The RIPTIDE Wrestling RETROspective: Bank Holiday Wrestling Show One

Photo / Robbie Sutter

On an exceedingly hot bank holiday Monday, RIPTIDE Wrestling presented two cards of tip-top action from a stunning open-air theatre. Join me to review the first of those cards for the Bank Holiday Wrestling Show now. RIPTIDE’s USP has always been its cinematic format for home viewing. So be sure to watch the stunning trailer for said shows before diving in. It really does emphasise the company’s aesthetic very well.

Bank Holiday Wrestling, Show One. Monday, August 26th, 2019. Brighton Open Air Theatre, UK.

Cassius vs Mike Bird

To kick off the festivities, Mike Bird continues his quest to vanquish all the entertainers who ply their trade in RIPTIDE. He’s a wrestler, see, and he’s sick and tired of people telling him that other men and women are more entertaining than him. That’s a great heel motivation, for my money. Neon Cassius is the wrestler he’s set his sights on, as the young grappler loves to play to the crowd.

Solid action in the ring as Cassius gets to show off some big moves that really pop the viewers. A huge headscissors followed by a plancha really show off modern wrestling to the casual fans that may be watching. Mike Bird slows the match down, with his rock-solid slow-burn offense. I’m a big fan of Bird and what he’s doing in RIPTIDE, incidentally. Surprisingly, Bird takes the win by submission with a sharpshooter. The crowd favorite is vanquished in the opener, and the mean heel gets a clean victory. An excellent start to the show, with what I would consider a surprising finish.

Following the match, we see a pre-taped promo from Candy Floss stating that she is unwell and won’t be able to face Chakara later on. She nominates Cassius to take her place in the Pride of Brighton semi-final later on in the card. But how will Cassius fare after his loss to Flying Mike?

Gene Munny vs Veda Scott

Bank Holiday Wrestling Show
Photo / @imsomunny

Gene Munny makes his entrance in the sweltering heat in his trademark furry trenchcoat shouting that it’s too hot in the next contest. His opponent, Veda Scott, has dressed far more sensibly, and appropriately for the climate. Once the match begins we get a great running the ropes sequence that ends with the Damn Dirty Dog collapsing to the canvas. This is strong stuff from Munny, and Veda Scott plays her straight role very well too.

The match sees a few more hilarious spots involving suntan lotion sprayed in the eyes, a la green mist. Munny essentially undoes himself at the end of the match. He fluffs a moonsault from the top rope and Scott quickly pins him with La Magistral. A lovely little comedy match there, that the live crowd fully engaged with; recommended.

Jordon Breaks vs Kurtis Chapman – Pride of Brighton Semi-Final

Bank Holiday Wrestling Show
Photo / @JordonBreaks

The Keyboard Warrior Kurtis Chapman faces off with local lad Jordon Breaks in a Pride of Brighton semi-final next. Breaks, as I’ve said before, isn’t quite on the level of Zack Sabre Jr, but he is an excellent technical wrestler. Everything he does looks really smooth and precise, and he should go far once he takes the leap and goes full time. Chapman is equally proficient, but with an added obnoxious internet dweeb character. Promos before and after the match show just what a good orator Chapman is.

The match itself is mostly a showcase for Breaks’ technical acumen. He stretches and counters Chapman in all the ways we have become accustomed to, and looks very good doing so. Chapman shows off a select few moves from his repertoire, including a lovely Octopus hold on the outside. Victory ultimately comes to the man with no compunction about cheating. Chapman smashes Breaks in the head with his keyboard, sending keys flying hither and thither. The referee counts to three despite, as Kid Lykos says on commentary, it being obvious what’s happened. Pro wrestling, eh? What a mad, mad world.

Cara Noir vs Mike Bailey vs TK Cooper

A rematch of RIPTIDE’s match of 2018, between Cara Noir and Mike Bailey, gets a bit of extra sauce with the addition of TK Cooper. ‘Mr. RIPTIDE’ has been on a quest to prove that he is the best wrestler in the company, so what better way to do so than by taking on the two MOTY men?

Wow, wow, wow! We have a candidate for match of the year 2019 here. These three men worked so well together, it was a real pleasure to be able to watch it. Cutting-edge, fast-paced wrestling was the order of the day in this one as the guys went full pelt for the duration. The majority of the time, all three were in the ring together working innovative spots such as the de-booting of TK. Occasionally, one of the fellas would take a quick break outside, and the remaining two would continue on in the ring. Another thing this match had was a lot of kicks. Cara Noir and Mike Bailey took turns (and delight) in kicking the hell out of one another and TK Cooper. Just fantastic stuff from all three men. The finish came when Cara hit Bailey with Swan Fu, and TK quickly nailed Cara with a frog splash for the pin. This was exemplary modern wrestling.

Chakara vs Cassius – Pride of Brighton Semi-Final

Photo / @NeonCassius

Either Cassius or Chakara will face Kurtis Chapman in the final of Pride of Brighton on show two. So who’s it going to be? Chakara very nearly gets the pin within seconds of the bell sounding when he/she hits Widow’s Peak instantly. Cassius guts it out and kicks out of the move that took him out in the pair’s previous match. Chakara puts the boots to the Neon Explosion – for the majority of the match, too.

Cassius spends the majority of the match selling his back; a commendable thing to do given the general current lack of selling. He manages to rally several times in the contest, hitting the odd clothesline here, a suplex there, but Chakara dominates for the most part. Of course, you can’t have the plucky crowd favorite lose twice in the same show. That would be just plain cruel. Cassius gets the win a small package to advance to the final. An interesting turn of events thereafter the disappointment of the opening contest.

Medusa Complex (Millie McKenzie & Charli Evans) vs Schadenfreude (Chris Brookes & Kyle Fletcher)

Bank Holiday Wrestling Show
Photo / Fight Club Pro

The second to last match of the Bank Holiday Wrestling Show involved The Sendai Girls tag champions face-off with the Fight Club Pro tag champions next as the Medusa Complex take on Schadenfreude. Kyle Fletcher makes a bit of a boo-boo before the match even starts as he swears at the crowd, during this family-friendly show. Oops! McKenzie and Evans get the jump on their counterparts and start the match off with a bang, striking the lads with stiff shots.

The match goes fairly long in the middle, with several rests holds being employed so the wrestlers can catch their breath. There’s also room for a  bit of dark comedy, as Brookes tips Millie McKenzie into the small trench around the seating area. The action gets knocked up a notch (bam) soon after, and the two teams start trading big moves. Millie starts throwing Brookes around with German suplexes. Evans levels Fletcher with a great high knee, it all kicks off big time. Ultimately, it comes down to which team is the most ruthless, and Schadenfreude are nothing if not ruthless. Brookes hits the Mantis Driver on McKenzie and Fletcher hits a tombstone on Evans for the double pin. Great match.

Chuck Mambo vs Rampage Brown – Brighton Championship

Bank Holiday Wrestling Show
Photo / @ChuckMambo

The final match of the Bank Holiday Wrestling Show involved Chuck Mambo defending his Brighton Championship against one of his wrestlers in Rampage Brown to round off the show. Rampage is a wrestler who doesn’t seem to catch as many high profile matches as he used to for some reason. He’s very much still got it, so it’s a real pleasure to see him wrestling the main event for RIPTIDE.

Rampage is dominant to begin the match as Mambo bounces off of him whenever he tries anything. It’s nice to see some classic big/little man storytelling from champion and challenger. Beyond that particular dynamic, the action is very back and forth with both men afforded the time to show what they can do. The audience is mostly on Mambo’s side throughout all of this, save for one very vocal little girl who want Rampage to ‘smash’ the champ. That got a belly laugh from me. It all comes down to who has the best endurance in the heat, and that man is our Chuck. He hits a massive frog splash for the pin 1-2-3 and remains undefeated and the Brighton champion.

Mambo’s celebration is short-lived, however, as Damon Moser, Shay Purser, and Spike Trivet emerge to end the show on a downer. Money vs Everybody beat down Mambo, and Trivet declares that he will take his Brighton title shot in October. TK Cooper then comes out to make the save and set up a tag match for show two! Yowza, that’s some spicy developments to end Bank Holiday Wrestling Show One on. And an excellent show it was too. RIPTIDE really know how to cater to hardcore and casual wrestling fans, and this show is a perfect demonstration of that.

A final mention for the camerawork on the show. RIPTIDE is known for its cinematic presentation for home viewing, but this show takes it to a whole new level. The use of drones and steady-cam really gives everything a truly special look and helps set RIPTIDE apart in the BritWres scene. See you soon for Show Two of the Bank Holiday Wrestling Show, everyone!