On the heels of No Regrets, we’ve a fresh batch of Loaded.

We open with a spoiler warning and a photo gallery from No Regrets, before we see Laura di Matteo backstage. She’s looking for Chris Brookes, after being disappointed in her search for her. She’d entered the No Regrets Rumble to face him, but Brookes wasn’t there… so she challenges him to a singles match. We’re coming from the Manchester Academy, with the usual twosome of Dave Bradshaw and James R Kennedy on commentary…

CJ Banks vs. Joe Hendry
This was Banks’ singles debut in Defiant, having last been seen on TV as one of Rampage’s hangers on in WOS Wrestling last summer.

This is a weird match to put on a “post-show” Loaded, given how high up the cards Joe Hendry’s been lately. We start with a tie-up as Hendry looked to work over Banks’ wrist in the early going. Shoulder tackles follow as Hendry followed up with a leaping knee, then some uppercuts as Banks was having trouble getting going. A snapmare and a stomp to the face helps, ahead of a chinlock on the Scotsman, before a suplex led to a two-count. Banks keeps on top of Hendry with a side headlock, but Banks’ attempt to turn it into a guillotine only helps Hendry suplex his way free.

A series of elbows from Hendry led to a neckbreaker for a two-count as he began a comeback, quickly finishing off Banks with a Freak of Nature fallaway slam… but CJ kicks out at two. The ankle lock follows, but CJ rolls free and lands a German suplex, only for Hendry to respond by picking out the leg and using another ankle lock for the win. A decent outing, but you could tell this crowd had no idea who CJ Banks was. Hopefully he sticks around, as he could be quite a villain here. **¾

We go backstage to Prince Ameen who’s got some announcements. Drake’s on the shelf for a while because of the beating he took at No Regrets… but if he can make it back for the end of June, he’ll get a Hardcore title shot against No Fun Dunne. Meanwhile, John Klinger’s suspended for his actions on Drake… while Chris Brookes was going to suffer that fate, only to get booked against Laura di Matteo on Loaded “sometime soon”.

One last call: Martin Kirby’s being forced onto Loaded…

We switch backstage as Rampage and Stevie Aaron are in a stairwell. They’re interrupted by PAC, who answers the “who’s next?” question without saying a word.

Again backstage, Joe Hendry’s asked about how he was eliminated at the No Regrets Rumble by Gabriel Kidd. Hendry reckons he’s accepting second best, but he’s going to remove his safety net… he asks for a loser leaves town Iron Man match against Kidd.

RenBen (Benji & Conor Renshaw) vs. Tuck Shop (Jack Sexsmith & Visage)
A rematch from earlier in the year, this is Renshaw’s chance to prove he’s turned over a new leaf… but before he can, Sexsmith drops him with a forearm before the bell.

Benji cracks Sexsmith with a dropkick, sending him into the corner for Visage as Renshaw also comes in. He takes another forearm before firing back with spinebuster. More tags bring in Benji and Sexsmith, with the latter sneaking in a superkick for a near-fall, as Tuck Shop began to ease into a lead. A swift kick to the midsection from Visage helped his team on the way to a near-fall. Benji manages to make a tag out to Renshaw, who goes hog wild with slams, including one from a crossbody that nearly puts away Sexsmith. From there, Benji’s tagged in as the suplex/crossbody combo barely got broken up by Visage as Sexsmith was about to get beaten.

Jack has a little bit left in the tank as they took Benji down to his knees for some bicycle knees, before a wheelbarrow lungblower/German suplex combo drew a two-count, with Renshaw breaking it up now. Visage’s taken outside for a tope from Benji, but Renshaw ends up having to duck a leap over from Sexsmith… who surprises Renshaw with a Sliced Bread for the win. This was fine, but perhaps a little too rushed? Renshaw cost himself in hesitating for a DQ-inducing low blow, as that opened the door for Jack… **¼

Backstage, Ameen’s hunting in the toilets for Martin Kirby. He was in the women’s toilets after all. Ameen breaks the news that he told us earlier: except this time Simon Miller comes in to tell us that he’s the challenger… because the clause was “a YouTuber can challenge for the belt, anytime, if they’re a wrestler”. That’s actually a cute workaround.

Sean Kustom vs. Robbie X
A rematch from last week, we start with Kustom charging down Robbie with a shoulder tackle… before a double leapfrog led to him having to cartwheel out of Robbie’s ‘rana.

After Kustom took himself into the corner for a headstand, we’ve a bunch of missed enziguiri before Robbie lands a hiptoss, a cartwheel and a low dropkick for a near-fall. A standing moonsault’s good for a near-fall, before Robbie shushed the crowd so he could throw a chop. Of course, Kustom fought back, but got taken back to a knee before the Aussie recovered with a dropkick. A standing uranage and a springboard senton splash meets Robbie for a two-count, as does a springboard neckbreaker as Kustom began to ease ahead. Robbie tries to retaliate, landing a dropkick to take Kustom into the corner, following up with some uppercuts and an overhead kick as the pace suddenly quickened.

Robbie caps it off with a death valley driver for a near-fall, following up with a cartwheel kick and a tope to the outside as Kustom was starting to stutter. A moonsault off the apron misses as Kustom replies with a tope of his own, before a uranage onto the edge of the ring left Robbie down… and with the Lincoln native rolling back into the ring, he was in prime position to take a frog splash for a near-fall. Robbie heads up top, but has to cartwheel away as Kustom ends up missing a clothesline… leading him down for a standing flip senton as Kustom’s recent rib injury perhaps flared up. Kustom’s able to respond with an uppercut, before he ducked an X-Clamation and came back with a huge forearm, as a facelock brainbuster dumped Robbie for a near-fall.

An attempt at the Kustomiser’s slipped out of as Robbie came back with a powerbomb, before a knee to the face looked to set up an X-Clamation… but Kustom avoids that, then superkicks away a Quebrada before hitting the Kustomiser – a ripcord/pumphandle bomb for the win. This was fun, but it felt to me like Sean’s injury may have caused some issues. Still, they got a standing ovation from a usually stoic Defiant crowd, so this worked big time. ***¼

The crowd chanted for one more match, so I guess we’re getting the rubber as the show fades to black.

For a post-PPV show, this was a little better than usual, buoyed by the Kustom/Robbie X match, but as always these are somewhat “lame duck” cards coming off of PPVs as we wait for the fresh set of Defiant tapings to yield stories for Built to Destroy at the end of June.