On the heels of Lights Out we’ve got a rather compact episode of Loaded as Benji and Conor Renshaw put their differences aside to join the Defiant tag team ranks.
Of course, we’ve not reviewed Lights Out yet, so hopefully this episode of Loaded is light on spoilers! We’re at the O2 Academy in Leeds with Dave Bradshaw and James Kennedy just about poking through the background music to appear on commentary.
Josef Kafka vs. Man Like Dereiss
Winner gets into the No Regrets Rumble next month.
We’ve got your favourite Kafka meditations as he sat on Dereiss’ back in the corner early on, before he took a ‘rana and a dropkick that the crowd went slightly mild for. Kafka fought back with a monkey flip faceplant to Dereiss, before a headlock suplex drew a two-count. Kafka scrambles onto the apron ahead of a slingshot elbow drop that missed, allowing Dereiss to fire back with running elbows into the corner. Dereiss keeps going, going for a 450 splash which he missed before a missile dropkick finds its mark. An up-kick from Kafka and a gutwrench facebuster led to a near-fall, but no blessings, as a Koji clutch almost forced the submission.
Instead, Dereiss got to the ropes, then mounted another comeback with a shotgun dropkick before the 450 splash connected for the win. A decent little TV match, with Dereiss finally getting a W in Defiant. **¼
Laura di Matteo has a promo before her match with Natalie Sykes. She’s mad that Lizzy Styles has no respect for anyone – and she’s gunning for Lizzy again.
Natalie Sykes vs. Laura di Matteo
We’ve a debut for the Leeds native Sykes, who drew first blood with a shoulder tackle before she ran into a dropkick.
Sykes makes a comeback with a sunset flip out of the corner, then a lucha roll for near-falls, before an enziguiri from di Matteo got her back in it. There’s a lungblower for a near-fall as the Italian forces her way ahead, only for Sykes to respond with forearms… she’s pulled into a splits, which has no effect, as she’s right back up with a Twist of Fate for another two-count. A series of clotheslines has Laura back in it, as does a missile dropkick off the top rope, only for Sykes to capitalise with another missed kick with a Dudley Dog springboard bulldog for the upset win. Well, the crowd liked that, but this banana skin loss felt very “eh” in the scheme of things, unless Sykes is brought back. **
We’ve a long series of clips from the ELP/PAC match from Lights Out… which led to a promo from PAC backstage, as he’s still looking for competition. He promises to “take the belt” when he returns to Newcastle on June 1.
Simon Miller comes out next, to give us an update on his injuries after that attack two weeks ago. I feel like Sy-back’s been permanently injured – and yes, it’s been nine months since his last match (where he injured his shoulder). Miller muses over why everyone wants to beat him up… and he figures it’s because those who are “already wrestlers” are feeling insecure over the YouTuber. Long story short, Miller resigns as assistant general manager in Defiant… because he’s returning to the ring. He shrugged off the (paid-off) Anti Fun Police’s attack on him, but it led to Drake running in and beating him down, only for Miller to surprise him with a running Michinoku Driver.
Miller celebrates, but turns around as Drake clocks him with a turnbuckle steel, before dropping him with a hammerlock on the bad shoulder. Adam Foster and Prince Ameen run out to make the save, as we’re told that next week the South Coast Connect against Aussie Open.
Tuck Shop (Visage & Jack Sexsmith) vs. Benji & Conor Renshaw
We’ll look over how Benji and Renshaw were fighting over the Magnificent Seven briefcase a while back, and paint this as the Mackem MJF Renshaw trying to pull the wool over his eyes.
Sexsmith cannot believe what he’s looking at… and that’s just the deckchair-like red and white hooped shirts of “Ren Ben”. Benji and Sexsmith trade missed dropkicks before Jack helps up Benji in a kip-up… aaand we tag out. In come Visage and Renshaw, with Visage tripping up Renshaw with his wig ahead of a leg lariat. Sexsmith is back in as he throws Renshaw into Visage’s crotch in the corner. Visage’s handstand elbow drop’s next for a near-fall as “Ren Ben” looked to be struggling, but Renshaw trips Visage in the ropes as we had a brief turnaround. Benji comes in to get a near-fall from a neck flip as Visage got isolated in the corner, with a Renshaw lariat almost getting the win.
Benji returns with some double sledges as Visage remained cornered… but when Benji refused to use his Magnificent Seven briefcase as a weapon, things turned around. Sexsmith has Renshaw rocked as double knees from Sexsmith and Visage drew a near-fall. Benji ‘ranas Visage to the outside, and while the ref’s distracted, we get a low blow and a roll-up from Renshaw for the win. This was fine, but I get the sense Leeds weren’t quite on board with the Renshaw storyline. **¼
Renshaw tries to get Benji on-side after the match, but instead they just head to the back as the show ended.
As with most PPV-week shows, Loaded was a tad underwhelming – there were some spoilers in here if you listen or look close enough, but if you’re pushed for time this week it’s this is a “post Takeover-style” show you can probably get away with skipping.
- Watch Loaded #20 on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOnvx1Cy4Q0