Review: DEFY Never Dies!

DEFY Never Dies!
2nd Anniversary Event
Seattle Washington

Photo / Defy Wrestling
Photo: Melinda Smith

DEFY’s second anniversary event had an incredible amount of buzz. With only five matches announced there was a great deal of speculation about what we don’t know and who would be in the Ten Man Survival Tournament. With so many huge talents becoming free agents at the first of the year, there was a wide-open field of possibilities on who might show up on January 19th!

As you entered the hall you could feel the tension. There were so many rumors swarming around the room. Speculation about who might surprise us. Cody Rhodes? The Young Bucks? Brandi Rhodes? Everyone knew there were going to be surprises this evening. It was impossible to guess which rumor might be true.

As everyone settled in their place, the house was filled to capacity. There was an ocean of fans eagerly waiting for a wrestling show we are bound to be talking about in the years to come.

Rich Bocchini came out and introduced himself to the fans before ushering in Joey Ryan. Joey came out his arm in a sling. Recovering from an injury he would not be performing this evening and would instead assist Rich as the Master of Ceremonies. Despite the notable absence of Steve Migs, the show went on! Rich and Joey did a fine job filling Steve’s shoes.

1st Match Singles Competition
Big Jack vs. Moose

Our first match of the evening was a surprise unannounced match. The crowd went wild when Big Jack emerged from behind the curtains. After nearly a year’s absence, having moved away to upstate New York, he has returned, and this crowd was thrilled to see him. He was there at the beginning of DEFY and he was welcomed home this evening.

No one in the audience knew Moose was in the house. When he came out of the locker room and into the auditorium the crowd leapt to their feet and the cheers were deafening. Moose has been to DEFY before and clearly everyone here remembers!

Both these men are enormous! Not kind of big, or on the large side. ENORMOUS! As Moose came into the ring you could see how hungry Big Jack was to take down his opponent. The ref didn’t even have a chance to call for the bell when Big Jack jumped Moose! After laying into his opponent, Big Jack took a brief break and laid into Referee Aubrey Edwards. That was a terrible mistake, fortunately for Jack he turned his attention back to Moose before Aubrey had to show Jack she’s no shrinking violet.

This was a brutal heaving hitting match. Horrifying chops, German Suplexes, and lots of slams. When you watch two power houses go at it, you are in for an impressive spectacle! Jack executed an Irish Whip on his opponent and pulled him into a pin, getting a two count on Moose. The tables quickly turned, and Moose performed one of the most devastating clothesline’s seen at Washington Hall. It wasn’t long after that when Moose was finally able to put Big Jack away with a three count! Moose Wins!


2nd Match Tag Team Championship Challenge
1% vs. The Amerikan Gunz
(Jorel Nelsen & Royce Isaacs) vs. (Ethan HD & Mike Santiago)

As the audience prepared for the Tag Team Championship match to begin, Referee Benjamin Roberts came out and the entire auditorium booed this young man. The DEFYANCE memory is long and quite unforgiving.

Back in November the 1% came to the Hawthorne Theater in Portland Oregon and took on Cody Chhun and Carl Randers. They won that match and apparently they decided to make an appearance at Washington Hall and challenge the Amerikan Gunz for the DEFY Tag Team Belts.

The Amerikan Gunz have never shied away from a challenge. When they entered the auditorium the audience cheered for their champions. Having held the belt since September the Gunz are facing their fourth tag team challenge. As they entered the ring all four men began posturing and it looked as though they were going to break out into a brawl. The ref got them under control and the bell rang!

This was a strong match. Both the 1% and the Amerikan Gunz employed numerous coordinated attacks. The technical skills on display were awe inspiring. There were near falls on both teams and it looked as though either could win. Jorel executed a devastating frog splash on Ethan HD. The Amerikan Gunz put the beat down on Royce Isaacs keeping him away from tapping in his partner. The 1% got piled up and Ethan HD performed a stomp from the top rope. Royce Isaacs managed to get a German Suplex on Ethan and got the three count. We have new DEFY Tag Team Champions! 1%!!!


3rd Match 10 Man Survival Two Teams

Team One                                                                           Team Two
Sonico                                                                                  Guillermo Rosas
Judas Icarus                                                                      Elie Surge
Caden Cassidy                                                                   Guerrero De Neon
King Khash                                                                         Carl Randers
Leon Negro                                                                         Travis Williams

The rules of the game, two teams one guy from each team in the ring at a time. The match continues until they are pinned and tapped out, until there is only one opponent left. The participants in this match are a mix of talent, some of whom are DEFY regulars and others are completely new to the DEFY scene and or Washington Hall. Sonico, King Khash, Guillermo Rosas, Carl Randers and Leon Negro have all performed at Washington Hall shows before, at least once if not regularly. Judas Icarus, Caden Cassidy, Guillermo Rosas, Elie Surge and Travis Williams are making their Washington Hall debut!

As any match that contains ten participants the rules lasted little more than a minute or two before all mayhem broke lose. These men were wailing on one another in the ring, at one point they were all laying about in complete devastation outside the ring. There was nothing held back and despite being on different teams the PRIDE faction remained loyal, refusing to tap in to face one of their own. There was even some alleged interference in support of one another. None of this was captured on film and if you see any pictures or video clips to the contrary, they are highly doctored and should be disregarded.

The sequence of elimination goes as such, Sonico gets the three count on Guerrero De Neon. Carl Randers pins Leon Negro. Elie Surge pins Caden Cassidy. Khash taps Elie Surge out with the Khash Clutch. Travis Williams pins Sonico. Judas Icarus pins Guillermo Rosas. Then Judas Icarus pins Travis Williams. Judas Icarus pins Carl Randers. Leaving Judas Icarus to face King Khash. It didn’t take long for the Persian Prodigy to get Judas Icarus to tap out once getting him in the Khash Clutch. King Khash wins the 10 Man Survival Tournament!

The winner of last year’s tournament was Artemis Spencer. He is now the DEFY champion. Maybe this time next year King Khash will hold the coveted title! He certainly deserves the honor!

Post-Match: Super Kick Surprise Party

As Khash celebrated his momentous and historical victory along with his fellow members of the Pride, Carl Randers and Guillermo Rosas, Joey Ryan came out into the ring. He joined fellow Master of Ceremonies, Rich Bocchini, and took the mic. Just as he was about to speak, the Pride beat Joey Ryan Severely.

The Pride basked in their destruction of the master of dong style, but their victory was a short one. A few moments later two men emerged from behind the curtains. Matt and Nick Jackson! The Young Bucks! The fans at Washington Hall are among the loudest in the business. Not once have they ever become this loud. It is likely the USGA recorded a seismic event with Washington Hall as the epicenter.

The Young Bucks super kicked Khash and made short work of Rosas and Randers. Then they forced Guillermo Rosas to take a hold of Joey Ryan’s dick, who proceeded to perform one of his infamous dick flips! Rosas lay twitching on the floor.

After taking out the Pride the Young Bucks took the mic and greeted the DEFYANCE. The chanting that followed this moment easily lasted for five minutes. The Young Bucks couldn’t speak the crowd was so worked up and excited to have them here.

Once the crowd quieted down Matt and Nick thanked the audience and spent some time talking about some of the amazing things coming in the world of Professional Wrestling. Their appearance this evening was a clear sign AEW plans to make their presence known here in Seattle. DEFY and the DEFYANCE will be there for them when they do! In a place that has long been considered a black whole of professional wrestling. Their acknowledgement and presence will be, for many, a notable moment in local history. A moment when everything changes and we will be at the head of something great to come.

4th Match 6 Man Tag Team
Team DEFY vs. SCU
(Shane Strickland, Randy Myers & Schaff)
(Frankie Kazarian, Scorpio Sky & Christopher Daniels)

SCU, Frankie Kazarian, Scorpio Sky and Christopher Daniels, entered the auditorium with fanfair like few others. Fresh off of being released from their Ring of Honor contracts, the three men are making one of their first appearances since becoming free agents. To call SCU one of the most famous teams in the business is no exaggeration. These three men have decades of experience under their belt and it shows in their work.

Team Defy, Shane Strickland, Randy Myers and Schaff, came out and it was obvious the audience loved them just as much if not more than SCU. This was one of those rare occasions where it didn’t matter which team won, the winners were the people sitting in Washington Hall watching all six of these incredible performers showing us the mastery of their craft.

This match started off with Scorpio Sky stepping into the ring to face Schaff! Scorpio held his own for a brief moment with a Hurricane Rana. However, with Schaff’s intimidating size coming at him Scorpio Sky tapped Christopher Daniels in placing him on the receiving end of a devastating Body Slam. Shane came in and Christopher Daniels only narrowly escaped a Swerve Stomp. He tapped Frankie Kazarian in, who proceeded to stomp Shane Strickland. The SCU got Shane in the corner and worked him over with a series of horrifying moves. Shane retaliated by going after Scorpio Sky’s leg. Then Randy came in and continued the devastation on Scorpio’s injured leg before twisting his opponent up in knots.

Take a moment to breathe!

Team DEFY got Scorpio in their corner and gave him a good working over. At that moment everyone in the audience was grateful their name was not Scorpio Sky! This match kept going despite every participant being covered in sweat and the physical toll of this contest was readily apparent. Frankie Kazarian went berserk and took out Team DEFY in a single rampage! Christopher Daniels came in and executed a dive on Randy, but the Weirdo Hero managed to pull it together and gave Mr. Daniels a big smooch!

There were multiple two counts with opponents moving in to save their team members at the last minute. This grueling match came to an end when Shane Strickland positioned Christopher Daniels and executed a Swerve Stomp. He proceeded to pin Mr. Daniels for the three count!


Christopher Daniels took the mic and paid his respects to Shane Strickland, Randy Myers and Schaff. He thanked the fans and members of the DEFYANCE for being the truly devoted fans they are. They also said, they’ll be coming back soon! No one was more pleased than this audience!


5th Match Singles Competition
“Classic” Cody Chhun vs. Robbie Eagles

Cody is a beloved performer at Washington Hall, thus the chants of “Who’s House? Chhun’s House!” There really isn’t any question why when one watches him perform. He has demonstrated the kind of technique and skill one typically sees from a seasoned veteran and Cody has only been in the game a couple years.

As Robbie Eagles entered the auditorium the fans shouted “Robbie, Robbie, Robbie, Oi, Oi, Oi!” This high-flying phenomenon from down under came in with the kind of fanfare the DEFYANCE reserves for the greatest dignitaries who come to town. A member of the world-famous Bullet Club, many in the audience are already familiar with this young man’s work. However, this is the first time most will be seeing him live.

These two locked up and demonstrated some strong technical skills. Cody executed sequential arm hook slams on Robbie. Then the two of them exchanged several chops and Robbie slapped Cody across the face. In kind Cody kicked Robbie so hard he flew out of the ring. Robbie started working on Cody’s leg, a strategy he employed throughout the match.

While working Cody in the corner Robbie yelled, “I didn’t come here to fuck spiders!” After some research it was learned this is some unique Australian slang which means “I’m not messing around,” and should not be taken literally! You have to love the international flair one experiences at DEFY.

There was high flying, technical displays, and these two men kept it fairly clean in what was a highly competitive match. Robbie worked Cody’s leg relentlessly. This ultimately paid off. Robbie Eagles managed to twist Cody into an improvised figure four hold and made our local phenomenon tap out. Robbie Eagles wins!

Cody’s leg was so injured after this match, Referee Benjamin Roberts had to assist him out of the ring and into the locker room.

6th Match DEFY Championship Challenge
Champion Artemis Spencer vs. Dezmond Xavier

Making his very first title defence, since wining the DEFY Championship from Shane Strickland last month, Artemis Spencer came out and the crowd couldn’t be more proud. He made his way around the ring greeting his fans and found a person in the back corner of the room he wasn’t expecting. His opponent! The two shook hands and Artemis continued on with his fans.

Dezmond Xavier is making his second appearance at DEFY. He was here this last summer and wowed the audience by defeating Scorpio Sky. His penchant for acrobatic feats during his match is something his fans have fallen in love with every time. Tonight, he has come to DEFY to make a play for the DEFY Championship!

These two men locked up and aggressively went at it from the very beginning. High-Flyer Dezmond Xavier was taken down by Artemis’ technical prowess and the champion got a sling shot kick on his opponent off the ropes. Dezmond retreated out of the ring for a while to regroup and prepare for his retaliation.

When Dezmond gets worked up he puts on an impressive display. Flips and dives off the ropes. He devastated Artemis Spencer with so many strategic moves and acrobatic acumen it seemed an absolute certainty Artie wasn’t going to survive his first title defense. Artemis managed to pull through and executed a spinebuster on his opponent and put him away with the three count. Artemis Spencer retains!

DEFY Never Dies! What an incredible show. There wasn’t any doubt it would be. Matt Farmer and Jim Perry crafted an ode to the DEFYANCE. This show was their way of demonstrating their appreciation of the fans.

Anyone who looks at this card objectively knows, this isn’t an easy list of talent to pull together. They have an eye for talent. Both the local performers and the wrestlers they bring in form out of town are top notch. This is a show that will be savored like a fine wine in the years to come. Labeling a favorite between these matches is nearly an impossible task and likely to solicit a wide range of responses from spectators. There wasn’t a single weak moment in the evening and if there was it escaped my attention.

This is how it’s done folks. This is what the industry should be pointing to as an example of the highest standards in the industry. DEFY will never die!

Philip Jones
About Philip Jones 20 Articles
A social service worker by day, and a writer by night, I defy all labels, boxes and societal definitions. I am a classically trained violinist, published author and proud member of the LGBTQ community. I spend most of my time at home indulging in my favorite interests including reading, writing, horror films, eating and watching independent wrestling shows.

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