The South Coast Connection finally got their shot at gold, as they challenged Aussie Open on this week’s Loaded.

The opening recap covers how El Phantasmo found his glasses… the SCC talking their way into a tag title shot… and John Klinger squashing Adam Foster. We’re still in Newcastle, with Dave Bradshaw and James Kennedy on commentary.

Lana Austin & Lizzy Styles vs. Kanji & Bea Priestley
Commentary’s highlighting how Kanji’s not had a decisive win for a while, but that seemed to spark a fire as she leapt into Styles from the off, scoring with a head kick for an early two-count.

Bea Priestley comes in to help Kanji suplex Styles, with the thinking perhaps being that Kanji “couldn’t get it done”. Styles tries to fight back, but she just gets thrown into the corner before avoiding the 619-like kick… Kanji stays on the apron, only to get suckered in with a kick by Austin as Kanji found herself isolated and far away from a tag. Austin and Styles took their shots on Kanji, which led to Lana getting a near-fall as Bea Priestley was seemingly content watching from the apron. More clubbering from Styles followed as Kanji remained the underdog, squeaking in a two-count from a sunset flip before she finally found a way in with a 619 in the corner.

Finally Kanji gets free and tags out to Bea, who goes to town with Saito suplexes – as her explosive offence put Kanji in the shade. Styles snuck in a Northern lights suplex for a near-fall, before a superkick gave Priestley a chance to tag Kanji back in. This time around, Kanji’s able to score with a lucha-style stunner off the ropes for a two-count on Lizzy, before she went up top for a moonsault… which missed, as Styles runs in with a knee to put away Kanji. As a match, this was fine within the storylines – but in “kayfabe world”, surely management has to make Kanji defend her belt if she’s supposedly so undeserving? **½

Conor Renshaw gets a promo ahead of the Magnificent Seven match that he’s in. That line-up is still so weird to read…

Backstage, Adam Foster and Simon Miller are bemoaning their result last week. They’re interrupted by General Ameen, who’s not exactly happy with the battered Magnificent Seven briefcase they used last year. Miller’s apparently gotten a new briefcase… and Ameen turns around as Kanji tells him she wants to vacate the women’s title. Ameen tries to give her a pep talk, and manages to get her to change her mind. If only because Kanji wants to defend her title against Austin and Styles at Magnificent Seven.

Joe Hendry vs. David Starr
Starr’s coming in with his ribs taped up, selling the beating at the hands of Gabriel Kidd a few weeks ago… and he’s already looking very wounded coming into this.

Hendry offers – and gets – a handshake, but Starr’s already looking shaky as he can only use one arm for a knuckle lock, before Hendry took him to the mat with a rolling front facelock takedown. Already Starr’s ability to wrestle is put into question, but he manages to trip down Hendry… only to struggle with a simple toe hold as his ribs caused more issues. Starr got annoyed at Hendry “holding back”, and after he slapped the Scotsman, Hendry responded by hurling Starr across the ring as the Product got progressively more winded.

Hendry picked his spots, kneeing Starr in the midsection too, before Starr fought away a superplex, shoving down Hendry as a top rope elbow proved to be a really bad idea. A right hand from Starr finds its mark, but he stopped himself from running the ropes as Hendry quickly hit back with a Freak of Nature fallaway slam, sending Starr rolling to the outside… where he never returned as the bad ribs led to the count-out. Not quite the match we were expecting, but this was worked really well for the little action we were able to get. **½

Hendry gets the mic afterwards and complains about the match that just happened. He blames Gabriel Kidd for it all, and challenged him to a match at Magnificent Seven to get his own back… and to give him a “prestigious detention”. Okay then.

They replay the scene where El Phantasmo found his glasses last week, and Omari chasing Chief Deputy Dunne after the match. The camera picks up the running Anti-Fun Police in varying stages of bad cardio “one week later”. Omari was right behind them, but in cartoon style, he misses them.

General Ameen’s wondering about Instagram when Joe Hendry asks him to lift Gabriel Kidd’s suspension. They agree… then Lucky Kid wanders in to berate him for the way he handled the investigation into ELP’s glasses. Lucky apparently went to the police, and he’s gotten a restraining order… which means Lucky Kid can’t stay around. Boo.

Back at ringside, Stevie Aaron’s got an interview with Benji, who challenges Martin Kirby to another match. Kirby responds via video, saying he won’t wrestle for free on Loaded. Ah well. Instead, Benji wants a match… and he gets a quick answer to his open challenge. Oh boy.

Benji vs. Rory Coyle
Coyle’s out in a Primate t-shirt that has the name X’d out with tape. I guess that’s Primate definitely written out for now as commentary say he “ran him out of Defiant”.

Benji shoots his shot, taking Coyle into the corner early on before Coyle hit back with a bulldog. Some ground and pound instantly has Benji on the defensive, and once he comes back with some body blows, Benji just runs into a sidewalk slam as he’s back to square one. A full nelson slam dumps Benji to the mat, before he went up top and leapt into an Air Raid Crash as Coyle took the easy squash win.

Post-match, Benji’s covered in a burlap sack as Coyle goes full 1993 Doink on him, beating him with the mannequin arm.

Coyle has an interview afterwards, telling the crowd that they’ll “need to go to Shopzone” to get their Primate merch now. He then tries to get into Rampage’s mind by saying that the fans don’t care about either of them.

Backstage, Santos is still gassed as Chief Deputy Dunne… turns around into Omari, who’s suddenly found them. Dunne offers him a shot at the No Fun title at Magnificent Seven, but instead Omari just snatches the belt as Dunne runs off.

They run through the card for Magnificent Seven in Sunderland…

Defiant Championship: Rampage (c) vs. Rory Coyle
Defiant Internet Championship: Martin Kirby (c) vs. El Phantasmo
Justin Sysum vs. John Klinger
Defiant Hardcore/No Fun Championship: Omari vs. No Fun Dunne (c)
Joe Hendry vs. Gabriel Kidd
Defiant Women’s Championship: Lana Austin vs. Lizzy Styles vs. Kanji (c)
Magnificent Seven Match: Benji vs. Drake vs. Visage vs. Los Federales Santos Jr. vs. Conor Renshaw vs. Man Like Dereiss vs. MJF

Outside, Lucky Kid realises what he’s done… and he walks away from Defiant… for now?

Defiant Tag Team Championship: South Coast Connection (Kelly Sixx & Ashley Dunn) vs. Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) (c)
Before the match, Ashley Dunn heads outside for a chair, and uses it to jab Mark Davis in the knee as the challengers proceeded to Pillman-ize Dunkzilla.

Davis insists on going through with the match, but it’s Fletcher who starts against Ashley Dunn. Kelly Sixx comes in almost instantly as the challengers hit a lungblower/Quebrada combo for a near-fall on Fletcher as the champions were already in huge trouble. On the floor, Davis is trying to beat some feeling back into his knee as Fletcher manages to suplex both challengers at the same time. Davis tags in as both Dunn and Sixx remained in the ring, and after they absorbed Davis’ chop/clothesline combos, they went to work on his knee. A sit-down splash out of the corner just aggravates things more, but somehow the Aussies manage to hit a Fidget Spinner… only for Sixx to pull the referee to the outside.

Kyle planchas into Sixx as the referee remained distracted on the outside, allowing Dunn to smash Davis in the knee with a chair. A roll-up from that gets a near-fall, before the challengers nailed a spike Strong Zero onto Davis for the win. Not much of a match as the pre-match attack on Davis did its job – but even with that, this felt like a “TV squash” rather than a classic tag title match. Newcastle were NOT happy with this result… **

As a go-home show for Magnificent Seven, this felt rather by the numbers – they gave us some angles and development of matches going into the show in Sunderland, but the big takeaway here will be how Aussie Open were robbed of their titles. Whether that builds to a rematch or anything else down the line remains to be seen, but with neither Aussie Open nor the SCC on Magnificent Seven, it’ll likely be played out in future episodes of Loaded.