There was a violent windstorm reaping havoc on the Puget Sound region Friday night. As I prepared to make my way to Washington Hall, I learned over eight thousand residences in North Seattle had lost power. I was a bit concerned how this might affect the show and for those traveling great distances.
When I arrived, gusts of wind blasted me as I got out of my Lyft and the trees swayed as though they were dancing to the howling wind. I checked in, made my deposit of nonperishable food in Northwest Harvests donation box and climbed the stairs into the auditorium. The talent was out in force taking pictures with fans and selling merchandise as the wind howled outside.
As the crowd settled in and the lights dimmed. Steve Migs came out with the mic and started off the festivities. With his usual flair, Migs stirred the crowd up for a night everyone will remember for years to come!
First Match- Singles
Brian Cage vs. Jack Evans
The first match of the evening was a particularly spectacular spectacle. Brian Cage has worked for DEFY on several occasions, most recently making a failed bid for the Championship belt. Tonight, however he has come to take on Jack Evans a Washington State native. Jack came out with local wrestling sensation Brian Alverez. You would think coming out with a local wrestling celebrity and being a home-grown man would make him a house favorite. If you think so, you would be wrong. Jack waisted no time insulting the audience, turning the entire auditorium towards our visitor from California, Brian Cage.
This match was very entertaining. Brian Cage took control from the beginning. He brutally threw Jack out of the ring. The size difference between these two was daunting for Jack, who is by far smaller than Cage. Some of the moves Brian unleashed on Jack were so devastating you could see the collective grimaces move like a wave across the audience.
It was in the middle of this match when the lights went dark. Washington Hall lost power and the egress lighting flickered on. There were only a few brief moments of confusion before we realized what happened. How is the show going to continue without power? This question only lingered or a few seconds when the power returned! Fortunately, this was the only appearance the wind storm made at DEFY On Edge!
Jack managed to get a few moves in and turned the tables on Cage several times, doing his best work from the ropes. Evans has never been afraid to go up top and dive down on his opponents. Cage is a fighting machine and he took everything Jack could dish out. Even though Jack managed to tip the scales in his favor for several brief moments, Cage proved to be an indomitable force. Brian Cage performed his pile driver finishing move and got the three count, defeating Jack Evans.
The DEFY crowd was given a special treat this evening. WWE Hall of Fame inductee and legend in the world of Professional Wrestling, Ivory made an appearance. The crowd went wile as she entered the ring to show her love of the DEFYANCE! She even took a moment to flip off unpopular referee Benjamin Roberts, which endeared her to the crowd even more. She showed her love for the crowd and they loved her back. Though it was a brief appearance, seeing her was a highlight of the evening for everyone present.
Second Match- Tag Team Championship
Amerikan Gunz vs. No One Lives
Ethan HD and Mike Santiago vs. The Devil Drexl and Dr. Kleiver
This match started out as ugly as one could imagine with the denizens of hell going up against riffraff from of the squalid slums of Tacoma. The Amerikan Gunz went in hard and fast against No One Lives. These two teams were acutely aware of the down and dirty tactics their opponents were capable of.
It didn’t take long before the chairs came out. Drexl and Dr. Kleiver set them and only to have the tables turned as Ethan and Mike slammed these two monstrosities into the chairs. The action moved in and out of the ring several times. Garbage cans were used, every under handed tactic imaginable came out and we saw several near falls on both teams. Dr. Kleiver and Drexl attempted to brutalize Ethan HD, trying to isolate him from his partner.
We saw a lot of coordinated moves in this match from both teams. The experience of every participant showed in the ring during this championship challenge and made it a pleasure to watch. It was a vicious, grueling match which made me play the AC/DC classic “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” in my head the entire time. When it came to an end, we saw Mike Santiago get the pin on Drexl. The Amerikan Gunz retain!
Third Match- Singles
Kaimana vs. Guillermo Rosas
Kaimana made his way from Hawaii to join DEFY for the second time. This former AZW Heavy Weight Champion has proven himself to be a formidable opponent during his match with Schaff this last summer. Tonight, he faces a member of a new faction on the rise at DEFY.
Guillermo Rosas entered the auditorium accompanied by his buddies, King Khash and Carl Randers. Apparently the DEFYANCE was not pleased. It’s rare to see the audience show poor taste but even the best crowd in the business makes mistakes.
As the match was about to get underway, the referee ejected King Khash and Carl Randers from ringside! What did they do? How terribly unfair! The two gentlemen left gracefully and then the bell rang.
Guillermo got a drop kick in to start the action. Kaimana then took control of the match and slapped Rosas around for a while before working him in the corner. Guillermo was clearly displeased with the treatment he received and began to leave the auditorium. Kaimana grabbed him by the hair and pulled him back into the ring.
Rosas turned the tables and worked the ropes, drop kicking Kaimana and spent some time returning every indignant attack our visitor from Hawaii had laid on him moments before. Kaimana had the audience behind him and began working Rosas on the mat. Guillermo rallied and got a crotch shot on his opponent, he then rolled Kaimana up and got the pin. Guillermo Rosas wins!
Fourth Match – Singles
Schaff vs. Brody King
The tie breaker is here! Schaff came out and you can tell this crowd loves our local hero every time he emerges from behind the curtains. As Brody King came out the masses put on ski masks to honor the departing member of our DEFYANCE family. He made his journey around the ring one last time greeting his fans for his final match at DEFY.
The crowd clearly love both these men, and the fact they were competing to break a one for one tie, almost seemed a superfluous detail. In truth we simply wanted to see two incredibly talented men pull out every move and remind us why we love them.
This was a heavy hitting festival of chops, and body slams. Schaff executed his infamously devastated frog splash off the top ropes and got a near fall on Brody. This match ended up outside the ring on several occasions and at one point ended up in the balcony where Brody had Schaff dangling over the edge! There was one point when it looked like it was going to be a count out. These two men devastated one another so badly they could barely move.
Brody threw chops and Schaff executed a devastating clothes line. There was nearly a dozen near falls between the two of them as this hard-hitting match continued for probably around twenty minutes. It was almost impossible to believe they were still able to move. Any normal human would be dead, but not Schaff or Brody. The tie was broken when Schaff got a cutter and pinned Brody for the three count.
As the match concluded, Brody took the microphone and showed his deep respect for his DEFY rival, Schaff. He did confirm, this would be his last DEFY appearance… probably for a while. Despite the disappointment the audience could not help but be happy for this incredibly talented man. Chants of “You deserve it” rang out from the crowd as Brody said a final farewell to his DEFY family. Those who wore ski masks in his honor gathered around the ring and took a picture with our beloved Brody King.
Fifth Match- Tag Team
The Pride (King Khash & Carl Randers) vs. Chhun and Randy
King Khash and Carl Randers entered the auditorium, booed by the DEFYANCE crowd. Again, a volatile reaction to two loved athletes. As they entered the ring and you could tell they were ready to win, you could see it on their faces, they were going to make this match theirs.
Randy came in with his usual flair and bestowed upon a lucky member of the audience a consensual kiss. Randy had barely entered the ring when Khash and Randers laid into him beating him severely. “Classic” Cody Chhun came to the rescue with a kendo stick. Khash and Carl retreated as Cody helped his partner to his feet.
King Khash started out the match facing Cody Chhun. They locked up and there was a lot of mat work as they engaged in a technical struggle. There was some arm work and flips. Khash ever the fan of tormenting his opponents with devastating submission tactics worked Cody’s arm and twisted the young man into the most uncomfortable position and proceeded to flex for the crowd.
Eventually Carl and Randy got into the ring and engaged in a walk off? Randy pranced across the ring while Carl walked normally in an attempt to illustrate the silliness of Randy’s antics. Randy then explained he had been to many Pride marches and Carl’s Pride March was the worst he’d ever seen, in a clever play on their tag team name.
The match continued with a great deal of banter. Khash blew Randy a kiss, and for the first time in DEFY history Randy was not flattered by the gesture. Then at one-point Cody made a signature move… he attempted to climb into the ring and stumbled falling face first into the mat… “Classic.”
The match ended up outside the ring on numerous occasions and we saw several near falls for both teams. At one-point Randy and Khash ended up fighting in the audience as Carl and Cody duked it out in the ring. There were several seconds of chaos. Guillermo Rosas insinuated himself, hidden behind a ski mask, and tripped Cody on the ropes. Carl Randers took this opportunity, worked Cody over and got the three count. THE PRIDE WINS!
After the match both the referee and a member of security helped King Khash into the locker room. It would seem he injured his leg while he was fighting Randy outside the ring. Hopefully the Persian Prodigy recovers quickly!
Sixth Match- Singles
Chris Ridgeway vs. Penta El Zero M
From beyond the Atlantic came Chris Ridgeway making not only his DEFY debut, but also his debut in the United States! Fresh off a long flight, he made his way into the ring with confidence and a warm welcome from the DEFYANCE.
Facing our British import is a beloved luchador from Mexico City, Penta El Zero M. The cheers and applause from the audience was deafening as he entered the auditorium. Many people chanted in Spanish to welcome one of the top performers on the independent circuit working today.
These two professionals went at it hard. Chris held his own from the beginning putting a world of pain on Penta before putting him in a figure four submission hold. It’s clear Chris is a highly technical wrestler and Penta El Zero M had a real fight on his hands. The luchador was in trouble from the beginning but managed to get one hand on the ropes. Penta turned the tables quickly and got a two count on Chris.
We then saw these two men exchange a series of brutal attacks. German Suplexes, body slams, chops, spine busters and Package Piledrivers. These two men spared nothing in their arsenal to win. Chris put Penta in several submissions holds and there was more than one occasion when I was certain Penta had met his match. After escaping an ugly leg submission attempt, Penta delivered a string of devastating kicks before performing another driver on Chris, before getting a three count on his opponent. Penta El Zero M wins!
After the match these two men shook hands and Penta took the mic and said, “Welcome to the USA mother fucker!”
Seventh Match- DEFY Championship
Artemis Spencer vs. Shane Strickland
The Main Event! This highly anticipated match created a tension in Washington Hall. There were mixed feelings. Both men are loved by the DEFYANCE. Regardless of who won, it would be a bitter sweet night. The folks behind DEFY have created what is perhaps one of the most emotional dynamics I’ve seen at any promotion.
This was an incredible match to say the least. Before the bell rang Shane went after Arty with a vengeance. Clearly the champion was not going to take it easy on his challenger. Shane brutalized Arty on a level rarely seen and got several two counts. For a while I thought perhaps Arty was in over his head. But one should never underestimate Artemis Spencer and his resiliency!
After at least five minutes of being brutalized by Strickland, Arty rallied and started fighting back. As is typical of Spencer, it almost seems like he has to take a beating before he awakens his own fury and the rage takes over. After being brutalized in the corner by Strickland, Artemis turned the tables and executed a devastating Spine Buster on Strickland. He threw a series of punches and cloths lines, softening up the DEFY champion.
These two men went at it exchanging blows. It was obvious this long battle was taking its toll as both men struggled to stay on their feet. Arty got Shane in a submission hold and just when you thought the champ would tap out, Shane mustered his strength and powered out! There were a series of near falls on both opponents. By the twentieth minute it could have been anyone’s match.
It couldn’t possibly go much longer, these men looked as though they stood on the cusp of losing consciousness from sheer exhaustion. Artemis executed two dives off the top rope onto Strickland only to get a two count. At this point I can’t even imagine what was keeping these two men in a functional state.
When Arty slammed Strickland against the mat and moved in for the pin. Referee Aubrey Edwards began counting 1… 2… 3! Artemis Spencer is the new DEFY Champion! The crowd erupted in applause, everyone in the house was on their feet. There were tears of joy on the faces of grown men. This audience has watched Artemis Spencer grow and develop as a talent. He has gone from being a relatively unknown performer rising out of regional obscurity into a Champion. We didn’t just see a champion made tonight, we saw the future of DEFY… and that future has a name. Artemis Spencer!
This evening was a spectacular event. It was touching, nail biting, wonderful and heart breaking all at the same time. Rarely does a professional wrestling show take you on such an emotional roller coaster. We saw the rise of the Pride faction, as Guillermo Rosas, King Khash and Carl Randers won their matches. Their impact on DEFY is likely to be seen in the coming months. We saw the championship change hands from Shane Strickland, one of the top performers in the indies, to Artemis Spencer, a name that will be on the lips of industry insiders in the days to come. Rarely can a promotion pull off such a high-quality show, and it is even more rare for them to do so consistently. Thank you DEFY!
Many have considered making the trip to DEFY, uncertain if it was worth the time or resources to make a show. There isn’t any possible way to describe with words what being at a show is really like. Nor can the energy and vibe be caught on film. To truly experience a DEFY show one must be here. If you are a fan of professional wrestling and you want an experience like no other, DEFY is the place for you. What are you waiting for? This is not some wrestling show, this is a destination!