Sunday, September 6, 2015

Review: Max Ryder vs. Quinn Harper (UCW)

One of the many things I really miss from Joe's former Ringside blog is his extensive UCW coverage. I'm sure if he was around, I would've learned about Max Ryder a lot sooner.

Max Ryder flexes

Now, I have bought 10 matches from UCW over the years. The value is unbeatable on an action per dollar basis ... $14.99 for matches that go 30+ minutes. And they have regular $5 specials, which is really cool. Still somehow, they just never rise to the top of my mind. I just kind of forget about them. Oops.

I've praised Rock Hard Wrestling a lot. I actually consider UCW the anti-RHW. You really could not make two groups more different. The only qualities they seem to share is providing great value and the presence of Ethan Axel Andrews.

It's establishment vs. anarchy. While RHW is slick, sleek and produced, UCW is rough, ragged and chaotic. It's a pro ring in clean black surround vs. mats in a cinder block garage. It's choreographed action vs. uncontrolled rough housing. It's two matches a month vs. what seems like a ton of content.

And my perception of the talent? It's handsome, gym-built frat boys vs. a lot of guys who, well, aren't like that. There are a lot of soft bodies, average faces and poorly planned tattoos in UCW. Alex Waters probably spends more on hair product in a month than the entire UCW roster spends on soap in a year. And yet, in a movie, you just know that RHW would be the villains. They'd be the perfect prettyboys from rich families and UCW would be the scruffy and scrappy underdogs we cheer for.

UCW's Champ - Quinn Harper
RHW's Dash Decker

In fact, just because they're different doesn't make one good and one bad. I actually appreciate them both.

There's something remarkable and fun about the UCW product. While other sites are recycling the same guys and the same action, UCW has created a completely unique niche that is compelling and so very different than anyone else. It's really impressive when you think about it. They have a lot of guys you don't see anywhere else doing things you don't see anyone else doing.

There's probably a whole deeper psychological analysis possible comparing the two and I can only imagine what insightful writers like Joe, La Sustancia P or Wrestling Arsenal could uncover with one of their brilliant assessments.

But I've gotten off-topic, because that's not what I'm writing on. I'm writing about one of their newer guys.

Max Ryder.

Meet Max

Take everything I just said about my perception of UCW guys and throw it out the window. Max is reasonably buff, clean cut, kind of handsome and his ass is pretty sweet. And in this match, he's earnest and brave, like a legitimate wrestler looking for a regular match. It's like he went to the wrong address or something.

This is only Max Ryder's second UCW match. With typical UCW wackiness, it's already for the title, held by Quinn Harper. (Side note - I love that UCW has a title belt.) A rookie gets to wrestle for the title. Okay, what's life without whimsy?

The Champ vs. the Rookie

The action is down and dirty. Trash talking. Wedgies (back and front). Thumbs make their way between cheeks. There are ball claws, punches and slaps. It's one of those matches that only UCW can do. Don't get me wrong, it's not all dirty tactics. There are some cool submission moves and impressive holds here, the bodies stretched and displayed really well.

Trash talking
Front wedgie
Ball grab
Low blows
Even the rookie grabs a handful

The camera work is intimate and you feel like you're there. The suffering is exciting and Max' defiant spirit is contagious. He jobs like a boss, if such a thing is possible. Quinn is dominant. He's skilled and clearly enjoys punishing the rookie. You never feel like Max is a legitimate contender for the title, even with the looming presence of referee Axel.

The rookie on top
Nice move (for multiple reasons)
Adding a hair pull to a nice hold

If you want to see a prettyboy mauled by a grungy punk, this is a good one. I'll think I'll be editing it down to a complete squash for future viewing, it's that good.

This is what I want to re-watch

I really hope they filmed a bunch of matches with Max, because I really want to see more. I've also bought his match vs. Tyson, so we'll see how that one goes. I'll also be checking out more of Quinn. He has a spirit and energy that I found surprisingly compelling.

Next up for me ... Max vs Tyson



  1. I emailed UCW about it already- but Max needs to get into some skimpier gear! Imagine how much hotter he'd look in his matches if he committed to a speedo or bikini, like Axel or Eli or Johnny Deep :)

  2. great review! i'm a fan of ucw. quinn vs max is a fav. there are some recent matches with max and quinn including a three way with joker.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I'll have to look for them.