David Starr had the opportunity to add another championship to his collection, as Defiant closed out their season.

For Defiant’s last show ahead of their summer break, they’re back in Newcastle… but first we open with a minute’s ovation for the late Adrian McCallum, better known as Lionheart. Dave Bradshaw and James Kennedy are on commentary.

Defiant No Fun Championship: No Fun Dunne (c) vs. Drake
Drake bring a bin full of plunder, which seemed to include an inflatable axe and a lollipop sign. I can guess which of those two will hurt more.

There’s plunder from the off until Drake was stopped by Santos as a lollipop lady. He had the sign dropkicked into him, before Drake put Dunne in a bin as we got another of wrestling’s great staples, combined with… a kitchen sink? Poor Dunne’s ears… A No Fun Table’s out next, but Santos gets involved. Not to worry, Drake’s got his staple gun for that eventuality, along with a trolley board that he used to propel Dunne into a cornered Santos. That blow-up axe gets burst over Dunne, but the numbers game came into play again courtesy of Santos’ back suplex on the apron, which gave Dunne a brief spell of offence.

Drake used a chair on Dunne’s throat, following up with a diving knee and a tope that almost went awry as Drake caught the ropes, before the Drake’s Landing German suplex drew a near-fall. There’s more plunder as a Coast to Coast dropkick looked to trap Dunne between the sink and a chair, but Dunne threw the chair at Drake on the way down, before a spear into the sink got a near-fall.

An accidental reverse ‘rana spiked Santos, before Dunne got placed across two chairs… Santos tries to get involved again, but he’s just pushed through that table on the outside, before Dunne popped up and superplexed Drake through the chairs. Still not enough. So Dunne goes to Drake’s personal plunder, pouring out some drawing pins… only to get thrown into the pins after the springboard lungblower was blocked. From there, a Finlay roll into some chairs and a Drake corkscrew senton followed, and that was enough to crown a new champion. This started out pretty one-sided, but this ended up being an entertaining hardcore match that managed to switch up the usual formula. **¾

Post-match, Drake was interviewed after winning the title on Defiant’s third-year anniversary. He ripped off the No Fun stickers, and the Hardcore title is back.

Lucky Kid vs. Man Like Dereiss
Lucky’s still using his RISE theme here, which makes me happy since everywhere else has switched it…

There’s nary a mention of Lucky Kid’s restraining order, which led to his storyline Defiant exit earlier this year… so he starts out hererolling around Dereiss as commentary was thankful that the building turned on the air con today. Dereiss seemed to be a step ahead, but Lucky managed to get even with a leapfrog (barely) before pulling a Homer. The cartwheel kick works better, taking Dereiss off the apron ahead of a pescado.

Lucky Kid fools around as he finds Santos’ sunglasses on the commentary table (which still had Dunne’s megaphone), before he began to wear down Dereiss in the ring. An enziguiri knocks Dereiss off the top rope and down to the floor, with an awkward landing… so Lucky just waits in the ring as Dereiss took his time getting back in. Dereiss fired back as Lucky trash talked him in the ropes, but the 16 Carat Gold winner just shot back with shots to the midsection. A crossbody from Dereiss hurt him more, but he was able to add in a shotgun dropkick before a tope took Lucky into the guard rails. Dereiss’ spell on offence was snuffed out with a Ligerbomb, before some chops from Lucky winded him more, only for Dereiss to come back with a cutter and a Blue Thunder Bomb for a delayed two-count.

A missed 450 splash from Dereiss proved to be his undoing though, as Lucky Kid quickly looked to put him away with an ushigoroshi and the Lion’s Gate crossface, only for Dereiss to stand up… only for headscissors from Lucky to take him back into the hold, using the spare arm to add in a stranglehold to the crossface as Lucky squeaked out a win. Way more even than you’d think based on their standings, but this was a nice little match as Lucky got back on the board in Defiant. ***

Last Woman Standing for Defiant Women’s Championship: Lizzy Styles (c) vs. Lana Austin
With no rules, I was saddened that we didn’t get “streetfight jeans” out of either the champion or challenger, as instead there’s rough housing from the off.

Austin throws Styles to the outside, kicking her into the guard rails before reversing an Irish whip into the rails led to our first standing count, and a bunch of crowd brawling that led to the usual issues with mobile cameras and iffy lighting. Thankfully Dave Bradshaw was able to see more standing than the camera crew initially could capture. Styles beats a count and ends up throwing Lana into a wall, before a suplex into some chairs looked painful. They finally make it back to the ring as Styles stripped the referee of his belt as Lana got a whipping, before she hit back with a draping DDT off of a table on the outside. Lizzy beat the count, then returned the favour back in the ring, almost getting the win.

A rolling elbow from Austin put the champion down as both women were throwing the proverbial bombs, before a series of running knees finally put Austin away. This wasn’t too bad, but that spot of crowd brawling really took me out of it on the VOD – and with this being a definitive win, you’d have to expect there’ll be a new challenger for Lizzy when Defiant resumes. **¾

Defiant Internet Championship: Joe Hendry vs. Martin Kirby (c)
These two have fought on and off throughout the history of Defiant, and they started out quickly here as Kirby attacked Hendry on the stage. I thought something was amiss when the challenger came out first…

When the bell went, Hendry began to find his way in, only for Kirby to score with a snapmare and a diving uppercut to the back as the champion began to wear him down. Eventually Hendry forced his way in with a neckbreaker, following up with a DDT for a near-fall, before Kirby escaped a Freak of Nature fallaway slam. Kirby mounted back with a neckbreaker of his own, eventually looking for a guillotine as he tried to make Hendry pass out. Hendry manages to power out into a suplex, but Kirby kicks away the legs as the Scotsman was sent onto the apron, then to the floor for a tope, before a Ki Krusher almost put Hendry away.

A Prestige lock from Kirby follows – an ankle lock mixed with a Sharpshooter (almost like David Starr’s new submission) – but Hendry got to the ropes, as the pair began to trade chops and various other strikes, until Hendry caught Kirby with a lungblower for a near-fall. A double underhook facebuster and a lariat follows, but it’s still not enough, nor was an ankle lock, as Kirby rolled Hendry into the corner for a gamengiri off the apron.

Hendry tried to fight back with a Freak of Nature, before he countered Kirby’s Prestige lock with an ankle lock of his own… the counters go back into a fireman’s carry spinebuster before Hendry’s ankle lock was reapplied. Kirby managed to get to the ropes, only to get pulled away as Kirby was forced to tap! We’re 2-for-3 on new champions tonight, and while the crowd here was muted, this was a solid match – one that should set Hendry up for a good run as champion when Defiant returns. ***¼

After the match, Kirby walked to the back, applauding Hendry, who stayed back with a microphone. Hendry tells us that the title is something “he should never have had” because he was the “entrances guy” as this turned into a motivational speech. He called the Internet title the “workhorse” championship, before promising to defend the belt worldwide.

Ladder Match for Defiant Tag Team Championship: South Coast Connection (Ashley Dunn & Kelly Sixx) (c) vs. Benji & Visage
This was Benji’s Magnificent Seven cash-in, albeit with a new partner after Conor Renshaw attacked him after the South Coast Connection’s shenanigans on Loaded a few weeks back.

We start with dives as the champions went outside and grabbed a ladder, but Visage manages to get back in the ring to try and delay Sixx, along with a little help from a rolling cutter from Benji. Our first bout of ladder climbing saw Benji thrown off into the ropes as the champions powerbombed each other onto the Supersub. Dunn moves the ladder, but he just ends up getting whipped into Sixx in the corner as Visage seemed to be frustrating the champions. Benji runs up the ladder in the corner and rebounds off it with a crossbody, before we had comedy a Benji pulled out a step ladder compared to Visage’s towering beast.

Sixx gets caught in the step ladder, but the champions come back with a twister suplex off the top rope to Benji. Visage tries to make a save as the champions climbed, but he just gets caught in the ropes with a lungblower/Quebrada combo. A reverse ‘rana from Benji and a Trish headscissors from Visage keeps the champions down, before Benji climbed the big ladder on the outside and hit a crossbody into the ring. Things go south for Benji as he ate a spiked belly-to-back piledriver with the leap coming off the top of the ladder. Visage is back with a spear before a spin kick hit a ladder, as the champions proceeded to set up a ladder bridge in the ropes… but Benji ends up scoring with a frog splash onto the ladder bridge as Dunn was caught on it.

Benji tries to climb the bugger ladder, but ends up getting caught with an inverted crucifix bomb onto another ladder in the corner by Sixx, before Dunn’s attempt to leap onto Visage – who was on a ladder – led to him becoming all Super Humman. You can guess what happened next…

Sixx tries to save that with an OsCutter onto Visage, on the ladder, before a death valley driver added some more pain as the champions looked to scale the ladder… but Benji stopped Dunn with a massive sunset bomb off the top of the ladder! That looked like it sucked, and as Kelly Sixx engaged in some slow-motion wrestler ladder climbing, he got pushed off the ladder into the other one in the corner, as Benji came back in to retrieve the titles! We’re 3-for-4 after this one – a ladder match that had some craziness in it, and not one you’d expect Benji to want to relive again. Especially for those cuts on his back at the end… ***

Post-match, General Ameen and Adam Foster celebrated with the new champions. Ameen fired the SCC, saying they had no need for them since they weren’t the tag champions. Well, I guess with Ospreay now living in Japan, they weren’t going to get any kind of blow-off aside from Ameen’s offhand “I spoke to Will” reference a few weeks ago.

Ameen stayed behind to appoint a new assistant GM… apparently he couldn’t get hold of Stu Bennett or Primate. Before he could appoint who we thought was going to be Foster as his assistant, Rory Coyle and his Sack Boys hit the ring. Coyle cuts a softly-spoken promo that we could barely hear at first, as he berated Ameen for being “soft” and for booking thigh-slappers.

Coyle eggs on Ameen, but instead the Sack Boy decked Adam Foster, who then took Coyle’s Dip in the Lake. Ameen gets the same treatment, as Coyle “started shooting again”. He didn’t care about the door closing “to Camden” (I mean, that pre-show match against a hooligan went nowhere), as it seems that Rory’s ditching the whole cult leader thing for a different form of wild-eyed, old-school mentality. He’s got a new minion too, as the Sack Boy’s unveiled as Conor Renshaw, before Coyle issued an open call for people to join “wrestling’s redemption”. I think I backed that project once…

Ups and Downs Match: Nathan Cruz vs. Simon Miller
Or in other terms “a 15 minute Iron Man match, with points scored for pins or for throwing your opponent over the top”. Given his love of old-school stuff, I imagine Rory Coyle will be thrilled at that stipulation.

Miller started off by taking Cruz into the corners, as James R. Kennedy espoused that “if this was a normal match, it’d be over by now”. You what?!

Cruz lifted Miller onto the apron, but that’s not a point since he didn’t touch the floor… Cruz came close to conceding seconds later, but he clung onto the rope to save himself, only to get caught with a one-handed spinebuster for a near-fall. A takedown from Cruz led to a Figure Four… Miller taps instantly, which makes Cruz thinks he’d won. Except that’s not the rules, and as Cruz argued with the ref, he’s caught with a roll-up as Miller makes it 1-0.

Miller shouts at Cruz for his stupidity, but just gets slapped as Cruz tried to equalise. He’s caught with a belly to belly suplex, then clotheslined to the floor as it became 2-0 – with Miller having to hold on to avoid sending himself to the outside. Cruz stays on the outside as he tried to bide his time, before catching Miller in the ring apron with some kicks as he returned with a suplex for a near-fall. A Curt Hennig neck flip yields a similar result, before Miller kicked away a back body drop, only to get low bridged onto the apron. Miller repeated the trick as the pair ended up on the apron, trading blows, before Cruz pulled the referee into Miller, knocking him off the apron as a second ref on the floor awarded the decision.

At 2-1 down, Cruz seemed to have some momentum, as he baited Miller into a shoulder tackle in the corner. He misses, hitting the ring post in the process, with Cruz rolling up Miller for the pin to make it 2-2, as the referee on the floor counted, oblivious to the handful of trunks Cruz had. Miller tries to regain the lead with the Ups and Downs, only for Cruz to rebound with a Thanks, Tully as we passed the ten minute mark. A Show Stolen nearly makes it 3-2 Cruz, before the Ups and Downs sit-out side slam led to a near-fall for Miller. Si-back returns, trying to get the crowd to chant “Why?”, before he got popped up out of the corner.

Cruz takes advantage of the rules with a low blow and a small package to make it 3-2, as this match had no disqualification to it. After the decision, Cruz struck the referee, so there’d be nobody to count an equaliser as the glaring hole in Miller’s plan was exposed. Even more so when he hit a spear and a Jackhammer, as there was nobody to count the visual three-count for Why-berg. Yeah, it doesn’t work as well as Si-back. We enter the final sixty seconds with no referees, so Cruz begins a Benny Hill chase to wind down the clock as time ticked away on the screen. Where’s Yakety Sax when we need it? Time ticks away, and Nathan Cruz has beaten Simon Miller at his own game – it wasn’t a bad concept, but I’m glad the glaring flaw was exploited. ***

Defiant World Championship: David Starr vs. Rampage (c)
There’s a pretty cool video package before this, set to a cover of Linkin Park as they recounted all the times David Starr’s come close.

Rampage started out by grounding Starr as commentary reminded us of Rory Coyle’s presence in the arena – despite his earlier promises. Starr mouthed off after he tripped Rampage, which wasn’t such a good idea… although he did manage to clothesline the champion to the outside before he had to abort a tope.

On the outside, Starr got dumped across the edge of a guard rail with a back suplex, as Rampage began to settle into the match, using his size and strength to his advantage. Crossface punches in the ropes left Starr a dribbling mess, but he was at least smart enough to hook his feet in the ropes to save himself from being pinned. It didn’t save him from being rolled into a Boston crab though, as he needed the ropes again to force a break as Rampage was looking surly and comfortable.

An errant shoulder charge from Rampage saw him hit the ring post, and that gave Starr an opening – one he capitalised on, dropping Rampage’s arm across the top rope before meeting the champion on the floor with a Thesz press. He follows that up with a tope, taking Rampage into the railing, only for a Han Stansen back in the ring to be ducked as Rampage responds with a slam. Starr instantly goes back on with an armbar, but Rampage punches his way free, before catching a flying Starr with a spinebuster as a single leg Boston crab followed. Rampage keeps booting Starr, whose opportunities were getting increasingly limited. A Cherry Mint DDT was one that Starr managed to capitalise on, only for Rampage to try and steal a win with a roll-up and a handful of tights.

A kick-out allowed Starr to hit back with a Han Stansen for a near-fall, before he went straight onto Rampage’s injured arm with an armbar… but the champion rolled out and flattened Starr with a powerbomb. The pressure’s added to with a lariat before Starr just whipped the champion down by the arm, following that up with a nasty Blackheart Buster as Rory Coyle appeared to pull out the referee.

The referee calls for a DQ, but Starr’s incensed because he didn’t win the title on that. He calls for the mic and amid chants of “bullshit” called Rampage to restart, baiting him into it by saying Rampage “couldn’t win without Rory”. Rampage accepts… so we restart. A beltshot misses as Rampaghe tried to cheapshot his way to the win. Starr gets the title and clocked Coyle as he tried to intervene, before Starr used the belt and a Trapped Arm Bob Fossil piledriver to seal the win! Starr’s been making these restarts a bit of a habit lately, but at least this one culminated in a win as he managed to leave Newcastle with some new hardware. ***½

The show ended with Starr celebrating on his back, before we got a video package recapping the life of WCPW/Defiant, through the big title changes. Remember when Marty Scurll was WCPW champion? Or when Austin Aries won the Defiant strap? This felt like a package that perhaps could have opened the show, but it worked well to close out the show as we ended with Starr in the ring, holding the title before we faded to black.

Built to Destroy was a satisfying show to watch, in that it capped off pretty much every storyline the promotion had, with a lot of the proverbial rice pudding served out as well. With a clutch of new champions, the table’s set up for some new storylines, particularly with Rory Coyle’s “redemption” project. The only concern is that this was Defiant’s last show going into a summer break – with no “return” show announced for the second half of the year. Depending on how long the break it, this may well reduce whatever buzz has been generated by this show – but whatever happens after their break, Defiant remains a steady, solid promotion.