Defiant’s annual Built To Destroy event took place over this past weekend at the Northern Student’s Union in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
The show saw the rise of a few superstars and a slew of stories seeing their conclusion in what was a satisfying show for the fans of Defiant.
No Fun Dunne (c) w/ Santos vs. HT Drake for the No Fun Championship
The spectacle started off with a bang, as the pair of Dunne and Drake went to town on each other in a classic hardcore match that was as entertaining as it was painful for the competitors. Drake came to the ring with a plethora of weapons that included a traffic sign, belts, and a literal kitchen sink. There were a ton of hardcore spots, like Drake throwing Dunne into a trash bin, but the highlight of the match was the use of a staple gun. In quick succession, Drake used it to put staples into the face and then the ass of Santos before hitting Drake with staples to the DICK. He then proceeded to put him on a trolley and use him as a bowling ball to Santos in the corner. There was some impressive athleticism shown as well, with a deadlift German suplex by Drake being particularly devastating. There was a nasty poisoned Frankensteiner to Santos that didn’t look so clean, but once the thumbtacks came out it became a whole different animal. Dunne is caught by Drake, and then slammed onto the thumbtacks for the win.
Drake def. Dunne via pinfall in 13:32
Man Like Dereiss vs. Lucky Kid
The next match was a singles affair that was for more bragging rights than anything. The upstart Dereiss has been on fire in matches and promos in the last few weeks, and this was supposed to be his moment and it surely was. It started with a pretty sound back and forth between the two as they traded strikes and counters, but evolved into some acrobatic maneuvers before Dereiss was thrown to the outside and started telling the story of his ribs being damaged. It was great selling on his part, and he did an excellent job in maintaining that injury throughout the match. The cleanest spot was this superkick by Dereiss that led to Lucky Kid rebounding off of the ropes to get a springboard elbow. After a few close calls like a deadlift Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count, Dereiss finally succumbed to his injuries after taking a Shigaroshi neckbreaker and getting caught in the Lionsgate submission.
Kid def. Dereiss via Submission in 14:05
Lizzy Styles (c) vs. Lana Austin for the Defiant Women’s Championship in a Last Woman Standing Match
After a cleanly done affair, we got a huge change of pace with this brawl of a match. Lana Austin and Lizzy Styles have been feuding for what feels like years now, and while this match definitely had the intensity of a blood feud, there was not much to the technical aspect. Having said that, outside of a few tosses to each other on the outside in the crowd, there really was not much to cover here. In fact, this match probably would have benefitted from going on a bit longer. Other than that, this was a well-done cap to their feud and both women looked strong in the bout. Styles grabbed the ref’s belt and started wailing on Lana for a bit, and even hit an elevated DDT on the outside onto the wooden floor. After 3 knees to the jaw, Lana was unable to answer the 10-count and Lizzy remains the dominant champion.
Styles def. Austin via knock out in 12:10
Martin Kirby (c) vs. Joe Hendry for the Internet Championship
The next match was a bout between Hendry and Kirby for the Internet Championship. Very interesting to see Hendry go from a WhatCulture.com personality to a serious contender for an Internet Championship. He has held the main event gold for a time, but this felt like a more fitting championship for him and by the end of the match, it seemed obvious he felt the same. Kirby would attack Hendry before the match began and toss him into the ring to start it up. These two work with each other very smoothly, and there were plenty of excellent spots to highlight. Kirby went for a rollup that ended up being a set up for a standing neckbreaker, and then Hendry caught an airborne Kirby only to get held onto in a guillotine submission hold. This is some serious wrestling skill here. The Prestige Lock of Kirby’s is a nice way of getting some subtle heat against Hendry, and the two seriously went back and forth. Kirby went for a lariat at one point and caught a Codebreaker only for Hendry to unsuccessfully apply the Hendry Lock so that Kirby could almost win with a rollup. The match ended when Kirby went to the well too many times with the Prestige Lock and Hendry countered into his Hendry Lock for the submission victory.
Hendry def. Kirby via submission in 13:12
After the match, Hendry knelt in the ring in front of the belt and cut one of the most earnest promos I have ever heard. He claims that he has won gold before when he didn’t deserve it, but that the workhorse title that is the Internet Championship was fitting for how hard he worked and that he hopes to inspire people to make a change in their life to succeed at what they love. Touching, but strong.
SCC (c) vs. Benji and Visage for the Tag-Team Championships in a Ladder Match
Keeping in tune with the show, we were given a completely different experience with this hardcore affair that was the ladder match. The story of the match was that the individual talents of Visage and Benji would rival the tag-team excellence of SCC. Visage opened up the match looking like a house of fire with a roundhouse to both Sixx and Dunne, as things quickly turned into a glorious spotfest. Kelly Sixx actually used the ladder as a spinning top of sorts in a Smackdown vs. Raw moment. A hurricanrana to each of the SCC members by Visage and Benji at the same time was also a cool moment of symmetry. Benji took a couple of insane bumps from a taller ladder on the outside and was arguably the MVP of the match. At one point, SCC snatched the wig of Visage which was a good plot element.
Benji and Visage def. SCC via capturing the championships in 15:56
After this match, Defiant General Manager Prince Ameen came out to congratulate the new champions and the successful cash in of the Magnificent Seven briefcase by Benji. Surprisingly, he also proceeded to fire SCC from the company before deciding to announce a new assistant. Before he can announce this, however, Rory Coyle came out with a masked helper to come out and talk a little trash to Ameen and the crowd. He ran down Ameen, claiming that the company was in a state of emergency because of his doings, and reminisced over what he called “the better days” of wrestling when talents didn’t complain over things like healthcare. He attacked Ameen and then unmasked his helper to reveal that Conor Renshaw has joined him in a new stable that wants to bring a vicious side of wrestling back to the forefront of UK wrestling. Renshaw seems like a proper fit and Coyle was absolutely fire on the mic as he shot on the locker room and had the fans actually cheering him. He even invited Martin Kirby (or anyone) to join him in what he called “The Wrestling Connection.”
Simon Miller vs. Nathan Cruz in an Ups and Downs Match
The penultimate match of the evening was a culmination of a rivalry between Miller and Cruz as they have gone back and forth in the last few weeks of Defiant: Loaded. The stipulation of an Ups and Downs Match is intriguing, and the fact that Miller invented it makes it so that the lack of disqualification is a bit of a mystery (this will end up biting him later on). The rules are that only pinfalls and over-the-top-rope eliminations are what count for points in this timed affair. This was a really fun match, and while Miller is still a bit stiff and not really accustomed to the ring just yet it did not distract from the entertainment value. Miller actually started off as the aggressor, being the upstart babyface that caught the heel off guard, as Cruz thought he got a submission victory with a figure-four leglock but gets pinned with a rollup for the first point for Miller. Cruz is then thrown over the top rope for another point, making it 2-0. After this, it was all Cruz as he was able to use the referee’s corpse as a battering ram to get Miller out of the ring as they battled on the apron for 2-1, before throwing a running Miller into the turnbuckle and rolling him up to tie it up at 2-2. After this, Cruz got a lot of offense into a draw which resulted in an overtime period. Using the lack of DQ rules, Cruz straight up got a low blow and a roll up to get an easy pin, and proceeded to run around the ring and beat up referees so that Miller couldn’t get another point. Kind of a lackluster finish, but a good story.
Cruz def. Miller, 3-2 in 15:00
Rampage (c) vs. David Starr for the Defiant World Heavyweight Championship
The main event of the evening was between Starr and Rampage for the main title. Starr had a lot of momentum going into this event and despite Rampage’s dominant run, Starr was primed for this victory. All throughout, Rampage was getting caught by the agility and resiliency of Starr. For the most part, there were no big spots or even extremely athletic counters but rather an old-school affair of a tough heel vs. a scrappy face. Starr is an extremely good seller and would sell Rampage’s attacks like death. The two were battering each other with strikes until Rampage was so injured that he couldn’t make a pinfall in time after a devastating powerbomb. Unfortunately, Rory Coyle came in to interfere, resulting in a DQ finish for the match. Fortunately for the fans, David Starr, and just about everyone except Rampage, the match was restarted when Starr asked for a restart with no-disqualifications in effect despite Coyle’s interference. The passion in Starr’s voice as he egged on Rampage and Coyle to accept a restart was excellent. As the two heels decided to accept the restart, they stormed the ring only for Starr to get a hold of the Defiant World title and use it as a weapon to pretty much take out Coyle in order to finally land a package piledriver to Rampage to finally win the title.
Starr def. Rampage via pinfall in 24:22
Finally, the show capped off with a beautiful video package that highlighted all of the Defiant and WCPW champions since its original coronation. Former WCPW heads like Adam Pacitti and Adam Blampied were shown in what has been an otherwise hidden history as of late. After the chronicling of the past champions, we finally get to see David Starr in the ring, holding up the title in valiant victory.
Overall Show Grade:
This was an excellent show with a few things that could have been better, but it delivered on a level that only real die-hard Defiant fans could have seen coming. Starr was obviously the star (no pun intended) of the night but Miller and Kirby had an entertaining match that told a fantastic story. Dunne and Drake could have probably gone on a bit later to more fanfare, but kicking off the show set the tone for the rest of what was an awesome spectacle.