RIPTIDE is back baby! That means the RIPTIDE RETROspective returns too! Huzzah! One of the most innovative home viewing experiences in wrestling has uploaded their three Brighton Spirit shows from October. We’re here with the first show to take a look at the happenings and throw in our two cents on the matter. The centerpiece of the three shows is a tag team tournament to crown Brighton Spirit champions (?). It’s not actually a tag title as I understand it, more like a King of the Ring-type deal for tag teams. Let’s dive right in and see what went down at Brighton Spirit Show One.
RIPTIDE Wrestling: Brighton Spirit Show One. 4th October 2019. The Brighthelm Centre, Brighton, UK.
Chris Brookes & Daniel Makabe vs Kurtis Chapman & Rob Lias – Quarter Final
Chris Brookes sets the tone for the opening tag match when the referee asks if he’s ready to begin: “I’m not sure. Yeah, I think so,” he replies. Yes, we’re in that place where indy wrestling likes to have wrestlers talking loudly for comedic effect. And I love it! Kurtis Chapman taunts Daniel Makabe on the ring apron calling him a nerd whilst doing jumping jacks. Rob Lias tells Chapman to hurry up and tag him in on a double down because he’s bored. It’s all good stuff if you aren’t averse to a bit of fun inside the squared circle. The action itself takes a back seat to the bants, and the finish is a bit unorthodox too. Chapman whacks Makabe in the knee with a SNES (!) and ties him up in a pinfall to advance he and Lias to the semi-finals. A fun little opening match from the four gents.
Tate Mayfairs vs Paul Robinson
In the early going of Paul Robinson and Tate Mayfairs’ singles match I thought it might have been a squash match. Robbo comes flying out of the blocks with feet and fists, knocking the young lad to the mat where he continues to pound at him. My initial thought is proven quite wrong as Mayfairs gets the upper hand and gives out some good offense. At one point he even holds Robinson’s arms and invites a spectator to give the Essex hardman a chop. That brave soul does comply but without much oomph. Mayfairs also has a nice spot where he cartwheels into an elbow drop on Robbo’s back. I’d not seen that before. The more experienced man takes the win when Robinson hits the curb stomp. Once Tate is on the deck, he hits him with a flurry of elbows to the head until the referee stops the match. That’s a rare win by knockout for the Sword of Essex in a tidy little bout.
Speedball Mike Bailey vs Jordon Breaks
Mike Bailey and Jordon Breaks have a bit of a low key belter in the show’s third match. Interestingly, Speedball wrestles as a heel throughout the match glaring at local lad Breaks menacingly. The Canadian absolutely kicks seven shades out of Breaks with his karate based offense. This dynamic is further emphasised by RIPTIDE’s camera work as they shoot him from as low down as possible to make him appear as imposing as possible. Fantastic work by all concerned. Breaks, an absolute technical dynamo, uses tactics I’ve never seen from him before. A Stone Cold Stunner and Styles Clash are both delivered expertly by old mutton chops but to no avail. Speedball gets the pin after hitting his somersault knees from the top rope. I enjoyed that one quite a bit; especially as we see different sides to both wrestlers.
ETM: Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper vs Besties In The World – Quarter Final
The breakdown in communication between the Escape the Midcard boys takes a back seat for now as they team-up against the Besties. TK Cooper and Chuck Mambo work like a well-oiled machine against Davey Vega and Mat Fitchett. The match itself is one of those strangely pleasing all-babyface encounters where everything feels terribly civilized. That isn’t to say that the four guys don’t try their damnedest to take one another out though. The Besties, in particular, display a mean streak that belies their genial demeanor. On several occasions, it looks as though they have the match won, but ETM just has too much in the tank. The Brighton champion gets the pin on Fitchett after a version of FSU’s Next Stop Driver. ETM advance to the semi-finals after a rather good contest.
Medusa Complex vs Shane Sabre & Kody Lane – Quarter Final
Honestly wtf is this https://t.co/7YDUlPiJB5
— Millie Mckenzie ミリー・マッケンジー (@MillieMcKenzie0) December 2, 2019
Millie McKenzie and Charli Evans have an excellent outing after their loss at Bank Holiday Wrestling next. They faced each other at Brighton Spirit Show One. They face off with those two scurvy pirates Shane Sabre and Kody Lane in the third quarter-final match of the tag tournament. I’ll admit I hadn’t seen Sabre or Lane before but I really dug their gimmick and their ring work. There’s a particularly smooth sequence where they take turn hitting moves on McKenzie that culminates in a plancha with extra stank added. Medusa Complex is on another level though. The former Sendai Girls tag champions may not dominate the match but every move they do means something. Deservedly, it is they who get the win with a ripcord RKO double team that keeps Lane down for the three count. A good showing from both teams, but I think the best is yet to come from the Complex.
Big Swole vs Chakara
Another choice import gets showcased next as Big Swole squares off with Chakara at Brighton Spirit Show One. I’m presuming this is just me, but I was rooting for Chakara the entire way through this match. Swole has the chiselled muscle definition, the catchphrase and the ring gear. It’s just so flipping American in a presentation that I couldn’t help but root for the plucky Brit. The match really has three clear acts as Swole dominates act one and schools Chakara. Our homegrown talent takes charge for act two, giving Swole a verbal as well as physical battering. Of course, act three sees Swole take charge once again and finish Chakara off with a discus forearm. The real story in this happens post-match when Swole challenges Chakara to a rematch on show three. And if Chakara should try and cheat Swole will take her to school she says.
The OJMO & Connor Mills vs The Rascalz
Another interesting import next as The Rascalz visit RIPTIDE to take on the Destination: Everywhere lads OJMO and Connor Mills at Brighton Spirit Show One. As you would expect with the caliber of talent involved, this match is a bit of a cracker. Xavier and Wentz impress as they take it to Mills with some smooth lucha style exchanges. Mills holds his own, however, no stranger to high flying. OJMO instantly lights the Brighthelm Centre up when he enters the ring for the first time. He goes for his half crab finisher, but Xavier makes it to the ropes. The two teams trade big moves and dives to the outside back and forth until the grand finale. The Rascalz nail that pushes in mid-air moonsault thing (the technical name) and pin OJMO. Rascalz advance to the semi-finals.
Cara Noir vs Su Yung – No Disqualification Match
The most intriguing bout was saved for last as Undead Bride Su Yung clashes with the Black Swan Cara Noir at Brighton Spirit Show One. How appropriate for a company that prides itself on cinematic storytelling to feature a match between such theatrical characters. It’s a treat to see them face off after the bell rings, and surprising to see Cara take a powder. I don’t recall ever seeing him unnerved before, but that’s exactly what he is by Su Yung. Intermittingly attracted to and repulsed by Yung, Noir has blood spit into his mouth as he lunges in for his trademark lick. He responds with a crushing headbutt that caught me as off-guard as much as it did his opponent.
Both Noir and Su Yung concentrate on introducing some hardware to the ring for the next several minutes. Yung brings a chair into the fray which she immediately gets knocked into with Swan Fu. Curiously, Cara Noir then retreats backstage only to emerge with… a bicycle? Once he re-enters the ring, Noir seems unsure exactly how to employ his unique weapon. Rather like the girlfriend meets chainsaw sequence in Evil Dead 2, Cara elects to upturn the bike and pedal the rear wheel until it spins at high speed. He then proceeds to try and force Yung’s face into the tyre, only for the Undead bride to turn the tables and slam his face into the wheel. She then proceeds to ride the bike into Noir’s crotch. Madness.
Su Yung dominates until the next avant-garde sequence, as she takes a wet wipe to Cara Noir’s face. He slowly, and archly dramatically, crumples to the mat. The lights dim until he is under but two spotlights and he solemnly dances to a song that plays over the PA. After a respectful moment, Yung attempts to attack the Black Swan with a chair but he counters and kicks it back at her. In yet another delightful sequence, Cara Noir gobs an absolute load of spit into Yung’s open mouth. She returns that same phlegm back to Cara’s mouth moments later.
Again, this match has Evil Dead coursing throughout it. The grand finale features more bodily fluids as Yung spews a geyser of blood all over Cara Noir. She locks in the mandible claw and the referee stops the match when Noir does not respond. That match was something very special indeed. I loved it, and will likely rewatch it which is something I rarely do. Post match, once he is back in the land of the living, Yung presents Noir with her wedding bouquet and they take a bow. It’s an oddly touching finale to an extreme match that won’t be to everybody’s taste.
And that’s all for show one; a show that I very much enjoyed. The RIPTIDE RETROspective will return very soon with show two, and I hope you’ll be back too, dear reader. Until then…