otherwise, Black ends up easily reversing pretty much everything Ares attempts throughout the entire match.

Countering a scoop attempt by the big man

Reversing a bow and arrow

Keeping the big man down

This match is a little more conventional than many UCW matches, with fewer extraneous antics. Still, there are a few. Ares' skirt does get used. The wall comes into play. But there are no wedgies or foreign objects (outside of the skirt) and low blows are kept to a minimum (maybe four or five times that I can remember and they're minor).

These guys seem to take the match a little more seriously, except when Ares starts counting a pin when Black is on his stomach. The smaller stud asks, "What the fuck are you counting?" It's a legitimate question and definitely an amusing moment, leaving Ares to protest, "Novice mistake!"

Uh, Ares? That's not a pinning position.

The ending is random, but I think this time it's about the journey more than the destination.

The match was just $14.99, still the best value in the business. The video is just under 30 minutes, which includes about 4 minutes of intro and banter before the first lock up. From there, it's 26 minutes of action to the very end. In terms of the domination breakdown, I put it at 13 minutes for Black and 9 minutes for Ares. The rest is circling, grappling, standing, etc. where neither guy is in charge.

The big man is helpless in these holds

Overall, I'm actually really glad I bought this match, so I owe the Anonymous commenter thanks for the recommendation.

As I mentioned above, Ares looks huge opposite the diminutive Black. Seeing the big man controlled and dominated by a more skilled smaller guy was a lot of fun. In fact, I've already edited it down to a nice 13-minute squash of Ares, ending on one of the crueler submission moves (for more on my penchant for editing, see Inspiration: Good Into Great).

This makes a very satisfying squash
with some easy editing

Rating the Five Marcus "The Spartan" Ares UCW Matches

#1 Axel: The Competitive One

My favorite by a slim margin. You get a lot here, with awesome gear, great moves and a lot of back-and-forth in this sweaty, hard-fought contest.

#2 Eli Black: The Beatdown

An unexpected gem. I loved the small guy controlling the bigger guy through his skill and smarts, rather than a ton of dirty tricks. It's a believable catchweight encounter that forces Ares to really sell.

#3 Aron: The Fun One

A light-hearted, fast-paced match with a lot of chemistry between the studs. Ares dominates, but it's not a squash.

#4 Quinn Harper: The Dirty Squash

A solid introduction to Ares. I liked it and Quinn gets a five-minute stretch where he's in command. However, it's still mostly one-sided in favor of Ares. I prefer seeing Quinn be the one to do the squashing (e.g., vs. Max Ryder).

#5 Michael Hannigan: The Clean Squash

A great match for fans of Hannigan who want to see him punished. A lot of power moves and nearly complete one-sided domination by the musclestud Ares.

I know there were quite a few Ares fans last time I wrote about him. And Eli Black must have a ton of fans. What did you guys think? What about this match? Agree? Disagree? Did any of you guys check Ares out after my first series of reviews? If you did, what did you think? Did he live up to my hype?

Please let me know in the comments!



  1. Marcus Ares suffers so well UCW really needs to bring him back. On top of my wish list is a rematch with Quinn Harper. Quinn can be such an interesting heel I felt like they could really continue their feud into the second, where Quinn does what he does best!

    1. Thanks for the comment! I obviously agree that Ares needs to come back. He was really getting the hang of the whole thing. Quinn would be good, but as you say, give him more of a chance to be on top.