Daily Dose of Sports

Defiant Wrestling: No Regrets 2018 Review & Analysis

Last Saturday, April 28, Defiant Wrestling, formerly known as WCPW, aired their latest iPPV event, ‘No Regrets’, which featured the 30-Man No Regrets Rumble as the main event. Elsewhere on the card, Rampage got his Defiant Championship title match against Austin Aries, following his win in the Magnificent Seven match at Lights Out. Also, Millie McKenzie defended her Defiant Women’s Championship against Kay Lee Ray in a Last-Woman Standing match to blow off their title feud.

Therefore, the iPPV event had a stacked card. But, does that equate to make a good show? Here on SportsFast, I’m here to answer the question that’s on your mind: Was the show actually any good? From now on, you’re going to need to read my thoughts below to find out! Also, why not leave a comment below to share your thoughts? Finally, don’t forget to follow SportsFast on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube for more exciting content from a huge variety of sports!

Women’s Championship – Millie McKenzie vs Kay Lee Ray

There was no pre-show for this event. Also, there was no Preview Podcast on the Access Defiant service, as with ‘Lights Out’.

So, we’re going to move straight on to the main card. The first match of the card saw Millie McKenzie defend her Defiant Women’s Championship against Kay Lee Ray in a Last Woman Standing Match. I was very excited for this match because I wanted to see a Singles match between the two women, instead of a Triple Threat match, like with Sammi Jayne at Lights Out, although it was an enjoyable match.

Overall, I felt that McKenzie and Ray delivered with a satisfying match. There were lots of fun spots, such as McKenzie’s suplex to Ray on the entrance steps and McKenzie’s brutal Canadian Destroyer to Ray on the apron. Also, it allowed scope for the performers to tell the story of Ray’s back getting injured to the point where she had collapsed after nearly standing up to answer the referee’s count in the finish.

There was also some crowd brawling here, which added intensity to the match and garnered some decent reactions from the crowd.

On the downside, the camera crew was struggling to keep up with the action and it didn’t really have any spots which you haven’t seen before. But, I felt it was a very solid and enjoyable match. I feel that both McKenzie and Ray have managed to build some excellent chemistry and they have both managed to increase their versatility as performers through their feud.

McKenzie and Ray have both benefitted greatly from their matches together. This was a satisfying conclusion to their feud.

Defiant Internet Championship – Travis Banks vs Walter

The second match of the card saw Travis Banks defend his Defiant Internet Championship against Walter in a singles match.

Walter earned the title shot by defeating his long-time rival, David Starr, in his debut match at ‘Lights Out’ and then again in a no count-out and no rope-break rematch at the ‘Road to No Regrets’ event.

Overall, I felt it was a solid and enjoyable match.

Firstly, the crowd was relatively loud for this match. This added a lot of tension and atmosphere to the ring work. This is because Banks and Walter are two of the most over wrestlers on the indie circuit at the moment.

Secondly, the pace had a very kinetic flow, which allowed for Walter to display his skills as an agile competitor as well as a powerhouse grappler.

Thirdly, the technical style of the match also played to Banks’ strengths as an excellent submission artist.

Lastly, the finish of the match saw Walter apply the Gojira Clutch and Banks rolled him backward for a pin, but it was later revealed that Banks had tapped to the hold. Therefore, it was ruled as a draw. Although it was a non-finish used to set up more matches between Banks and Walter, I found it to be inoffensive because it is clear the best is still yet to come in their feud. In the end, this was a very solid addition to the match card of the event.

Martin Kirby vs No Fun Dunner

The third match of the card pitted Martin Kirby against No Fun Dunne in a rematch from their bout at Lights Out, which was a surprisingly great encounter between the two men. As for this match, I felt it was fun and solid, but it didn’t quite reach the level of their previous outing at Lights Out.

The crowd was fairly quiet and the action just didn’t quite kick into the high gear that I wanted it. But, I felt there was a more personal story to this match because there was more viciousness to the story.

The action was more hard-hitting than their match at Lights Out as it focused on strikes and kicks. Also, the two men still had great chemistry, which led to some great counters and near falls.

Near the finish, Dunne injured Kirby’s leg during the match, which led to him pulling Kirby down to get the pin here in an anticlimactic finish. This left a sour taste, instead of providing a more fitting conclusion to the match. After the match, Kirby was helped to the back by medical staff and officials. This would later prove to become an integral factor of the 30-Man No Regrets Rumble main event of the night.

Tag Team Championship

The fourth match on the card saw Jimmy Havoc and Mark Haskins defending their Defiant Tag Team Championship, in their first title defense, against Aussie Open. It was fine if unspectacular, match. It was ultimately standard tag team fare, with Aussie Open playing the faces in peril to the hardcore aspects of Havoc and Haskins’ tag team act.

The action saw many tag team maneuvers and lots of hot tags between the two teams before Aussie Open mounted a successful babyface comeback to regain the tag titles. Overall, there was nothing truly offensive in this match, but it didn’t feature anything to elevate the match beyond its mid-card level as the storytelling was pretty uninspiring. The tag titles keep continuously switching teams, which certainly didn’t help any matters here.

In conclusion, this was a fine match. But, the story was forgettable and the ring work was simplistic.

Defiant Championship – Austin Aries vs Rampage

The penultimate match of the night was Austin Aries vs. Rampage for the Defiant Championship. The title shot was earned by Rampage due to his victory in the Magnificent Seven match at Lights Out. At the end of Lights Out, Rampage officially announced he would cash in his newly won briefcase for a match against Austin Aries at No Regrets.

Therefore, the match has finally come to fruition. Overall, I felt it was definitely the weakest match of the night. I find it surprising that Defiant continue to push Rampage so heavily because he was part of WCPW alumni, the former mantra of Defiant.

It’s fairly nice to see Rampage gaining traction after his past work in WCPW. But, I find his act stale and dull. Stu Bennett, the on-screen general manager of Defiant, joined the commentary team for the match. As for the match itself, it was flat and deflating. Looking at the positives, Aries displayed some great heel work, delivering low blows and nearly causing an intentional disqualification at one point of the match. I also felt his entrance worked well, as he carried five of his indie titles to show his arrogance on the way to the ring.

Lastly, I felt Rampage’s performance was serviceable in the match. But, I felt there was far too much storyline advancement happening in this match. For example, Stu Bennett’s inclusion added nothing to the match and the restart angle wasn’t completely necessary either.

Further more, the pace was too slow and methodical to successfully portray Rampage as an unstoppable monster. Finally, the Rampage’s victory was predictable, although it makes sense in the context of the build, paired with the fact of Aries not being free regularly enough for Defiant to effectively value the title. Overall, it was a deserved win for Rampage, but it didn’t feel like the big deal it was supposed to be.

Following the match, Rampage headed to the back and Stu Bennett congratulated him before he made a big announcement: He will be leaving Defiant Wrestling! His replacement as the general manager was revealed to be none other than Jay Melrose, who formerly wrestled as Primate before announcing his retirement due to injury. It is very disappointing to see Bennett leave his role because I found him very entertaining.

But, it’s good to see that Melrose is still going to appear for Defiant Wrestling and I’m sure that he is very capable of filling the high shoes of Bennett in his role.

30 Man No Regrets Rumble

The main event of the night, as noted earlier in this review, was the 30-Man No Regrets Rumble. The rules allowed for eliminations to occur when competitors are pinned or submitted, as well as being thrown over the top rope, with both feet touching the floor. The winner of the match will receive a title shot at the next iPPV, Built To Destroy.

Finally, it was a surprisingly great match. There were lots of storyline advancements in the match. This refreshed a lot of characters on the Defiant roster. For example, it was great to see El Ligero finally turn on Joe Hendry by returning to his old gimmick. I was a huge fan of El Ligero before he joined The Prestige. His act went downhill from there.

The match also saw the wrestling debut of Simon Miller, a well-loved YouTube personality, who has been undergoing wrestling training for a long time. Miller had a very solid debut, which also provided loads of comic relief to the match before he was eliminated by Drake.

He definitely got the loudest reactions of the night. On top of this, Amir Jordan entertained me for the first time with his dancing antics when he formed a huge Conga-line with all of the other entrants right in the middle of the ring. Also, we had the debuts of Jack Sixsmith and TK Cooper, known for their work in other indie British promotions, on the Defiant roster.

Additionally, there were some great performances as part of the Rumble match. For example, David Starr made a sizeable impact as the ironman character of the match. He received very loud reactions for his appearance in the match.

Furthermore, Joe Hendry displayed hateable heel tactics, as usual, joining the commentary team before he kept entering the ring for eliminations when it suited his needs. Lastly, Inflatable Kid Lykos was easily my favorite surprise entrant of the match because their inclusion was very comedic and wacky.

The finish of the match might divide fans, as it saw Kirby overcome his injuries suffered in his match against No Fun Dunne earlier in the night to beat Hendry and win his second No Regrets Rumble in its two-year history.

However, it’s arguable how Kirby has been poorly booked by taking huge losses since the inception of WCPW and the rebranding of WCPW. Therefore, I feel his win compensated for it.

In conclusion, it’s a bold statement, but I enjoyed the No Regrets Rumble more than WWE’s Greatest Royal Rumble match. It’s a pity the two events have been held so close together because it would draw obvious comparisons from WWE and Defiant viewers, but my low expectations before this match easily resulted in more engrossing and subversive viewing.

After the match, Rampage congratulated Kirby and Starr rushed out to confront Rampage over the Defiant title. Then, Rampage and Starr brawled around the ring to end the show. I felt this angle was unnecessary and I feel that it should have been played out on a weekly episode of Defiant instead. But, Starr is incredibly over with the crowd.

Conclusion and Rating

I actually don’t think a three-way feud for the Defiant title is going to be something that fans won’t be accustomed to seeing. It’s a very intriguing end to the show. I’m fascinated to see what happens with the regular product as Built To Destroy moves forward.

In conclusion, No Regrets was definitely the best Defiant iPPV since it was rebranded from WCPW. This is because the iPPV featured an all-around solid card of matches and it brought some effects of a change to many Defiant characters and storylines.

Although Aries vs. Rampage was underwhelming and Havoc & Haskins vs. Aussie Open didn’t fire on all cylinders, there was still plenty of enjoyment to be had with the No Regrets Rumble main event, along with McKenzie vs. Ray for the Defiant Women’s Championship and Travis Banks vs. Walter for the Defiant Internet Championship.

It will be very fascinating to see “Primate” Jay Melrose take over the reigns of Stu Bennett as the general manager. I’m sure his inclusion will refresh the Defiant weekly programming going forward, despite the fact that I’m going to miss Stu Bennett in the role. Overall, I would definitely recommend watching this show!

RATING: 8.0/10.0 (GREAT)


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