Welcome back to Paradigm and the UWFI division super series. The ultimate hybrid company was bringing in another round of fresh faces to test their mettle under the UWFI banner. There were points to lose, points to prove, and a whole lot of pride on the line in this one. Across the five fights tonight we’d see, Derek Neal vs Luis Casanova, Josh Crane getting into the Grappleskies with Schwartzy, Max ZERO taking the fight to Lobo Okami, Dominic Garrini welcoming the devil Trever Aeon to the division, and in the main event, lovers become fighters as we watched a Von Engeland vs Von Engeland masterclass. Let’s get into the action after a quick reminder of the rules.

As it’s UWFI, we’re not just wrestling. There’s a specific set of rules to follow. Matches can be won by submission, knockout, ref stoppage, or, by draining your opponent of points. How do you do that exactly? Well, rope breaks, suplexes with intent to KO, and knockdowns will all drain various amounts of points. You run out of your 15 allotted points; you lose. Points can also be lost for intentionally breaking the code of conduct so fight clean or pay the price. Fights are meant to be short, sweet, and as deadly as possible. Let’s see who benefitted today, shall we?

Derek Neal defeated Luis Casanova via Rolling Elbow KO

We opened with a battle of the heavy hitters. It would be the King’s Road Slayer Derek Neal looking to show a newcomer to the division why he’s the real deal. This time he was mixing it up with the Dominican Hercules Luis Casanova who was out to stamp his name on the division. He had graced the division with his presence but Neal could quickly make him regret it. It’s rare that Neal is the smaller man in a match but Casanova lived up to his moniker as a Herculean figure within the ring. After a show of respect, the pair put on a UWFI clinic mixing hard striking, heavy slams and crisp grappling as the pair looked to keep the other down. Neal found himself on the back foot initially but slowly crept back into it by goading on some hellacious slugfests. Casanova looked like a natural here and had Neal’s number on many an occasion, nearly scoring a KO with an elbow. Neal did what he did and brushed himself off before ending things with an absolute bomb of a rolling elbow. Post-match, Neal promised that this old dog is going to keep ripping the new blood’s hearts out. That’s all I need to hear because I want to keep seeing it.

Josh Crane defeated Schwartzy via Elbow Rain

Things were about to get dangerous as Mr. Danger’s successor “Danger” Josh Crane was about to score another notch on his UWFI belt. We know he is a powerhouse and exceptional grappler but was he prepared for what Schwartzy was about to bring to the table? The master of Dabskies was about to show his grappling chops and bring a bit of the Flophouse to the UWFI division. This was short and sweet with Schwartzy going for the graps whilst Crane looked to brute force his way through this one. The swagger gave way to skill as Schwartzy looked to break Crane’s ankle and tap him out. He’d almost succeeded but Crane was able to fight off the Figure-Four and break down his guard with a rain of elbows. It made for a nice clash of styles and a nice introduction to the long dick of the law. Crane is here to rack up wins and this was another excellent victory in that mission. Hopefully, we get more Schwartzy though, his unique persona and crisp grappling could help give the series that wake and bake.

Max ZERO defeated Lobo Okami (w/The Ben Shearin Brand) via Pump Kick KO

It was time for some stylish violence as the most handsome Himboss in the company Max ZERO was here. He was making his first appearance of the series and had quite the task ahead of him as he tangled with one of the monsters of The Ben Shearin Brand, Lobo Okami. The Head of the Pack is hard to beat in this division but he was fighting someone his own size this time. Holy shit was this one a fight. They started with a touch of grappling but quickly gave way to hard shots and dropping each other with Suplexes. No one has thrown Okami around quite as Max did here, nailing Backdrops and Germans like Okami was a man half his size. It was quite the display of raw power and a massive statement to make. Max might have his looks but there is so much power there too and he put it on display by kicking Okami’s head in to take the win. What a match. Just call Max Himbo Slice with that power. It doesn’t matter which group you’re a part of, once you’re in the ring with the Himboss you’re battling the Max ZERO Brand.

Following that we got a brutal reminder of what happened the last time Jordan Blade and Austin Connelly stepped into a ring against each other. That gave us another bit of violence and whet the appetite for when the pair collide again next week when Blade joins Max ZERO against Connelly and BEEF’s E.M.S.

Dominic Garrini defeated Trever Aeon via Oma Plata

It was time for something a bit different. Another new combatant was entering the fray, Trever Aeon. The Hell King Supreme was going to put on one hell of a fight against Paradigm’s UWF-Icon, Dominic Garrini. No one could be sure what the Original Gothic Gangster was going to do against Garrini but it was definitely going to be good and would probably include Saitos. This was an intense one. Garrini was laser-focused and so was Aeon, leading to an absolute chess game of a grappling contest. Aeon and Garrini have trained with some of the absolute best and it shone through in their ground game. This was pure technical goodness with Aeon being more than a match for Garrini, even out-working the UWF-Icon at times. Unfortunately for him though, this was Garrini’s domain and he was always calculating, ready to make his next moves and sunk his hooks in to tap Aeon out with an Oma Plata. Post-match, Garrini was in a good mood. He’d gotten over the shocking loss to Austin Connelly in episode one and was back on the winning track. He put Aeon over and promised to give Brandon Williams the match he wanted. We’re going to see another grapple-fest from Garrini before the series end. Hopefully, we see more Aeon too. Not only does he have a unique presentation but a unique blend of styles I hope to see more of.

Eden Von Engeland defeated Sidney Von Engeland via Half and Half Suplex

Last but not least, the main event. When partners fight, it always yields some of the best matches around. What was going to happen when one of the indie scene’s top tag teams and real-life partners, Sidney and Eden Von Engeland turned the crosshairs on each other. Both are accomplished grapplers but who would walk away with the win here? It was too tough to predict. Great British Gaijin vs Hockey Hitman, it could go either way. Goddamn, this was main-event worthy. From bell to bell, this was an absolute blast. They built up this slow-burn with some extremely competitive grappling as the pair wasted no time getting to the action. Despite their relationship, neither fighter showed any mercy and put on just as psychical a match as any other contender. The ground game gave way to horrifying striking and the eventual power moves that kicked things into another gear. Sidney went for broke with a DVD into the buckles and Eden got the win with a neck crunching Half and Half Suplex. After taking that, Sidney didn’t want to keep going, giving the win to Eden. They remain undefeated under UWFI and a win like this leaves them in good standing. The Super Middleweight Title is still in their sights and sooner rather than later, Eden gets their next shot at it. considering the ferocity shown here, against someone they love, I’d hate to see what they have in store for Blade. This rocked, watch this match, hell watch this whole show. I don’t think there was a single bit of dead weight on the card. Paradigm’s UWFI series continues to be one of my favourite things to cover as it brings a classic style into the modern age and brings so many new faces into the spotlight.

All images courtesy of Paradigm, Marth555

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