Welcome back to the UWFI side of Paradigm. We’re in for a treat as the company looks to crown its first UWFI Super Middleweight Champion. Cole Radrick spearheaded the move but he was going to be in for a tough ride as he had to fight through some of the best middleweights in and around Paradigm. Today we had the first round to enjoy and eight high-impact fights to get through. Who was going to punch their ticket to the next round and who was going to crash and burn on the first lap? Let’s find out.
First though, as always with the UWFI series’ let’s check the rules. Victories under this ruleset can come from knock-out, submission, and ref stoppage. Fighters begin with a set number of points and will lose 1 point to 3 points every time they use a rope break, get knocked down, and require a ten-count be that from strikes or suplexes with intent to knockout, breaking the code of conduct, and under extreme conditions, if they leave the ring. Fights tend to be short and violent as the rule-set streamlines the fight and promises a winner.
Cole Radrick defeated Victor Analog via Rear-Naked Choke
First up was Cole Radrick taking on Victorwave, Victor Analog. We know what Radrick is capable of under the rule-set, was Analog going to be able to keep up and cause an upset in the first round? The pair opened with quick kicks and Radrick forced Analog into the ropes. The pair went back to striking and Analog dumped Radrick with a German. Radrick scrambled up and rumbled Analog into a slam. They had a rapid grapple session on the mat and the fight result. Analog went for a spinning heel kick but Radrick dodged and walked right into a deadly back elbow. Analog continued to rain down the blows as Radrick crumbled but he couldn’t keep the Wildheart down. Analog dropped him with a Saito and Radrick just beat the ten-count. Analog tried to swarm again but Radrick wrapped around him and tapped him out with a Rear-Naked Choke. Radrick had survived here but Analog had given him one hell of a fight. These two showcased the basics of UWFI in a short and sweet bout performed in glorious technicolour. We need more of Analog in PPW.
Robert Martyr defeated Donnie Janela via Lockjaw Chicken Wing
Next up was Poisoned Youth vs Kung-Fu Donnie Janela. It would be martial arts meets catch-as-catch-can wrestling. Martyr has been another vocal proponent of the UWFI series, would he be able to keep his momentum going against a hyped opponent? They started with a cagey standoff as Janela threw some cocky strikes and kicks and Martyr dodged them. The pair locked up and Janela drove Martyr away with a stiff kick. This trend continued as Janela cockily bounced around the ring throwing kicks, taunts and anything else he felt like. Martyr reset the fight with a corner trap and Janela knocked him on his arse with a stiff combo. Martyr popped up again and caught one of Janela’s kicks into a takedown and quickly locked on his unique Chicken Wing submission (still calling it Lockjaw) to submit Janela. He had taken the licks and the trash talk and cleverly picked his time to strike, ending the fight quickly in submission. One of Martyr’s biggest strengths is often how his opponents underestimate him. Janela was guilty of that, even if he’d had every striking advantage.
Nick King defeated Cody Lee via Cross Armbreaker
The action continued as the Big Shoot Cody Lee looked to make a big impact in his debut again resident UWFI series grappler Nick King. We’ve seen King have a spotty success rate in Paradigm, now was his time to prove his capability and show why he was called the Next Generation. They opened with some mat trading as King went for takedowns and tried to show off an early technical advantage. Lee fought out of King’s clutches and put King on his back with a Gutwrench Suplex. King beat the ten-count and the grappling resumed with both guys playing takedown counters. King maintained his advantage and near enough deadlifted Lee into a nasty German. Lee used the ropes to find his feet and went into another lock-up but King took him over with a fireman’s carry into a Cross Armbreaker for the win. King had finally gotten his chance to shine as he showed off his technical expertise and got a big win over a big opponent. We ended up getting a technical masterclass to break from the striking sessions we’d seen so far.
Damyan Tangra defeated Molly McCoy via Cobra-Clutch STF
Time for something a bit different. We were going to have a battle of gritty hockey fighting against mat-based science. Molly McCoy was finally in PPW and they were going to fly the flag of Camp Leapfrog against the Mat Scientist Damyan Tangra. A clash of styles doesn’t even begin to describe this, let’s see how it went. McCoy came out swinging and stunned Tangra with a flurry but he quickly regrouped and took them to the mat. McCoy fought up and reversed a kneebar attempt into a head kick. The ref broke the pair up and Tangra started striking back. McCoy tried for a German and turned Tangra’s block into a Crossface. Tangra countered into an STF and McCoy burned a point on a rope break. The fight reset and the striking resumed with McCoy trying to take advantage with a headbutt. Tangra brought them down and locked them in an STF. McCoy tried to grab the ropes but Tangra snaked up their arm and McCoy tapped. This had been a very close clash with McCoy really shocking Tangra. It may have been short but McCoy has definitely left their mark on PPW and will hopefully back for another round. For now, Mat Science prevailed as Tangra claimed his first victim,
Phoenix Kidd defeated Freddie Hudson via Triangle Armbar
Right, the first thing I heard as this segment begun was Headbangerr by Babymetal. That instantly scores points with me. Phoenix Kidd was back to battle under the UWFI contingent of Paradigm and he was bringing his deathmatch-tested technicality with him. His first-round opponent was the Hornet, The Shooter, the former PPW champion Freddie Hudson. This was going to be a classic as Cruiser Brody met the old-style shooter. The pair had no introductions, they just instantly threw down. Hudson took the mount and Kidd used a rope break to cut it off. Kidd got revenge with Muay Thai knees and threw Hudson across the ring with a Snap Suplex. Hudson took a few seconds to recover but couldn’t rebound as Kidd was right back on him with an enzuigiri and chased him into the corner for more knees. The ref had to pull him off or he’d have kneed Hudson to a pulp. Hudson returned to action with a German but Kidd was unphased by it. He jaw-jacked at Hudson so Hudson put him down for longer with a Tiger Driver. Hudson wasn’t going to give Kidd the chance to get up and tried for a Rear-Naked Choke but Kidd rolled through into a mount and locked on a Triangle Armbar to tap Hudson out. Cruiser Brody just got one of the upsets of the whole tournament. Not only had they cashed the cheques their mouth run-up but they had a win over a former PPW Champion. This was a big win for Kidd and a massive warning to anyone else in the tournament. Plus, it was another excellent aggressive bout. It’s hard not to love something like that.
Lexus Montez defeated “Nasty” Russ Meyers via Kimura Lock
For the next fight, the Boy from Jollyville, Russ Meyers locked horns with the Prince of Sport, Lexus Montez. This was going to be an unpredictable one as both guys can enter another gear when they need to so either man could feasibly walk away the winner. This would be one of the first solo outings for Meyers to show off within PPW and he was going to get nasty. Meyers rushed in with a Yakuza Kick and downed Montez again with a Backdrop Driver as he started to stir. Meyers missed a buckle dropkick and Montez lit him up with swift strikes and kicks into a backdrop. Meyers fought to his feet but Montez was right back on him for another rush of knee strikes. Montez fought free of a slam and locked on a Guillotine but Meyers put him on the top. Meyers tried for a cheap shot but Montez punished him with an armlock and dropped him on his head with a Poisonrana. A Kimura Lock quickly followed and Meyers had no choice but to tap out. Meyers had tried to bring the lawless Jollyville style to UWFI and it had bitten him in the arse. He’d certainly given Montez a fight but it wasn’t enough to best the Prince of Sport.
Jordan Blade defeated Jaiden via Ankle Breaker
Oh, Jaiden. You poor poor soul. You may be a superhero and fast as hell but you drew one of the people that could cripple you, the Ankle Breaker Jordan Blade. This would be an interesting clash of speed vs submissions but it’s been difficult for anyone to best Blade under UWFI and this would be Jaiden’s first foray into the rule-set. Blade instantly took the fight to the mat and tried for a quick submission. Jaiden tried to fight up but he kept getting trapped in Blade’s clutches, eventually grabbing the ropes to force some separation. The fight reset and Blade went right for the ankle, trying to trap a leg and get a submission. Jaiden gave the same technicality back and managed to break away from Blade’s clutches again. Jaiden got his first stun of the match with a head kick and tried to choke out Blade but got dropped on his head via German. Blade punished Jaiden with heavy knees and Jaiden escaped a Kimura Lock into a back-fist. The fight reset again and Jaiden locked up, trying for a kick but Blade caught it and locked on the Ankle Breaker. Seconds later, Jaiden tapped. This was a valiant effort but Jaiden had really been fed to the lions here. He certainly wasn’t a light snack and made Blade hurt but in the end, that Ankle Breaker was locked in and he was done for.
After the match, Flash Thompson, who was originally meant to be in the tournament but couldn’t be arsed with it made an appearance. He had Ben Shearin with him and apparently, they had something to say. Thompson wasn’t impressed with the tournament and decided if he wasn’t going to be handed that title, he wouldn’t bother fighting for it. He called out Hoodfoot and the pair got into a heated standoff. Hoodfoot wasn’t backing down and gave Thompson a Heavy Hitters Title shot if he was man enough to take it.
Brandon Williams defeated Travis Huckabee via Ankle Lock
Last but not least, the main event. The Locksmith Brandon Williams was about to battle The Golden Grappler, Travis Huckabee. These two have strong reputations and stronger skills, just who was going to walk away the winner? The pair opened with a standing technical exchange and Huckabee took the fight to the mat to try and tie Williams in knots. Williams tried to pick an ankle and the fight reset. The grappling re-commenced and the pair both tried to attack the other’s ankles. Williams managed to work around onto Huckabee’s back and blocked a Judo Toss to nail a German. The pair traded strikes and Huckabee started throwing knees. Williams bent up an arm and Huckabee returned the favour, snapping Williams into the mat with an arm wringer and wrenching through into a snapping shoulder breaker. He dropped Williams again with an arm trapped German and kept the pressure on Williams’ arms. Williams fought up into a full mount and forced Huckabee to the ropes with ground and pound. Another round of grappling began as Huckabee tried to wind Williams with wrestling slams, driving a knee into Williams’ midsection when he broke free. Williams struck back and Huckabee sent both men falling with a headbutt. Huckabee tried to end things with a Rear-Naked Choke but Williams fought up again and rolled into a devastating Ankle Lock for the win. Williams had played ultimate survivor as we watch a wrestling chess match play out. This was very much a cat and mouse game between two wrestling geniuses and more than fit the main event spot. Both guys put on a masterclass and honestly, it’s a shame one of them is out. That ended the first show of tournament action with a bang. Be sure to come back next week for more UWFI goodness.
All images courtesy of Paradigm, Screenshots