DEFY 8XGP Tournament Review

DEFY Super 8XGP
Washington Hall
Seattle WA
July 26th and 27th 2019

Two nights of sheer wrestling madness and blissfully wonderful matches. What a ride it was! The emotional highs and lows took us on a veritable roller coaster. Every match was memorable and had moments that stood out. This event is something that will be discussed in the years to come. This is typical of DEFY events at Washington Hall. That is why the DEFYance gets loud and why many of us in the audience return to our daily lives the next day without a voice. Because we ruined it cheering for DEFY, the talent and for one another. It is special, it is unique, and it is magical.

There are two nights of incredible material to go over, so I’m going to get right down to business!

Night 1, July 26TH

The energy in the house was electrical. Who would emerge from the tournament the victor? We wouldn’t find out tonight, but we would discover the four talents who would advance to the next round. Four tournament matches, one Tag Team championship title match, and three spectacular matches showcasing the incredible talent we have here in the Pacific Northwest!

Match 1
Tag Team Competition
Sonico & Leon Negro vs. Super Crazy and Guillermo Rosas

The crowd went crazy over this match! Both teams consisted of fan favorites. Sonico has long been a staple on the DEFY roster and has been a beloved talent in this region. Leon Negro has been working with Sonico for a while now and he has wowed this audiences on several occasions. Guillermo Rosas came out to his entrance music “Old Town Road,” and the whole audience sang along. He’s had some incredible matches lately and the DEFYance can only look forward seeing more from this young man.

The final person, Rosas’ partner, was none other than Super Crazy! As Steve Migs announced Super Crazy into the ring, the world-famous wrestler approached our esteemed announcer and made a correction. Without skipping a beat Steve corrects himself and announces him as “Super Fucking Crazy!”

This match was a fantastic lucha spectacle. We saw some fancy work off the ropes, high flying and some really great work on both teams. It was a top-notch match that gave us a little of everything from incredible technical work to comedic spots. No one walked away from this match unsatisfied with their performance.

In the end Sonico got the three count in on Guillermo Rosas. Despite his team not winning the match, the crowd went crazy for Super Fucking Crazy! After the match concluded they were throwing wads of cash into the ring to pay their respects to our wrestling luminary.

Match 2
Tournament Match
Judas Icarus vs. Matt Cross

Without question, Judas Icarus is one of our rising stars from our region. He made his debut earlier this year and he has developed quite the following at DEFY. When one sees his work in the ring there is little doubt why that is.

Matt Cross was at the very first DEFY show and he has returned many times since. He is practically a regular on the DEFY roster! Seeing him in belt contention only seems right. He would be an outstanding champion and the reception he received from the audience indicates there are many who agree.

These two men really cut loose and gave it their all. There were several occasions when you could feel the tension between these two. What was particularly impressive is how well Judas Icarus was able to hold his own against a wrestler with far more experience. There is little doubt this young man from Vancouver British Columbia has a bright future in this business!

This rancorous match came to an end with Matt Cross getting the three count on Judas Icarus. Matt Cross wins and advances to the next round of the tournament!

 

Match 3
Tournament Match
“Classic” Cody Chhun vs. Mike Santiago

While Mike Santiago might be better known as one half of the Amerikan Gunz he’s a very talented wrestler. He’s had a contentious relationship with the DEFYance. He is both loved and hated by this crowd and Mr. Santiago doesn’t seem to care about his detractors.

Cody Chhun on the other hand, is beloved by the DEFYance. He’s faced some heavy hitters and when he came out into the ring you could see pure confidence in his stride. The audience began chanting, “Who’s house? Chhun’s House!” It was a cacophony of celebration!

When the bell rang Mike Santiago tore into Chhun with a vengeance. He has clearly taken his training to a new level and it showed! He brutally laid into Chhun and subjected him to the kind of brutal beating one rarely recovers from.

One thing that is a certainty, Cody Chhun should never be underestimated. After he recovered, he managed to reverse the tides and performed a series of his signature moves on his opponent, Mike. These two gave as well as they took. It was a brutal back and forth. It was clear no one was going to advance to the next round without a serious fight.

The match came to an end with Cody Chhun pinning Mike Santiago.

Cody wins and advances to the next round of the tournament! As he was leaving the auditorium Cody took the microphone and said. “I’m fucking winning this!” The audience is clearly behind a Chhun Championship.

Match 4
Tag Team Championship Match
Two Titles in contention: DEFY and PCW Ultra
War Beast vs. Los Parks
(Joseph Samael & Jacub Fatu) vs. (LA Park and Hijo de LA Park)

Warbeast have been the DEFY tag team champions since March. This will be their second title defense at Washington Hall. When they came into the auditorium it was clear they are ready to destroy their opponents. Anyone unfamiliar with Warbeast should know they work themselves into a frenzy and then they go berserk on whomever they face.

Joining them in the hall is LA Park and Hijo de LA Park, the father and son tag team that makes up Los Parks. This is their DEFY debut and it became obvious upon their entrance into the auditorium they are well liked by this crowd. They wore black costumes and masks with incredible skeletal markings.

When the bell rang this match quickly turned into a frenzy of chaos. These four men weren’t in a wrestling match they were engaged in a battle to destroy one another. There was a lot of back and forth between these two teams and they were well matched. Just when you thought one was gaining the edge the other team quickly pulled a reversal.

After an impressive match in which “all violence is legal,” one team emerged triumphant… Warbeast retains!

 

Match 5
Tag Team Match
Randy Myers & Danika Della Rouge vs. Travis Williams & Sloan

When these two teams came out from behind the curtain there was no doubt on anyone’s mind that Randy Myers and Danika Della Rouge were the crowd favorites. Travis Williams and Sloan however…. Well let’s just say they were welcomed… yeah…

This was one of the highlights of the evening. Randy Myers and Danika Della Rouge had incredible ring chemistry and worked well together. The same can very much be said about Travis Williams and Sloan. Bravo DEFY for coming up with unique match ups that really work.

Danika came into the ring strong and gave Sloan a run for her money. These two have a contentious history at DEFY and you could feel it when these two spectacular wrestlers faced off in the ring. Travis of course demonstrates his “golden boy” attitude throughout the match and Randy had a great deal of fun humiliating this arrogant young man.

At one point the wrestlers engaged in a chicken war. Danika on Randy’s shoulders and Travis on Sloan’s. This ended much better for Danika and the Weirdo Hero than it would for Travis and Sloan.

After a good deal of back and forth Danika dives onto Travis outside the ring as Randy pins Sloan. Randy and Danika Win!

As Travis made his way back to the locker room defeated and humiliated, he gave this writer the stink eye and said, “Fuck your book!” Apparently, he is displeased with the notes being taken during this event. Quel Dommage!

 

Match 6
Tournament Match
Douglas James vs. Artemis Spencer

This was perhaps one of the most highly anticipated matches of the evening. DEFY champion, Artemis Spencer was up, his belt on the line. If he was eliminated in this match, he was done. He would no longer be the DEFY champion and he would be out of the tournament.

Jim Perry and Matt Farmer didn’t take it easy on Artemis either. They didn’t just bring in some jobber to take on their champion. They brought in a serious threat. A man more than capable of ending the champion’s reign. Douglas James!

When the bell rang the audience was firmly behind their champion. To say this match was incredible would be an understatement. These two men were impressive, and we saw some of the best technical wrestling on the card. There were submission attempts, senton on the top rope, and a series of advanced moves one doesn’t see mere amateurs perform in the ring.

This match had everyone at the edge of their seat and there were a lot of people biting their nails. There were so many close calls the audience was on a veritable roller coaster of emotions. This was a ride!

In the end Artemis Spencer won! While the audience cheered their champion something else amazing happened. The crowd at Washington Hall all became fans of Douglas James who performed admirably. It is not easy for someone to come in and take on a beloved champion for their title and win over a slough of new fans like Mr. James did.

 

Match 7
Tournament Match
Schaff vs. Christopher Daniels

It was a joy to welcome Christopher Daniels back to DEFY. This gentleman, and class act, came out and took the microphone and delightfully gave the monologue he and his two partners give when they come to town. However, he didn’t have his friends Mr. Kazarian or Mr. Sky, so he gave us his spiel but indicated perhaps Seattle wasn’t the worst place in the world.

Schaff is perhaps one of the favorites to win the 8XGP Tournament. Once again, the folks hidden behind the curtain didn’t take it easy on the “Baddest Mother Fucker in Wrestling.” Indeed, they did not, but you could see the hunger in Schaff’s eyes. What he lacked in experience over his opponent he more than made up for in size and strength. He even gave Mr. Daniels pause, when Schaff entered the ring.

When the bell rang Schaff gave Christopher Daniels and impressive demonstration of his strength. Thus, the match began. There was an impressive display of skill from both parties. We saw power bombs, German suplexes and some of the most devastating moves of the night. The war between these two men was so brutal at one-point Christopher Daniels was bleeding profusely just above his eye.

In the end, experience won out over strength. Much to the surprise to many in the audience, Schaff, one of the favorites to win the tournament, was defeated and eliminated! Christopher Daniels wins!

 

Match 8
Main Event
Ethan HD vs. Tama Tonga

When Tama Tonga came out the audience erupted into one of the loudest and longest standing ovations DEFY has seen at Washington Hall. He made his way around the ring wearing his mask and riling up the crowd. He removed his mask and just as he was about to enter the ring someone yelled out, “Roman Reigns!” Well… Tama Tonga wasn’t particularly impressed. He cut through the audience like butter and confronted the malcontent in the back. He eventually came to the ring… the status of the foolish fan in the back of the room is uncertain.

Ethan HD came out representing the Amerikan Gunz. It is clear he was here to prove himself against his legendary opponent. There are few in the Pacific Northwest better suited to take on the likes of Tama Tonga.

When the bell rang these two squared off. Ethan came in strong. He quickly put Tama Tonga on the defense and executed some of his vicious moves. Tama quickly realized he wasn’t simply going up against some local guy and quickly began upping his game.

There was little doubt that after the first minute these two were bringing out everything in their arsenals. This was a ferocious contest. Neither man gave an inch. Ethan pulled out some of his trademark stomps and Tama Tonga managed to pull threw with a few of his own.

This match had a fast pace and lasted much longer than anyone realized. It had the whole audience enraptured. After an embittered fight, Tama Tonga managed to pin Ethan HD for the three count. Tama Tonga wins!

 

Night 2, July 27th

The second night of the 8XGP Tournament was even more electrical than the night before. The first night gave us momentum. The chances we might have a new champion was a thought on the minds of everyone as they spilled into the auditorium in mass. Even though it was the second night there was no less excitement or enthusiasm from this crowd. When  Steve Migs came out he worked the crowd into a frothing mass of wrestling fans!

Match 1
Round Two Tournament Match
“Classic” Cody Chhun vs. Christopher Daniels

When Christopher Daniels came out he had a notable bandage just above his eye. He proceeded to tell us the story of how he went to Harborview (Hospital) due to the injury he sustained the night before with Schaff. He checked in and waited for hours before they finally came out and told him he would be seen quicker at Swedish. He received six stitches and by the time he left Swedish the sun was emerging over the horizon. So, of course, this makes Seattle the worst town he’s ever been to! It would have gone better if he went to Virginia Mason… but I digress…

“Classic” Cody Chhun came out and the audience began chanting, “Cody… Cody… Cody Fucking Chhun!” As he made his way to the ring you could hear an opposing chant for the “Fallen Angel!” This audience was split down the middle. Both of these men were clearly loved by the DEFYance. After Cody came into the ring Christopher Daniels asked humorously, “Is that really your middle name?”

This was a fantastic match. There is no doubt in this writer’s mind that Cody Chhun is one of the future stars of this business. His technical skills in the ring are polished and extraordinary. He was able to hold his own against Christopher Daniels a man who is not only an exceptional talent but a man with nearly two decades of experience on his opponent.

These two fought hard and seeing them work the ropes, making dives, slams and cutters was an incredible sight to behold. There were some intense moments. There was a point when Cody was knocked out of the ring. The referee began the count out and just as the ref was about to make the count of ten Cody leapt into the ring!

There were several near pins on both opponents. This was anyone’s match. No one held the upper hand for long. When Christopher Daniels went in for the cover and got the three count on Cody Chhun you could see the satisfaction on the faces of everyone in the audience.

Christopher Daniels basked in his victory for only a few seconds before motioning Cody to join him. He then held up his opponents’ arm and said, “You were fucking great!” A real class act. Christopher Daniels advances to the final round!

 

Match 2
Round Two Tournament Match
Matt Cross vs. Artemis Spencer

Before this match began Steve Migs came out and gave a shout out to the local talent at DEFY. The incredible talent here who works hard and doesn’t always get the recognition they deserve beyond the boundaries of this region. It was a sentiment agreed upon by the DEFYance and the crowd celebrated our local wrestlers.

Matt Cross came out and enjoyed the love DEFY audience bestow on him every time he enters the ring. When Artemis came out, he received the same warm welcome. Then as the two men stood in the ring preparing to start the match the audience began rival chant. “Matt Cross!” “Artie!” Both men had their fans in the crowd, and there was no doubt this was going to be a spectacular match.

This was a fast, hard hitting competition. These two went after one another with the kind of zeal typically seen between bitter enemies. They fought hard and tried to put the other away, but every time Matt and Artie managed to pull through or reach the ropes.

We saw some signature moves, multiple reversals, and technical displays. We saw some two counts and impressive mat work. The greatest part of this match was watching two men, champions in their own right, showing DEFY how great professional wrestling can really be.

After and impressive match we saw Artemis Spencer pin his opponent. Artemis Spencer wins! He will advance to the final round and face Christopher Daniels for the DEFY Championship.

 

Match 3
Four Corner Tag Team
The Amerikan Gunz (Ethan HD & Mike Santiago)
vs.
Modern Day Savages (Kaimana & Ativalu)
vs.
Super Crazy & Guillermo Rosas
vs.
Randy Myers & Schaff

This was an incredible match. WOW! Four incredible teams facing off against one another. As each team came out the DEFYance got louder and louder. The Amerikan Gunz were eager put this motley crew down. You could see the lust for carnage in the eyes of Modern Day Savages. Super Crazy and Guillermo Rosas were ready to redeem themselves after the previous night’s loss to Sonico and Leon Negro. As for Randy Myers and Schaff, they seemed ready to show everyone else how its done.

There was so much posturing as all eight of these men stood in the ring. They were ready to tear one another apart. When the bell rang it didn’t take long before this erupted into a wrestling massacre!

We saw wrestlers flying all over the ring and into the audience. At one point there was a domino kissing moment, of course started by the Ravenous one, during which most of the wrestlers in this match kissed one another. There was another moment when the two biggest guys in this match faced off. When Schaff and Ativalu stood face to face you knew these two men were more than capable of tearing one another apart. Let’s just say Schaff managed to pull out on top of that one, but not without Ativalu proving he’s a force to be reckoned with.

There was some serious heavy hitting so devistating you could see the ring moving and shifting. Super Crazy devastated his opponents, while Guillermo Rosas went for Mike Santiago. Ethan HD devastated one opponent after another and Kaimana took every opportunity he could to get in a shot.

Within the frenzied battle a victor emerged. Mike Santiago moved in and got the three count on Kaimana. The Amerikan Gunz win!

 

Match 4
Singles Competition
Joey Janela vs. Tama Tonga

One thing we learned at Washington Hall is that Joey Janela knows how to make an entrance. Not only did he share a beer with several members of the audience he also paraded around the ring and then went up stairs into the balcony and made the rounds up there as well!

Tama Tonga came in with his mask, eyes lit up and strolled around the ring greeting his fans. He has quite the presence and he received a welcome even louder than the night before. Fresh off his win against Ethan HD in the main event on night one, he is no doubt eager to continue his DEFY winning streak.

Joey and Tama sized one another up as they waited for the bell to ring. When it finally did, neither wasted a moment to go after one another. Joey was relentless and Tama Tonga proved his resilience. It didn’t take long however for him to turn the tables and put Joey through a series of devastating moves.

At one point in the match these two ended up outside the ring, where they encountered… doppelgangers! Or, rather, two supper fans, brothers John and Joe Marganz. John was dressed up as Joey Janela and Joe as Tama Tonga. It would seem there was a little confusion as who was in the match and who wasn’t. Both Joe and John ended up seeing some action with Janela and Tonga taking them out!

Eventually they made it back into the ring. The back and forth between these two was impressive. As things escalated between them, there were two figures who ran out from the locker room and into the ring. Suddenly the Amerikan Gunz insinuated themselves into the match and started beating Tama Tonga. This was no doubt a retaliation for the night before when Tama Tonga defeated Ethan HD in the main event.

The Referee Benjamin Roberts came in and called a double disqualification due to interference!

Double DQ? That’s all right, the real winners of this match was the audience at Washington Hall who got to see these two wrestlers put on a great show!

 

Match 5
Singles Competition
“Golden Boy” Travis Williams vs. Douglas James

Whenever the “Golden Boy” enters the auditorium he struts around the ring with an impressive amount of arrogance and pride. He seemed to have forgotten his defeat on night one at the hands of Danika Della Rouge and Randy Myers. Evidence that Travis Williams is good at putting things behind him… when it’s convenient…

Douglas James emerged from behind the curtain, unquestionably the crowd favorite. He made a lot of new fans on night one. He impressed more than a few in the audience in his match with Artemis Spencer, however there were a few fans who remembered him from a couple years ago when he appeared at DEFY 8 Kings among Men and faced Randy Myers.

As these two gentlemen faced off you could tell Travis Williams wanted nothing more than to humiliate his opponent. Douglas James seemed unimpressed and readied himself to face off against this so called “Golden Boy!”

When the bell rang these two locked up and it didn’t take long before Douglas James took control. He handled Travis like a department store mannequin, maneuvering from one end of the ring to the other. The “Golden Boy” managed to get in a few good moves, but it didn’t take long to see he was outclassed by his opponent.

Despite putting up a good fight Travis Williams was taken down for the three count. Douglas James wins!

 

Match 6
Champion Tag Team Match
Warbeast (Joseph Samael and Jacob Fatu)
vs.
La Raza (Sonico and Leon Negro)

Returning for there second Title defense Joseph Samael and Jacob Fatu came out after defeating challengers from night one LA Parks. It was an incredibly brutal evening, to see these two gentlemen return for night two able to walk let alone function on any level was an amazing feat of athleticism and fortitude.

Also returning was La Raza, Sonico and Leon Negro. They won their match the night before against Guillermo Rosas and Super Crazy, this gave them the right to make a challenge for the DEFY and PCW Ultra Tag Team title belts.

The bell rang and things didn’t go well for team La Raza from the beginning. Warbeast proved to be ferocious opponents. Jacob Fatu and Joseph Samael executed brutal moves on Sonico and Leon Negro.

At one-point Jacob Fatu picked up Leon Negro and slammed him on the edge of the ring… twice. There was a collective cringe on the faces of the DEFYance as local favorites Sonico and Leon Negro did their best to hold their own against the indomitable Warbeast.

The match came to an end when Jacob Fatu pinned Leon Negro. Warbeast wins and retains the PCW Ultra and DEFY Tag Team belts!

 

Match 7
Main Event
Tournament Finale
Christopher Daniels vs. Artemis Spencer

It all comes down to this match. The final match in the DEFY 8XGP Tournament. The second of two nights filled with spectacular wrestling comes to an end. Would DEFY be crowning a new champion? If Christopher Daniels has his way they certainly will. It would be a crowning achievement for Southern California Uncensored.

Artemis Spencer fought and clawed his way to the finals, determined to retain his championship belt. Now he stands at the eleventh hour ready to face one of the most celebrated professionals in the field. As one of a handful of wrestlers invited to BOLA, it would be an incredible boon to enter this event as the DEFY champion.

When these two men came out into the auditorium it would be difficult to say one was favored over the other. It was clear the crowd at DEFY loved both these men. Both the cherished champion and the beloved seasoned veteran stood in the ring vying for the coveted DEFY championship. A belt with a proud lineage of holders most notably WWE NXT talent Shane Strickland.

This was an emotional match. The crowd could hardly contain themselves. As Christopher Daniels and Artemis Spencer fought with every ounce of their being. Both Artie and Christopher got several near falls on one another. They hit hard, sweat was dripping from their bodies as they battled to put the other away.

Just when you thought Christopher Daniels was about to put Artemis away and become the DEFY Champion, Artie pulled out! With so much at stake, this was easily the most exciting match of the night.

It was such an intense match the crowd was entranced. They chanted and cheered for these two men. The journey from beginning to end was a display of wrestling perfection. Like all great things they must come to an end and this final tournament match did come to an end. After giving it everything they had to give, Artemis Spencer pinned Christopher Daniels for the three count!

And still your DEFY Champion… Artemis Spencer!

Photo Credits: West Smith & Mikey Nolan

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