Welcome to the RIPTIDE Retrospective, wherein we arrive at the show three of the group’s Brighton Spirit Weekender. We shall see who comes out on top of the tag team tournament that crowns the Spirit champions. We will bear witness to ETM exploding as Chuck Mambo and TK Cooper face off once more. And we will feast our eyes on a rematch from show one as Chakara and Big Swole settle their score once and for all. Let’s dig in, shall we?
RIPTIDE Wrestling: Brighton Spirit Weekender Show Three
5th October 2019. Brighthelm Centre, Brighton, UK.
Brighton Spirit Semi-Final
Medusa Complex vs Kurtis Chapman & Rob Lias
The opening match will determine who will face off against The Rascalz in the Brighton Spirit Tag Tournament Final. Things get off to a wacky start as Kurtis Chapman challenges Millie McKenzie to a dance-off. Plenty of dabbing by the former and David Brent style flailing by the latter concludes with Chapman cracking McKenzie with a straight right hand to the jaw.
They both tag out soon after and Charli Evans gives Rob Lias a bit of a hiding too. Medusa Complex show their dominance throughout the majority of the bout to be fair, but Lias and Chapman get a few spots in here and there. The end is a bit of an odd one as a stagehand (reluctantly) brings a SNES to the ring for Chapman to use as a weapon.
As soon as he hands it over he takes it straight back which causes Mad Kurt to leave the ring. That means Rob the Gob is wide open for the Complex to get the pin and advance to the final. A good start to the show there.
Darius Lockheart vs Paul Robinson
Perhaps surprisingly, there’s a fair bit of comedy during the opening half of match two also. The laughs come from Darius Lockheart outmaneuvering the small, quicker Robinson several times over.
Spots include Lockheart strolling away as Robbo attempts a crossbody from the middle rope. A criss-cross running of the ropes that concludes with Robinson being tripped over et al. This is all really good stuff. To the point that it’s actually a bit of a let down when things become a bit more serious.
The finish sees our Paul nail a Curb Stomp followed by a series of elbows to head. The referee stops the match as Lockheart is not defending himself and awards a victory to Robinson via TKO. Good stuff again.
Speedball Mike Bailey & Veda Scott vs Club Tropicana
Yet more comedy next – I suppose these things come in threes. It’s a bit much at this point in my opinion, excellent though the action is here.
We see Club Tropicana’s usual spots of paddling their opponent’s arse like a Stonecutter. We see Bailey and Scott caw cawing their way in and around the ring. And we see shenanigans involving a lucha mask that doesn’t go particularly well for the wearers.
The finish sees Speedball pin Captain Sexsea after a Flamingo Driver. I’m a fan of all four wrestlers, but this was not my favorite match due to the running order.
Chakara vs Big Swole
At show one Big Swole defeated Chakara with a beautiful discus forearm and issued her with a challenge. A rematch on show three wherein The Golden Goddess would have to play by the rules or face the consequences. Swole’s role in this match came across as effectively playing the heel.
She browbeats Chakara throughout which feels somewhat sanctimonious, yet it absolutely works for the story want to tell. Swole dominates for much of the match, slowly picking her opponent apart whilst being her the aforementioned ear-bashing. The crowd has been swayed fully by the simple, yet effective, story being played out and come unglued when Chakara begins to fire up for the home straight.
That carries over into a standing ovation as Chakara evens the score at one match apiece after hitting Swole with the Widow’s Peak. Fantastic storytelling from the wrestlers in that match.
Besties in the World vs The OJMO & Connor Mills
Lightening paced exchanges are the order of the day in the next tag team showcase. Besties in the World are such a good team and they’re capably met by the Destination Everywhere lads OJMO and Connor Mills.
They have taken their act over the length and breadth of BritWres and they really are an excellent and polished act. It would be OJMO who takes the win for his team as he submits Davey Vega with his Half Crab.
Gene Munny vs Su Yung
Ray Parker Jr’s Ghostbusters theme plays Gene Munny down to the ring, and his decked in a boiler suit and home-made proton pack for good measure. Smart thinking when facing a supernatural foe with the intimidating presence of Su Yung.
There’s a lot of stalling at the outset as Gene protests that he is too scared to fight. Outside the ring, Yung climbs aboard noted BritWres fan Joe Atherton who drives her around the ring in his powerchair in hot pursuit of Sexual Gammon. He escapes momentarily by climbing a small set of stairs. This is great stuff.
When they return to the ring it’s Munny who takes control of the match until he becomes frustrated at only getting a count of 1 from pin attempts. That causes him to retrieve a screwdriver from beneath the ring which then somehow results in the referee accidentally being stabbed to death. Don’t worry – he comes back as a zombie (complete with face paint) after a minute or two. It’s all downhill from there for that Damn Dirty Dog, unfortunately.
The finish is a bit of a corker though. As he begs for his life on his knees, Yung spits blood at Munny’s face which causes him to faint. Zombie referee calls the victory in Su Yung’s favor (cause of victory listed as ‘petrification’ on-screen) and that’s it for another superb showing for Yung. This match, along with her sterling scrap with Cara Noir on show one, highlights her talents so well. I really hope she lands a juicy contract with AEW or WWE sooner or later. She’s absolutely wonderful.
Brighton Spirit Final
Medusa Complex vs The Rascalz
The Brighton Spirit Tournament concludes in our penultimate match of show three. The Rascalz’ Xavier gets a cheap shot in on Millie McKenzie at the bell. Flooring her with a right hand. Wentz jumps in and they give Millie and Charli a beatdown that has quite a vicious tone to it. Within the first couple of minutes, they go for their double team moonsault finisher, but it doesn’t quite hit the mark.
Athers gets involved on the outside again as Xavier winds up headfirst in his lap followed by Charli Evans knocking the hat off his head. I love a good bit of audience participation like this. It’s Evans who turns the tide of the match, overpowering Wentz and taking the match for a good stretch.
Ultimately it becomes a tale of who can hit the finishing blow first as the two teams are evenly matched throughout. Medusa Complex is the first team to do so as they take out Wentz with their cutter/neckbreaker combo to claim the win and the Brighton Spirit trophy.
Chuck Mambo (c) vs TK Cooper
The long and winding tale of Chuck Mambo and TK Cooper’s friendship breaking down reaches its conclusion (?) in the main event. This was set up by ETM’s loss to The Rascalz on show one as TK gave Mambo a stiff forearm shot which led to their defeat.
They take things nice and slow to begin, even engaging in a good old fashioned collar and elbow tie-up. They fall out the ring still engaged. Walk to the other side of the squared circle. Roll back in before finally releasing the collar and elbow. Nice stuff. TK has a run in charge of the offense where he continues to take things nice a steady.
The crowd is on his back, seeming to have taken Mambo’s side in the quarrel between the best buds. When the champ exerts his will upon the match the pace begins to quicken as he hits Cooper with planchas, crossbody blocks, and high flying spots. It helps create a nice ebb and flow to the contest as the pace fluctuates. Proceedings take a turn for the worse when Mambo accidentally nails the ref with a bicycle kick. TK smashes him with a headbutt straight after for the pin.
But by the time the ref has regained his senses it only garners him a two count. Mambo is able to rally from that point hitting a great springboard frog splash for a one count (!). A Canadian Destroyer on the apron leads right into another frog splash for Mambo to secure the win and retain the Brighton Championship.
Before the show ends Mambo grabs a microphone and tells TK that he knows he’s the fourth man in Money Versus Everybody. The person Spike Trivet had been teasing, but he still loves him. Cue Trivet’s music. Emerging with Shay Purser in tow, Spike quickly, snidely, disabuses Mambo of the notion that TK is a member of MvE. Paul Robinson slides into the ring behind Mambo and TK. He then drills them both with some kicks. Spike demands that Josh Bevan sanction a no DQ match between him and Mambo for the title right now. Or they will take out the company’s medic – Josh’s father…
No DQ Match
Chuck Mambo (c) vs Spike Trivet
The bell rings for the match to begin and Robbo goes for the curb stomp on Mambo. That’s foiled by TK Cooper who takes the move for his fallen brother. It doesn’t do much good though. Robbo turfs him out of the ring and smashes Mambo with a stomp onto a steel chair. Spike kneels on top of Mambo for 1, 2, 3! And we have a new Brighton Champion! Trivet, Purser, and Robinson take their theatrical bow in the ring as the show comes to a close. As it does, the crowd boo their despicable new champion.
An excellent show for RIPTIDE all in all, and an excellent three-day event too. Although the comedy was a bit on the heavy side to begin with, a good balance was found. I suppose you could say that it was a good way to balance it against the show’s close.
And what a close that was with Trivet becoming the second Brighton Champion after an epic, year-plus reign for Chuck Mambo. It’s going to be an interesting/terrifying journey going forward with MvE running things. We’ll be there to cover it all and will return with The RIPTIDE RETROspective to cover Combat Panto very soon. Ta ta for now.
Match of the Weekend: Cara Noir vs Su Yung
Wrestler of the Weekend: Daniel Makabe
Story of the Weekend: Money vs Everyone’s hostile takeover