Defiant’s final show before next week’s Chain Reaction caused more chaos as the tag team champions were forced to implode.

The main event of Chain Reaction of course, is that 5-on-5 match between Defiant and IPW. Will we come close to finding out who’s on those teams?

“Last week” the South Coast Connection challenged the Hunter Brothers to a ladder match. Except this bit didn’t air last week so… eh? Aussie Open fell to the former Prestige pair of Gunn and Coffey, while Gabriel Kidd put up a valient effort, coming up short in his bid to beat Austin Aries for the Defiant title. We open “earlier today” with Billy Wood and a Sainsburys sandwich, still sore over Chris Ridgeway getting screwed out of the Defiant Hardcore title… and that they’re going to right that as Ridgeway and Haskins get a tag title shot instead.

Defiant Hardcore Championship: Jimmy Havoc vs. Primate (c)
The first half of IPW’s plan to get those tag belts was this match, as the tag champions were made to face each other for Primate’s Hardcore title.

Havoc’s got a present for Primate, but it’s a ruse for a staple gun as the bag was full of drawing pins! Jimmy takes a German suplex into them, then an overhead belly to-belly as those tacks were re-gifted back to Havoc, before the Wilko special baking trays came into play. There’s a wrench too, which Havoc uses on Primate’s shoulder, and of course, a table… but that doesn’t get used as Primate grabs a cheese grater and uses it on Havoc’s head. Lovely stuff. I see a citrus fruit in the ring, but instead there’s more kitchenware shots as Primate makes Havoc bleed some more, before Jimmy reverses an Irish whip to send the champion into the crowd.

Now it’s table time, but it’s only set up as Havoc instead eats a spear back inside, before Primate bites away on Jimmy some more. Another table’s been propped up in the corner, but Jimmy’s sent flying through the one on the outside first, before taking Havoc back in for that second table… and the momentum swings as a death valley driver sends Primate through the wood.

A pumphandle slam dumps Primate in the tacks, before the Acid Rainmaker gives us a new champion! Hey, they made this exceedingly swift, and it wasn’t too reliant on the plunder, unlike prior Hardcore title matches. Thumbs up from me! ***

Rampage, Mihai & Amir Jordan vs. Zack Gibson, Drake & Alex Gracie
Here’s the trios match that may well give us Gibson/Rampage at Chain Reaction. The usual Gibson promo ensues, as he declared he was smart as he “only picks the pay days that suit”, before ripping into the “skinny, flippy boys” that “plague” the scene.

Gibson calls Rampage an “indy mark” for using piledrivers, before he reveals his partners. He doesn’t have any trainees, but he does have some replacements… Drake and Alex Gracie. Ahh man.

The proverbial ringers lay a beating to Rampage and co, with a triple-team sending Rampage head-first into the ringpost, which apparently took him out of the match as Mihai was left to fend for himself against Gibson, Gracie and Drake as the match officially got underway.

Gracie, who’s wearing a Prince Ameen shirt for… reasons, nearly wins with Eat Defeat, before Gibson had a go with some clotheslines. Drake keeps it up, but Mihai catches him with a hammerlock’d clothesline, and makes a tag out to the ball of fire that was Amir Jordan. A roll-through into a cutter almost gives Jordan the win over Gracie, but Gibson breaks it up before he and Drake double-team him.

Rampage finally gets back into the apron, snarling, and sure enough Jordan gets the hot tag out as Rampage made a beeline for Gibson. Gracie and Drake quickly snuff him out, but end up eating clotheslines for their troubles. Picking his spot, Gibson tried to run in with the Shankly Gates, but he’s not the legal man as Rampage tried for a piledriver, before getting off a double suplex to Gracie and Drake.

Gibson runs away onto the stage… and stays there as Rampage puts away Drake with a piledriver… so we’ve got Gibson vs. Rampage at Chain Reaction next weekend. Decent enough, but that felt so underwhelming that Zack ended up with some lesser lights of Defiant rather than new faces. **¾

Pastor William Eaver’s out with Liam Slater for a tag team match… Eaver heels on the crowd, before challenging Gabriel Kidd to the next match – if Kidd wins, he gets Ameen back, but if Eaver and Slater win, Kidd must join them. This would have been so much better had they not announced the match was happening before…

Pastor William Eaver & Liam Slater vs. Gabriel Kidd & Prince Ameen
So, what’s stopping the catatonic Ameen from just lying down? Especially when Ameen STARTS THE MATCH.

Eaver makes Ameen pray, before he asks him to lay down… but Kidd breaks it up. Why didn’t that dummy start the match then? Full of vitality, Ameen tags out to him, as Eaver brings Slater in… and it’s Kidd who gets the upper hand, cornering Slater before releasing him out with a suplex throw.

A DDT follows before Kidd tries to shake Ameen out of it… that self-distraction allowed Slater to his a crucifix before a double-team crucifix bomb left Kidd laying. Slater dragged Kidd to the corner for Ameen to tag back in, and we’re back with Eaver trying to force him to pray and lay… but Ameen snaps out of it! Ameen goes flying with his Magic Carpet, and that’s it! A weirdly-rushed blow-off all things considered, but… **½

The lights go out straight away, and return with Jurn Simmons in the ring, booting away Kidd and laying into Ameen too. Eaver tries to cut a promo, but the mic is broken… and it seems there’s a challenge for something at Chain Reaction. Kidd vs. Simmons is set.

We’re backstage next with New Adam and Millie McKenzie… Millie’s annoyed that Kay Lee Ray tried to overlook her, and she vows to leave Chain Reaction as champion.

Live, the Prestige’s Joe Hendry heads out with a live mic. He’s mad at how Travis Banks attacked him on commentary a few weeks ago, and he calls out the Kiwi Buzzsaw. Hendry cries that Banks assaulted him, but now he can’t compete against him until his legal team decide if there’s a case. Hendry’s got a restraining order out on Banks, and orders out a trio of referees to cart away Banks…

Travis walks away, begrudgingly, as Hendry is left laughing in the ring, saying that he always finds a way to win. Yeah, lawsuits always get over in wrestling. Always.

An over-dub from Dave Bradshaw runs through the card for Chain Reaction:

Defiant Women’s Championship: Millie McKenzie vs. Kay Lee Ray (c)
Zack Gibson vs. Rampage
Gabriel Kidd vs. Jurn Simmons
Mike Bailey & Chris Brookes vs. The Prestige (David Starr & El Ligero)
5-on-5 Elimination Rules: Team IPW vs. Team Defiant

That’s Sunday February 18 on iPPV.

Defiant Tag Team Championship: Mark Haskins & Chris Ridgeway vs. Jimmy Havoc & Primate (c)
Primate and Havoc gingerly head out, but the still-bleeding Havoc has an axe… and gets jumped by the remains of the IPW roster at ringside.

Apparently this was made no-DQ, and it’s a mugging from the IPW crew… at least until Primate gets a chair, which Haskins superkicks away after several shots. Havoc fails to save Primate from an apron death valley driver as he instead goes for Ridgeway, trading chops and kicks until a Ridgeway brainbuster gets… a one count?

Havoc manages to rebound with an Acid Rainmaker, but Damian Dunne pulls out the referee to break the count. Another Acid Rainmaker follows in time for a second referee to come out and get taken out… c’mon, where’s Steve Lynskey to complete the set? Dunne tries to interfere, but it’s Mark Davis with a chair that makes the save as Joe Coffey, BT Gunn and Martin Kirby come out to even things.

Kirby’s looking extremely conspicuous in a thick winter jacket… and after he hit Dunne with a pipe, the rest of the IPW squad powder onto the stage. Uh-oh. Mark Haskins is left in the middle of the ring against Havoc, Primate, Kirby, Coffey and Gunn, most of them with weapons, and… the credits roll. Well, that was lame, building up a title match to have it as a non-finish. The Attitude Era at its best eh?

And so wraps up the build for Chain Reaction. The line-up doesn’t look too strong, with all of the eggs being put in the proverbial 5-on-5 basket, which didn’t have any names revealed for it… but the lack of a Defiant title match makes me assume that Austin Aries will be leading the IPW squad. Still, at least the fans going to Manchester next weekend will have seen the entirety of the build-up for this, so if the invasion angle has built up any stock, it shouldn’t be happening in front of the lacklustre responses we’ve seen the last few weeks on TV.