It’s been a while since Britwres’ undergraps had a hot match that’s taken everyone by storm – so let’s go to the seaside for the main event from Riptide earlier this month!

This one’s from Riptide’s most recent show at the Brighthelm Centre in Brighton – Point Break. We’ve fallen off the “review Riptide” wagon as of late, but their product is an absolutely stunning one to watch. Filmed unlike any other promotion, Riptide take pride in their show having a real cinematic vibe to it, rather than “point a camera at the ring and hope we haven’t smudged the lens” affairs of many others.

The main event was to see Cara Noir against a mystery opponent. The mystery vibe led to the crowd being really behind Cara, although that’s not to say they didn’t lose their minds when PAC came out…

Cara Noir vs. PAC
There’s no commentary on this one, as we start with both men soaking in the reactions as Cara Noir acted overawed, looking to shake PAC’s hand. Like that was ever happening.

Undeterred, Cara pops up from a shoulder tackle and tries again, but it wasn’t long before PAC took him down and began to patronise him. That handshake’s quickly becoming mind games, as PAC began to poke fun at the crowd as they tried to get behind their man. Cara had a brief spell on top, throwing PAC from turnbuckle to turnbuckle, before got his own back, patting PAC on the head… which just prompted the Geordie to bail to the outside. Suckering Cara outside, PAC hits a superkick on the floor, before he began to sting Cara with chops. Back inside, PAC’s just riding Cara Noir, sending him chest-first into the turnbuckles a la Bret Hart, as the crowd began to sense that things were really going to be tough for Noir, especially when PAC choked him through the ropes and sent him to the floor.

Even ten minutes into the match, Cara needs the fans to help get back to his feet, only to get quickly taken down again with a missile dropkick as PAC continued to enjoy the one-way traffic while Cara seemed to be intent on getting that handshake. When PAC did “shake his bastard hand”, it was the cue for a beatdown before Cara finally got his glimmer of hope – taking PAC outside for a big tope. Back inside, a shotgun dropkick took PAC sailing into the corner, before he sidestepped a second… only to run into a series of elbows as Cara continued his comeback. A comeback that saw him choke PAC with a hanging chokehold in the corner, only for PAC to get free and land a huge superplex that threatened to re-break the ring.

Cara went back to the mind games, licking PAC upside the head… and that only made the Geordie angry. Angrier. Not that he could do much about it, as Cara hits him with a release German suplex, before he got caught with an instant response. PAC heads up top, but his Phoenix splash hits an empty pool as Cara Noir found a second/third wind, scoring with a neckbreaker and a Blackheart Buster to nearly cause the mother of all upsets. A package piledriver looks to follow, but a back body drop from PAC gets him free, before Cara nonchalantly rolled to the floor to avoid a Black Arrow. Not to worry, PAC just moonsaults onto him instead. Back inside, the Black Arrow is again aborted, this time with PAC landing a 450 splash off the top rope for another near-fall. When that didn’t work, PAC flips Cara inside out with a lariat then used a Ligerbomb for another near-fall as PAC was starting to get visibly frustrated at Cara’s hardiness.

Again going for the Black Arrow, PAC’s forced to climb down as Cara once more rolled away… and that’s the cue for another comeback as Cara leapt onto PAC’s back and pulled him into a rear naked choke. One that’s violently broken, mind you, as PAC finally lands that Black Arrow, and it’s enough to get the clear cut pin.

Buoyed by a hot crowd, this was in many ways a throwback to the classic “travelling world champion against local star” matches that you used to get back in the territory days. Thing is, why this was helped by a massively pro-Cara Noir crowd, save for the odd heckle, you didn’t really get too much of a sense that the crowd were anti-PAC. Maybe it’s just me having been desensitized because of seeing PAC appearing for Rev Pro in matches where half the fun has become “how is he going to win and keep the other guy strong”, but you never really got the sense that this was too competitive outside of Noir’s brief flurries. Noir wasn’t too far behind PAC, but this was a similar kind of story as we saw with PAC/Michael Oku in Rev Pro, just with one of the promotion’s headliners rather than an “up and comer”. Cara’s losing nothing in defeat here, which is just as well… ****

There’s a post-match angle too, as Damon Moser and Shay Purser came out to attack Cara Noir with a chair, as we far-too-quickly cut to a promo piece for Spike Trivet. I’m behind on Riptide, but I’m guessing that’s a new direction here following Jack Sexsmith’s retirement? Trivet is perhaps a little out of joint at how much of a caricature he’s become within Britwres, and how he should be “Mister Riptide”. He wants a shot at Chuck Mambo’s Brighton championship – and vows to “spoil Britwres rotten” by the end of 2019. It’s a shame that the “top tier” promotions seem to be out of sorts when it comes to some guys, because video packages like this should be making the Spike Trivets of Britwres stars all over the country – and not just “in one promotion”.