In any good professional wrestling match, there must be two characters: the heel or villain and face or protagonist. At the Ultimate Champ­ionship Wrestling Super Spectacular Fight Night event held Wednesday night at the Hardin County Community Fair & Horse Show, wrestler Jordan “Picture Perfect” Kage was happy to play the part of the heel.

When Kage approached the ring with his manger, Billy P., it elicited jeers and chants of “Billy sucks” from the audience. Doing what a good heel does, Kage took the microphone and stoked the fire.

“While we’re in this ring, you shut your mouth and you sit down and you respect us,” he said to the audience. “I know half of you all don’t have teeth, but you can at least shut your mouth so we don’t have to look at it.”

After a series of boos, the match’s face was in­tro­duced to the ring. As he approached his competitor, Brandon Wolfe gave high fives and smiled at the audience.

After a series of bulldog headlocks, diving shoulder blocks and dropkicks, Wolfe came out of the ring victorious.

There was a great deal of drama and action packed into this match, but it was only one of six matches held throughout Wednesday’s fight night event. A total of 12 wrestlers and with two managers participated in the match.

The fair played host to the UCW for the 11th year. Based out of Horse Cave, the company held its first match in 1997.

According to promoter Terry England, UCW is the oldest active independent wrestling promotion company in the state. He said the company holds events at several regional fairs throughout the year along with standalone events at regional community centers and other venues.

School fundraisers also are organized by UCW, including an annual event for Caverna High School in Horse Cave, which Eng­land said attracts hundreds of attendees.

Over the years, UCW has hosted events featuring big names in professional wrestling, including Hillbilly Jim, Jerry Lawler and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. England said though viewership of big-name professional wrestling leagues has gone down since the era of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the late 1990s and early 2000s, independent wrestling remains steady.

“The younger generation now are not watching wresting like they did 20 years ago or 15 years ago, but the people who grew up with it as kids in that era are still watching it and hopefully are turning their kids on to it,” he said.

England said many spectators at fair events are those he considers “curiosity people” those who wouldn’t typically pay money for a wrestling event but watch because it is part of fair admission.

Still, England said even those who aren’t regularly engaged with professional wrestling often get a cathartic sense of release from cheering on the face and cursing the heel. England said watching two wrestlers duke it out can prove to be a therapeutic experience.

“People can let out their steam,” he said. “When it’s over with they can go home with all that built up stuff out of them.”

Andrew Critchelow can be reached at 270-505-1746 or acritchelow@thenewsenterprise.com.

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