Sw3rve made his return to DEFY last month – and took on Washington state’s prodigal son Nick Wayne.

We’re back at Washington Hall in Seattle for this one from DEFY’s 50th show… this was Sw3rve’s first match in DEFY since losing to Darby Allin in March 2019, while Nick Wayne’s been getting a lot of hype since his match with Joey Janela last November, so much so, in fact, that he later got an AEW contract out of it…

Nick Wayne vs. Sw3rve the Realest
Sw3rve got the obligatory “welcome back” chants, as the crowd quickly became split with their support.

Sw3rve takes Wayne into the corner to start, before a chinbar took the sixteen year old to the mat. It led to Sw3rve wrestling with his hands behind his back, underestimating Wayne in the early going as they headed into the ropes, but Wayne escaped and managed to confound Sw3rve with a long series of duck outs as they reached a stand-off. A Test of Strength on the mat leads to Sw3rve getting caught with headscissors and a dropkick, before he caught Wayne’s tope on the outside… only to get posted. A series of apron PKs blast Sw3rve next, but a third one missed as Sw3rve superkicked Wayne off the apron to the floor, where a pump kick off the apron followed.

Sw3rve drags Wayne around ringside by the nose as things eventually headed back inside, roughing up Wayne by the ropes, eventually snapping back on the arm as a more embittered side of Sw3rve came out. Wayne found a way back in with a forearm, then an uppercut, before he took Sw3rve to the corner… where his springboard cutter was blocked. Instead, Sw3rve’s taken onto the apron, but his rolling cutter’s countered into a standing Spanish Fly as Wayne snuck in a near-fall. A Blue Thunder Bomb’s next out of Wayne for a near-fall, but he took way too long going up top as Sw3rve caught him in the ropes, only to get knocked down as Wayne… missed a senton bomb. Sw3rve pounces as he rolled up Wayne into a brainbuster for a near-fall, then just chucked him to the outside for another pump kick off the apron… which was caught as Wayne swept the leg, forcing Sw3rve onto his head.

Wayne heads up top for a moonsault into the crowd, then returned to nail a Code Red… but it’s in the ropes as the ref refused to count. A rolling Flatliner from Sw3rve plants Wayne in response, as a teased stomp off the top sent Wayne onto the apron for respite… but Sw3rve just stomped him onto the edge of the ring instead. A second stomp back inside nearly wins it for Sw3rve, who followed up with a leaping kick to the head as he seemed to be gunning for a stoppage. The focus gets put on Nick Wayne’s mum, who’s shown in the crowd as Sw3rve relished picking him apart, landing step-up kick after kick after kick. The ref hits the mat three times after a fourth kick, but Wayne’d peeled a shoulder up in the nick of time… so Sw3rve grabs Wayne’s arm and threatened to break it, which drew Wayne’s mum to ringside to beg for mercy. In the middle of her admonishing Sw3rve, Nick got back up and caught Sw3rve in the ropes for an avalanche reverse ‘rana, following with the cutter out of the corner that almost snatched the upset!

A superkick takes Sw3rve into the ropes, as did another, as Sw3rve headed outside… where he blocked Wayne’s next moonsault attempt and teased an apron death valley driver. Wayne escaped and manages to ‘rana Sw3rve to the floor, then rolled him back inside for a senton bomb that almost won it. From the kickout, Wayne grabs a Fujiwara armbar, torquing the wrist before Sw3rve broke the hold by going for the nose. The pair trade front kicks as they get to their feet, but Sw3rve goes back to the step-up kick before Wayne ‘rana’d out of a brainbuster for a near-fall. One more blasting kick sets up Sw3rve for a knee strike, which laid out Wayne, ahead of a JML Driver… and that’s enough to get the win.

There’s a lot of comparisons between Nick Wayne and Will Ospreay at even this stage in his career – and you’d have to say they’re justified. With Nick having grown up around wrestling, with long-time podcast listeners being well aware of how he watched on as a young (well, even younger) boy at his dad’s training school, there’s clearly a lot of knowledge that he’s absorbed at that age. More than just the moves, Wayne’s got the “babyface in peril” stuff down pat at thios age, and just based on the recent spotlight matches, there’ll be a lot of fans watching to see what’s next for him in his fledgling career.

Result: Sw3rve pinned Nick Wayne in 23:37 (****½)