Retro Review: LAX vs. Amerikan Gunz
Prior to the COVID pandemic, the independent wrestling scene in America was thriving. Here in Seattle we have Defy, an organization founded in 2017 that had been running monthly shows across the Pacific Northwest. Things were looking bright for the young group as fans were enjoying the product and cross over potential seemed promising. Prior to the the creation of AEW, several talent such as the Young Bucks, Luchasaurus, and others made appearances in the the Defy ring. Today we look at such a moment as LAX (at the time associated with Impact Wrestling) take on the defending Defiant Tag Champions, Amerikan Gunz.
The team of LAX had gone through a few different members in its history. Started in 2005, the group can count Konnan, Homicide, Hernandez, and others amongst its roster. Santana and Ortiz brought the group to new heights, successfully capturing the Impact Tag Championship on multiple occasions. Having a genuine history of growing up together, Santana and Ortiz possess incredible in-ring chemistry.
Mike Santiago and Ethan HD have earned their stripes on the independent scene having worked mostly on the West Coast and Canada. They wrestled each other on the inaugural Defy show before joining together as the Amerikan Gunz.
The match takes place from the Hawthorne Theatre in Portland, Oregon. One thing that sets Defy apart from other independent feds is the choice of venues. They tend to run in ballrooms and theatres which adds a certain ambiance to the whole production. This is a step up from the gyms or bingo halls that other groups perform out of. LAX is the crowd favorite from the opening moments. One thing that is clear from the beginning is that this isn't going to be a technical classic. Lots of strikes are employed by both teams throughout the duration of the match. LAX has the offensive advantage up until the 6min mark when Amerikan Gunz (AG) takes over. LAX spends a fair amount of time playing to the crowd and AG capitalizes. Things balance out and both teams tie offensive output in the 12min mark. AG take the lead once again, before things swing back to LAX's favor. There's a bit of confusion towards the end as Santana goes for a pin (which the referee counts) despite not being the legal man. More confusion results in a double pin, out of which AG emerges victorious and they retain the titles.
Points for offense: Strikes =1pt, Strikedowns =3pts, Grapples =4pts, Dives =5pts, Submissions = 1pt/5sec, Finisher = 10pts.
LAX would eventually leave Impact Wrestling for AEW where they were re-branded as Proud and Powerful. Here they have found tremendous success both as a tag team, and as part of the Inner Circle. They only thing they haven't achieved is winning tag team gold, and I hope this happens before too long as they would have a tremendous run with the belts. I also hope to one day see AEW run a show in Puerto Rico with P&P headlining (think of the pop!).
I hope to see both members of Amerikan Gunz return along with the independent scene as the United States re-opens following the COVID pandemic. Ethan HD has been busy running his comic shop Destiny City Comics located in Tacoma, WA. It's a cool store that really values its customers and is also a good source for pro-wrestling merch.
The Pacific Northwest has something special in Defy, a home grown organization that offers fun action and compelling characters. Combine this with it's unique presentation (their camera work is exquisite) and I'm excited to see what the future brings for them. Other indy groups across the US have announced their return to performing, and while there hasn't been any official word from Defy I expect them to be back before the year is out. If you're looking for more matches from Defy, they are now available on Pluto TV.