Defy Wrestling “Violent Minds” results: Vetter’s review of Clark Connors vs. Cody Chhun, Masha Slamovich vs. Nicole Matthews, Tom Lawlor vs. Shigehiro Irie, Ninja Mack vs. Artemis Spencer


By Chris Vetter, Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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Defy Wrestling “Violent Minds”
Replay available via
August 12, 2023 from Seattle, Washington at Washington Hall

This show was posted, for free, on Thursday at For what it’s worth, Defy opted to air matches out of order compared to the live show. The lighting is a bit darker than usual and the crowd is maybe 400. Rich Bocchini and Ethan HD provided commentary.

1. Artemis Spencer defeated Ninja Mack at 13:04. Mat wrestling to open. I always compare Artemis to Curtis Axel. Mack did some cartwheels and hit a huracanrana at 5:00. and he got a nice pop. They fought to the floor, where Mack hit a superkick. In the ring, Spencer nailed a Tiger Suplex, then a moonsault to the floor at 7:00. Spencer hit a running knee to the chest as Mack was seated in a chair on the floor; the lighting on the floor is really disappointing. In the ring, Mack hit a series of gut punches. Spencer hit a back suplex and a 619 for a nearfall at 9:00. Mack fired back with a snap suplex and a twisting swanton. He went for a second-rope Phoenix Splash but Artemis got his knees up to block it.

Artemis hit some kneestrikes to the ribs. Mack hit a spin kick to the side of the head at 11:30. Mack nailed the Sasuke Special to the floor, drawing a HUGE pop and a “holy shit!” chant. Mack missed another top-rope Phoenix Splash, and Artemis immediately hit a piledriver. Artemis applied a Triangle Choke with repeated elbow strikes to the top of the head, and the ref called for the bell. The commentators agreed that Spencer was sending a message to Jon Moxley, as Moxley beat Spencer that same way at the last Defy show. Good opener.

* After a quick commercial, they showed us footage of the finish of the Spencer-Moxley match from the prior show. We then heard from Spencer, who said he wants another shot at Moxley.

2. “Sovereign” Evan Rivers and Travis Williams defeated “Midnight Heat” Ricky Gibson and Eddie Pearl at 14:44. The MH came out first and were loudly booed. They got the ‘Dominik treatment’ where the crowd loudly booed them as they tried to talk. Gibson is bald; Pearl has short black hair, and I always compare them to FTR; they have a very old-school vibe. Williams has the short crewcut and reminds me of a young Bryan Danielson. Rivers has a mullet and I compare him to former Impact Wrestlers Sam Beale or Zicky Dice. MH attacked from behind to start. This is heel-heel matchup, so Rivers tried a rollup with a handful of tights, but the referee saw it and stopped counting at 1:30.

Sovereign worked over GIbson in their corner; this match is maintaining good crowd heat despite them both being heel teams. Midnight Heat began working over Williams in their corner; I will reiterate here the lighting is mediocre at best. Gibson hit a dive through the ropes at 12:00. In the ring, Williams hit a brainbuster on Gibson for a nearfall. Rivers hit a stunner. Williams hit a German Suplex with a bridge for a nearfall. The crowd started a “Defy!” chant; they are remarkably involved in this match while not cheering for either. Gibson hit an Angel’s Wings faceplant on Williams, and Ethan HD said it was a message sent to Christopher Daniels. Rivers hit a chairshot on Gibson’s head, and Williams immediately got a rollup with a fistful of tights for the cheap pin. Very good heel-heel matchup, but the crowd deserves an assist.

3. Guillermo Rosas defeated Casey Ferreira at 10:40. I don’t think I’ve seen Ferreira before, and Bocchini said it’s his Defy debut; he has a lot of curly hair and a good phsyique. If Sideshow Bob were a real person, he’d look a bit like Casey. Rosas is the rotund (not really fat) Hispanic man. Rosas hit some bodyslams and he has a significant weight advantage; Casey just looks scrawny compared to him. They traded chops and Rosas hit a back suplex for a nearfall at 5:00. Ferreira hit a springboard crossbody block, then a running penalty kick on the rin apron, then an Asai Moonsault at 7:30.

In the ring, Casey hit an enzuigiri and a Sliced Bread for a nearfall. Rosas fired back with a release German Suplex and a decapitating clothesline. Rosas hit a spear, then a piledriver for a believable nearfall at 10:30. Rosas immediately hit an Angle Slam for the pin. Acceptable match and good outing from a wrestler who has been wrestling less than a year; he slipped once on the ropes and I applaud the crowd for not trying to start a “you f’d up” chant.

4. Tom Lawlor defeated Shigehiro Irie at 16:20. This was the main event of the live show; again, they are showing everything out of order, which is just weird to me. An intense lockup to open. Lawlor hit some spin kicks to the thigh, then his slingshot press for a nearfall at 3:00, but he missed a Hogan Legdrop, and Lawlor immediately locked in a Triangle Choke. They brawled on the ring apron, where Irie hit a headbutt. Lawlor applied an anklelock on the floor. Lawlor ran across the room before hitting a kneestrike to the collarbone at 6:00. Irie dove through the ropes and barreled onto Lawlor, who was seated on the ring apron.

In the ring, Irie hit a second-rope senton (think Darby’s Coffin Drop) for a nearfall. Irie hit a Samoan Drop, and they began trading punches while on their knees at 9:00. They got to their feet and traded forearm shots. Lawlor hit a dropkick. Irie hit a decapitating clothesline and they were both down at 12:30, with the crowd chanting, “both these guys!” Irie applied a rear-naked choke and Lawlor is so good here, selling his panic as he’s scrambling to reach the ropes. Lawlor got to his feet, fell backward, but Irie kept the rear-naked choke locked on; Lawlor eventually reached the ropes at 14:30.

Now Lawlor went for a rear-naked choke, but Irie was able to slam him into the corner, then Irie hit a rolling cannonball for a nearfall. Lawlor nailed the Straitjacket kneestrike to the back of the head, and he applied a rear-naked choke, and Irie passed out. A really good match, and I can see why they had that as the main event of the live show.
5. Judas Icarus defeated Titus Alexander at 17:50. Again, I compare the short, muscular Icarus to Mike Bailey or a young Paul London, while Titus Alexander has the same look and heelish mannerisms of Ethan Page. Titus hit a dive to the floor at 2:00 and they brawled on the floor. Wow I wish lighting was better outside the ring. In the ring, Titus hit a stiff kick to the spine. Icarus dropped Titus face-first on the ring apron at 4:00, and he whipped Titus into the rows of empty chairs. Back in the ring, Icarus was in charge and tied Titus up in a knot on the mat. They traded mid-ring chops and forearms. Icarus hit a running penalty kick for a nearfall at 6:30. Rich Bocchini pointed out that Judas wrestles barefoot with kickpads, so yet another reason to compare him to Bailey.

Titus hit an impressive dropkick, then a handspring-back-stunner for a nearfall at 8:30. Icarus dropped Titus stomach-first on the top rope, then hit a hard elbow drop to the back.  Titus hit a modified Go To Sleep and a brainbuster for a believable nearfall, and they were both down at 11:00, and the crowd started a “fight forever!” chant. Judas hit a hard clotheslines; Titus responded with another dropkick. Icarus hit a twisting brainbuster and a hammerlock powerbomb for a believable nearfall at 13:00. “This guy is wrestling like a seasoned pro,” Ethan HD said. They tried a move off the ring apron, but they both crashed to the floor at 15:00. “I’m not sure who took the worst of that,” Bocchini said. I agree.

Titus slid into the ring but Judas immediately hit a frogsplash on him for a nearfall. Titus hit a jumping knee and a Chaos Theory rolling German Suplex for a believable nearfall; I thought that was it, and we got a “This is awesome!” chant. With the ref out of position, Judas hit a low blow uppercut, and the crowd was shocked! Judas hit a decapitating clothesline for the pin. That was tremendous; Icarus has to be considered in the mix for future GCW shows on the West Coast, and perhaps next year’s PWG BOLA… he’s just really impressed me of late.

* A promo outside with Judas Icarus, Travis Williams and Evan Rivers. They are outside because they are such jerks they aren’t allowed in the locker room. They were defiant, boasting about winning their matches tonight.

6. Nicole Matthews defeated Masha Slamovich at 14:51.
 Canada native Matthews, like Bailey, was banned from the U.S. for five years but is now allowed back in; she was in the inaugural Mae Young Classic, and she has the height advantage over most of her opponents. (Note: lists her as 5’8″ and 145 pounds but I got to believe both of those are low.) An intense lockup and mat wrestling to start. Masha hit a stiff kick to the spine, then to the chest, at 3:30. Masha hit a twisting dive through the ropes onto Matthews, and they brawled on the floor. Matthews hit a Rude Awakening neckbreaker across the middle rope that looked devastating; they got in the ring and Nicole was now in charge. Matthews hit some kneelifts to the chin and was dominating.

Matthews hit another Rude Awekening at 7:30. Masha fired up and hit a series of open-hand slaps to the face. Matthews hit a penalty kick to the chest. Masha hit a bodyslam for a nearfall at 10:30, then a Shining Wizard for a nearfall. Matthews hit a roaring elbow and a pumphandle twisting neckbreaker for a believable nearfall, then a German Suplex with a bridge for a nearfall. Matthews applied a Crippler Crossface; Masha escaped and got a rollup. Masha applied a leglock, but Matthews reached the ropes at 13:30. Matthews snapped Masha’s throat across the top rope. They traded more forearm shots and chops. Matthews got a rollup out of nowhere, with her feet on the ropes, for the tainted pin. I seriously didn’t see that finish coming at that point. A really strong women’s matchup.

* A backstage promo with Nicole Mathews, who boasted about her winning streak in Defy. (She acknowledged she lost a street fight to Allie Katch but added that it was a garbage match and doesn’t count.) Matthews said she’s coming for women’s champion Vert Vixen.

* We saw footage of Tom Lawlor vs. Clark Connors vs. Cody Chhun at a show earlier this year, with Connors turning on Chhun after the match. Backstage, Connors talked about his match with Chhun. He said he saw Cody was struggling with his self-confidence, and he said Cody’s not at his level, and will never be at his level.
7. Cody Chhun defeated Clark Connors at 34:40. This match actually opened the live event, but here is last. (Rich Bocchini told us this is the main event, which shows that the commentary was done in post production, not live.) I always compare Chhun to NXT’s Boa for their height and overall body. They jawed at each other at the bell; Clark rolled to the floor to stall. Cody clotheslined Clark to the floor, then he nailed a flip dive to the floor at 2:30. Tey brawled in the shadows of the floor, and Cody got whipped into chairs. They brawled on the ring apron, and Cody shoved Clark into the ring post at 6:30. Clark nailed a spear on the ring apron, with them both crashing hard to the floor, earning a “holy shit!” chant. Cody crawled back into the ring before being counted out at 9:00.

Clark was in charge, hitting a deafening chop and he kept Chhun grounded. Chhun hit a Stinger Splash at 13:30. Connors hit a German Suplex, and Chhun clutched at his sore neck. Connors hit another release German Suplex, with Cody landing hard again at 15:00. Ouch. Clark hit several more German Suplexes, and Chhun had collapsed on the mat. Connors made a cocky cover for a nearfall at 18:00. After another German Suplex, Connors picked Cody up off the mat to stop a count at 19:30; this never ends well for the heel! They fought on the ropes in the corner, but Cody got underneath him and hit a powerbomb, and they were both down at 22:00. They began trading forearm shots. Chhun hit a DDT for a nearfall at 24:30. Connors hit another German Suplex. (Maybe 10 or more now in this match. I need a counter!)

Cody hit a superkick and a sideslam for a nearfall. Connors hit a Clout Cutter for a nearfall at 26:30. Chhun fired back with his own Clout Cutter. Clark nailed a spear that cut Cody in half for a nearfall at 28:30. He hit a second spear for a nearfall, then a third spear for another nearfall, and Connors was frustrated he hadn’t scored the pin yet. A fourth spear led to another nearfall at 30:00. A fifth spear, but no cover attempt. Cody looked like he was writhing in pain. Cody ducked a sixth spear attempt, and Clark crashed hard into the corner. Connors stood over Chhun and paintbrush-slapped his face. Cody stood up and began no-selling the slaps, and he finally hit his own open-hand slaps. Connors hit another German Suplex, but Cody hopped to his feet and hit a spear! Cody then nailed a swinging Lungblower move for the pin. That was really good.

* Connors kept attacking Chhun after the bell, until Rosas made the save.

Final Thoughts: They seriously didn’t air a single match in order compared to the live show. I’ll go with Irie-Lawlor for best match, just ahead of Icarus-Titus. The main event was compelling and earns third place; I think they could have acheived the same quality of match in half the time, though. As good as Masha-Nicole was (and it was really, really good!) it is only fourth-best on this really, really good show.

Defy has another show slated for Aug. 26 in England, in advance of AEW’s All in. Again, this show is available for free on and I highly recommend checking it out.


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