Editorial Columns

How Riptide Wrestling Became One Of Britain’s Must-See Promotions

Daniel Leggett talks about why RIPTIDE Wrestling is one of Britain’s must-see wrestling promotions.

In 2017 Riptide Wrestling hosted their first-ever show from The Brighthelm Centre in Brighton. From that day Riptide has built itself to be one of the most must-see promotions in the whole of the UK.

Riptide’s first-ever show was “Beers. Band. Wrestling.” in June 2017. It was Josh Bevan’s first attempt at trying to produce a wrestling show and to provide a product that he enjoys and could be enjoyed by a Brighton crowd. The show featured wrestlers such as Chris Brookes, Kid Lykos, Kip Sabian, Chuck Mambo and Bea Priestley, all wrestlers who have gone on to make big names for themselves. The show also finished with the main event featuring Will Ospreay and Shane Strickland (WWE’s Isaiah “Swerve” Scott) which has been regarded as one of the best matches Riptide has ever produced.

One other significant point that came from the show was the first encounter by Spike Trivet and Jack Sexsmith. This match then spawned a story which Riptide was built upon (you can read an excellent essay on it here), a story which has lead to Spike Trivet becoming one of the most hated men in British Wrestling today by exposing his brilliant microphone skills and his ability to bring emotion out of the audience. The story was unfortunately ended in July 2019 when Jack Sexsmith had to retire due to injury. If it wasn’t for this story, then Riptide would not be where it is today.

Riptide’s second show was the aptly named ‘Riptide Returns’ almost two months after the first-ever show. This show again featured more of British Wrestling’s up and coming talents including Candy Floss, TK Cooper, Session Moth Martina and Kurtis Chapman, but also featured names already well known around the world such as British Strong Style, Joey Ryan, Candice LeRae, Colt Cabana, Marty Scurll and Jimmy Havoc.

One of the major talking parts from the show was the six-man tag featuring (WWE UK Champion) Pete Dunne, Trent Seven and Tyler Bate – together known as  British Strong Style – against Joey Ryan, Colt Cabana and Candice LeRae. The match was, as you could imagine, full of fun spots and silliness but also featured some of the best wrestling you could ever see. Riptide consider this match to be so important for the company that you can now watch it for FREE on YouTube!

The show also featured the first time that Chuck Mambo and TK Cooper would meet in a Riptide ring. The two of them would have a top-level match which would eventually lead to a main event level story which was built around two best friends fighting each other for the Riptide Championship. 

Finally the Main Event featured another best friend combination wrestling as Jimmy Havoc went against (Bullet Club Member) “The Villain” Marty Scurll. For the second show in a row, Riptide produced a show that sent the fans home happy and helped to build more interest towards what the new promotion would deliver in the future. This, however, was just the beginning towards what would because a company that is now selling out multi-day tournaments and booking some of the biggest names in professional wrestling.

Whilst Riptide was already making a name for themselves of delivering great matches, behind the scenes Josh Bevan and his friend Tom West had created a backstage atmosphere that made wrestlers consider Riptide Wrestling one of their favourite places to work in the country. Riptide always provided those working for them with benefits such as haircuts, massages, food and drink. Everything that would be considered as simple, basic things but stuff that is never seen backstage at wrestling before. The influence for all the backstage benefits came from the backstories of both Josh and Tom. As both men came from the music industry they both had an idea of what makes a great backstage atmosphere and wanted to bring their experiences into wrestling as they started their own company.

Another reason Riptide were beginning to stand out was that it was really built towards a Brighton audience. The shows make sure they live by the ethos of “Everyone Is Welcome” and that equality is at the forefront of everything they do. They made sure to teach new fans what was and wasn’t expected from them during the show by producing posters around the venues and information books that were given out during the show. If anyone was ever made to feel uncomfortable in the audience, the incident was always dealt with a zero-tolerance policy. The food and drink available have always been aimed towards an audience from Brighton, for example the Beezlebub vegan hot dogs and Bison Craft Beer available at all shows.

Over the next 12 months, Riptide would produce some top-level shows which kept bringing in new fans whilst always attracting back the regular fans as their product was now becoming one of the very best in the UK. Everything was building towards Riptide’s first-ever tournament and three days of shows that would produce the first-ever Riptide Champion.

Riptide’s Brighton Championship Tournament was the first time anyone would get a chance to be crowned as the Riptide Champion and some of the names entered into the tournament continued to show how Riptide make use of up and coming names alongside wrestlers who already have a large following, like Jordan Devlin, David Starr and (the current WWE UK Champion) WALTER. 

The three day tournaments was booked well and built well towards the final match on day 3. The shows also included some top non-tournament matches like Anti-Fun Police vs Session Moth Martina and TV Legend Dave Benson Philips in a dunk tank match; Aussie Open vs Ringkampf and Aussie Open vs Angelico and El Phantasmo. However, the tournament led down to the final match and two wrestlers who by this point had great momentum, Spike Trivet and Chuck Mambo.

The match itself was full of huge crowd heat, insane action, a run in from Spike’s stable Money vs Everyone and a huge pop for a returning Jack Sexsmith when he made the save and assisted in Chuck Mambo winning and becoming the first ever Riptide Brighton Champion! What happened next was something Riptide have become known for, good reasons and bad ones. Chuck Mambo earlier in the day had tweeted that if he was to win tonight he wants the fans to join him in the ring to celebrate. After Mambo won this exact thing happened, the crowd rushed the ring and joined Chuck Mambo in celebrating. Unfortunately, the ring wasn’t ready to take the weight and one side of the ring collapsed and bent to the floor. Luckily no-one was hurt as everyone hurriedly left but the moment will be remembered as Chuck Mambo started his reign as the first-ever Riptide Brighton Champion.

The next big step for Riptide was running a PG show in a new venue and this happened as Riptide announced their second tournament leading to their second belt, the ‘Pride Of Brighton’. The belt stipulated that it was only to be contested by wrestlers who are either under 25 years of age or under 205 lbs in weight. The titleholder must then defend their belt until the conclusion of the next year’s tournament where the champion will then crown the new Pride Of Brighton and become the new number one contender for the Brighton Championship.

The show was a success as it was held in the Brighton Youth Centre and showed that Riptide could also cater their product for a PG audience. The success of the Pride Of Brighton show lead to Riptide running two shows in one day which included the conclusion of the Pride Of Brighton tournament. These shows happened in another new venue for Riptide as they hosted the shows in the Brighton Open Air Theatre. Fortunately, the weather stayed clear and drew a big crowd for both shows. The Main Event saw the flamboyant Cassius defeat the “Keyboard Warrior” Kurtis Chapman to become the first-ever Pride Of Brighton.

In November Riptide hosted their annual Brighton Spirit Weekender which concluded with one of the most shocking moments in Riptide history when Spike Trivet, with help from his group of paid men “Money vs Everyone”, defeated Chuck Mambo and became the new Brighton Champion. The moment sent shockwaves through the Riptide faithful because since winning the belt back in August 2018 Chuck Mambo had been unbeatable and had beaten high profile contenders in the process.

In December Riptide then headed into the first show under Spike Trivet’s reign, the aptly named Combat Panto. The show featured a rather amusing “Combat Panto” match which was a gauntlet match with entrants all wearing fancy dress and was eventually won by Gene “Genie” Munny. The main event of the show was a number one contender’s match which saw Jordan Breaks beat David Starr in the match of the night. 

These shows completed 2019 which saw Riptide’s reputation grow to new levels and has given them the tagline of must-see. They have built themselves into a company who provides great in-ring action, an unrivalled level of production, a company that aims to make sure that every single member of the audience feels safe and finally managed to take the next generation of talent and turn them into the stars of today.

Some of the wrestlers who have managed to make names for themselves whilst wrestling for Riptide include Chuck Mambo, Kurtis Chapman, Jordan Breaks, Cara Noir and Chakara. Through this Riptide have built a roster of wrestlers who will give it their all and will be around for a long time in the future.

If you want to check out Riptide Wrestling yourself then head over to Riptide Wrestling and check out some of the amazing matches available, like the war between Cara Noir and PAC. If you enjoy what your seeing then head over to http://www.watchriptide.com and check out all the content they have to offer.

Finally you can currently purchase tickets to Riptide’s next show which is Brighton Pride based at the Brighton Youth Centre.

Head over to http://www.tickettailor.com/events/RIPTIDEwrestling and you can find the tickets alongside the dates for shows upcoming in 2020.

Riptide Wrestling can be found at Http://www.riptidewrestling.com 

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You can find the author of this article on Twitter @ThisIsLeggett. Thanks for reading!

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