Defiant’s go-home show for their Lights Out iPPV ended with a surprise backstabbing and the emergence of a familiar unit…

We open up with Austin Aries leaving the venue last week… getting slow-clapped by Stu Bennett. Stu tells Aries he has another title defence – April 28th at No Regrets, against an opponent to be revealed. After that, there’s a recap of Primate squashing Zack Gibson, and how El Ligero and Joe Hendry also qualified for the Magnificent Seven match, before they touch on how Millie McKenzie earned herself a three-way title defence after she interrupted a scheduled number one contender’s match.

After all that… we’re still in Manchester for the last episode of Defiant before Lights Out on March 19., and it’s straight into the action as we have another Magnificent Seven qualifier.

No Fun Dunne vs. Prince Ameen
Well, they just threw all of his names out here. Damien Dunne. No Fun. I guess Defiant aren’t fans of imitating the police… but we’ll go with what appeared on his lower third here. I don’t get why Ameen is in this match, given his record in Defiant is far from stellar.

Then again, this is Dunne’s Defiant debut, so *shrugs*! At least the “no fun on his dick” chant made it here…

Dunne goes for Ameen at the bell, taking him into the corner for some mudhole stomping, but Ameen’s back with inverted and regular atomic drops, before throwing the chief of the Anti Fun Police to the outside. Ameen looked to go flying, but he thinks better of it as the gag is him climbing down slowly off the middle rope, before dropping to the floor to poke Dunne in the eye.

Back in the ring, Ameen goes up top again and because he’s got his Magic Carpet, he can fly! Except I don’t quite get what he was going for as he just leaps into a stomp that misses, allowing Dunne to nail an enziguiri as he kicks the Magic Carpet out of the ring. Aside from the stuff where the crowd were able to sing along, the BEC Arena crowd were largely silent until they flagged up something Dunne had done as “cheating”, before Ameen is forced to kick out from a back cracker at two.

Dunne calls for the finish, but out comes Martin Kirby with a kid’s toy car – the kind they sit and ride on. He’s making child-like police siren sounds as he scoots around the ring like a wacky version of the Undertaker… complete with some Limp Bizkit-royalty-generating lyrics. It’s quite a bizarre distraction, and it eventually works as Ameen schoolboys Dunne for the win. Huh. I guess we know who isn’t going to win the Magnificent Seven… and we’re going to Kirby vs. Dunne based off of this, which should be a good match, but it is quite the drop away from the title scene for Kirby. The match was what it was… Ameen isn’t that great, but at least his comedy bits got over. *½

Backstage, we’re with Stu Bennett who’s invaded by Zack Gibson. Zack’s mad that Stu’s “sitting there on MSN, tweeting to all of his mates. There’s mixed metaphors, and there’s someone who sounds like your technologically-confused uncle. Gibson was angling for a rematch, but Bennett didn’t really take too kindly to Gibson not liking the appearance of a “Yank” like Christopher Daniels. Bennett agrees to add Gibson back to the mat, but only if he doesn’t say anything more. Zack doesn’t nod, but his name gets added to the board… as part of a three-way qualifier as “Scouse Monkey” against Gabriel Kidd and Jurn Simmons.

Drake vs. Amir Jordan
A rematch from the hastily-added match at Chain Reaction, and we start with a dance-off from Amir Jordan, just to troll the “gimmick killer”. Of course, Drake’s idea of dancing was… to swing and miss with a chop!

Jordan was wise to it as he came out with a shotgun dropkick and a hiptoss in search of a quick win, following up with a roll-through into a neckbreaker. Amir looked to go flying, but he had to abort… and looked to injure his knee on landing, forcing him to drag himself into the corner. The match wasn’t waved off, and Jordan pulls himself to his feet to continue things… but of course Drake just went for the knee with Dragon screws, kicks and elbow drops.

It’s offence that saps any energy from the crowd, not helped by this presumably being late on in the tapings. Jordan does try to fight back, pulling himself towards the ropes to escape a leg grapevine, and after another spot of offence from Drake… Jordan pulls off the upset, rolling out of the corner with a schoolboy roll-up while getting his feet on the ropes! The ref didn’t see it, and that hardly drew much of a reaction all round (including on commentary). This wasn’t a bad match, but it felt like it was literally held inside a vacuum at times. **

We’re told that the tag titles are on the line next… except, they’re not. We come back from a break to…

Jurn Simmons vs. Gabriel Kidd vs. Zack Gibson
“The main event”. I think that was a nickname one of Jurn Simmons’ partners used… this is what happens when you change running orders after you’ve already filmed the live commentary!

This is the final Magnificent Seven qualifier, and while it’s unfortunate that Jurn Simmons was left somewhat rudderless after Pastor William Eaver’s injury, his enforced absence with an ankle injury ought to give the folks at Defiant a chance to come up with something fresh for him upon his return.

Zack Gibson tries to cut a promo before the match, but he has to fight the microphone before he tells us about his distaste of having to qualify for the Magnificent Seven match. Kidd and Simmons are primed and ready to pounce on Gibson, with Kidd succeeding… but Jurn stops him from making the cover as those two pair off.

Gibson’s out cold, but nobody tries to cover him… and so long passes as they brawl around ringside that Gibson wakes up. He’d have stirred quicker had the crowd make any noise! All three ended up on the outside brawling, with Kidd chaining together an elbow to Gibson as he was draped on the ring barrier, and a boot to Simmons on another railing. I’m seriously wondering if the crowd were dead or if the ring mics were just not turned on.

Back inside, Kidd nails a reverse waistlock takedown for a near-fall, but Jurn’s back to cut-off a piledriver attempt and nail a spinning side slam instead… but Gibson can’t quite steal the pin as Kidd kicks out. Instead, Gibson goes for the Shankly Gates, but he breaks it as Simmons returns, and after negotiations fail, the Marquee Player tries for a Doctor bomb…

Only for Kidd to return and nail Simmons with a series of clotheslines to the front and back. Gibson tries to steal the pin from that and fails, before he aborts another crack at the Shankly Gates, instead turning his attention to Kidd, sending him flying with a Ticket to Ride. Big boots follow from Simmons and Kidd as all three men are left laying briefly, before Gibson nailed a teardrop suplex to Jurn… only to get thrown out as Kidd tried to nick the pin, dropping Simmons with a Ganso bomb as he booked his spot in the match. To zero reaction from crowd or commentary, who seemed to be devoid of excitement throughout. I enjoyed this three-way, as we had extra logic being pin-stealing attempts and the like, and thought all three men involved came off pretty strong. ***

At least Zack Gibson was shocked and angered at not being able to qualify…

They air that WALTER video again for Lights Out, this time with the Cagematch rating seemingly a little lower down the pecking order (and still true, so nobody’s gone on his profile to troll them!)

So for Lights Out, which airs on March 20 on delayed iPPV, we have:

Travis Banks defending the Internet title vs. WALTER and David Starr
Millie McKenzie defending the Women’s’ title vs. Kay Lee Ray and Sammi Jayne
The Magnificent Seven match: Christopher Daniels, Joe Hendry, El Ligero, Primate, Rampage, Prince Ameen and Gabriel Kidd

We’re back for the proper, aired-out-of-order main event… but first, Joe Hendry’s out as Dave Bradshaw realises there’s chairs on the stage. Hendry’s talk show is here, as he brings out Rampage Brown (with an accidental surname) for a chat. He pulls the respect card and plays the role of nervous interviewer, asking basic questions. I guess Joe Hendry’s had one of those lately…

Rampage just sits there, arms crossed, until Hendry tells him he has no chance in the Magnificent Seven… at which point he grabs Hendry by the scruff of his neck and gives Maffew another Botchamania clip before taking Hendry into the ring for a piledriver, except El Ligero makes the save, only to eat one himself as Hendry runs for the hills.

Defiant Tag Team Championship: Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) vs. Primate & Jimmy Havoc (c)
Havoc came out with a chair, but he lays out Primate with it and demands the microphone. He tells Primate he’s fed up of him “riding on his coat tails” and how hardcore wrestlers are labelled a “knock-off” Jimmy Havoc.

Havoc tells the ref to ring the bell, and lays down as Kyle Fletcher takes the pin… and we have new tag team champions! Well, Primate had a broken jaw, so there’s not much you could have done here, especially if the plan was for a title change anyway.

Mark Haskins runs out with a chair as he laid out the new tag team champions, prompting Jimmy Havoc to return… and their team in PROGRESS is carrying through to Defiant as they work together to lay out Aussie Open! Havoc calls Haskins someone he can trust, and said that they rebuilt the British scene while the crowd didn’t care. This is the promo they needed when they were paired together in PROGRESS, rather than that “never explain” stuff. The show ends with Havoc saying that they’re going to give Aussie Open a fair fight, but they’ll come away with the tag titles.

Stu Bennett has one more bit before the show goes off air, as he’s meeting BT Gunn and Joe Coffey, who ask to be added to the made-but-unannounced Aussie Open vs. Haskins & Havoc title match at Lights Out. The request is approved as they shoehorned a change to a match that hadn’t been announced before we return to the arena (long after the credits rolled), who say “we just saw Gabriel Kidd qualify for the Magnificent Seven”. They also throw in Kirby vs. Dunne to the card, before one last run-down for the iPPV properly closes the show.

When the line-up was announced at the end of last week’s Defiant, this show looked very weak… and unfortunately, the throwaway matches certainly delivered on their no-promise. The one match they announced that I was loking forward to ended up being more of an angle than anything else – and while it’s nice to finally get an explanation for a partnership (albeit in a different promotion), it came across as extremely rushed, although that might have had more to do with the swapped-around segments than what was originally planned.

Lights Out is taped on March 19, and airs on iPPV the next day – a line-up that has some bright spots, but hopefully won’t have the technical issues that beset the last Defiant iPPV!