The Pride of Brighton was crowned as Riptide’s Bank Holiday Wrestling wrapped up with another wacky line-up.

It’s back to the BOAT as we’re wrestling outside on a Saturday evening… so expect fading light and wackiness abounds.

Rob Lias vs. Jordynne Grace
Lias has different music outside of Rev Pro, but he’s still got his fluffy jacket made out of the remnants of deceased Muppets. He rips off the security wristband he was given (which the crowd booed, because littering), before he basked in the relative safety that he wouldn’t be murdered tonight, because Riptide wouldn’t ever run again.

Lias tried to poke fun at Grace’s height, but after an initial scare he was able to take the upper hand, mocking Grace before taking her into the corner. Jordynne’s initial attempts to fight back were snuffed out as the whine of the drone overhead filled the air, before Grace managed to respond… eventually missing a Vader Bomb that got Lias back in it. Jordynne sidesteps as Lias crashed into the turnbuckles, sending himself outside ahead of an electric chair drop onto the apron, which Jordynne followed up with a tope. David Starr’s watching, and he gets pulled into the action as Jordynne slammed him onto Lias, which started a trend as Grace was soliciting offers from the crowd… eventually settling for the ref as she slammed him onto Lias for an eventual two-count.

Lias fought back, coming close with an elbow drop, before he was caught with his feet on the ropes in the middle of a roll-up. Cue an argument with the ref, before Grace smacked him with a forearm ahead of a pumphandle driver for the win. A decent enough opener, with Lias and Grace playing their bad/good role swell – and my God, the crowd enjoyed it, so there’s that. **¾

The OJMO has a promo, talking about Ashmore attacking him after the Riptide Rumble and other post-match attacks.

The OJMO vs. Ashmore vs. Connor Mills vs. Paul Robinson
Ashmore’s one of those names I’m kinda sad hasn’t kept up the promise he was showing a few years back… not even a banger against Donovan Dijak seemed to help get him extra bookings.

This was a family friendly show, so the chants around Paul Robinson were duly toned down… (“Robbo, you’re a chump”) as were Robbo’s replies. So, this four-way started with Ashmore and OJMO pairing off against each other, but the bad guys were dispatched to the outside ahead of eventual topes.

Back inside, Mills and OJMO go through the obligatory indie dropkicks spots as they reached a staredown… then got dragged outside as the bad guys decided to focus on Mills for a spell. The OJMO gets lucky as he’s double-teamed next, but then Robinson and Ashmore have a falling out over who’d take the win. Of course, the OJMO capitalises with a Quebrada to the pair of rotters, before the two good guys traded blows… in about as friendly a way as you could get while still being competitive. A satellite DDT spikes Mills, but Robinson quickly swarms the OJMO, only to get caught up top as the bad guys came back with a Doomsday Device on the OJMO. Mills’ 450 splash breaks up the pin as he almost stole a win on Ashmore… who responded with a powerbomb onto the knee on the OJMO (yes, it got borrowed by David Starr), ahead of the OJMO wiping out the bearded one with a running knee.

Ashmore returns with a springboard lungblower from the apron, but couldn’t avoid a Destroyer as the OJMO stunned him straight back to his feet, only for a half crab to get broken up by a NASTY curb stomp from Robinson. Mill sis back to stop the pin, hitting a rebound hook kick and a Burning Cutter for a near-fall, broken up by a flailing foot from the OJMO. This is getting tasty! Just as I type that, the OJMO goes down clutching his neck, which can’t have been helped when Ashmore propelled him up for a lumbar check for the win. Some really good stuff here, although I’m not a fan of fake/real injuries being used in the finish like this. ***¼

Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne & Los Federales Santos Jr.) vs. Martina & Rocky Mac
It turns out that yelling through a megaphone isn’t the best way to stop a crowd clapping along to Sandstorm…

Speaking of, Martina’s happy to be teaming with a familiar face… before she was greeted with another familiar face… Dave Benson-Phillips! The children’s TV presenter’s got form with Riptide, having appeared here in 2018… and of course he’s back to wind up Chief Deputy Dunne again. Yes, this is Britwres in 2019, and these kind of random appearances are glorious. We start with lucha Santos as he rolled past Martina from the off, before she returned the favour. They trick each other into rope-running, which is so not a good idea in this heat, but it led to a switcheroo as Santos “stayed hydrated” by having a beer. Drunk Santos! He charges Dunne into the corner, then slams him. He’s an angry drunk.

Then he’s a happy drunk, dancing with Martina, before he pulled out the No Fun Gun… which Rocky Mac responded to with a shillelagh, prompting Santos to hide “in the trenches”. Martina goes flying with a dive into the rozzers, while Rocky Mac stage dived onto them for good measure. Dave Benson-Phillips teases joining in, but Dunne attacks him from behind, only for Martina to chase him out of the Open Air Theatre and around the park… which we get a wonderful view of thanks to the Drone Cam! A handful of fans joined them as Dunne had his face ground into a hedge, then the wire fence while Benson-Phillips pratfalled Santos back at ringside.

We’re back to the standard view as Martina leapt into Santos… but got slammed (which led to a NICE angle from the Drone Cam of all that), with Santos nearly taking the win. The Anti-Fun Police build up from there, focusing on Martina, while a guy in the crowd exposed his belly. It seemed to work as far as annoying Dunne, anyway…

Rocky Mack gets the hot tag in eventually, and nearly puts Dunne away with a spinebuster, before a blind tag brought Santos in for an assisted German suplex. The Adios Amigo’s avoided as Rocky shoves Santos away, crotching Dunne ahead of a top rope ‘rana before Martina returned with a satellite DDT. A Magic Killer somehow took down Dunne and Santos at the same time, before a Jägerbomb was blocked… as Dave Benson-Phillips popped up for a distraction, allowing Rocky to crack Santos in the leg.

There’s another kick, wham Stunner for Dunne too, and that laid the table for Martina to get the win with a Jägerbomb. Some delicious nonsense here, with a really cracking match underneath it all. Don’t sleep on this! ***½

Lord Gideon Grey vs. David Starr
Gideon had put his shirt on the line here… and so he wore it tied around his belt like a title belt. It’s a glorious shirt. He’s also got a manservant here in the form of “Barbara”, who insisted on stealing Gideon’s spotlight. I swear that poor sod has form in being someone’s servant…

My God, it’s been a long while since I’ve heard Starr at a show coming out to Joan Jett. Copyright free music, everyone! Meanwhile, I pop at “the physical embodiment of tiredness”. Good God. He even got STREAMERS. Hope the ring crew he paid off recycle them. Starr screws up while criticising Gideon’s t-shirt, then began working over Gideon’s arm as they played this for a casual crowd. A seated surfboard has Grey screaming like a stuck pig, while someone bemoaned not seeing “real wrestling”. I don’t think that was the same guy who kept chanting “what a load of rubbish” throughout the show. Anyway, that guy got his wish, even if Gideon’s arrogance almost cost him as he bowed to the crowd… and almost got rolled up. So that’s why he doesn’t taunt!

Grey cheapshots Starr on a handshake, but he’s quickly trapped in a stump puller a la Doink, with Starr rolling all the way back into a pinning predicament. Starr continues, using right hands and stomps to take Grey into the corner, a la Stone Cold. A superplex is blocked by Grey, who rakes the eyes and comes back with a hanging neckbreaker out of the corner, but he can’t even get a one-count out of that. Gideon’s frustration builds as the light was fading… but he stayed on top of Starr with double sledges out of the corner. Eventually Starr fight back, ducking wild punches before landing a jawbreaker, then a back elbow and a sliding splash into the corner. Forearms and chops take Grey back into the corner, before an arm whip and a La Magistral cradle almost earned Starr the shirt.

Working over Starr’s hand forces the “Product” to undo his wrist trapping, before Gideon tossed David his shirt and fell to the mat. You know, the Eddie Guerrero thing. Except shirts don’t quite have the same weight behind them as title belts… despite Gideon claiming the buttons hurt. Gideon calms down, then has the shirt thrown at him for reals as Starr tried to win with a roll-up… and then we have a tug of war!

Will the shirt hold?! Yup, as Gideon pulls it into Starr for a neckbreaker for a near-fall, before he threatened to punch the buttons into him. Except “Barbara” makes a save, distracting Gideon as a Blackheart Buster from Starr almost got the win… but Starr ends up going an O’Connor roll which got blocked, allowing Gideon to hit a mule kick low blow and a lariat to save his shirt. And get the right to be called whatever he damn well pleases. You could break this one down as a masterpiece in prop wrestling, and it was, but this was just another match to highlight how underrated Gideon Grey is in many circles of Britwres. ***½

Money Versus Everybody (Damon Moser & Spike Trivet) vs. Escaping The Midcard (Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper)
Night continues to fall in Brighton. Thank God for spotlights…

TK and Moser start us off, but a dropkick has Damon down. Remember when he was a PROGRESS regular? One broken jaw from James Drake, and it’s been curtains for him. Tags bring in Mambo and Spike, with Chuck turning up the tempo with a wheelbarrow into an armdrag, before he trapped Spike in the corner with some running elbows.

TK tags back in mid-springboard, but that upsets the Riptide champion… and distracted TK as he got annoyed by Moser’s discus boot. That had TK in trouble, as he was quickly cornered, then poked in the eyes after Spike figured out something something TK’s hard head. Forearms and a sucker punch weaken TK, as he’s stomped on some more ahead of some cheapshots from Damon Moser on the outside. Trivet continues to antagonise Mambo, but it all backfired as TK got free… but Cooper refused to tag out. Seconds later, his neck’s caught by Moser, as Mambo bemoaned the lack of a tag… was TK going to go this alone? And why?

Moser kicks out the leg of TK as the isolation continued, but TK falls into his own corner as Mambo tagged in to make the save, clearing house with chops on Moser and a Blockbuster to Trivet. There’s a Bad Burrito for Moser too, which coupled into a nice back senton on Spike at the same time, as a Chuck You dropped Spike for another two-count. TK’s tagged back in, but he gets annoyed at how the tag was made… and he slaps Mambo. Happenstance means a headbutt from TK’s directed to Mambo, as Moser came back with a dropkick to TK in the corner ahead of a superkick-assisted Birthright from Trivet for a near-fall. A Saito suplex from Moser drops Mambo, as did a knee strike, before TK made the save again with a headbutt… and a standing shooting star press as the ETM team seemingly got back on the same page.

Trivet’s back to get superkicked, before ETM forgot their finish… giving Moser time to shove down TK off the top rope as another turnaround put Spike’s crew ahead. Briefly, anyway, as Mambo hit back with another Chuck You to Moser, before TK blind tagged himself in to “win”… only to miss a springboard frog splash and get rolled up for the pin as Mambo got thrown into the dry moat. I really liked this – as a set-up for Spike’s title shot, they kept Mambo strong whenever he was in the ring, while they played off TK’s confliction between his own title aspirations while also not wanting to lose. ***

Post-match, Spike shook TK’s hand, suggesting he was the latest guy in Money vs. Everybody, which led to Mambo walking out on it all.

Riptide Pride Of Brighton Championship Tournament Final: Kurtis Chapman vs. Cassius
The winner gets the Pride of Brighton medal – and Cassius is in with a taped-up back after his matches yesterday. I like how the tape’s in the shape of a letter N. For “Neon Explosion”.

We open with some classic yay/boo stuff, as Chapman points out that he’s not lost… unlike Cassius, who was brought back in as a “lucky loser” because of Candyfloss’ injury. Kurtis keeps mouthing off, before he started by shoving Cassius into the corner so he could… sing his own music, obnoxiously. Chapman cowered when Cassius went for him in the corner, before Cassius mocked him with a game of pat-a-cake that ended with a slap. Spinning headscissors follow as Chapman sailed outside, where he took over with some shots to Cassus before Chapman did a Trent and chopped the ring post. Not to worry, Cassius hits his chops, only to get taken down with a backbreaker as Chapman rolled back into the ring, looking to take the count-out win.

Of course, Cassius beats the count-out, only to have Chapman’s mouthguard forced on him. A clothesline keeps Cassius down as the tape had been ripped off his back, while a PK to the spine didn’t help things either. It’s all one-way traffic too, as Chapman connects on a rebound lariat before he literally walked over Cassius… who’d clearly had enough as he fought back, only to get caught in an armbar that ended in the ropes.

After taking a barrage of strikes, Cassius tries to fight back, but he’s pinned to the ropes before he finally hit back with a clothesline. Then another, then a ‘rana as he began to build up steam. A springboard crossbody was good for a two-count, but Chapman’s right back in with a superplex as the match descended back into strikes. Cassius tries his luck with a monkey flip, but Chapman blocked it and almost stole the win with his feet on the ropes. Headscissors from Cassius took Chapman off the top rope, but Gideon Grey – back in his finest shirt – comes out to distract the ref from making an almost-certain three-count. Chapman tries to capitalise on the distraction, but ends up dropkicking Gideon off the apron… and Gideon’s back pulling out the ref as Cassius again came close to a win. A dive took care of Grey, as Cassius looked to win for a third time, landing a crossbody off the top… but Chapman kicks out!

A baseball punch from Chapman caught Cassius in the ropes, leading to a springboard stomp that almost ended the match – but Cassius got to the ropes in the nick of time. That prompted Kurtis to reach for his keyboards, only to get a stern head shaking from referee Aaren Wilde… who confiscated one, and failed to notice the second keyboard. Which Chapman promptly smashed against Cassius’ back… but it’s still not enough, as Cassius kicked out at two!

From there, Cassius hit back with a pair of DDTs, twisting Chapman around the ring to snatch the win! I wasn’t too crazy with how quick Cassius bounced back from having a keyboard smashed against his back – given that was the story of the weekend – but this was a fairly well worked, basic match, with a devious bad guy falling short at the last hurdle. Sure there were some moments of hesitation early on, but this did the job as Cassius sent the Brighton crowd home happy. ***

The second half of Riptide’s Bank Holiday Wrestling event felt like a more well-rounded show on paper – even if the crowd seemed to be tiring towards the end of a full-day outside during an unseasonably-warm English summer. Unless you’re watching this at home with the heating on full blast, you’ll probably not be able to replicate the atmosphere – but this was a really good pair of shows from a promotion that probably goes under a lot of fan’s radars… and when you consider just how good their product looks, that really needs to change.