Defiant Loaded #7
January 20 2019
We’re in Newcastle, England. Hosts are Dave Bradshaw and James R Kennedy.
We kick off backstage where Prince Ameen is still looking for El Phantasmo’s glasses. Should have hired the Anti-Fun Police to do it.
Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne & HT Drake) vs. Mark Haskins
Haskins is taking on both of the Anti-Fun Cops here under tornado rules. Haskins, having signed for ROH, may be in the UK a lot less this year. Hopefully he has more success in ROH than in Impact. I don’t like handicap matches. No one benefits from them at all. If the one guy wins then the other two look like chumps. If the two guys win then so what? They beat one guy. Dunne has developed into a niche character in BritWres and is job proof so he’s fine but Drake feels like cannon fodder for the booking here. Haskins looks far more important than both his opponents but hey, that’s wrestling sometimes. My question would be whether Haskins will be back enough to justify getting this push. Or maybe he’s lined up for matches later in the year. Drake ends up getting disqualified, the worst of both worlds.
From the story Jimmy Havoc isn’t here because Haskins asked him not to be. In actuality he’s in Japan but they can’t say that because this taped a few weeks ago. Can’t say I particularly enjoyed this.
Final Rating: *1/2
Video Control takes us backstage where Prince Ameen has not located El Phantasmo’s glasses. “Nooooo” – ELP. As a consolation ELP gets a title shot against Martin Kirby. “Yes, I love dank memes”. ELP’s overacting here was a thing of beauty. That’s at Unstoppable on February 9 on AccessDefiant, their streaming service. Elsewhere Joe Hendry questions Primate on whether he can trust him. “You’ve got nothing to fear Joe” says Primate. This is exactly what I would say if I was about to turn on Joe. He should turn on him to for calling himself “The Prestigious One” in a faux Yank accent.
Nathan Cruz vs. Omari
"The following match is scheduled for one fall"
Nathan Cruz: pic.twitter.com/zfvB0Ph4Ek
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) January 21, 2019
Nathan Cruz and his cape is something I’ve not seen much of in wrestling over the past few years.
He was a major staple of Progress for a long, long time but now isn’t. His last Progress match was in June 2017. Here he’s a tool to sharpen Omari up as a star in this company. That makes him sound like enhancement and in a way he is. Omari looks better for overcoming a competent, seasoned wrestler in Cruz. It feels natural when Cruz has control periods and doesn’t do anything overly flashy with them. He’s a solid hand.
Omari sells the arm and Cruz is again very competent in sticking to working that injured body part. Omari gets to be flashier with kicks and springboards, all while selling the arm. It’s a tidy performance from him. Cruz grabs a chair, which would lead to consecutive DQ finishes but the ref stops him and Omari wins with a roll up. Really solid match. Tactically sound. Logical work. Very much my graps.
Final Rating: ***
Video Control takes us back into Prince Ameen’s office where Lana Austin begs for a favour.
In exchange for getting that Bea Priestley match changed she’ll tell him who has ELP’s glasses. Ameen is suitably freaked out. Lana doesn’t convey her request properly so gets booked in a title match against Kanji. Elsewhere SCC are on the phone to Will Ospreay before heading to Nando’s. I think Sixx needs to lay off the Nando’s.
Lucky Kid vs. Bad Bones
Lucky comes out here as a member of RISE.
Which was Klinger’s stable in wXw before he left. Bones is the kind of guy you don’t want to upset and he has a reputation. His history with Lucky allows them to work together in an All-German showdown. Bones is very deliberate here. He tends to be when he’s the larger of two wrestlers. His moves here are designed with 1992 WWF in mind. Lots of double axe-handles and clubbing blows. He has to lean heavily on Lucky Kid’s selling.
Is it lazy? Or is he working smart? You be the judge. Klinger drives his Randy Savage obsession right to the end of the road with the Savage Elbow being his finish. Was this a rib? It felt like a rib.
Final Rating: *1/4
Post Match: Lucky Kid laughs at Bones and yells “I know something you don’t know”. “He’s coming. He’s coming. He’s coming for you”. “He is…unbesiegbar”. Ilja Dragunov is coming for Bad Bones!
Only he’s not because WWE signed him. So Defiant have to end their show with a message saying Ilja isn’t actually coming to Defiant. Shame really because that was a cool ending.
Instead of being a great building block episode for Defiant this has ended up aging badly after only two weeks. It must be a fucking nightmare booking around WWE’s aggressive recruitment policy in the face of AEW opening this year. It looks very much like they’re taking everyone now that they had their eyes on. So instead of a natural culling of one or two guys every six months or so they’ve signed everyone they were looking at for the next 3-4 years. Get them locked in so no one else can have them.