Week two of the new-look Loaded saw Defiant debut some more new faces, as a new era got underway.

We open with a recap of last week’s show, with some different camera angles so it didn’t feel like a cut and paste job, before we’re thrown back inside Newcastle’s O2 Academy. Dave Bradshaw and James R. Kennedy are on commentary, as we open with the announcement of the new Defiant GM. It’s Prince Ameen.

Of course, Dave Bradshaw calls it “the greatest decision in the history of Defiant Wrestling”. He’s the UK’s answer to Tony Schiavone. Ameen asks if anyone saw this coming, before promising to establish new AND established talent. Surely they’re not established if you have to establish them? Ameen runs through some matches for this show, which were already announced before he became GM, and then we switch to a Rory Coyle video tape which built up to him announcing Primate vs. Gabriel Kidd next week.

Martin Kirby vs. Benji
That’s 3CW’s Benji who got the “already in the ring” treatment, not the Hungarian with a penchant for giraffes. If you’re wondering, he’s in his Ace Athletic gear rather than the posh boy gear he’s got in NORTH.

Kirby’s reverted to his original “Project Ego” nickname here, and he calls for the mic before the bell. He was shocked at Prince Ameen being GM, because he thought it was Gorilla Monsoon… eh, I think next to nobody got the Primate/Gorilla gag. Kirby asked for a handshake before the bell, but it’s a cheapshot as he commentates during his match a la Jerry Lawler.

Benji’s thrown into the corner and stomped on, before a one-handed snapmare led to a single leg crab. That takes some skill, seriously, unlike the high pitched “Benji voice”, before Kirby let go of the hold so he could try and start a chant. It’s way too long, and of course the crowd don’t chant it, so Kirby just finished off Benji with a Sable bomb. Splat. Eh, at least they’re going somewhere with Kirby, but I’d not mind him facing “random bairns” for a while.

Post-match, Kirby’s still got a bee in his bonnet about Joe Hendry. Or WALTER… saying that “he doesn’t care, because he’s got a better offer”. Of course, that drew out the Austrian, who just waited for Kirby to turn around… prompting Kirby to kiss his backside. Figuratively. There’s a handshake, but Kirby slaps WALTER… and gets a chop in return. Payback, eh?

Backstage, Adam Clery interviews Omari after his loss from last week. Omari’s not happy with losing, and promises to come back. It was a very shoulder-shruggy footballer’s interview, before Nathan Cruz interrupted to show a rather improved interview. Cruz’s nose was out of joint at Omari’s disrespect, and he ends up jumping him. I quite liked the way those two played off each other, with Cruz being justified at losing TV time to a guy who didn’t even win.

Next week: Gabriel Kidd vs. Primate, then in two weeks, it’s WALTER vs. Martin Kirby. A late Christmas present, eh?

Defiant Tag Team Championships: CCK (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham) vs. Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) (c)
Gresham had his mascot, Earl Perkins, with him… I wonder if he packed any staples?

The crowd was pro-Aussie Open here, with the Newcastle crowd taking a little longer to get into CCK before the bell. Commentary completely breezes by a posedown that Gresham was trying to have before we got started, with a headlock/headscissor escape looking rather effortless between Gresham and Fletcher. Fletcher goes low as he offers Gresham a test of strength… but Gresham’s lack of height meant that he just stomps on Kyle’s foot before tagging in Brookes to get some payback. There’s a kick to Kyle’s knee too, so in tags Mark Davis as we got the big lads… especially when Gresham dropped off the apron.

Brookes throws a nonchalant chop to Davis and walks off as we got a slow motion Benny Hill chase around the ring, returning to the ring as Brookes throws some more chops, then played pat-a-cake with Davis’ chest before he got punched out. Gresham gets in Dunkzilla’s face, leaping onto Brookes’ back so he could chop Davis… only for some chops to Brookes to bring that whole thing to an end… with Brookes lowering Gresham so he could take what he had coming to him.

That chop ended Gresham, but rather than get medical help, Brookes just dragged him into the corner and tagged him out. Brookes tries to kick Davis in the chest, but it’s caught and met with a high five as the two-on-one on Brookes began, with a Fletcher backbreaker and a Davis back senton for a near-fall.

Gresham is back in with a delayed deadlift German suplex to Fletcher, who at least had the time to wave goodbye. There’s chops from Gresham, but the newly-heavyweight Fletcher hit back in kind every time, before a low chop caught the Aussie unawares. That turned things around for CCK, who worked a leapfrog/seated splash onto Fletcher’s leg, but Gresham keeps finding that his offence was drawing blanks… at least until he found a plan C.

Brookes and Gresham get shoved away from Figure Four attempts, before Brookes tricked Kyle into a leapfrog… it jarred the knee, but Fletcher’s able to land a Michinoku driver before tagging in Davis. Clotheslines and chops follow after Gresham’s hurled across the ring, and it seemed Gresham became the easy target as he took a uranage backbreaker before the double-team Go To Sleep prompted Brookes back into it. The tag champs struggled a little against Brookes, who hit his missile dropkick/back senton combo, before Gresham returned as he’s wheelbarrowed into a cutter on Fletcher. A brainbuster from Brookes left Fletcher down for a two-count, before we got a series of near-falls from a roll-up… ending in somehow both men being pinned at the same time.

The crowd booed the decision of a draw, while the Aussies demanded a restart. We got the restart… which led to Davis being low-bridged to the outside as Gresham went after him with a tope. Brookes’ slingshot cutter has Davis down, but Gresham’s shooting star press sees him land on Davis’ knees before the Aussie quickly polished him off with the pull-up piledriver. I have no idea what to make of that match. We started with a little bit of the ridiculous comed and had some good wrestling in there… but this wavered all over the place. They’ve had much better matches, but this wasn’t bad in any way, shape or form. ***

We get a video package for the South Coast Connection, with Ashley Dunn and Kelly Sixx telling us that they want to be back permanently. Kelly Sixx makes a really bad joke and seems proud of it, and they’re back next week.

Prince Ameen is in his office trying out highlighter pens. Martin Kirby interrupts “General Ameen” as I think someone’s been watching Citizen Khan… Kirby and his thick overcoat’s shocked that Ameen is GM, and repeats the Gorilla Monsoon joke that died a death earlier. There’s some words of advice from the former GM, before he tried to talk his way out of his match with WALTER. Ameen threatened to fire Kirby if he didn’t go through with the match…

Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne, Deputy Drake & Los Federales Santos Jr.) vs. Visage, Mickey Mann, Man Like Dereiss
We’ve a trio of debutants, with Mickey having recently returned to wrestling. He’s had a few matches for 3CW as “Mickey The Dragon”, a name I really hope ends in “Speedboat”…

Man Like Dereiss is fairly new to this wrestling gimmick too, having impressed those who’ve seen him, while Visage seems to be a bit of a drag act. Those with longer memories, think “Priscilla” from back in the day, and I’ll just hope that we this doesn’t build to the PC-troubling “Gaywatch” tag team that he’s a part of. Drake starts against Mann, lifting him up and slamming him down in a wristlock, before kicking his leg out of his leg… but Mann’s able to rebound off the ropes and score with a dropkick. A spinning heel kick into the corner puts Mann ahead and gets him a near-fall, before Visage and Dunne get the tags in.

Cue the “no fun on his dick” chants from the effeminate Visage, who throws his wig at Dunne before blasting him with a forearm. There’s a diva-like facebuster and a hip attack out of him too, before catching Dunne with a rear end shot and an enziguiri to block the false alarm from the Chief.

More tags bring in Santos and Dereiss, the latter of whom tries to dance… but that just angers Santos. An enziguiri takes the big guy into the corner, as does a shotgun dropkick, before Dereiss gets smashed into with a spinning heel kick. Dereiss is triple-teamed as Drake and Dunne hit duelling lungblowers from Santos’ wheelbarrow… and that’s it for the win. This felt very flat, trying to do too much in too little time – establishing the new Anti-Fun Police and the debutants. **

Post-match, Dunne tries to reveal his plan to deal with Jimmy Havoc. I wonder if it’s replacing beer in the venue with Kaliber? Instead, it’s delegation: Dunne wants to focus on Mark Haskins, before handling Havoc in a one-on-three hardcore match, taking his title and rebranding it the “No Fun Title”. That could actually work…

They play an advert for the next PPV, Unstoppable. Yes, they use the music wXw used for one of their recent shows…

David Starr’s out next for a promo to explain what happened with Rampage last week. He calls out Rampage, demanding that he play his music to avoid a Vampiro situation, and we’ve got the surly, Rev Pro-like Starr here. Rampage waits on the stage with a mic in hand, as Starr demanded a shot at the Defiant title… the challenge is rejected by Rampage, which only angered Starr more, who then vowed to “beat the shit” out of him.

They announce here that Rampage is in non-title action next week, while Mark Haskins faces Chief Deputy Dunne. We’ve also got a new announcement of a Joe Hendry promo…

Gauntlet Match for Defiant Women’s Championship: Bea Priestley (c) vs. Millie McKenzie vs. Kay Lee Ray vs. Lana Austin vs. Little Miss Roxxy vs. Kanji
Ring announcer Stevie Aaron announces that it’ll be a six-woman match, with elimination by pinfall, submission or disqualification. No count-outs, eh? It’ll not be a “two start and winner stays on” match either, as we’re getting Royal Rumble-like staggered entries, with Bea Priestley getting the unlucky number one spot.

Millie McKenzie is out second, and those two start with some simple stuff, as they worked over each other’s wrists, with Bea edging ahead as she pulled Millie into a double armbar. We’re back to the wrist, as it seemed like they were riding out the clock before someone else came in… with the crowd being rather apathetic to these early exchanges.

Millie and Bea exchange snapmares and kicks to the back but Millie keeps on pelting the champion with kicks before she’s caught and pulled do the mat. A wacky lucha roll-up gets Millie a near-fall as we finally get the countdown as Kay Lee Ray entered the fray. For some reason Kay Lee offered a handshake, but she’s pulled into a German suplex effort as we get some three-way pinning attempts, all of which were broken up in this elimination match.

Kay Lee put a stop to it with a Boston crab/camel clutch combo onto her two opponents, but there’s a swift rope break before Kay Lee got clocked by a roundhouse from Priestley. Bea followed up with a Codebreaker to the arm of Millie, then a stomp to the shoulder as she looked to tear her down bit-by-bit. Another countdown brings out Lana Austin, with Bea staring a hole through her as they looked to pay off the injury story…

…except Lana brought a chair out and just sat on the stage rather than hit the ring. The three still in the ring keep going, with Millie hitting a duel German suplex for some near-falls, before a Gory bomb from Kay Lee Ray left Millie down… only for Priestley to try and steal the pin, pushing aside Ray before using a curb stomp on Millie. Kay Lee broke up the pin – in this elimination match, mind you – then caught Priestley with a Gory bomb. She can’t make a cover though, as Millie spears Kay Lee Ray and gets the elimination. Hey, at least commentary called out the nonsensical breaking of the cover!

Millie and Bea traded shots as Lana Austin changed her viewing position from the stage to ringside, watching as Millie took a German suplex before she looked to hit a top rope German suplex. Bea slips out and looked for a Cheeky Nandos, but Millie kicks her away as Lana Austin throws a chair at McKenzie. The ref didn’t see it, so the match continued, with Bea heading outside after Austin, as Little Miss Roxxy came in to try and capitalise on Millie’s misfortune.

A wacky back cracker is the first thing Roxxy lands, before she floated into a Muta lock… and that’s the quick submission for Roxxy. Commentary tried to sell it as a big thing, despite what caused it… and we then go to Austin getting caught inbetween Roxxy and Bea. She powders to the outside, as Bea stomps on Roxxy’s arm. A low dropkick from Roxxy takes out Bea as they trade forearms, before a head kick from Bea knocked Roxxy down.

Roxxy replies with a Scorpion kick and a Code Red… but it’s only enough for a near-fall as Bea fought back with another step-up double stomp to eliminate Roxxy. Lana Austin finally comes in and lays out Bea with a belt shot as the referee was tending to Roxxy… and there’s the elimination! Lana’s surprised that she’s not the winner, because we have one woman left.

Kanji was out at number six, but Austin shoves her away, expecting Kanji to just lay down for her. That wasn’t the case, as the newcomer lands a springboard forearm, then a Stinger splash in the corner, before a 619 into the corner found its mark. Kanji keeps up with a missile dropkick for a near-fall.

Austin got back into it with a rope-hung DDT off for a near-fall, with Kanji getting a foot to the rope… which prompted Lana to throw a fit. Another DDT’s fought out of as Kanji hits a short-arm clothesline, before she went up top for a moonsault… and that’s the win! In only her second match, Kanji wins the Defiant women’s title, which in my mind is way too soon, but I guess we now get the story of the newcomer trying to hold onto the title. As a gauntlet match, this was fine, but those early segments where pins were being broken up really took me out of it. **¾

Next week: Primate vs. Gabriel Kidd, No Fun Dunne vs. Mark Haskins, plus Rampage and the South Coast Connection have matches!

For the second episode back, this week’s Loaded was fine – it was verging on “cramming too much into a show” when you consider the promos and matches that we had. There’s been precious little “direct” build for Unstoppable, but there’s plenty of shows to get through beforehand. You can tell this format of Loaded isn’t trying to fit to any particular time. Last week went a shade over an hour, this week was closer to 90 minutes – and while that isn’t a bad thing, weekly shows that are roughly the same length every week are much easier to digest.