UCW General Manager Matt Docherty has been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism over the last few months.   Even the Moderator of geriatric “actress” Vanessa Del Rio’s Facebook Fan Page took time out from his wrist exercises to express an opinion on the UCW head honcho.  Now, I’m not saying that Docherty is a saint – far from it – but he answered his detractors emphatically by delivering a great afternoon’s entertainment at UCW Sole Survivor.  He also gave us a first-hand look at some of the skills that make him such a fine General Manager by deftly defusing several potential crises during the show.

A justifiably upset Rufguts Roddy Gunn opened Sole Survivor by staging a sit-down strike in the middle of the ring in protest at his mistreatment by UCW officials.  Fans will recall that Gunn was on the wrong end of a shocking decision at Anarchy Rules that cost him the match and the chance to become UCW Aftershock Champion.   Not many corporate management types would have the cohones to step into the ring with an aggrieved Roddy Gunn but Docherty, to his credit, was up to the task.  He gave the unhappy athlete a chance to air his frustrations, acknowledged their validity and came up with a solution that addressed Gunn’s concerns and paved a way forward.

As far as I’m concerned, the only mistake that Docherty made in that situation was still allowing referee Danny Sol to officiate the subsequent UCW Heavyweight championship bout between Gunn and champion Kingston Eclipse.  It was Sol whose bungled adjudication cost Gunn the Aftershock title in September and, unfortunately, his officiating was questionable again when Rufguts and Eclipse locked up at Sole Survivor.   Mark my words, Kingston Eclipse is a fearsome, internationally experienced, competitor.  His victories over Vinny Dunn, Shane Sinclair and Reuben De Jong provide ample evidence of his physical and mental toughness.   However, Rufguts produced a master class in intelligent wrestling by targeting the champion’s knee in order to both hinder Eclipse’s offensive capability and to increase his vulnerability to submission leg locks.  As it happened the champion dug deep to withstand incredible pain and, when he couldn’t successfully lift the challenger up for his patented Burning Hammer finisher, managed to scale the ropes to deliver a stunning Flying Elbow.  Danny Sol counted to three and Eclipse hobbled away with his championship intact but … what Sol didn’t see was that Rufguts had his foot on the rope and therefore the pinfall should not have been awarded.

Rufguts was understandably irate about being deprived of victory, and a championship belt, two events in a row but once again Matt Docherty was on hand to calm the waters.  The General Manager hit the ring and acted quickly and decisively.  He sent Sol packing to the dressing room in disgrace and offered the furious Gunn a place in the twenty-man Sole Survivor main event as compensation.  Rufguts went on to win that match, in spite of an heroic performance by Shane Sinclair, and it was great to see him share the spotlight and the celebration with Docherty at the end of the event.  After everything that Docherty had done to make Sole Survivor such a success I was bitterly disappointed when aging wrestling legend and administrator Mick Foley beamed in from the USA to announce that the UCW Board were putting him in charge of February’s Wrestlenation show.   As far as I’m concerned, the Board should have rewarded Docherty with a bonus for his herculean efforts on their behalf not stabbed him in the back.

For Ultimate Championship Wrestling, I’m Rusty Blade …. And Et tu, Brutus ?

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