Friday, November 2nd, myself and longtime friend (pro wrestler Cold Blooded Conroy) attended our first ever RIPTIDE Wrestling event. We’ve both been big fans of the product since it’s inception last year, I even wrote a Brief History piece about the promotion a few weeks ago, and you can read that right here.
We were both buzzing at the prospect of finally seeing RIPTIDE live and seeing if all those rumors were true….that it really is one of the best promotions in the UK at the moment.
So here, is my unadulterated review and opinions of Riptide Wrestling’s Halloween event, Black Water
RIPTIDE Wrestling – Black Water
Jordan Breaks v Lord Gideon Grey
Home-town guy Jordan Breaks (who was an unknown quantity to myself and CBC before the show) definitely held his own against the veteran Gideon Gray, but eventually succumbed to the wily ways of the self-professed Lord.
Jordan looks great and has a very technical aspect to his game, and reminds me a little bit of Connor Mills. He has a very bright future and hopefully, Riptide will support him all the way.
As I said Grey didn’t quite put the young whipper-snapper in his place but did pick up the all-important win. I was kinda hoping that he would have time to have a quick chat with me to correct a few inaccuracies that I made in the Brief History piece, but unfortunately, it looked like Breaks took him further than he anticipated and was unavailable. Oh well, maybe next time?
David Starr v Chris Brookes
I haven’t laughed and smiled at a match as much as I did this one. What was supposed to be a straight one-on-one match between the two, soon changed into a Halloween Shenanigans match, at Brookes request (who was wearing a lab coat and looking very much like a mad wrestling professor).
The match quickly degenerated into a love story of Franken-Lykos and Franken-Charli ….Did I forget to mention that both Brookes and Starr brought to life Kid Lykos and Charli Brooks so the two would fight for them?…..
After having enough for fighting for their “fathers”, Lykos and Brooks decided to fall in love and run off together, leaving Brookes to pick up the victory.
Both myself and CBC were in stitches and thoroughly enjoyed the match and wondered why the more comedic style of wrestling wasn’t more prevalent in British wrestling.
“Speedball” Mike Bailey v Cara Noir
How do you follow that match? By putting on the best match of the night, that’s how!
I’ve seen Bailey a few times for IPW and PROGRESS but never live, and I had high hopes for him, which he delivered in spades. Cara Noir is a total enigma and thought by many that he was all style and no substance. Well, let me tell you that is total BS as Cara can go!
This was great, a fantastic advert for technical wrestling with a smattering of strong style thrown in. Both men were trying to outdo each other with their technical prowess and when the match changed and became more physical, they tried to outdo each other again.
High flying action, technical ability, and strong style = two happy fans in the shape of myself and CBC.
Bailey won the match but I think Cara Noir won our hearts. I really can’t wait to see the Black Swan live once again in the future.
Aussie Open Challenge
As much as the fans love their Aussie boys, the biggest pop of the night was reserved for their mystery opponents. While waiting for the mystery team to make their appearance the curtain was pulled back and a band were on stage. Davis and Fletcher looked as perplexed as us fans…..until the band started playing I Hope You Suffer! We all went batshit crazy as Jimmy “Effing*” Havoc walked out from Gorilla with his most famous student right behind him, Jinny, answering the challenge. What a moment! –
*I try not to swear too much as kids read my work too
— Athers (@oldathers) November 3, 2018
A great tag match with a bit more comedy thrown in too when the Aussie boys spotted their doppelgängers in the crowd and threw them in to take on Jimmy!
I’ve got to say that Jinny looked outstanding here, very much on top of her game, both in the ring and with her character.
Team Havoc won the match but it looked like that Jinny hurt her ankle on a top rope body block to the outside and had to be carried out by the ring crew.
After the match Chikara distracted Jimmy on the mic as Paul Robinson ran in from the crowd and hit a nasty Curb Stomp on to him, setting up a future match between the teams.
Six-Way Scramble Number One Contendership
Flash Morgan Webster v Millie McKenzie v Viper v Jack Sexsmith v TK Cooper v CandyFloss
A match that could quite easily become a cluster, actually turned out quite well, with TK Cooper playing that heel role of his really well and pinning Jack Sexsmith after he was the victim of some vicious chair shots from Spike Trivet (more on him below).
A lot more shenanigans in this match before the finish though with Money Vs Everybody (Spike Trivet, Damon Moser, Chris Ridgeway) destroying Sexsmith to continue their long-standing rivalry.
And a spot that I’ll remember forever…..a triple Canadian Destroyer! All three women hit the move on all three men at the exact same time. What a sight to behold that was!
Kurtis Chapman v Kris Wolf
A little bit of a filler match here, but fun nonetheless though.
Chapman is the Keyboard Warrior and used his moniker to the max, using his keyboard to crack over the head of Kris Wolf to pick up a tainted victory. Even the ring announcer said what a nob (she used a much harsher word than that) he was!
Kris Wolf looked great too, Easily the most charismatic wrestler of the night, and she’s a little fireball of enthusiasm too, getting the crowd involved and keeping Chapman on his toes. I hope she comes back as I see good things in her Rippy future.
Six Man Tag
Team WhiteWolf & The OJMO v Money Versus Everybody
A match full of intensity played out in front of our eyes here. Every member of MVE has broken a body part of The OJMO and boy did he want payback! WhiteWolf looked great too, I recently compared them to a young Motor City Machine Guns and they really looked the part here too.
Is there a wrestler more hated in Britain at the moment than Spike Trivet? I kid you not it’s Jimmy Havoc (from five years ago) levels of vitriol! Trivet is fantastic and has his character nailed down, and it shows!
Unfortunately for us fans, those utter bastards MVE grabbed the win once again through nefarious ways.
It didn’t all go MVE’s way through as Jack Sexsmith and the face side of the Riptide roster came out and saved The OJMO from a broken neck and chased back Trivet and co to the back, with Sexsmith declaring to management that he needs to end Trivet and his reign of terror.
RIPTIDE Brighton Championship
Eddie Dennis v Chuck Mambo (c)
Chuck’s first defense of the title was against one of his closest friends, and what a good match this was. You could tell that they trust each other implicitly during this match.
Starting off with a technical showcase of catch as catch can, both men worked their asses off to deliver a really good main event.
Not a match full of spots, but one memorable moment was Dennis hitting a delayed vertical suplex off the second turnbuckle to Mambo. The delay was at least 15 seconds, an incredible show of core strength and skill.
Mambo retained the title and will be looking forward to defending it against another close friend, TK Cooper, next year.
Hands down folks, this was the best wrestling event I’ve been to all year, and I went to Wembley to see PROGRESS.
The crowd, the venue, the talent, the RIPTIDE staff….it all added up to deliver a bloody fantastic show. They definitely deserve every plaudit being thrown their way, and myself and CBC can’t wait to go back again for their next event.
Folks, don’t sleep on RIPTIDE…..
Photos courtesy of The Head Drop