PAC got his chance to win another title, as he took on Rampage in the main event of this week’s Loaded.

We open with a recap of David Starr winning the No Regrets rumble, his vow to win the title, and then the finish of last week’s Iron Man match that saw Gabriel Kidd exiled from Defiant. It’s backstage after that, as Chris Brookes is in a stairwell poking fun at Laura di Matteo. He agrees to a match with her in two weeks, but not on PPV, “because she doesn’t deserve it”.

James R. Kennedy joins Dave Bradshaw on commentary.

Carlos Romo vs. Sean Kustom vs. Man Like DeReiss
It’s a singles debut for Romo here, and given the pedigrees in Defiant, there’s a pin eater sticking out like a sore thumb.

We’re straight in with pinning attempts, including a nice springboard flip senton onto Dereiss from Kustom as we were playing the revolving door game. Romo dove onto the other two on the outside, before DeReiss snuck into the ring so he could hit a springboard clothesline. Running elbows from DeReiss keep him ahead, as does a Blockbuster, but Romo’s back in with a Code Red that nearly won it as the pace threatened to become a little disjointed.

Forearms from Kustom, then an implant DDT drop Romo as a big splash nearly put away the Spaniard, who comes back with a springboard cutter… only to land into the path of DeReiss’ 450 splash as I eat my words. This was pretty fun, although whether it’s of any importance in the immediate future remains to be seen. **¾

Next week: A-Kid faces Nathan Cruz… then we go backstage as General Ameen’s playing Minesweeper. Adam Foster walks in and asks why Ameen’s not been speaking to him, and it seems Ameen’s sore from being thrown out at the No Regrets rumble. Benji and Conor Renshaw walk in for a pep talk, as they’re told they’re facing the SCC next week in a non-title match… and if they win, they get a title shot at Built to Destroy. All without Benji cashing in his briefcase.

Lizzy Styles & CJ Banks vs. Visage & Lana Austin
We’ve mixed tag action next, and it seems Austin’s become a part-time member of the Tuck Shop in Jack Sexsmith’s absence.

Styles and Banks poke fun at their opponents ring gear, before we started with a bunch of tags. Banks looked overconfident from the off, and quickly gets clocked with a leg lariat as he was berating Visage. There’s your usual dose of cheating, complete with a really odd attempt from Lizzy to distract the ref with “something in her eye” before Visage went for a roll-up. I guess we’re under intergender rules as Banks and Styles double-team Visage. He sneaks in with a forearm and a spear to get free, as Lana Austin gets the hot tag, nearly putting away Styles from the off, before Visage got involved to knock down Banks on the outside with a forearm… and Visage gets involved again at the finish, knocking Styles’ foot off the rope as a hanging DDT got the win. Interesting to see how commentary didn’t call it at all until afterwards… **½

Stevie Aaron’s out for an interview with Lizzy Styles after the match. He posits that Austin’ll be facing her… but she chases him away before challenging Lana to a last woman standing match.

Next week: Simon Miller faces Martin Kirby for the Internet championship…

Defiant Championship: PAC vs. Rampage (c)
We’ve a jump start as PAC dove onto Rampage before the bell – and it’s sure odd to see this PAC as a good guy. Hometown and all that…

Once the match started, PAC keeps up on Rampage… then has to deal with an annoying cameraman in the form of Rory Coyle as the match quickly swung in the champion’s favour. Coyle’s ejected for that, so we’re quickly down to one-on-one, as Rampage dropped PAC with a slam on the floor. Back inside, a powerslam drops PAC for another two, as Rampage used his size different to keep the pace low. When PAC was able to get free and increase the pace, he was able to catch Rampage from the air with a moonsault outside, then with a pair of missile dropkicks.

Another springboard goes bad as Rampage counters with a Samoan drop, only to find out first hand PAC’s got similar strength, showing it off with a superplex that bounced Rampage to the mat… for a fleeting advantage as the bully Rampage asserted himself once more. PAC finds a way back in… but Rory Coyle’s back out to distract, then pull out the ref to stop PAC from winning with the Black Arrow.

With no ref, there’s more shenanigans as PAC ducks a belt shot and hits one of his own, before a second Black Arrow got the win as a second referee came out. Cue (relative) delirium on Tyneside for the new champion. Except… it wasn’t. It’s a Dusty Finish, as the original referee saw PAC’s beltshot, so he’s calling it a DQ. They found a way, if you will… This was a decent enough main event, but the finish continues to play into the “how will they do the finish” bingo that’s plagued PAC’s UK run so far in big matches. That’s quickly getting old… ***

David Starr runs out to make the save as Rampage and Coyle attacked PAC after the match… which led to a staredown between the two as the show went off the air.

Next week: Miller vs. Kirby for the Defiant Internet title… South Coast Connection vs. Benji & Conor Renshaw in non-title action… Nathan Cruz vs. A-Kid.

It might be a sign of how connected I am to Defiant at the moment, but that PAC/Rampage match almost blindsided me… so I’m not too annoyed at the finish of it. That being said, this felt like a one-match show that didn’t really deliver, as the promotion seems to be pointing towards David Starr leaving Built to Destroy with the gold.