Highlight footage from today's UTA open workout session on the Copacabana Beach.
The legendary Copacabana Beach is packed-out. Thousands of rabid Brazilian wrestling fans cram into every inch of available space around a heavily-padded ring and entrance area, chanting, hooting and hollering as an open sparring session unfolds before them.
Ten minutes into his workout, Cayle Murray locks-up at the collar and elbow with his nameless sparring partner. Transitioning into a side headlock, a slight lapse allows his opposite number to break free, so the Scot runs to the ropes, rebounds, and launches with a cross body.
A soft landing is ensured by the extra pads, and while they’d been told to work at about 50% intensity, it’s hard to tone down a cross body. Nonetheless, Cayle lets his partner back to his feet, and they’re soon deflecting each other’s strikes with Thai kick-pads and evasive movement.
Cayle staggers his opponent with a push kick, before coming-in closer and throwing his head under his arm. Hooking the leg, Murray pulls his opponent into the air, then drives him down with a Fisherman’s Buster – a potential match-ender, if this weren’t a sparring session taking place on the wrestling equivalent of gymnastics mats.
The crowd pops, but that’s not enough: they came here to see a show, and that’s exactly what they’re gonna get.
Back on his feet, Cayle dashes across and hops onto the middle rope. The springboard generates more than enough air for the Corkscrew 450 (Touch the Sky – a move Cayle’s yet to land in the UTA) and the reaction is as loud as it is instantaneous.
In the absence of a referee, all in attendance count a “One! Two! Three!”. The faux match is over, and Cayle’s soon on his feet, helping his pad-clad partner up and patting him on the back. He barely has time to brow for the fans when the Portuguese-speaking compere announces his name, then puts the microphone in his hands.
Murray: Bom dia Brasil!
Nothing quite pops a foreign crowd like communicating with them in their own language, but unfortunately Cayle’s Portuguese extends no further than a handful of phrases.
Murray: Thank you for joining us today, and for the overwhelming support you’ve shown since arriving. This is the first time a major American wrestling company has been to your beautiful country in a long time… I think it’s pretty safe to say we won’t leave it so long next time!
Another chorus of cheers goes-up, and Murray can’t help but smile. Stood there in his ring attire and a black rashguard, he moves towards the ropes and hops out of the ring.
Murray: I’ve said from day one that the whole point of me being here is to give something back to a business that’s given me everything, and represent for the people who make this thing possible in the first place. Rio de Janeiro, I’ve got your back… do you have mine?
Of course they do.
Murray: It’s a long, difficult road ahead of us, lads and lasses, and you have carried me so far already. Men like Colton Thorpe…
Murray: … and Mikey Unlikely…
Murray: … wipe their arses with the passion you guys pour into this business, and I just can’t abide that, friends.
Now walking around the outside of the ring, the Scot slaps hands with everyone he can.
Murray: On Monday night, we face Dynasty’s young pup in the biggest singles match of my fledgling UTA career. This is a man who took your faith and goodwill, used it to propel himself starwards, land a movie contract and several big money endorsements, only to turn around and throw it all in the trash.
Cayle pauses, smiling.
Murray: Let’s see if we can teach this ‘Ungrateful’ a thing or two about respect!
As Cayle throws both arms in the air, the pop is huge. The scene slowly starts to drift away.
""All your base are belong to Gust!""
- Raging Dead