So before I even knew who would be on the card, I booked the trip. But I really lucked into things, as an organization really couldn't have brought in a more ideal collection of stars at the top of the card for this event.
Shane Strickland - Also known as Killshot on Lucha Underground. He's pretty awesome, but since he is also the Defy Champion, I basically knew I could count on him being there for the event.
Jeff Cobb - Also known as "The Monster" Matanza Cueto on Lucha Underground. He's a former Olympian in Greco Roman Wrestling, which means he has stupid strength and can basically throw around anyone from any angle.
John Hennigan - Also known as Johnny Mundo on Lucha Underground. Also known as John Morrison from the WWE, and Johnny Nitro from WWE. Oh, and also he's the star of Boone: The Bounty Hunter which you should definitely buy from Wal-Mart or watch on Amazon Prime. And as an added bonus, that meant that Taya was there to wrestle as well.
Matt Riddle - Also known as Matthew Riddle when he was fighting in the UFC. This was weirdly the guy I was most excited to see despite him having the least notoriety of the big names. I had seen him one other time in Orlando, and it was an eye opening experience. He had me when he came out to Warren G's "Regulate" but his wrestling cemented himself as one of my favorite wrestlers out there.
Even in the matches that didn't feature names that I knew, there was still a lot of talent and some really fun wrestling from guys I had never heard of. I saw a sexually provocative wrestler, fat Aleister Black, ladies wrestling men, ladies taking suplexes on the damn stage, a giant wrestler who called himself The Giant Slayer which really didn't make sense until I saw the woman he was talking to after the show, and TWINS.
But the highlights were the two main events. In the match before intermission, John Hennigan took on Jeff Cobb. This kind of showed the beauty of pro wrestling. It wasn't a traditionally great pro wrestling match, but it was so much fun that it really didn't matter. They had some great spots in it, and they had the entire crowd entertained from start to finish. Jeff Cobb is out there throwing Hennigan around and doing back flips. Meanwhile, Hennigan is out there doing a backflip while mooning the crowd. Why did he do that? No idea, but I was laughing my ass off, because sometimes sophomoric humor just hits the right spot.
As fun as that match was, it still really couldn't compare to the main event with Shane Strickland defending his Defy Championship against Matt Riddle. It was one of the best matches I have ever seen in person. These guys just got after it, and the pace they set was unbelievable. On top of that, every single thing they did seemed to have bad intentions. I know pro wrestling is scripted, but I was totally lost in the moment as the thing felt like a fight. I had so much fun and was truly convinced on multiple occasions that the match would end. Strickland is awesome, and I believe any person on this Earth can enjoy a Matt Riddle match.
Does it help to be a pro wrestling fan to enjoy something like Defy 8? Sure. But shows like that are so much more than a pro wrestling show; it's just a damn show, and anybody can enjoy that.