As 2020 comes to a close, we’re taking a look at what turned out to be Riptide’s last show of the year as we go back to March’s “The Storm.”
Damon Moser & Paul Robinson pinned Gene Munny & Millie McKenzie in 7:14 (**¾)
TK Cooper pinned Warren Banks in 6:30 (**½)
Killer Kelly pinned Mad Kurt in 6:47 (**¾)
Cara Noir and Mike Bird went to a double DQ in 12:40 (***½)
Spike Trivet pinned Jordon Breaks in 25:46 to retain the Riptide Brighton Championship (***¾)
This was Riptide’s last show before everything shut down due to the pandemic – and in line with Riptide’s other shows that moved over to IWTV, there’s some edits as the promotion has scrubbed matches from their VOD library featuring names that came up as part of Speaking Out – so that’s why what’s reviewed here doesn’t match what’s on Cagematch. This one’s coming from the Brighton Youth Centre here…
Money Versus Everybody (Damon Moser & Paul Robinson) vs. Gene Munny & Millie McKenzie
Gene starts by punching out Paul Robinson at the bell, before he caught a spear off the middle rope and turned it into a gutwrench suplex.
I adore how they’re subtitling the trash talk in the matches… and also how Millie’s put on the erm, chest tape that Gene Munny has too. Robinson rolls outside as he and Moser get dived on, but Moser then grabs Gene’s leg to distract as a slingshot spear back inside is stopped with a dropkick. Robinson’s subtitled again as he tags in Moser, with the pair wearing down Munny with shots, only for Millie to tag in and spear Moser for a quick two-count. A German suplex attempt is elbowed away as Moser instead hits a takedown on Millie for a two-count. There’s more captioned cussing from Robinson, as he and Moser left Millie in the corner, snuffing out an attempted comeback with some boot choking. Robinson hooks McKenzie and tags in Moser for a kick to the legs, then a neck snap that gets us a two-count. Robinson returns for some stomps, but Mullie fires back with right hands and a low dropkick, before a diving back elbow and a German suplex almost bounced Robinson on his head.
Munny tags in and goes wild on Robinson and Moser… there’s a diving boot on Robinson for a two-count, before the bad guys get sent outside… but Gene’s dive is aborted, so he lands a slingshot spear back inside for a two-count. Millie tries to help, but gets kneed in the ropes by Moser before she recovered to hit a side suplex, but Robinson low bridges Munny to prevent Ainsley Lariat from happening. Not to worry, Millie busts out German suplexes to Moser and Robinson, with biting stopping her as the bad guys look to overwhelm. Munny stops them with a double powerbomb, but a Parade of Moves leads to Robinson hitting a curb stomp as Moser picks up the win. Enjoyable and pacey enough for an opener, but this felt like a bit had been cut out of it as I was left wanting so much more. **¾
They show promos before each match, with subtitles, which is a nice touch to introduce newbies to the roster.
Warren Banks vs. TK Cooper
Banks was one of those guys who was threatening to have a breakout year before the big shutdown…
We start with Banks knocking TK out of the ring with a spear, with TK talking the ol’ Rikishi bump before he was dived onto. Back inside, Banks heads up for a diving elbow, before a frog splash almost ended the match inside a minute. TK hits back with a helluva kick and an Exploder, before he got lifted onto the apron as he charged at Banks… but a big boot saves him through the ropes as TK proceeded to hit a Quebrada back into the ring for a two-count. Banks heads up top to try and fight back, but he’s stopped with a chop as TK looked for a Spanish Fly, before settling for a rising headbutt. There’s another spear from Banks that stops that momentum, sparking an exchange of kicks and chops until Banks got knocked loopy with a headbutt. TK’s Samoan, don’t you know? A Michinoku driver plants TK for a two-count, as we then go back to chops that knock Banks outside.
He cuts off a dive with a gamengiri on the apron, but Banks got dragged back in as TK hits a somersault legdrop in the ropes for another two-count. Banks retaliates with a release German suplex, then went back up top… and got caught again finally landed his one-man Spanish Fly for a two-count. A leg lariat from Banks stops TK, who replied with another headbutt and a scissors kick for the win. Much like the opener, this was very pacey, but was over before you knew it. **½
Mad Kurt vs. Killer Kelly
Mad Kurt attacks Kelly before the bell, which means she’s starting on the defensive, particularly as Kurt choked her in the ropes.
Some boot choking followed as we get subtitled ref counts, ahead of a low dropkick as Kelly was back in the ropes. Snapmares keep Kelly down, as this was a bit like watching someone playing WWE 2K-whatever knowing only one move. Kelly gets up to hit a cross chop, before she followed up her snapmare with a PK for a two-count. Some ground and pound from Kelly forces the referee to pull her away from Kurt, but Kurt gets back in as he took Kelly’s back for a double armbar a la ZSJ. That gets Mad Kurt back on top as he corners Kelly with elbows, pulling her up by the pig tails… Kelly fought back as Mad Kurt tried to make her eat his mouthguard… which would be hard given that she was wearing her own at the time.
She stops him with a Thatcher-like slap, following up with some capture headbutts and a butterfly suplex. Kurt tries to reply with a German suplex, but just gets dumped with one of those himself ahead of a shotgun dropkick and the Shades of Shibata hesitation dropkick. Kelly went for Vale da Morte, but Kurt escapes and hits a Codebreaker for a two-count, before he reached for his keyboard. Of course the ref disarms him, as Kelly fought back with some elbows and a diving leg lariat. Vale da Morte’s next, and that’s your lot – another short one, but damn enjoyable for the time they had. **¾
After the match, Mad Kurt dabs at Kelly’s offer of a handshake… and gets wrecked with a keyboard shot. That’s a bit of a shift… as was Kelly helping Mad Kurt escape by carrying him to the back.
Vignette time with Mike Bird, who’s talking about “what wrestling means to him.” It’s not about adrenaline rushes, the roar of the crowd, or becoming a star, but instead, he tells us he lives to be able to decide people’s fates. He then talks down to his opponent today, “Thomas”, as he tells us he knows “what you are”. A black belt? He blames Cara Noir for a scar and an accident that damaged his vision, and then berated him for “making a mockery” of wrestling.
Cara Noir vs. Mike Bird
We’ve a staredown at the bell as Bird had his eyes locked on Cara Noir… and then they’re off.
A shotgun dropkick from Cara, then a rebound German suplex had Bird loopy early on, before a pair of Rude Awakening neckbreakers. He tries to land a third, but Bird pushes his way free, only to get knocked outside with a dropkick as Cara threw in a dive. They spill into the crowd, with the pair trading strikes before a backdrop dumped Bird into the bleachers. Back towards ringside, Bird caught Cara with a tombstone on the floor, as he then looked to take a count-out… which he almost got as Cara stumbled to his feet, before diving in at nine.
Bird leaps on him as soon as he gets in, then lands a folding powerbomb for a near-fall, before an elevated back suplex gets the Welshman another two-count. He followed that up with a Regal Stretch, letting go to throw some more strikes as he proceeded to choke Cara in the ropes. There’s some chops as Cara’s tied up again, but Cara holds on as Bird tries to Irish whip him… it led to a series of elbows, with Cara throwing in a headbutt… but he stunned himself in doing so, and ends up eating a Gotch piledriver for a two-count. That kick-out agers Bird, who threw some more punches on the mat, but as Cara tries to pull himself up via Bird’s singlet, he’s pulled outside onto the apron.
Where Bird’s attempt at a piledriver’s countered with a back body drop as Bird bounces off the edge of the ring and down to the floor. Cara rolls Bird back inside and grabs him by the singlet for some short-range clotheslines, following up with a headbutt that again dazed him… but this time he’s faked it out as he pulled Bird in for a Madame Guillotine for a near-fall. The Blackout sleeper’s turned into a sleeper suplex, but Bird pops up to hit a clothesline… only for a suplex to get counter dback into the Blackout sleeper. Bird punches out the referee as she was looking for a decision… Cara breaks up the hold and gets caught with a Steiner Screwdriver for a visual pin, with a replacement referee only counting two by the time he got there. Bird slaps Cara, who responds in kind as they whale away on each other… which includes both men shoving down the referee separately as they were clotheslining each other.
Cara Noir boots the replacement ref as he was about to call the match, which is a touch the violence-lover in me really enjoyed, but out comes a third ref to call the double DQ as the intensity rumbled on. I dug that match – yeah, the non-finish can be something to criticise, but it keeps the storyline going… or at least it would have had we not had the shutdown. ***½
If you thought the double DQ would calm things…. Yeah. Bird throws a chair into Cara Noir as the crowd controllers had their work cut out trying to quell things. Cara Noir diving over the ring post into the pile made damn sure that wasn’t happening any time soon as the locker room empties to try and help. Well, except for Gideon Grey, who just peered from the curtain, wisely wanting no part of this as they eventually got Bird out onto the mean streets of Brighton.
Hang on, there’s forty minutes left on this VOD and just one match…
We get a vignette from Spike Trivet next, as a “message from the Brighton champion” in the form of an old-timey newsreel. He’s introduced accountability to Riptide Wrestling, as this felt like a political leader trying to make a country follow a policy suggestion that, on paper, was a bad idea. Yeah, too soon. It’s a good promo from Spike, who then moved onto his challenger today, Jordon Breaks, who gets a title shot here by virtue of a prior win over Spike… Trivet derides Breaks as someone “not equipped to mend the community”, calling him a threat to Riptide – so he, and Money vs. Everybody, will vanquish that threat for us.
That then switched to a second video as we’re told about how boxing and wrestling used to happen in the Brighton Youth Centre – the same room the show’s in today. It’s a profile piece on Jordon Breaks as the hopeful-hometown hero. They show clips of him from the early shows, working ring crew… then working date-by-dates before he beat Spike Trivet, which then led to an extended run of dates. That turned into him hating Spike Trivet “representing Brighton”, and an analogy of how the Brighton Youth Centre being a polling station – which’ll be used as Breaks wants to “make his vote count.” A good piece to get you up for the main event, even if you came into this cold.
Riptide Brighton Championship: Jordon Breaks vs. Spike Trivet (c)
Breaks’ habit of shaking the ref’s hands before the match was eschewed in favour of an elbow bump. Writing this nine months after the show took place, it’s really bizarre seeing such a packed room for a show *just nine days before the United Kingdom was thrown into lockdown.* The strange, strange days from the very start of the pandemic…
There’s indignation from Trivet as the crowd refused to sit down and be silent for his introduction, so he threatened to set Damon Moser and Paul Robinson on the crowd to “create peace.” Needless to say, that didn’t happen, as the crowd remained boisterous ahead of the opening bell… particularly when referee Tom Scarborough ejected Moser and Robinson before we even started. The match started with Breaks stalking Trivet, as Spike’s early attempt at a hammerlock was countered with Breaks just rolling him away. He counters Breaks rebound with a snapmare, before retaliating with a flip that led to a leg clutch pin that nearly ended this early. A Beele throw and a slam keeps Trivet on the back foot for a two-count, with Breaks kneeling on Spike’s shoulders to force the pin, before a monkey flip took Trivet into the corner.
Spike rolls outside for a breather, then returned as the pair locked up into the ropes, with Spike tying up Breaks so he could headbutt him. An elbow knocks Breaks down as Spike then put the boots to him, before a suplex led to just a one-count as Breaks wasn’t giving him that so early. An Irish whip to Breaks sees him take a back elbow for another one count, with a camel clutch and some crossface punches keeping Breaks on the mat. Breaks tries to force his way into the match, but Trivet keeps closing the door as he began to jab at him, following up with a clothesline and some choking too. Eye rakes follow before Spike taunted a little too much, with Jordon pulling him down for a toe hold. He tries to push on, but Trivet countered a suplex by hanging Jordon in the ropes, before a slam left Jordon down for an elbow off the top.
Breaks kicks out at two, so Spike throws some punches from above, only for Jordon to caught them and turn it into a reversed knuckle lock as he finally build up some momentum. A shot to the gut and a double underhook suplex has Spike down, while uppercuts began to knock him into the ropes. A missed charge sees Breaks stay on top, as he came in with a stunner and a Finlay roll for a near-fall, before a mounted key lock ended with Spike pushing Breaks into the ropes. The champion builds anew with a Saito suplex as the crowd tried to get behind Breaks again, and it sorta worked as he torqued Spike’s wrist to break free of a hold, only to get thrown to the outside… and of course, he beats the count-out, even if Spike dove on him and threw him right back outside. This time, Trivet followed him, and headed into the crowd… only for Breaks to catch Spike with a Kimura in the crowd. Spike taps, but of course it doesn’t count.
Trivet got back to his feet and DDTs Breaks as he again looked to get that count-out, but yet again the crowd gets behind Breaks and willed him back into the ring. Yet again, Spike’s waiting for him, this time landing a suplex for a two-count as Jordon looked to be clinging on, while the crowd’s mocking of Spike for tapping out perhaps wasn’t such a good idea. Elbows to the neck from Trivet wear down Breaks ahead of an attempted pumphandle driver, but it’s blocked as Spike then went for the Birthright, but his wrists are in bad nick, so he can’t get the grip he needed. Breaks goes right back to that left arm and wrist, but Spike slaps his way free… only to get right back in trouble. Wash, rinse, repeat, as Breaks held onto the left arm, before he cross-chopped Trivet into the corner.
Spike’s back as he rolled through Breaks for a modified stranglehold, stopping to club him down some more before Breaks dove into the ropes. Breaks comes back with a Styles Clash of all things, but Spike’s up at two… and once he got hold of the referee, he’s able to punt Breaks low before throwing an elbow to turn things around. The Birthright (a butterflied, over-the-knee brainbuster) drops Breaks next for a delayed two-count, with Spike perhaps taking too long to make the cover… and that just angered Spike again as he wore down Jordon in the corner. The referee tries to separate things, but Spike just elbows him – with the intention of getting a DQ as you hear a voice in the crowd screaming “I hate you” at Trivet. Heat.
With no referee, out come Moser and Robinson from the back to continue the mugging, with Moser cutting away a turnbuckle pad… but Jordon fought back and disposed of the goons, before throwing Spike into the exposed corner. That mounted wristlock returns, but it leaves him hanging as Robinson hits a curb stomp… that left Spike slumped on top of Breaks, with the referee coming around to count the pin. Spike steals a win as Breaks pushed him to the limit – and left the crowd even more furious. ***¾
For what was one of the final wrestling shows in Britain before the shutdown, this was a weird time capsule of “the olden days.” A lot has been said of Riptide’s production values, be it their cinematic stylings, the usage of subtitles throughout promos and matches… and while this wasn’t their usual home of the Brighthelm Centre, they still made the venue (and by proxy, the show) look like a big deal. Of course, a lot’s happened since this show – and who knows what form Riptide, and British wrestling for that matter, will take when things return. While my own tastes would have preferred the earlier matches to be slightly longer, this was (for now) an final taste of what the scene used to be.