We're back baby! Paradigm Pro Wrestling's UWFi Rules Contenders Series returns for a special three part limited season three, and it's a doozy. This season focuses on the Middleweight Grand Prix 16 person tournament to crown the first ever Paradigm Pro Wrestling UWFi Rules Super Middleweight Champion. Tonight, we have eight UWFi Rules matches comprising the entire first round of the tournament. Next week will be the quarterfinals, with the final four taking place in two weeks. The next two episodes will have a couple non tournament matches as well, but tonight it's all about that belt. For those of you new to UWFi Rules, let's hear from Paradigm a little bit about this shoot style of wrestling.
"As implied by the name, every bout in the series is contested under UWFi Rules. Paradigm Pro Wrestling often utilizes a modernized version of the ruleset of the now defunct Union of Professional Wrestling Forces International promotion in Japan. UWFi Rules are essentially a hybrid of traditional professional wrestling and mixed martial arts. The key difference is that under UWFi rules, there are no pinfalls - matches may only be won via knock-out, TKO, submission, or points." That comes from Paradigm's press release for this season, and if you've never seen a UWFi Rules match just know you're in for something different, fast, and brutal. Matches ending in just a couple minutes is very common, but you may not be able to catch your breath until the bell.
Cody Lee vs Nick King
Our first match sees two amateur wrestling standouts, and although this could really go either way, I have to give it to Nick King. He's 0-2 under UWFi, but that at least means he's seen the style before, and third time's the charm. As I always say, it's hard to win your first UWFi Rules match, and although Cody seems good, I don't know if he's break that rule good.
Victor Analog vs Cole Radrick
God bless Analog in this match. I mean, the tournament's full title is "Cole Radrick and the Super Middleweight Grand Prix." Cole is 4-3 under UWFi Rules, and this is Analog's debut. I mean I wish him well, but if he wins I would be shocked. Granted, maybe that's the point.
Jordan blade vs Jaiden
Usually I don't give debuting competitors much of a chance, based on how different UWFi Rules matches are, but Jaiden fought Myron Reed on the No Hook season two finale and looked great. Could be a bit of a dark horse here. That being said, Jordan Blade is amazing in matches like this. Hell this is only night one of two in a row we'll be seeing her in shoot style tournaments on IWTV, as CFU Shoot to Thrill is tomorrow night. I have to go with the Ankle Breaker on this one, but if Jaiden wins I wouldn't be as surprised as most of the debuts.
Molly McCoy vs Damyan Tangra
Molly's here! Everyone knows I love McCoy, and with Tangra only having one UWFi Rules match, this one is actually pretty even. I do think at least one new person will win in the opening round to keep things fresh, and why not McCoy? I don't want to count out Tangra though, as I did love their first match. We will see with this one.
Brandon Williams vs Travis Huckabee
It's Williams representing New South vs Huckabee representing Camp Leapfrog in a battle of the new guys. I've seen both of these guys and know that they can grapple with the best of them. With both of them debuting under UWFi Rules tonight that experience advantage we see in most matches on the card goes out the window. This is going to be good and I can't predict it. I will predict though, it might just be match of the night.
Donnie Janela vs Robert Martyr
If you haven't seen him before, yes Donnie is related to Joey, but he doesn't live in his cousin's shadow. He's a very talented wrestler and a New South mainstay. We've seen Martyr in a lot of matches, and frankly I expect him versus Radrick to be the finals, so I have to pick the Poisoned Youth here.
Nasty Russ vs Lexus Montez
I love the Boys from Jollyville, but Lexus has quite a few UWFi matches to draw from here. I'm a big fan of Montez, and although I think Russ will give him a run for his money, I think Montez is moving on.
Phoenix Kidd vs Freddie Hudson
My other pick for match of the night, and a possible surprise as I think Kidd could win here. Hudson has been on fire lately such as his matches with Myron Reed and Suge D, but he's been a champion in Paradigm before. I'd love to see a new star shine, and Pheonix Kidd has looked very impressive lately. This one is going to be good.
So that's round one! Tune in tonight at 10 ET on IWTV, and same time next week for round two.