Simon Miller’s your feature attraction this week, as the WhatCulture YouTuber looks to win the belt that was almost made for him… the Defiant Internet title.

You know the score – we open with recaps from last week, including the Dusty finish, before we’re taken back inside Stage 2 in Newcastle. Dave Bradshaw and James R. Kennedy are again on commentary.

Nathan Cruz vs. A-Kid
This was a bit of a weird match to have in Defiant, where both men are pretty cold in the singles division. Talented, but cold, given how they’ve not been used lately.

As you could probably guess, this was wrestled at a deliberate pace, and mostly on the mat, before A-Kid began to leave his feet, scoring with a lucha armdrag before he started to work over Cruz’s neck with a modified cravat. There’s a quick trip to the guard rails as Cruz took over briefly. Chops from A-Kid got him back in, but Cruz is right back with a Curt Hennig neck flip for a near-fall. A kip-up Northern Lights gives A-Kid another opening, only for him to get caught with the Thanks, Tully slingshot backbreaker as Cruz looked somewhat comfortable. After escaping a crossface, Cruz pushed A-Kid away, then came back with a David Starr-like DDT as he then aped another of Starr’s moves, forcing the submission with the Republican Remorse. This was fine, but felt bone dry until the finish – and you got the sense the crowd weren’t too in on it either… ***

Cruz has a post-match promo, where he points out that he beat A-Kid with Starr’s finisher… it segues into Cruz seemingly being on a tear against flavours of the month. He told A-Kid to “sod off to WWE, get frustrated then beg for your release”, which gets a smattering of applause, before Cruz turned his sights onto Simon Miller. “From head to toe, we’re 100% pro”… that sounds like a new group…

Somewhere, Drake’s talking about his upcoming Hardcore title match with No Fun Dunne. He’s got a load of plunder ready for it, including a ladder that fell on cue.

Elsewhere, Adam Foster’s showing his weight routines to Man Like Dereiss. General Ameen interrupts, orders Foster away, then tells DeReiss that he’s facing Lucky Kid at Built to Destroy. Hey, I guess the restraining order expired?

South Coast Connection (Ashley Dunn & Kelly Sixx) vs. RenBen (Conor Renshaw & Benji)
If RenBen win, they’ll get a title match at Built to Destroy in around a fortnight…

Renshaw’s back to his red and white gear, which gets him a few heckles in Newcastle. Conor overpowers Dunn early on, throwing him around the ring before the champions tried to find a way in… only for Conor to slam his way back in front. Benji had to overcome some double-teaming before he almost seemed to headbutt Dunn’s groin in a bid to get free… which he did moments later as Renshaw got the hot tag. A spinebuster puts paid to Sixx, before a Snow Plow on Dunn nearly led to the win… but Benji tags in and ends up taking a double-team One Winged Angel for a near-fall. Benji keeps kicking out though, including from the champions’ unnamed Strong Zero finisher, before a belt shot from Dunn went awry, as Renshaw kicked it into him for a near-fall.

Sixx tries to throw in more plunder, but it instead gets used in underhanded ways as Dunn did the Eddie Guerrero “he hit me” fake out… and the ref falls for it. Those chants of “you’re not fit to referee” fit, and I swear I saw better referees in League One last season. This was fine, but the crowd never really seemed into it… and the finish did my favourite thing of making referees look like idiots. **½

Post-match, Renshaw accused Benji of cheating, and snapped on him as he and the SCC triple-teamed Benji. Visage of all people runs out for the save, and sends everyone packing. Just in time for Benji to get the mic and tell us he was going to cash the briefcase in at Built to Destroy… except this time he’ll team with Visage to get the tag titles, with the match being a ladder match. I guess that makes sense, but I’m fully expecting Benji to get involved.

Rory Coyle invades the stream with another well-produced promo to tell us that while David Starr’s laid one ghost to rest, he’s got plenty more. Coyle tells us he’s not going to be at Built to Destroy… if he can beat him. Rory wanted “CZW David Starr”, so I guess we’re getting Davey Deathmatch next week in a “Video Store Massacre” match. Deep down, I’m hoping they found an empty Blockbuster to tape this in.

Defiant Internet Championship: Simon Miller vs. Martin Kirby (c)
Kirby’s playing up the comedy side of things, calling himself the DailyMotion Superstar. Where’s the love for Vimeo?!

This was Kirby’s first outing on YouTube in six months (since he beat WALTER at the end of 2018), but he struggled to find an answer to Miller’s power early on, taking a hiptoss into the corner then a big back body drop for good measure. Kirby pratfalls as he leapt into the ring, as Miller kept up on him…

There’s a turnaround as Kirby worked a chinlock, forcing Miller to power out with an atomic drop before he came close with a crossbody. Kirby’s Scrappy Doo stuff backfires as Miller found a second wind, but not for long as Kirby teed up for a Sable Bomb… only for Miller to get out with a spinebuster. Kirby rolls outside to grab his belt, but this referee is competent and removes the belt… but misses a low blow that almost wins it. So Kirby goes for a chair, while oblivious to Miller having the belt… and Miller lands the belt shot, but can’t get the win before Ups and Downs drew another two-count, as Kirby gets a foot on the rope after the running Michinoku Driver.

The finish comes quickly after that, when Miller gave chase to Kirby, before falling to a small package on his way back into the ring for the three-count. Much like the rest of the card, this was fine, but felt a little flat – whether it was the heat or the crowd not believing Miller’s chances. **¾

Post-match, Kirby traps Miller in that Republican Remorse as everyone’s apeing David Starr’s moves this week… except commentary doesn’t go hog wild on that as you’re left to join the dots… just as Nathan Cruz comes out to mock. Sans whiskey or cigar.

Cruz called Miller “Bill Goldberg, but without the talent” before telling the crowd that Simon’s “divvy mates at WhatCulture” got him here. There’s some snarky advice for Simon to “burn his boots”, as we then get taken backstage as General Ameen congratulates Martin Kirby, who says he’ll not be on YouTube again. Instead… Ameen makes a match for the PPV: Kirby vs. Joe Hendry.

Next week: Anti-Fun Police vs. Dynamic Duo… Chris Brookes vs. Laura di Matteo… David Starr vs. Rory Coyle in the Video Store Massacre…

Another week, another decent episode of Loaded, albeit one that felt a little on the cold side – but at least there’s some clear seeds being sewn for the road ahead. Wherever it heads, Nathan Cruz and Martin Kirby appear to be on the same page, which could at least lead to something with David Starr down the line… and potentially the rest of the roster.