While the weather was flirting with snow, performers and fans gathered around Washington Hall for the third DEFY show of the year. Fans flooded into the hall as Ultimo Dragon, Tajiri, Matt Cross and many others posed for pictures and sold shirts. Lunchbox Laboratory served up hamburgers and beer for the masses. No one can truly capture the electricity that courses through the building on the night of a show. Friends come together from all over the region to share in something they all have in common. Wrestling!
Steve Migs came out and riled the fans into a frothing hoard hungry for a card stacked with matches carefully crafted to drive the audience wild! This is something for which the folks behind DEFY excel!
There was little doubt Jaxon Stone was planning to own the ring as he swaggered out from the locker-room into the ring in his sparkling gear. It was obvious he planned on making a rather large impression at his DEFY debut. Unimpressed with his opponent’s pomp, Schaff came out and the “Baddest Mother Fucker in Professional Wrestling,” made his way around the ring as the clear crowd favorite.
This match started out with some posturing and Schaff ended it with a few punches. Right out of the gate Jaxon proved dirty tactics were not beyond him. He tripped Schaff and laid on the chops. Schaff tangled Jaxon in the ropes and then started working him in the corner. After a brutal beating Jaxon spit in Schaff’s face and the audience began chanting “Stone Sucks!” Jaxon stomped on Schaff’s hand and worked him over getting a two count. He kicks Schaff in the face and performs a horrifying slam on our local hero onto the mat. Schaff rallied, performed a German Suplex and a devastating cutter before getting a three count on Jaxon Stone.
Match 2: Tag Team Championship Challenge
1% – Royce Isaacs and Jorel Nelson vs. The Uprising- Judas Icarus and Eli Surge
Eli and Royce faced off first immediately locking up and engaging in some mat work. Then Eli gets the upper hand with a brutal face kick. Royce turns the tables and gets a suplex on Eli. Both promptly tapped in their partners and Jorel faced off against Judas. Mr. Nelson pulled off a devastating cloths line on Judas and Royce joined him in the ring. Not content to simply pulverize a prone Judas, Royce demanded his ‘special’ jacket which he ceremoniously put on and flexed for the crowd. Once properly attired Royce laid a world of hurt on Judas.
This match was particularly brutal as these two teams performed one relentless move after another. Judas Icarus was bleeding from his mouth. There were a series of cutters, slams, chops, kicks and impressive coordinated moves that demonstrated the skill and impressive ring abilities all four of these men possess. There were numerous two counts and the match frequently erupted into a frenzy of mayhem and chaos. The match came to an end when Royce and Jorel performed a string of coordinated moves on Eli Surge. Royce finished Eli with a German Suplex and Jorel moved in for a three count!
These two men locked up and Super Crazy went to work on Tajiri’s arm. Tajiri was able to turn the tables and brought Super Crazy to the mat by manipulating his arm. The technical display put on by these two men was truly awe inspiring. One would get the upper hand with a painful hold only to have the tables turned moments later by their opponent.
It looked like Tajiri’s time was up when Super Crazy managed to get him into a vicious looking surfboard submission hold. Not only that but he brought him down, twisted into another direction and put him up again! Tajiri showed his resilience and managed to pull out and get Super Crazy in a choke hold. The ref moved in to make sure Super Crazy was still conscious on several occasions as Tajiri continued denying his opponent air. Super Crazy fought his way out only to end up in another choke hold. It didn’t look good for Super Crazy.
After suffering under Tajiri’s devastating choke hold, Super Crazy managed to power out by elbowing his opponent in the stomach. Super Crazy went berserk and managed to dive onto Tajiri getting a two count. He then performed several body slams on Tajiri and performed a moonsault. On Super Crazy’s second moonsault, Tajiri moved away at the last minute he gets an arm hook slam on Super Crazy and then moves in for the cover. 1…2…3…
Darby brooded in the corner as Shane entered the auditorium. Shane knows how to work this crowd like no other and the DEFYance showed their love to the former champion. With no act eligible for disqualification, there wasn’t any question in anyone’s mind, this was going to be a brutal match!
These two went at it and both seemed to endlessly dodge and counter one another’s moves. Clearly, they had done their home work on one another. Darby started working Shane over with a series of dives and on this third assault off the top ropes Shane put up his knees causing the demented Darby to land in the most horrifying way. Allin crumbled to the mat and Shane didn’t waist a second, getting up and imposed a series of kicks before tossing Darby out of the ring. The crowd began chanting “Please Don’t Die!”
This is how the match began! These two men performed nearly every trick in their impressive arsenal of moves. After a brutal beating Darby crawled along the floor and Shane tossed a chair into the ring. Shane tried to pull his opponent into the ring, but Darby held onto the ropes. Swerve picked Darby up and slammed him on the edge of the ring. Shane then set Darby in the chair. Darby defiantly punched Swerve, striking out in desperation. Shane pulled Darby into a devastating spine stretch submission hold. Darby dug his teeth into Strickland’s arm winning his release from a submission hold that was nearly the end of him.
Darby worked Shane’s arm doing his best to keep the upper hand. The two end up at the top of the ropes struggling to stay in control in what was turning into a brutal hard fought battle. Swerve ultimately gets control and after working Darby over he sets him up in the chair before climbing the ropes. Darby falls over and Shane sets him up again, only to have his opponent fall out of the chair once more. Strickland was obviously getting upset his opponent wouldn’t stay put. He began searching under the ring and found a roll of duct tape. Strickland then proceeded to tape Darby Allin to the chair to keep him in place. He then proceeded to the top of the ropes and performed one of the most devastating Swerve Stomps I’ve ever seen!
Darby lay reeling on the mat and Shane moved in. 1…2… Darby kicks out! The audience was shocked, perhaps not as shocked as Strickland who stood dumbfounded Allin could survive after the move he had executed moments before.
Darby took the shocking moment to recovery and rally. He picked up the mangled chair and slams Swerve several times. Then Darby finds a bag of tacks under the ring. He proceeds to pour the tacks onto the mat. The two lock up doing their best to take control in an attempt to slam the other onto the tracks. The two men come to the mat and Darby places Shane’s hand onto the tacks and proceeds to stomp on Strickland’s hand. Shane then turns the tables and slams Darby onto the tacks and gets another two count.
These two men were exhausted. Their chests heaving for every ounce of air their body was able to consume. Sweat ran down their faces and they stared one another down with spite and a touch of admiration. Darby spit in Shane’s face, and got a hold of Swerve’s leg rolled him up and got the three count!
Darby Allin Wins!
A farewell to Shane Strickland
Following this impressive match up Shane Strickland took the mic. He thanked the audience for their support. As he spoke the entire locker room came out and surrounded the ring to pay their respects to Swerve. The crowd chanted for the man who built Swerves House as the DEFY roster pounded their fists upon the mat.
Current Champion Artemis Spencer took the mic to pay his respects. Then Swerve asked the sound guys to play his entrance song “Ain’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan. The audience sang the song at the top of their lungs in Shane’s honor before Strickland made one final tour around the ring. This was perhaps one of the most touching moments in DEFY’s history.
Match 5: Trio Tag Match
Cody Chhun, Sonico and Randy Myers vs. The Pride- Guillermo Rosas, Carl Randers featuring: Big Jack
Randers and Sonico squared off at the bell. After a brief lock up Sonico spit in Rander’s face in disdain. Randers wiped the spit away and decided to let the luchador face off against Big Jack. This young man is a towering giant dwarfing Sonico. The two lock up and Big Jack throws Sonico around like a weightless toy before offering up his hands for a test of strength. Sonico takes one hand, then Cody runs in and takes the other. Together they begin to over power Big Jack pulling him into the waiting smoochalicious lips of Randy Myers. Jack escapes and taps in Guillermo Rosas.
Rosas works Sonico over before the luchador rallies and takes control slamming Rosas against the mat. Randy comes in for Sonico and takes over laying on a series of devastating moves on Rosas. Carl Randers comes in for Rosas only to be met with a head butt from the ‘Weirdo Hero!’ Chhun hops in and helps Randy work Carl over. Big Jack intervenes and Cody gets the big guy in a headlock and then performs a hurricanrana on his giant oponent, sending him reeling out of the ring. Then Cody goes back to work on Randers. Once Big Jack recovers, he and Randers turn the tables on Cody and begin working him over in the corner.
As the match erupted into chaos with all six opponents in the ring, Randy emerged and devastated the Pride! Big Jack and Randers were outside the ring trying to recover when Chhun and Sonico dove out and decimated them. With those four preoccupied, Randy moves in on Rosas and gets the three count!
Cody, Sonico and Randy Win!
After the match Big Jack, not content to lick his wounds and return to the locker room comes in to beat down the winners. The three of them quickly turned the tables on this giant and Randy gets his kiss from Big Jack!
If ever there was a technical match in Washington Hall this was one of the best and could easily be a case study for students of Professional Wrestling. These two men are both masters of the craft and watching them work together made for one of the highlights of the evening.
These two men locked up and the entire match was a tough competition for supremacy. One hold after another, counters and submission attempts were countless. Matt Cross worked Ultimo Dragons leg only to have his opponent turn the tables and end up between Ultimo Dragon’s legs being crushed! Cross pulled out and gave his opponent a devastating head butt, climbed the ropes, and performed a moonsault only to have Ultimo Dragon roll out of the way. Matt retaliated with a series of attacks and got a two count on Ultimo Dragon.
Cross climbed to the top rope to perform another moonsault, only to make contact with the mat as Ultimo Dragon evaded. Ultimo gets a hold of Matt as he tried to recover from his missed assault and rolled him up into a cradle for a three count.
Ultimo Dragon Wins!
Ethan HD entered the ring accompanied by his Amerikan Gunz tag partner, Mike Santiago! There was little doubt Mike was there to ‘support’ his partner in winning the DEFY Championship. What underhanded tactics they might employ was anyone’s guess, but no doubt, these two were up to no good!
Artemis came out to a standing ovation. The crowd loves Artemis and the feeling, as far as I can tell, is quite mutual! He made his way around the ring basking in the cheers of the audience. All while Ethan HD and Mike Santiago sneered. As Artemis made his way into the ring, Mike Santiago got into it with Referee Benjamin Roberts.
Right out of the gate, Artemis puts Ethan on the defense. He rolled up Ethan for a one count. No sooner does Ethan escape and Artemis gets him in a leg lock. The two of them engaged in some impressive mat work and Artemis slammed Ethan onto the mat. Artemis gets in several kicks before throwing Ethan into the ropes, and slamming Ethan with an arm drag.
Mike begins yelling at Artemis who then proceeds to throw Ethan onto Mike Santiago outside the ring. Artemis then gains momentum off the ropes and dives out devastating Mike Santiago and Ethan HD with an impressive dive. Artemis then throws both Ethan and Mike into the ring.
This is when Ethan HD rallies and turns the tables on the champion! Ethan lands a series of brutal kicks on Artemis laying him out on the mat. After working Artemis in the corner Ethan gets a two count. You could see the championship belt glimmering in Ethan’s eyes. He was hungry and in control!
The match ends up outside the ring and Ethan slams Artemis’ head on the edge of the mat. He then kicks Artemis in the face and threw him into the ring getting Artemis between his legs and squeezing with all his might. Ethan then begins contorting Artemis’ head and neck in terrible ways. There was a collective groan from the audience as Ethan looked as though he was going to tear Artemis apart with his bare hands.
It appeared all hope for Artemis Spencer was over. The DEFY Championship was about to go to Ethan HD! Then Artemis pulls out and lays a debilitating clothes line on Ethan. Artemis in control once again works Ethan over performs a back breaker and goes in for the pin… Ethan kicks out at two!
These two men end up in a back and forth. Ethan stomps Artemis and gets a two count. Artemis performs another devastating slam and gets a two count on Ethan and then performs a spinning kick to Ethan’s face. It seemed as though these two men would bring Washington Hall down around them. Just when you thought they couldn’t possibly continue, these men managed to pull out.
The tension was palpable. Ethan picked up Artemis and threw him against the turnbuckle and gets a two count on Spencer. He then slams Artemis for another two count. Instead of putting Spencer out of commission, it appeared as though something broke in the Champion. Artemis Spencer flew into a frenzy and unleashed a series of attacks. Referee Benjamin Roberts could not get out of Artie’s way fast enough and ended up unconscious on the mat. Mike Santiago intercedes! He and Ethan take Artemis down and Ethan gets a pin. With no ref to perform the count Ethan remained in position as Mike Santiago tried to rouse Benjamin Roberts to consciousness. One of the other Referee’s came into the ring and began counting 1… 2… Artemis Spencer kicks out!
Ethan performs a spinning kick on Artie. The two struggle and Ethan ended up prone on the mat. Artemis climbs to the top and performs an impressive dive onto Ethan. Spencer moved in for the cover and got the three count!
Artemis Spencer Wins! He retains and heads into Wrestle Summit in LA as the reigning DEFY Champion!