More from Riptide, as we take a look at their show from this past October as some more familiar names returned for the Storm…

We raved about their second show, “Returns” not too long ago, and there’s more of the same here as the show opens with the arrival of Cara Noir and his mirror’d mask for our opener.

Cara Noir vs. Candyfloss vs. Lion Kid vs. James Castle vs. Martina
This is quite the motley crew for our opening five-way, and it’s all action as James Castle jumps at the bell, only to get cornered by the Lion Kid, who flipped back in with a quebrada into an elbow drop.

The pace is fast and frantic, as Cara Noir tried to attack him from behind, before having more luck with an up-kick as the Kid came off the top rope. Candyfloss is next, trapping Noir in a guillotine choke before she ripped Cara’s tights as she tried to claw him back into the ring. That exposed arse just gave Martina something to go for, as she suckered Cara into her “Flap Trap”. Her name, not mine! Things calm down when Candyfloss comes in to give Martina a hug, but James Castle ends that friendship with a clothesline, as we’re back to the spotty stuff. Martina went for a can out of instinct, but someone’s given her Coca Cola… not to worry, Candyfloss has a beer, and she’s eager to swap!

Speaking of eager, Cara Noir threatened to lick Candyfloss… but Martina made the save so she could take it herself. Except Cara got put off by the smell, which is a bit rich for someone who’s still wrestling with his arse out.

We moved onto the diving part of the match, with Lion Kid flinging himself onto a pile on the floor, before Martina… tired herself out. Shay Purser – our ref here – knows what to do… get Martina a drink, and she’s good as new!

Back inside, Castle kills Martina with a Burning Hammer as he looks to burn through everyone… but Lion Kid escapes out and hits some Sliced Bread before missing a shooting star legdrop. Wash, rinse and repeat as everyone gets a go, with Cara Noir’s package piledriver killing Candyfloss, before Martina flew in with a top rope Seshbreaker for the win! Lots of spots and lots of fun – the perfect popcorn match to get us going with! ***

Next up is Jack Sexsmith. Except it isn’t – it’s Spike Trivet taking the piss. He’s ditched his posh suit for the Pride flag as he antagonises the crowd even more, claiming that his dad owns British Rail – and probably caused every train delay they ever had. It’s an effective, yet simple character. He claimed to be a victim of prejudice, stereotypes and hatred… to which the crowd chanted “you deserve it”. They have a point. Trivet points out that he never once admitted being a Tory, before pointing out the crowd’s hypocrisy at “everybody’s welcome”… except him. It’s a really good promo from Trivet, one that wanders close to the “good God, you’re too good at this and we might just have to like you” line. Except he’s a privileged snob, so we can’t.

Spike Trivet vs. Darrell Allen
Jurassic 5 greets the arrival of Trivet’s trainer, who has a mis-delivery for Spike… it’s his P45!

Enraged, Spike charges at Allen, and quickly ends up outside for our favourite: crowd brawling! At least it’s lit a bit better this time. Spike tries to throw a chop, but he just gets the ringpost instead before managing to ram a knee into the midsection as the two traded blows. Back inside, Trivet edges ahead with a single-arm DDT off the middle rope, starting a barrage of offence on the same limb, throwing it into the turnbuckles before wrenching away with a trapped-arm chinlock. Hey, someone’s EVIL…

Allen manages to escape, but his arm’s still got a bullsye on it, as Spike heads outside to send it into the ringpost once more. The lights go out as Spike took too long in the corner, and was taken down by Allen, who almost scores a win with a roll-up… only for Spike to leather him with another forearm instead.

Darrell rebounds again with a 619, before scoring with a crossbody off the top. Out of nowhere, an alarm sounds, as the editing crew splice in “interference” courtesy of a video from Chief Deputy Dunne. Yep, Riptide’s having too much fun, and with the fire alarm going off in the background, Allen hits Trivet with a Samoan driver as the match is waved off as a no contest. Shame, as this was building up really nicely, but you can’t legislate for something as random as a fire alarm going off!

Once everyone was back in, we had our next match – with the fire extinguisher-wielding Aussie Open set to take on CCK. Unfortunately, Kid Lykos was injured, so we had a little contest to find a replacement. Basically, anyone with a replica Lykos mask was able to challenge to replace him… but among glasses wolf, vintage wolf and enthusiastic wolf, there was one person who stood out like a sore thumb. A Bruiser-wolf, if you will.

The eliminations feature some more Dusty Rhodes impersonations (stop it, Chris!), and we finally have our replacement for the night. Except the guy who won was pulled away and hit with a Bitter End. Peter wants to play, it seems…

Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) vs. Chris Brookes & Pete Dunne
The Aussies jump at the bell, but they’re quickly taken to the outside, where Chris Brookes found a runner up in the Lykos competition… who proved just why he didn’t win. A shit, shit wolf!

In the meantime, Kyle Fletcher gets brutalised by Dunne, who pulls at his floppy hair as bedlam ensued on the outside. Poor Kyle. Not even ducking a chop save shim, as the Aussie gets pulled into the ring for some forearms, then a Million Dollar Knee from Brookes as Kyle needed some help from Dunkzilla. Tags… were a rarity here. Bloody Shay. Dunne stacked up both of the Aussies for a Boston crab, then throws Shay on top for a triple-decker – presumably because he’d tried to enforce the rules. Of course, Shay tapped instantly, but that’s not the match!

We start getting dives, with another of the losing Lykos contenders throwing in a tope con hilo, before the real wolf hit Davis with his cast. Kyle tries to get revenge, but he’s stopped and given a wacky double wet willie, causing all sorts of joy from Chris Brookes. Just look at him!

Another fake Lykos hits the ring to join in, but he’s told to shut up as the real one gets involved again, tying up Fletcher in a Tree of Woe so Brookes and Dunne could take their shots. Who knew an Aussie could scream so high? Or that a shit wolf peed clear water?

Despite having his hand bitten, Mark Davis pulls off a one-armed powerbomb to Brookes, before Dunne felt a similar fate as we got back to the wrestling side of things, with all the Moves on show. Including a brainbuster, except Brookes felt the same fate Lykos usually does. Speaking of fates, Brookes eats a pull-up piledriver for a near-fall, sparking a Parade of Strikes, leading to Brookes taking a Fidget Spinner as he again needed Dunne to make a save. From there, Dunne lends another hand, punting Fletcher in the face as Brookes set up for a Jay Driller, and then we get…

Yup. After the match, the fake Lykos’ come back into the ring and get superkicked. As a match, this wandered very close to the line where it probably would have been better as a four-way given some of the action, but this was a fun diversion nevertheless. ***½

Bea Priestley vs. El Phantasmo vs. Omari
The wacky match generator throws up this three-way, with Bea in no mood for handshakes as she lays into Omari and ELP from the off. An Exploder sees ELP crumple into Omari in the corner, before a cannonball off the apron almost goes badly wrong as Omari goes down too soon, causing Bea to plant herself head-first on the floor. Ouch.

The match pauses for a spell as they check Bea, but we quickly resume as ELP goes diving, laying into Omari with a pair of topes. Of course, the favour’s returned, and we see ELP and Omari almost have a mirror match, all whilst Bea remained down on the outside, returning just in time to take a nipple twister from ELP. Of course it doesn’t work through her outfit…

With Bea back in, she tries for a guillotine on Omari, before pulling Phantasmo into a cross armbreaker, then going back to Omari with a Rings of Saturn. I’ve a feeling we’re going to be in for a LOT of moves here… like a sit-out gutwrench powerbomb that almost got the win for the Big O.

Omari and Phantasmo looked to work together against Bea, setting up for a double superplex… but she crotches them and hits a stomp instead, before accidently flying into Omari’s O-Zone finisher for another near-fall. ELP broke that up and looked to take out Omari with a legitimate Canadian Destroyer. It’s reversed, before ELP reveals that that move doesn’t affect Canadians, and so he hits two of his own, because why not?

What does get the win is a Code Red off the middle rope, as Bea’d knocked ELP loopy with a Cheeky Nandos before finishing off the Canadian. A pretty good match, although I do wonder how much of that got thrown out or reorganised after Bea’s awkward bump in the opening seconds? ***¼

Swords of Essex (Will Ospreay & Paul Robinson) vs. South Coast Connection (Kelly Sixx & Ashley Dunn)
Extra points to the Riptide crew for dubbing in meowing noises on the match screen here! Paul Robinson’s in baggy shorts, almost as a throwback to the olden days of Jody Fleisch, as he and Kelly SIxx flip around early on.

Robbo bites away at Ashley Dunn after he got tagged in, then hurriedly tagged out to Ospreay, who looked aghast at his partner’s tactics. Oh come on, like it’s any surprise he’s a dirty so-and-so?! After getting over that, Ospreay started flying around Dunn, in between getting his cat claws out, only for Robinson to rudely put the brakes on with some of his usual dirty tactics.

Some of Dunn and Sixx’s double-teams were incredibly slick, which shouldn’t come as a shock if you’ve seen any of their tag team stuff before. Dunn grounds Ospreay for a spell as the SCC looked to keep in this… but then a tag to Paul Robinson changes tack as he drops the flipping for more brutality.

Robinson traps Dunn and Six in the corner for… sodomy? It’s a new low for him, I guess, and the tone changes again as Ospreay comes up with a new “funny thing” – snapping a long red elastic band into Kelly Sixx’s face. That looked – and sounded – brutal! Ashley Dunn’s next for the red band treatment, but this time it snapped back towards Ospreay. I’m surprised it didn’t catch half the crowd!

They try again, and this time we get a better camera angle as the elastic smacked into Dunn’s face, and of course, Dunn and Sixx tease retribution on Robinson… but Ospreay gets involved for a switcheroo as Ashley twanged the band onto his partner’s groin. OW. It’s then time for some dives, but the Swords don’t fancy it themselves… so they get some of the ring crew to do it for them. Hey, they look suspiciously like Connor Mills and Maverick Mayhew! They pull off good flips for “ring crew”, before getting kicked in the balls for showing up the Swords, as Robbo goes back to being a disgusting, nose-picking scrote.

Ospreay tags in to make full use of his ring crew pass, which apparently allowed him to throw some forearms before feeding said pass to Sixx as the Swords firmly took control, aided with some potshots from Robinson once again. Things break down as all four men come in (yep, Shay’s lost control), with Robinson going stratospheric from a back body drop, before Dunn and Sixx pepper Ospreay with splashes for a near-fall.

Will retorts with a handspring overhead kick to both Dunn and Sixx, as Robinson returns with more aggression. Ospreay helps out, elevating him for a massive splash onto Sixx, before Robbo drools over (sometimes) Josh Wall… sparking a Parade of Kicks that led into a Cheeky Nando’s. Out of nowhere, Dunn slipped in a Destroyer as all four men were left laying, before the South Coasters threw in a neat uranage/backcracker combo for a near-fall.

We’re back to the insane sequences as Ospreay saved Robinson from a Strong Zero (the Roppongi Vice version), before blasting Dunn and Sixx with duelling shooting star presses for another near-fall. That seemed to be the last straw for Dunn, who slumped out of a Rainmaker attempt, and instead earned himself some relentless kicks to the chest, before firing back once more and into a reverse ‘rana. In the end though, the pairing come back to nail Robinson with that Strong Zero for the win!

To me, this was a real “your milage may vary” match. If you’re a fan of Ospreay’s style, then you’ll adore this match – however, if you’re not sold, there’ll be phases in this which feel overdone and perhaps overly choreographed. Personally, this was a little too long for me, but otherwise fine for the shenanigans that ensued. Apparently this was the main event “live”, so we have some switching to do… ***½

Chris Ridgeway vs. Jack Sexsmith
Your main event (of the VOD) sees an interesting clash of styles, as Chris Ridgeway takes on a man more known for being beaten up than dishing it out. Sorry, Jack!

As you’d expect in Brighton (and just about anywhere), the crowd were firmly behind Sexsmith, who seemed to be a little too keen to pull a Joey Ryan early on. That annoyed Ridgeway, who wanted something more serious, and so he goes straight for the arm as the match turned into a grapple-fest.

At least Jack tried to fire back with overhanded chops, but Ridgeway was more than happy to play that game, which somehow earned himself a Pearl Neckbreaker from Sexsmith. There’s an early tease of Mr Cocko, but Ridgeway stops it in its tracks, and resumes the beatdown, kicking Jack to the mat for a near-fall.

It becomes a rather methodical dissection of Sexsmith, who tried to fight back into an LGBDT, before instead succeeding with some Sliced Bread. Second time was the charm for the LGBDT, but it’s only good for a two-count, as Jack’s forced to withstand more kicks from Ridgeway. Jack pulls a Marty, snapping RIdgeway’s finger son the top rope, before his attempt at a brainbuster gets countered into a rear naked choke, a la Shayna Baszler, with Ridgeway breaking it so he could do a brainbuster instead. Where’s Gideon to tell us how overdone it is?

Both men beat the standing ten count to throw more forearms, with Jack sneaking back out with some headscissors into a Cocko Crossface… but Ridgeway rolls him up and throws some more devastating kicks to chop Jack down to the mat. A piledriver does more damage, but Jack’s got fight left in him… enough to throw a superkick, at least! Then a flip dive to the outside as his second wind looked to have Riddy in trouble, culminating in the Big Double Stompy Move as Jack picked up the shock win! Well, I say shock, considering Ridgeway was handing his arse to him for most of the match!

A fun main event (of sorts), further underlining Sexsmith’s credentials as someone who can take a beating but still come out on top. ***½

After the match, Jack hauled himself to his feet to celebrate his hard-fought win, before getting planted one square on the lips by Ridgeway. He might have liked that… but the joy was short-lived as Spike Trivet hit the ring and kicked Jack square in the balls. Spike had a Cocko too, but unfortunately they didn’t make it Tory Blue… Jack tastes his own medicine, then a Birthright as Trivet looked to lord it over him.

Fortunately, Ridgeway hits the ring again to make the (late) save… and issue a show-closing challenge on behalf of his “bae”: for a future show, Sexsmith and Ridgeway against Trivet and a mystery partner. As of writing, that challenge hasn’t been fulfilled…

Compared to “Riptide… Returns”, this show had a little bit more in terms of star power, thanks to CCK and one of the fake Lykos’ in particular, but also felt more like shows you’d see elsewhere, with the Aussie Open tag match and multi-way matches resembling stuff you’d see in places like Fight Club: Pro. Still, given that Riptide are still finding their feet, that they’re two-for-two in great shows is quite the achievement.

Since they’re running more often, it’s clearly a formula that’s working for them down in Brighton – and one that you ought to check out at least once, either in person or on-demand. Unlike other shows, where the on-demand can quite easily be “we pointed a camera at some stuff”, Riptide’s artistic cinematography is quickly becoming their calling card, with plenty of stand-out shots like this…