Editorial Columns

Jack Sexsmith vs Spike Trivet – The Rivalry That Defined Riptide Wrestling

Victoria Burchett gives a retrospective on a rivalry that has defined Riptide Wrestling; Spike Trivet vs Jack Sexsmith.

“Know that in any universe, in any timeline, any Jack Sexsmith will hate Spike Trivet… and I will burn your empire to the ground”

June 17, 2017. Riptide’s very first show. 

A Saturday night at the Brighthelm Centre in Brighton. This is the first time (to my limited knowledge, correct me if I’m wrong!) that any independent wrestling has taken place in Brighton. 160 wrestling fans stand around sheepishly. Nobody knows what to expect. 

The first-ever man to set foot in Riptide? Spike Trivet. 

Doing what he does best, running his mouth and berating Brighton and the Riptide audience. 

The man to interrupt him? Jack Sexsmith. 

The first-ever match to take place at Riptide? Spike Trivet vs Jack Sexsmith

Sexsmith wins via submission (the snappily-named Crippler Cockface)

Riptide Returns then on August 3rd, 2017. The first match on this show? Spike Trivet vs Jack Sexsmith.

Spike comes out and tells the crowd that his match at Beers. Bands. Wrestling was scheduled to be with Chuck Mambo but it was cancelled, so he was ready to have his hand raised in victory when he was interrupted by Jack Sexsmith.  

“I have no problem with Jack Sexsmith’s lifestyle. What I do have a problem with is that he’s a fucking gaslighter. He has gaslighted every single one of you into believing his way is the best, and all the while he’s distracted you from the fact he wins matches with a fucking condom. That’s a foreign object and last time I checked that’s a DQ you fucking genius” 

Trivet attacks Jack before the bell. Jack wins via DQ after Spike low blows him. Spike attacks him post-match but Jack makes a comeback and clears him from the ring.

Twice they’ve fought, and twice Jack has bested Trivet.

We move onto October 6th, 2017 where Jack Sexsmith takes on Chris Ridgeway. Jack takes the win so he’s 3 for 3 in victories so far.

Jack extends his hand to Ridgeway after the match, and to the surprise of everyone, Ridgeway gives Sexsmith a big old kiss! 

Spike attacks Sexsmith post-match with his own Mr Cocko and “pins” him for the count of 3, indicating that’s how it should’ve gone down in the first place. Ridgeway eventually comes to make the save and chases Spike off.

 Riddy suggests they’d make a good team, forming the Ridgebaes and they challenge Spike and a friend, “if he has one” further down the line.

Up next, it’s Point Break on November 3rd, November 2017 where we have Spike Trivet vs Damon Moser. Moser defeats Spike, meaning his downward spiral goes on.

We also have Jack Sexsmith vs Cara Noir where Jack wins via pinfall, making him undefeated in Riptide so far. He’s attacked post-match by Spike. Again. Moser comes out to make the save but turns on Jack, all while wearing a Sexsmith t-shirt. 

It makes the betrayal that much worse. 

Spike tells Jack that Moser’s knee was the worst thing he’s taken in his career, so he bought Moser. The chair through the ankle attack (known as the Pillmanizer) is introduced for the first time in Riptide.

Spike says; “Everybody’s got a price you little knobhead”

December 2nd, 2017. Riptide presents Black Water, and we have Aussie Open taking on Spike Trivet and Damon Moser Aussie Open win, Spike attempts to cut a promo but “we want Sexsmith” chants drown him out. Moser pillmanizes Kyle Fletcher’s ankle. 

Jack comes out afterwards and utters the words “trust a Tory to try and take away a man’s livelihood”.

A new year and Deep Six takes place on February 2nd, 2018. We have The Ridgebaes (Jack Sexsmith & Chris Ridgeway) vs Spike Trivet & Damon Moser. 

This is the first time we see a more serious side of Jack Sexsmith at Riptide.

 No more Mr Cocko. He’s more focused than before. 

He has a purpose now – stop Spike Trivet. 

He wants Trivet. The bell rings and Sexsmith is ON him. The match is taken straight outside the ring but Sexsmith is kept busy with Moser while Ridgeway takes on Spike. The tension is palpable, everyone is waiting for Jack to get in the ring with Spike.

In the crowd, you fully buy into the Ridgebaes. You think after all these months, Jack is finally going to get his revenge on Spike. But then Riddy suffers a knee injury mid-match. He can’t continue, he’s taken to the back. Jack fights on but it’s 2 against 1 now. He’s beaten down. Watching it, you’re left wondering just how much does he have left? Apparently just enough to tag in Ridgeway who has valiantly returned to the apron. The crowd goes wild.

But, all was not what it seems.

Ridgeway does the unthinkable and takes Sexsmith down with a kick to the back of the head. The entire thing was a ruse, and the entire audience in attendance at the Brighthelm fell for it hook, line and sinker. 

Spike Trivet has bought Chris Ridgeway just like he bought Damon Moser, and forms Money vs Everybody.

“I will go through anything and anyone and if you won’t buy me, I will buy them. I will buy every single one. It started with Sexsmith and it finishes with the Riptide championship” 

March 2nd, 2018. The first night of Brighton Spirit.

Jack Sexsmith grew up with Damon Moser. That guy broke his heart.

Jack Sexsmith thought he and Chris Ridgeway were kindred. That guy broke his spirit. 

There is nobody out there that Jack Sexsmith trusts. 

Spike Trivet was due to face ZSJ at this event but decided it didn’t benefit him because it wasn’t a qualifying match for the Brighton Championship tournament.

He got Chris Ridgeway to have the match instead but not before cutting a promo citing that ZSJ is “a fucking gaslighter. Do you know what happened to the last person who tried to do that? I destroyed his life. I ate his life from the inside, I ruined it”.

Night 2 of Brighton Spirit

Jack Sexsmith & Chuck Mambo vs Lord Gideon Grey & Kurtis Chapman

Jack goes to tag in Mambo but after what happened with Ridgeway at Deep Six, doesn’t trust him.

Gideon and Chapman capitalise and get the pin over Mambo. Jack pushes Chuck away after the match and leaves the ring, heading out through the crowd. 

Mambo shouts “I’m not fucking Ridgeway” after him, but the damage has been done. In Jack’s mind at least, he’s on his own at Riptide.

We then have Spike Trivet & Damon Moser vs Big T Justice & Omari (with the OJMO ringside)

This match is the first time we are officially introduced to Trivet and Moser as a faction – Money vs Everybody. How entirely fitting. 

They pillmanize OJMOs already injured wrist.

Spike threatens Riptide management and says if his next match isn’t a Brighton championship tournament qualifier, this would keep happening.

We then move onto Spring Break, on May 4th, 2018. Spike Trivet vs Maverick Mayhew, where Spike wins again.

MvE come out to celebrate, and just to rub salt in Jack Sexsmith’s emotional wounds, Riddy is wearing a Proud shirt – The absolute swine. 

MvE Pillmanize Mayhew’s ankle.

Jack Sexsmith takes on Mark Andrews. Jack is very nearly at breaking point. 

He nearly uses a chair on Mandrews but his conscience gets the better of him. Mark capitalises and pins him. This makes it Jack’s first singles pinfall loss to date in Riptide. 

Mark goes to shake his hand but Jack pushes it away and he exits the ring quickly, leaving through the crowd. 

June brings the Riptide Rumble where Spike Trivet faces Mike Bird in a Brighton Championship Tournament qualifier. Moser and Riddy are barred from ringside during the match.

Spike engineers a ref bump and Moser passes a spanner down from the balcony attached to a piece of string. Spike uses it while the ref is still down to score the pinfall and qualify for the tournament. 

MvE come down to celebrate after the match, they pillmanize Bird. Those utter bastards. 

We get Jack Sexsmith taking on David Starr. Jack wants David to take this match seriously, he wants him to bring out the best in him. Starr takes it seriously and they have one hell of a match. This is the most serious Jack has been in Riptide so far. Spike’s in his head, and he wants him. After a truly intense match, Starr gets the pinfall. 

Jack is heartbroken, it’s written all over his face but he leaves the ring and goes backstage rather than through the crowd, for the first time since February. 

We head into International Waters on July 6th, 2018

Jack gets his Brighton Championship qualifier against Jordan Devlin 

Devlin has Jack in a submission hold. Jack is reaching for the rope, he doesn’t tap but referee Shay Purser calls for the bell and Jordan Devlin has qualified. The audience is really confused. MvE music hits, and it all becomes painfully clear… they’ve bought Shay too. 

Spike cuts a scathing promo on Jack.

“You said that Brighton needs a hero. Well here’s the thing, Jack. People don’t need heroes. They want them. People want heroes because if they can live vicariously through a hero, it means they don’t have to face their sad pathetic lives. I have taken everything from you… your friends, the ones holding you down, I took them. Your position in the Brighton tournament, I took that and that Brighton championship you covet so much? I’m gonna take that as well. You lie there with nothing and I stand here before you with everything. Jack Sexsmith, you do not belong here, anymore. Goodbye hero… goodbye”. 

It has taken Spike Trivet just over a year… but Jack Sexsmith is finally broken. MvE leave him in the ring, crying, and he exits through the emergency exit, not to be seen again for the rest of the night. 

We fast forward to night three of Brighton Championship Tournament, August 4th, 2018.

It’s Pride weekend in Brighton, the ropes are rainbow coloured and everyone is in high spirits. Tonight’s the night we crown the Brighton Champion, which will be either Chuck Mambo or Spike Trivet.

Despite the excitement, there is a tinge of bittersweet feeling in the air. Jack Sexsmith is getting to work for Progress out in America at this time, which is obviously fantastic for him, yet it just doesn’t feel quite right that the heart of Riptide isn’t around for such a pivotal moment for the promotion, especially at Pride. 

It doesn’t take long for MvE to interfere in the match and take the ref down with a chair.

Same old Tories, always cheating. 

MvE’s newly purchased ref Shay Purser comes out to make the dirty count. They take Mambo out some more and Spike tells Mambo that if he can’t make him wish he was dead, he’ll just kill him. They have his neck in the chair and are about to crush it. 

But then. Jack Sexsmith’s music hits and the roof on the Brighthelm centre is very nearly blown off. He’s not in America with Progress, not yet. He’s here, at Riptide, on Pride weekend, exactly where he belongs. The noise is deafening. He steps in the ring, stares Spike down before setting him up for a superkick from Mambo and delivers a chair shot to Shay. 

He still doesn’t lay a hand on Spike himself yet. This is Chuck Mambo’s moment, he’s just here to make sure things go down the way they were meant to. 

The second-ever Black Water on November 2nd 2018, where MvE defeats Team Whitewolf & The OJMO.

They go to pillmanize OJMO but Jack and the Riptide faces come out to make the save. 

Jack makes an impassioned plea to Riptide management – “This has to fucking end, man. You have to give him to me. This has to end” 

Deep Six 2019. Jack Sexsmith vs Damon Moser

It’s Riptide’s first show of 2019. Spike Trivet is well aware of the fact that Jack Sexsmith wants to get his hands on him, but had this to say via promo prior to the show. 

“You don’t have anything I want, and until you do, I’m never ever ever going to fight you. But come February 15th, I have someone who will”

The second the bell rings, Jack is on Moser. He’s a very different man who strode out onto the Riptide stage in June 2017. Jack wins via DQ after Moser low blows him. Then Moser applies a rear-naked chokehold and says he wasn’t sent there to beat Jack, he was sent there to beat Jack”. Moser leaves the ring and Jack asks for a microphone.

“It’s pretty clear that Spike won’t face me until I have something to offer him. The only thing he wants in Riptide is that Brighton championship. So I guess I’ll be the first one entered into the Riptide Rumble”. 

The second annual Riptide Rumble. April 12th, 2019

It comes down to Jack and TK Cooper as the final two in the rumble. Jack eliminates TK to win the Riptide Rumble and gets the #1 spot for the Brighton Championship. 

Spike Trivet previously said, “You don’t have anything I want, and until you do, I’m never ever ever going to fight you.”

Well, my friends, Jack is now in possession of something Spike wants. 

Spike makes Jack a one time only offer that he says will expire the second he exits the stage. Spike will fight Jack but only if he puts his newly earned title shot on the line. The sold-out room of 300 erupts. Chants of “he’s not worth it” are deafening.

But to Jack, it is worth it. In any universe, any timeline, any Jack Sexsmith will HATE Spike Trivet. This is so much bigger than the title. The Brighton Championship wasn’t even a thought in anyone’s mind when this began. 

Jack wants the #1 contender’s match with Chuck. Of course he does, who wouldn’t? “….. But first, I’ve got to exorcise a demon”.

With that, the match is made. Point Break, Friday 5th July – it will finally be Jack Sexsmith vs Spike Trivet. The chance to settle this feud once and for all.

To date, Riptide has had 17 shows. Spike Trivet has appeared on every single one of them bar Pride of Brighton and Jack Sexsmith has appeared on 15 (not the first 2 nights of the championship tournament). They opened the very first Riptide show in June 2017. The two men have not participated in the same match at Riptide since February 2018. 

We have come full circle. Since Riptide’s very first opening moments in June 2017… it has all been leading to this. 

One year on from Spike Trivet telling Jack Sexsmith that he doesn’t belong at Riptide anymore, one year on from Jack Sexsmith being left crying in the centre of the ring… it has all been leading to this. 

It’s not going to be pretty, it is going to be brutal and emotional.

To these two men at least, it’s winner take all.

It has all been leading to this. Except… that isn’t quite how it goes down. 

June 9th 2019. Pride Of Brighton Tournament – First Round.

Usual Riptide ring announcer Rosa Rose can’t make this show so Riptide brings in a guest ring announcer – Jack Sexsmith. He does a great job of it. 

In the second half, Jack announced that he got injured at Defiant on May 25th and is currently awaiting the results of his MRI scan.

“Me and Spike… we were the very first match at Riptide. We’ve been kicking each other’s heads in for TWO YEARS. We’ve got unfinished business. When I get my MRI results back, if I don’t have to have surgery straight away then I will be here on July 5th on one leg if I have to be!”

We then come to Point Break 2019.

Jack Sexsmith comes out to the ring.

“Tonight, I should be culminating the absolute blood feud with that cunt Spike Trivet. But I’m not.”

He tells us that about 10 years ago, playing football, he tore his ACL. He had it repaired and later on, became a professional wrestler. He tells us that on May 25th, he was injured in a match and had had the results of his MRI back.

He hasn’t torn his ACL. 

There’s an audible gasp from the crowd in attendance. This is good news, right? 

No. No, it isn’t good news, not at all. 

That is, he hasn’t just torn his ACL. He’s torn multiple ligaments, and the damage to his knee is irreparable. 

On July 5th 2019, on a Friday night at the Brighthelm Centre in Brighton, Jack Sexsmith retires from in-ring competition. 

He thanks a lot of people including Eddie Dennis, David Starr, TK Cooper, Chuck Mambo, Riptide, and of course, the fans.  “I’ve been Jack Sexsmith, and I, Ryan Comerford, thank you.”

Streamers were given out prior to the show starting, with one simple instruction – “for Jack”. 

It was a small gesture but all any of the audience could do at that moment. They let the streamers fly and attempted to let the sexually frivolous, morally ambiguous, groundbreaking, history-making, pansexual phenomenon Jack Sexsmith just how much he means to everyone in that room, one last time. 

My words will not have done this feud the justice it deserves – no words ever really could. 

I loathe Spike Trivet, but it’s better to see his promos for yourself, I do no justice describing them. I have tried to capture the emotion these two have provoked over the last 2 years at Riptide, but really it needs to be seen to be properly felt.

If you are able, I highly recommend subscribing to Riptide’s on-demand service so you can see it for yourself. I’ve never been so invested in a feud or set of matches before. 

To this wrestling fan, these two men are the pinnacle of Riptide, the heart of Riptide, the founding pillar of Riptide. They are Riptide. 

There’s a lot of discussion on twitter at the moment between TK Cooper, Spike Trivet, Kyle Fletcher and others as to who the title of “Mr Riptide” should go to. 

To me, Mr Riptide is, always has been and always be Jack Sexsmith. 

Would the course of Riptide be different if Spike Trivet were not the first man to set foot on a Riptide stage? If Jack Sexsmith had not been the one to interrupt him? Where would we be if the originally scheduled match of Spike Trivet vs Chuck Mambo had happened? There is no way of knowing for sure, but I for one am glad that things went down the way they did at Beer. Bands. Wrestling. 

Thank you Jack Sexsmith, for everything you have done for wrestling the last few years. It has been an honour and a joy to watch you wrestle, and wrestling is all the better for you having been involved in it. 

Spike Trivet, I hate you. 

All photos courtesy of The Head Drop/Rob Brazier @RobBrazierPhoto

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