The first iPPV of the new year for Defiant Wrestling has come and gone, as Unstoppable was held at the Manchester Academy on Saturday night. A night of excellent contests meant that each and every fan in attendance went home fairly pleased, even if they weren’t particularly satisfied with the outcome of the main event.
Gabriel Kidd & Rory Coyle def. The Primate & Joe Hendry by Pinfall
To the surprise of many, the evening’s entertainment kicked off with a heated grudge match featuring a Young Bull, a Sick Boy, a Primate, and a Prestigious One. For the first time in a while, Joe provided us with one of his classic custom entrance videos, this one poking fun at Gabriel Kidd. Despite the former World Champion beginning the match like a house on fire, his antics proved to be a disadvantage for he and Primate as Kidd and Coyle kept the ring cut in half. A slight miscommunication would allow Primate to get tagged in and he stormed the ring, taking down everyone in sight. He’d been waiting for this moment for so long, to finally get his hands on his arch nemesis and a man he had once considered a friend. Towards the end of the bout, Joe and Gabriel were brawling around ringside, distracting the referee in the process. This meant The Last True Sick Boy was able to pull a weapon out of his bag of tricks, smashing a VHS tape over Primate’s head for the three count. Surely the ref would’ve seen the red substance that floated through the air?
Nothing bad to report here, other than the fact it was treated as an actual match. The intensity between the four men involved was too high that it should’ve just been an all-out brawl from the get-go, yet they stood on the ring apron waiting for the tag. More brawling, less tag team wrestling. Primate soaked in the fans’ appreciation post-match as he may be on his way out of Defiant to pursue a career with NXT UK. If this is indeed the case, I would like to thank Primate for all of his contributions to Defiant/WCPW over the last two and a half years.
Nathan Cruz def. Omari by Pinfall
What followed the opening contest is a match that exceeded expectations in my opinion. We’ve come to see what both Nathan Cruz and Omari are capable of in a Defiant ring, and so it should come as no surprise that they put on quite an enjoyable contest. One thing I always forget is just how tall Omari actually is. The Big O was taking it to The Professional throughout the match, and vice versa. Omari almost had the match won on several occasions with some sneaky rollups but Cruz’s experience allowed him to find a way out each time. A turnbuckle was exposed with both men being drilled into it, as Nathan dropped Omari on it face first before he was shoved back first into it later on. Omari was eventually put away after not one, not two, but three of Cruz’s signature Showstolen finishers for the win.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t that excited for this match coming into Unstoppable. It felt like a way just to fit them both on the card. By the end, I’m happy to say it lived up to the hype, just like the rest of the evening did. With this dominant win, it looks as if Cruz could find himself challenging for the World Championship down the line. Who wouldn’t want to see him face Rampage?
Justin Sysum def. John Klinger by Pinfall
Speaking of matches I wasn’t overly excited about, the Defiant return of Justin Sysum followed as he tangled with John Klinger. The Hammer was of course a replacement for Ilja Dragunov, who was unable to appear due to contractual obligations elsewhere. As you would expect, this was quite the hard-hitting affair, with Klinger looked to continue his path of destruction in Defiant while Sysum was looking to establish himself as a permanent fixture on the roster. The 2018 Ringmaster Tournament winner showed his love of Randy Savage throughout the match, utilising some double axe handles as well as a lovely diving elbow drop (a move that has gained some success in Defiant as of late). A Self Justice wasn’t enough and soon, Klinger found himself laid out following a leaping spear and a 450 splash as Justin Sysum secured another tick in the win column. The German Psycho had the last laugh post-match though, ambushing Sysum and busting him out open with a steel chair.
It wasn’t the best match of all time, and was in fact a bit sloppy at times. Sysum tried and failed to nail his flying discus lariat thing, but luckily bounced back with his incredible spear. The attack after the match is what was needed for Klinger – he’s not been doing too well since he failed to take the World Championship from the hands of Rampage last November. Perhaps he’ll head back to the hardcore division.
Anti-Hardcore Match for the Defiant Hardcore Championship
No Fun Dunne w/The Anti-Fun Police (Los Federales Santos Jr. & Deputy Drake) def. Jimmy Havoc (c) by Forfeit
The best boys entered next in the form of The Anti-Fun Police. With Jimmy Havoc hospitalised, general manager Prince Ameen reluctantly awarded the Hardcore Championship to No Fun Dunne, who has since demanded the title be referred to as the No Fun Championship. It wouldn’t be that much of an easy night for Dunne though, as Ameen demanded he then defend the gold against one of his comrades in the AFP. Impromptu Hardcore Championship match!
Hardcore Match for the Defiant Hardcore Championship
No Fun Dunne (c) w/Los Federales Santos Jr. def. Deputy Drake by Pinfall
Deputy Drake was the member to stand up to No Fun Dunne. Drake actually put up a fight as opposed to just laying down for his boss, leading to Los Federales Santos Jr. getting involved on a few occasions. Despite having been part of the plea to banish hardcore wrestling, the former Gimmick Killer utilised some weapons throughout the contest. It felt like a one-sided contest for the most part in favour of Drake, with Dunne only really getting any offence in when Santos provided a distraction. That’s how Dunne ended up retaining the title too, as Santos shoved Drake off the ropes and through a table at ringside. The era of no funahhh has begun. After the match, Drake was attacked by both Prince Ameen and assistant general manager Simon Miller, the man who’s been on the shelf for a number of months after an attack at the hands of Drake.
It was a fine match for what it was. Both competitors are undoubtedly two of the best unsigned talents in the UK right now, which has been proven time and time again throughout their time spent in Defiant thus far. It’ll be interesting to see where No Fun Dunne goes with the championship going forward, as well as if Drake will still be associated with him. It’s been a fun ride having him alongside Dunne and Santos – I’m not ready to let go of that quite yet.
Falls Count Anywhere Match
Bea Priestley def. Lana Austin by Pinfall
From one weapons-based match to another, the heated rivalry between Bea Priestley and Lana Austin came to a head in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. Steel chairs were being swung as soon as the bell rang, and it wasn’t long before the action spilled out into the crowd inside the Manchester Academy. This was one of those matches where it could’ve went either way, both women leaving it all out there in the hopes that they’ll still be able to walk on their own two feet after the match. The brawl made its way to the stage towards the end, with Bea delivering not only a Curb Stomp into a chair but also a punt kick while Lana’s head was wedged in said chair. Nasty stuff. That, of course, was enough for her to gain the victory she so desired over Lana Austin.
I’m not too sure where Bea goes from here. She’s been champion before and her second reign only just ended. While I’m not the biggest fan of Kanji as champion, it’s time to let some of the other names in the women’s division get their opportunities. The likes of your Little Miss Roxxy’s, your Lana Austin’s, your Lizzy Styles’. Who knows where Bea’s going now.
Defiant Internet Championship
Martin Kirby (c) def. Benji by Submission
Internet Championship time now, with El Phantasmo being unable to compete after injuring himself (broken fingers may seem like nothing too major, but they’re certainly not a nice sight). Just when it looked as if Martin Kirby had the night off, out came Benji to the delight of literally everyone! The Super Sub has gained a cult following since being brought into Defiant as enhancement talent last December. This was a much different contest than the pair’s previous two in Defiant so far, with Benji getting in a whole load of offence. What came as the biggest surprise of the entire night was how much he kicked out of, including a sitout Sable Bomb (Kirby’s main move). The roof nearly came off the venue when Benji reversed Kirby’s “brand new move”, which we’re yet to see, into a rollup. His music played and everything. Poor Benji. An ankle lock variation ended his night in sour fashion.
As much as I was excited to see Kirby vs Phantasmo, I’m happy enough to wait for it if it meant we received Benji in championship action instead. I’m not overly familiar with his work for companies like Three Count Wrestling, I just knew him by name really. His appearances for Defiant so far have led to become a huge fan of the lad. Expect to see him used higher up the Defiant card going forward. Who knows, maybe one day he will actually win the Internet Championship.
Defiant Tag Team Championships
The Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) (c) def. CCBlaaah (Chris Brookes & Lucky Kid) by Pinfall
The penultimate match of the night was also the best of the night. Mark Davis, Kyle Fletcher, Chris Brookes, and Lucky Kid put on an absolute clinic. They’re all more than familiar with each other by now thanks to their association in the Fight Club: PRO stable SCHADENFREUDE, and that showed here. The chemistry between them allowed each and every minute of the bout to be something special. Kyle Fletcher, who used to be the speed portion of The Aussie Open, has bulked up in recent times and was using his new-found power to full advantage here. One thing I’d like to point out is how vicious Mark Davis’ punches look. The impact he makes with them looks like it could knock a full set of teeth from an opponent’s mouth. Vicious. There were several near falls towards the end, with Lucky Kid coming oh so close to tapping out Fletcher with his Lion’s Cage crossface, a move that would eventually be broken up by big Dunkzilla. After reversing the first attempt of the move with a rollup, Chris Brookes found himself laid out after taking Davis’ pull-up piledriver (which wins the award for the most unique and dangerous-looking move) as the Australian boys continued their record reign. Brookes looked visibly destroyed after the bell, refusing a handshake and leaving through the crowd. Another failed attempt to win tag gold in Defiant Wrestling.
Not a single bad point to note. All four put in one hell of a shift and deserve all the love they get. At the time of writing, I can’t think of anyone who could take the titles from Davis and Fletcher. They’ve gone through essentially the entire tag division. Maybe The South-Coast Connection? Perhaps The Dynamic Duo? It’ll take a considerable amount of time in the gym before anyone’s ready to pry the titles from the Aussie lads. Right now, they’re unstoppable (pun very much intended).
Defiant World Championship
Rampage (c) def. David Starr by Pinfall
Ohh ahh David Starr, I say ohh ahh David Starr. That was the chant of who is considered the people’s champion. The man of many nicknames was the man everyone predicted to leave Unstoppable as the Defiant World Champion. This match had that big fight feel. You could tell there was something special about it. Starr and Rampage really went at it throughout the duration of the contest, with The Product utilising the ringside barriers as weapons (sending one young fan flying). Then, a ref bump. Despite there being a whole host of other refs backstage, no-one came out. Thus, Starr attempted to use the championship belt to win, showing signs of desperation. He opted not to though, taking a piledriver for his troubles. A silence filled the room, turning to cheers when David’s shoulder lifted the mat at the count of 2.9. An arm-trapped piledriver failed to defeat Rampage, while a second piledriver to David allowed Rampage to remain the Defiant World Champion. Boos rang throughout the venue as no-one could believe it. David Starr had failed to dethrone Rampage.
I’m with the rest of the fans on this one. When Rampage first won the title, I was overjoyed for the guy. A two year odyssey that led to him finally winning the big one. But now, I hope he loses the title to whoever it is he’s against. I was adamant this was the moment. I, along with the rest of the Defiant fans, predicted a new champion in the form of David Starr. What does this mean for Starr? I just don’t know where he goes from here. Rampage meanwhile will need to have eyes on the back of his head as the Magnificent Seven Match is just around the corner – will this year’s winner be the man to end his reign?
Overall, it was a fairly enjoyable evening. Some fans weren’t too happy about some matches not happening due to injuries and contractual situations. There’s not much that can be done about these things though really other than replacement matches. The tag title match was undoubtedly one of the best Defiant matches for a while, while the main event had such a compelling story. You too can fell the emotions I felt by watching the show on Access Defiant – I imagine it should be uploaded at some point this week.
Gabriel Kidd & Rory Coyle def. The Primate & Joe Hendry by Pinfall
Nathan Cruz def. Omari by Pinfall
Justin Sysum def. John Klinger by Pinfall
Anti-Hardcore Match for the Defiant Hardcore Championship – No Fun Dunne w/The Anti-Fun Police def. Jimmy Havoc (c) by Forfeit
Hardcore Match for the Defiant Hardcore Championship – No Fun Dunne (c) w/Los Federales Santos Jr. def. Deputy Drake by Pinfall
Falls Count Anywhere Match – Bea Priestley def. Lana Austin by Pinfall
Defiant Internet Championship – Martin Kirby (c) def. Benji by Submission
Defiant Tag Team Championships – The Aussie Open (c) def. CCBlaaah by Pinfall
Defiant World Championship – Rampage (c) def. David Starr by Pinfall