Kauai is home to the new Unify Championship Entertainment (UCE) tag team champions.
Local pro wrestlers “The Kauai Kid” Noa Kaho‘omana and Incredible Chris Wilde won the UCE tag team titles Saturday during the promotion’s showing “Bonded By Battle” at Aloha Tower Marketplace.
“Very surreal. Like, man, this is really happening right?” said Kaho‘omana, whose real name is Noah Gusman. “This isn’t a dream. Also, very sore body-wise. We fought a lot with very little rest time. So, very surreal. Very excited.”
The show featured a seven-team tournament. The Kauaians, who together are known as “Wilde Kupua”, reached the championship match and defeated Latin American Xchange — also known as LAX — to claim the belts.
“At that point, we’re challenging actual legends,” Kaho‘omana said of facing LAX. “You know how that is, standing face-to-face with your idols.”
Wilde Kupua wrestled in three matches that night, which was the most they’ve done in a single show.
“I don’t try to be an emotional person, but it was overwhelming,” Wilde, whose real name is Isaac Worth, said of the moment they were named champs. “Even now, the belts are right there. No, they’re going to disappear in the next five minutes.”
He added: “It’s interesting to be in this position and to absorb all of that. Outside of that, it’s hard to think past that point because my head was throbbing. He’s bouncing around, and I’m littering sitting there just, ‘Uhh, my brain.’ I took a couple of headers in the turnbuckles, and I was just tired. My head was hurting.”
Both wrestlers have worked with UCE for under a year. Both have said it’s unexpected that they’ve already won titles.
“No doubt about it. We did not expect to have titles until maybe five years into it — five years into the business,” Kaho’omana said.
Wilde said: “I’m literally coming in with the lowest percentage of experience as everybody else, and I’m just trying to keep up. I have no allusions of grandeur. I’m just a big dude that does a lot of kicks and chops and shakes my butt, and people think I’m funny. Like, alright. Cool. That’s what I do. And, I’m strong enough to pick up almost anybody. I mean, that’s not much when you have a lot of guys that hit that mark. I really didn’t expect much, just wherever the wind takes me on this, I go with it.”
While they’re thrilled to be titleholders, with it comes extra expectations.
“It’s great to represent that part of the division. At the same time, it lights a fire under out butts,” Wilde said. “Now, we have no excuses to not come in sharper and better in everything that we do. From our promos to the physicality in the ring, everything has to go up because we’re the champs. So, it’s no pressure but a lot of pressure.”
Also, they understand that not only do they have to perform well in the ring, with the UCE championship, they are also representatives of the promotion outside of the ring.
But, it’s an undertaking they welcome.
“We are the guys to beat, for lack of better words. We were named the best tag team in the whole promotion,” Kaho‘omana said. “It definitely does light the fire. We got to work as hard as everybody else now because we are holders of these titles.”
Wilde Kupua said they will make an appearance at Taste of Hawaii this weekend at Smith’s Tropical Paradise.
“I don’t think we’ll have a booth, but we’ll be walking around,” Wilde said. “We’ll have the belts around our waists and stuff like that, eating food and making jokes.”
The next time the duo will be inside the ring is August at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu.
Also on the tag team champions’ calendar is the annual ESPN Honolulu Sports Festival in June at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. UCE will be a part of the event.
Recordings of UCE’s shows can be seen on streaming service Fite TV.
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.