We’re skipping a few shows and heading to Riptide’s Spring Break, as Brighton paid witness to Jimmy vs. Jinny!
The show opens with a recap of Jack Sexsmith lamenting how everyone he’s trusted in Riptide has turned on him: Damon Moser, Chris Ridgeway, and from there we’re taken to live action with the man Sexsmith called a “cancer”.
Maverick Mayhew vs. Spike Trivet
There’s a nice smattering of boos as Chris Ridgeway – who’s out with Spike – is wearing one of Jack Sexsmith’s Proud tees. Irony!
Spike’s all about patronising Mayhew, thinking that Mayhew’s been put in this as a punishment for something since this isn’t a tournament qualifier. Maverick’s on his own, which means there’s nobody to save him as Ridgeway and Moser indulge in a little pre-match activity… Trivet takes advantage of this, starting the match against the beaten-down Mayhew… who still has to content with the numbers game as well as Spike, who comes close with a sit-out front suplex. Good to see Spike’s still repping K-Kwik’s finish, all these years later. Mayhew comes back in with headscissors and a 619, before almost polishing off Spike with a crossbody off the top, only for Spike to stuff some headscissors and hang up Mayhew in the corner with a dropkick.
The referee can’t quite unhook Mayhew from the Tree of Woe in time, so Spike takes advantage by leaving him hanging before dumping the youngster to the mat… but Mayhew mounts another comeback, dropping Spike with a clothesline only to get forearmed in the face as some back-and-forth led to a spinning roundhouse kick. A lucha-ish armdrag’s next out of the Maverick, who again has to deal with Ridgeway and Moser’s presence, before countering a brainbuster into David Starr’s Blackheart buster for a near-fall.
Mayhew heads up top, but somehow he leaps into a Slingblade, before Trivet almost snatched victory with a Side Effect, only for him to get victory when Moser clocked Mayhew in the corner, allowing Spike to take the win with the Birthright. I liked the sense of disappointment in the ring announcer’s voice at the end – perhaps Spike sneaking past someone like Mayhew isn’t a good sign if he wants to win the Brighton Championship Tournament later this year? ***
Post-match, Trivet’s goons stand up Mayhew… who’s praised for his gutsiness, before being offered a spot in Spike’s squad. He takes too long to respond, so he’s laid out by Moser. Trivet demands he gets a qualifier for the Brighton Championship Tournament… and before he leaves, Moser tries to do the “chair thing” on Mayhew. He does it anyway, and Maverick gets Pillmanised.
Chakara vs. Sierra Loxton vs. Sammii Jayne
Knowing how these go, Chakara leaves the ring at the bell and opts to watch from the crowd as Sierra and Sammii start us off.
Sierra takes down Sammii with a hip attack early on, which brings Chakara into the fray… and things go badly for her as a fallaway slam dumped her for a near-fall. Sammii returns to put the boots to Loxton, then club her with a forearm in the ropes ahead of a nice leg lariat as Jayne was looking to keep the match between just the two of them. Chakara gets involved as she booted Jayne off the top rope, giving her an awkward landing before hitting the ring with a T-bone suplex for a near-fall on Sierra. Forearms from above help Chakara get another near-fall, as did a kick and a curb stomp, as Chakara turned her attention to Sammii Jayne… leading to a shoving match and a crossbody from a resurging Loxton.
A German suplex from Sierra sends Jayne sailing across the ring, as we’re into hip attack territory! There’s another German suplex from Loxton as she sends Chakara down again, but Sammii capitalises on Sierra’s distraction with the Shadowfax baseball slide German suplex as the attention again turned to Sammii and Chakara. Chakara comes close with a sit-out powerbomb, before all three women laid each other out… Sammii’s back up for a Samoan drop on Chakara, aided by a spear from Loxton, who tries to steal the pin on Sammii, only to get a near-fall. Sammii tries for a Michinoku driver, but it’s countered as Loxton’s right back in with a hip attack, before Chakara comes in and sprays her with some… mist?! With Sierra blinded, Chakara gets the win with a roll-up. Decent enough, but the triple threat rules didn’t really add much to this and really hurt the flow. **¾
Jack Sexsmith vs. Mark Andrews
Feeling conflicted from all of his recent betrayals, Sexsmith was a little slow out of the blocks in this one as Andrews took him down with a wristlock, keeping him on the mat too.
Armdrags follow as Sexsmith struggles, before he finally returned the favour, hitting a wheelbarrow armdrags before scoring with headscissors to take Andrews to the outside. He doesn’t follow up though, and waits for Andrews to return to chop him and roll him up, only for the more-experienced Andrews to snap right back in with a back suplex for a near-fall. A legdrop to the arm gets a similar result, before Andrews pulled Sexsmith into a Romero special, pulling him back into a nasty-looking Dragon sleeper as well Jack eventually was let go. Andrews continues the damn-near decimation of Sexsmith with an Octopus hold, before the pair traded off forearms, as Jack almost had a window into things… eventually scoring with the Pearl Neckbreaker.
Andrews shoves away the LGBDT, but can’t avoid the Sliced Bread in the corner for a near-fall. It’s a short-lived offence from Jack, as a standing moonsault from Andrews nearly ends things… but Jack’s able to hit back with a superkick and another LGBDT before heading up top for the BDSM. That would have won the match, had Andrews not gotten a foot onto the rope… something that Sexsmith struggled to comprehend… so he heads outside and grabs a chair, thinking he needs to take a shortcut. Fortunately, Jack has second thoughts with the chair and throws it out of the ring, before his suplex attempt gets countered into a Stundog Millionaire. Never suplex Andrews, it seems, because from there Mark heads up for the shooting star press, and that’s an emphatic loss for the out-of-sorts Sexsmith. ***¼
Flash Morgan Webster’s out next with a malfunctioning microphone. He sits in the middle of the ring a la CM Punk to make a point… so we go to interval! “One Hour Later” (which is a short interval for some promotions), we’re back with Flash still sitting cross legged, like he’s at a school assembly. Security finally come to get rid of him, but Flash just lays out the security crew before a bigger guy just rushes in and takes him down. That’s how you do it! Don’t send in the skinny kids…
TK Cooper vs. Drew Parker vs. ELIJAH vs. Danny Jones
As you’d expect, this started out hot, with the Nothing to Prove pair going right for each other… and we’re quickly into the revolving door stuff, with ELIJAH’s back elbow taking Parker to the outside, allowing Jones to come in.
Some misdirection in the ropes allows Jones to hit a forearm and a back-cracker… and now here’s TK! A moonsault over Jones sees him follow up with Jinder Mahal’s finish, but in comes Drew to crash into TK in the corner with a dropkick… only for ELIJAH to return to stop a dive. TK comes in because he wants to submit Drew… so we get TK and ELIJAH splitting a Boston crab between them until Danny Jones rushed in with a double DDT. Nice! ELIJAH recovers with a nice spin-out cravat as we’re almost in Parade of Moves territory here, but instead we take a diversion as ELIJAH struggled to superplex Drew… so Danny turns it into a mini Tower of Doom instead. Danny instantly falls for TK’s circle game though as the Revolving Door continues… almost ending when Drew laid out Jones with the Detonation kick.
Instead, Drew decides to go for a hattrick of dives, but his tope con giro sees him land awkwardly as TK walked away…
Back in the ring, ELIJAH hits a Slingblade and a DDT for a near-fall as Danny breaks up the cover, before flipping over ELIJAH so as to give him a piledriver as TK had his turn to break up the pin. Jones tries to rock TK with an enziguiri, but his Samoan head absorbs that and delivers a headbutt before a Tiger suplex, and the Rihanna gets TK the win. This was breathless fun – but very much to the four-way template. If you can’t stand those, this isn’t going to change your mind. ***
Wild Boar vs. WALTER
Here we go – some big lads! Boar’s right at WALTER at the bell, charging him to the outside as he tried to catch der Ringgeneral unawares… but as soon as they get back in… WALTER CHOPS.
Boar’s able to absorb that and catch the Austrian with back sentons, only to get caught in a single-leg crab as WALTER effortlessly turned defence into attack. Some forearms from Boar have little effect as WALTER throws those chops, taking Boar into the corner for a Beel throw WALTER started to build a commanding advantage. More chops rock Boar, whose attempt at fighting back gets snuffed out with forearms as he’s dragged to the mat in a wacky version of a bow-and-arrow hold that almost snapped the Welshman in two. We’re outside again for more chops, but Boar finally mounted a comeback, ducking a chop before he tried a slam… and yeah, that wasn’t going to happen.
WALTER hits one of his own with great ease, before he started nonchalantly kicking Boar, who hits back with chops… and gets chopped right back down. Doh! Boar’s picked back up by his neck as WALTER used a cravat, before he pulled Boar into an old school shoulderbreaker for a near-fall. Papa Shango would approve! A crossface follows from WALTER, as Boar was left screaming in pain… as anyone would be against this barrage of offence.
After escaping a powerbomb, Boar’s thrown into the corner as he’s forced to take the RINGKAMPF butterfly suplex… and my God, this is looking far too easy. WALTER is just toying with Boar from here, watching as he pulls himself up in the ropes as a chop battle broke out. Bad idea. At least it gave Boar enough time to spark a series of shoulder charges, taking WALTER into the corner for a cannonball, before surprising the big man with a T-bone suplex!
That gets Boar a near-fall, but he’s quickly swatted down by a slap as WALTER put himself back in the driver’s seat, as some powerbombs looked to see WALTER edge towards a TKO victory, before Boar got up at 9, ate a lariat and ends up getting caught in a STF for the ref stoppage. This was a weird one… I don’t know whether the crowd was badly mic’d, or just exhausted from the heat, but the usual crowd intensity was lacking here, which meant that the match had nothing to play off of. Good stuff bell to bell, but seeing Boar battered this much was a little out of place given the year he’s had thus far. The graphics didn’t mention this, but with the win WALTER qualifies for the Brighton Championship Tournament later in the year. ***½
Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake) vs. Team White Wolf (A-Kid & Adam Chase) vs. Anti-Fun Police (Los Federales Santos Jr. & Chief Deputy Dunne) vs. Kip Sabian & Amir Jordan
Kip gets all wound up at Amir for dancing… hey, there’s already a team there who’s against fun. Still, at least Kip has time for an introduction, done in a rather more Yorkshire accent than usual, before we get mic time from Dunne and Gibson. Cue the boos.
Like the last four-way, this starts off hot and sticks to the revolving door format, with White Wolf taking down the Veterans early before the Anti-Fun Police hit the ring. Kid tries a crossbody, but just bounces off of Santos, who squashes him with one of his own before Kip Sabian hits the ring and dumps Santos… then hits a dropkick on Dunne. You know the score here. Amir Jordan hits some headscissors then gets admonishes by a Bhangra Santos, who’d clearly been learning, but couldn’t quite do Amir’s jumping dance.
The Grizzled Young Veterans try to return, but White Wolf put paid to them with dives… and apparently the match hadn’t even started?! What the hell was the ref doing earlier?! Anyway, Kid hits a big splash off the top for a near-fall on Drake as everyone seems to freeze… Drake recovers as Gibson gets the tag in, prompting some double-teaming to the Spaniards, and some straight-faced parodies of Dunne’s way of speaking. Aah. Drake dumps Kid with a suplex for a near-fall before grabbing a chinlock… and with Dunne grabbing his megaphone, he mocks Gibson’s Scouse accent. Santos did it better, as they throw fits at how the Veterans refused to tag them in. Plenty of switcheroos backfire as Gibson hits his own man with an axehandle off the top, and now Kid tags out to Amir Jordan. The hot tag from Amir clears the apron as both of the Veterans are somehow still in the ring, but he quickly leaves with a dive as the Vets tried to remain in control… catching a crossbody before a missile dropkick from Sabian puts them down.
The Anti-Fun Police try to interject themselves, but Adam Chase gets involved as Dunne accidentally DDT’s Santos to spark a Parade of Moves. Santos wipes out Chase with a spinning heel kick, then “tagged in” Dunne with Chase’s limp body… the big guy flew with a tope into the pile outside, but Dunne’s attempt to capitalise backfires as the Fun’s Over DDT to Jordan is blocked with another springboard enziguiri. A step-up tope con giro from Jordan keeps the pile down on the floor, and buys him enough time to coax Sabian into dancing. Dunne’s fed up of that though, only for his springboard lungblower to get caught into a sit-out Burning Hammer from Sabian, before a senton bomb from Jordan gets the win. Decent enough for a sprint, but this could have had the same effect with half the guys in the match. Enjoyable, but not something to go out of your way to watch. **¾
After the match, the Grizzled Young Veterans break up a dance-off… and get booed for it.
Chuck Mambo vs. Lord Gideon Grey
Gideon cuts a promo on Mambo before the match loaded with backhanded compliments, asking him not to do any of his “high flying bollocks”, and he’ll keep Kurtis Chapman at bay if that happens. Chapman slaps Gideon, because why not, before Mambo accepts the offer.
Grey instantly takes Mambo to the mat with a waistlock as we’re all about the grappling here. Wristlocks, trips, reversals, the works here! Mambo escapes the wristlock with a springboard off the ropes, and here comes Kurtis Chapman – keyboard in hand to make a nuisance of himself. Mambo tries to spring up for a Reefbreak, but Chapman reminds him of the agreement, so we’re back to the grappling. Headlock takedowns, escapes and the like, before Mambo decides to go for a spot of surfing.
Again Chapman gets involved, so Gideon has a word with him, shoving him off the apron before Mambo tried to roll him up multiple times for near-falls. A Gory stretch from Mambo almost forces the submission as he prepared for his match with Zack Sabre Jr… but instead Gideon escapes and whips him down by the arm before he chained together some butterfly suplexes. Grey turns that into a cross armbreaker as he really is showing his submission stuff, but unfortunately Mambo didn’t “tap, you bastard” despite being put into a cross armbreaker, and made it to the ropes… despite Chapman doing his best to force Mambo to let go.
Mambo fires up from there and hits a nice half-and-half suplex, folding Gideon in half ahead of a Stinger splash and some chops in the corner, before he hits back with the Chuck You. That would have won the match, but Interfering Kurtis pulls Gideon’s foot onto the rope. Mambo nearly loses via distraction as he had a word with Chapman, but instead he takes Grey outside – along with himself – with a Cactus clothesline! Back inside, Grey gets a near-fall with a rope-hung reverse DDT, before he throws a fit at the referee’s apparently slow count. From there, Mambo decides to throw out his promise, taking down Gideon with a Reefbreak and a big splash – either side of a tope to Chapman – before getting the win. Really enjoyable stuff here, showing another side of Mambo’s wrestling chops. ***½
They replay events from months back where Jimmy Havoc turned on an injured Jinny, who was trying to put him over. That leads to tonight’s main event, a sort-of rematch from Black Water back in December. Jimmy vs. Jinny.
Jimmy Havoc vs. Jinny
Cue some orchestral music as Riptide’s signature cinematic style bled into the opening of the match, as an opening forearm from Havoc timed beautifully with the crescendo.
Jinny hits right back with a kick and a forearm of her own, before some headscissors took Havoc to the corner, where she laid waste to him with a Shibata-ish dropkick. Havoc calls for, and sees a Rainmaker avoided, as he ends up getting taken outside for a tope from Jinny right into the crowd. On the outside, Jimmy goes after Jinny’s hand, then decks her with a forearm to the back of the head as he remonstrated with Tom Scarborough, with the referee threatening a count-out. Then count, Tom, count!
A headbutt from Havoc keeps Jinny down, as he goes under the ring in search of… a table! Those don’t go well in Riptide… Still, Havoc throws Jinny’s head into the table, then pulls her up onto the apron as he threatens a death valley driver through it. She avoids it… only to get her hand thrown into the ring post, as Jimmy works over the injury, removing the protective strapping. A wristlock doesn’t make Jinny quit, nor does some biting, so Jimmy keeps up on the arm, only to get caught with a kick and dragged down to Jinny’s knee. She busts out a Destroyer, but after having a Rainmaker blocked, she’s pulled up onto Havoc for a reverse ‘rana, which almost wins her the match. Instead, Havoc’s right back on her as he went back after the arm, before nearly falling to a roll-up… and then recovering to get a near-fall as an Acid Rainmaker almost put Jinny away.
Except that table’s still looming large, but first, Jimmy grabs a chair! Jinny fights back, only to see Havoc go for a mule kick… which doesn’t biologically work, as Jinny points out, before taking Havoc into the corner for the middle rope X-Factor for a near-fall. Another Rainmaker from Jinny’s ducked as Havoc pulls her to the mat in a rear naked choke, but she backs into the corner as we finally get a ref bump as Jinny accidentally forearms the ref. A low blow and an Acid Rainmaker gets a long visual pin, but Havoc kicks out once the second ref appears.
Jinny heads outside and grabs a chair from the crowd, but the second referee threatens to disqualify her… so she lays him out. Good! With both referees down, Havoc blocks a chair shot and throws it right back at Jinny – a shot that looked nasty from the angle Riptide used – before an Acid Rainmaker puts her away for the win. This felt short, but as the latest step in the feud this was really solid stuff, helped by Riptide’s cinematic camerawork… which summarised a post-match beating as as Jimmy tried THREE TIMES to put Jinny through the table on the outside. All three times she bounced off of it, while the dramatic music continued underneath. ***¼
That set up a rematch at the Riptide Rumble in June – under no DQ rules. Yay!
Spring Break was a funs how that somehow left me feeling a little underwhelmed… Boar vs. WALTER was okay, but not what I’d built it up to be in my head given Boar’s year so far, while we had way too many multi-way matches. The womens three way, the singles four-way and the tag four-way? As a fan you shouldn’t be worrying over a promotion’s finances, but that felt like they’d gone overboard with the bookings. Still, that’s just personal preference! Fortunately, there’s enough of the Riptide “own brand” stuff to keep you hooked here – with Lord Gideon Grey and Kurtis Chapman lending a hand, while the stories between Jack Sexsmith and Spike Trivet kept on whirring towards what should be a hell of a blow-off.