Riptide Wrestling has quickly become one of the countries most beloved independent wrestling organizations ever since their debut in June 2017.
From their diverse talent pool, to their cinematic V.O.D’s, Riptide set themselves apart from the herd as one to watch and this Bank Holiday Monday is no different.
Moving away from the Brighthelm Center in Brighton town centre out to the Brighton Open Air Theatre, Riptide are hosting their biggest ever shows – I say shows as they are doing two shows on Bank Holiday Monday. They are not messing around. A place more commonly known for Shakespeare, a legitimate theatre is going to be home for a different kind of theatre, performance art if you will (Hey Jim Cornette).
With a combination of interesting storylines interwoven throughout the year, outside talent adding some prestige to the card and the dramatic return of a beloved 90’s kids TV presenter turned wrestler, the 400+ people in attendance are sure to be in for a hell of a show (or shows). From a battle of the sexes to a battle of who can be the ‘top guy’ in Riptide, there’s a lot going on under the summer sun down by the seaside. Let’s take a look at Riptide Wrestling’s ‘Bank Holiday Wrestling’.
Let’s start with show one:
Cara Noir vs TK Cooper vs Mike Bailey
What’s in a name? Well if you are one TK Cooper, a name means an awful lot – and that name is Mr Riptide. Following fantastic matches against Candy Floss, Chuck Mambo and Kyle Fletcher; he is insisting that he is the man to beat in Riptide Wrestling, title or not. However, Cara Noir has a strong case to disagree. Fantastic matches against Mike Bailey, Ashmore and solidifying his star status with his performance against PAC at this year’s Point Break, you could argue that Cara is Mr Riptide.
Enter Mike Bailey.
“Speedball” has never had a bad match when I’ve seen him. The man is in the form of his life, and Riptide is no exception. His match against Cara Noir last year was incredible as were his battles with WALTER and Travis Banks. Even last week, Bailey had an amazing match with Nico Angelo in ATTACK! Pro Wrestling. Two of Europe’s best against one of the most underrated wrestlers walking the planet? I smell a show-stealer here.
Gene Munny vs Veda Scott
Oh, I heard y’all like shenanigans? Well, I got a B.O.A.T load for you right here.
‘The Sexual Gammon’ has become a fan favourite in the United Kingdom recently. He’s a solid wrestler, wrapped in a fur coat and sailors hat topped off with absolute insanity. If you don’t believe me, go watch ANY clip online from the Bandermatch at this years ‘Schadenfreude and Friends’ event. Watch Gene Munny and try and leave without a smile on your face; I dare you. But also as I mentioned he is a great wrestler with a lethal lariat in his possession; there’s a reason why he is in this year’s Natural Progression Series.
Veda Scott is a criminally underrated performer who has been working her socks off on the independent circuit. After making her name in AIW, she became more known for her mic skills as a manager/commentator in Ring Of Honor. She is an all-rounder; tremendous wrestler, top entertainer and able to talk people into the building. It’s a crime Veda has never been picked up for a Mae Young Classic yet. But their loss is our gain because Veda and Gene are going to bring the lols and bring the entertainment to the seaside. Warning: Your face will hurt from laughing following this match.
Medusa Complex (Charli Evans & Millie McKenzie) vs CC-BLAAH (Chris Brookes & Lucky Kid)
And now for something completely different.
I would call this a show-stealer but if you know your British independent wrestling; you know that this is going to be an unreal contest. Charli Evans and Millie McKenzie had impressive singles careers but they have reached another level of awesome as a tandem, picking up the Sendai Girls Junior Tag Team Championships along the way. Up against them, two of the biggest stars in European wrestling right now so you know, standard.
Chris Brookes has had a banner year with his excursion in DDT earning rave reviews as well as his work in Attack, PROGRESS, RevPro and several others. Lucky Kid has also had an alright year, picking up the 2019 wXw 16 Carat Gold Tournament, a decent showing in this year’s Super Strong Style 16 and an upcoming appearance in this year’s Battle of Los Angeles. Following the sad retirement of Kid Lykos, it is a welcome comfort that Brookes has found a great alternative in Lucky Kid even if he isn’t the biggest fan of him at the best of times. Friendships can be hard work, y’know?
I am incredibly hyped for this match, you should be too.
Pride of Brighton Semi-Finals: Chakara vs Candy Floss
For an explanation of what the Pride of Brighton tournament is, check out my preview of it all before the tournament began here. Alas, we are down to the final four and the first semi-final is a match that has been earning a lot of plaudits across the United Kingdom. Now, I’ll be honest here – I was never really a massive fan of Chakara; I never really got the hype. But then she found her voice in Riptide, under the learning tree of the great Paul Robinson. A series of great mixed tag team matches against differing combinations of Jinny, Session Goth Martina and Jimmy Havoc and an impressive first-round victory over Cassius.
Candy Floss has really found a home in Riptide, which she has said so herself by calling the Riptide faithful her ‘family’. A match of the year candidate against TK Cooper propelled her to the upper echelons of this promotion and a quick first-round win over Shay Purser put her where she is right now. However, will a four-minute match with Shay be enough to overcome Chakara in the form she’s in right now? This is a fascinating match that I am very much looking forward to seeing and finding what all the fuss has been about.
Pride of Brighton Semi-Final: Jordon Breaks vs Kurtis Chapman
The other semi-final is an interesting prospect. This is a literal case of a man everybody loves against a man that everybody absolutely hates.
Jordon Breaks has been quietly going about his business across London and the South-East, making his name as an incredible technical wrestler. He has also found success alongside Darrell Allen in the Knucklelockers tag-team, who made a big splash in the pre-show of Day One of the Super Strong Style 16 tournament. Beating Connor Mills in the first round – It’s a case of when, not if he becomes a major star in the UK scene, perhaps in the same mould of a Zack Sabre Jr.
Against him, Kurtis Chapman – who is just really annoying. A tremendous wrestler, but just so annoying. A former British Cruiserweight Champion, but good lord he is annoying. ‘The Keyboard Warrior’ is universally loathed by the Riptide fans, but what is most aggravating is that he always finds a way to win. He showed that by beating The O.J.M.O in the quarter-finals. If he wins this tournament, we will never hear the end of it; be it in person or online.
Brighton Championship: Chuck Mambo vs Rampage Brown
Ever since winning the belt during last years ‘Brighton Championship’ tournament, Mambo has had a series of fantastic title defenses ranging from Eddie Dennis to Mark Haskins and a phenomenal encounter against TK Cooper at the 2019 Riptide Rumble. We have recently passed his reign’s one-year anniversary, and Mambo has his toughest challenge to date in the form of the monstrous Rampage Brown.
Rampage Brown is a beast, a veteran of the British Wrestling scene who has picked up titles wherever he has gone. World of Sport Champion, two-time DEFIANT Champion, PROGRESS Atlas Division Champion – Rampage has seen it all and done it all. Mambo will have to try and counter Brown’s pure power and raw strength to come out on top here. This is an interesting match-up, to say the least. Mambo doesn’t lose at Riptide. This truth will be put to the test for sure.
Personally, I’m excited to hear Rampage’s theme for the first time in ages because it’s a BANGER.
Right, onto Day Two. This will include other matches announced on the day (like the Pride of Brighton finals) so I will just focus on the announced matches so far.
Cassius vs Mike Bird
Recently, Mike Bird has been on a crusade to remove the so-called ‘gimmicks’ from Riptide. He began in earnest by seeing off Lion Kid at Point Break and he looks set to continue that at the B.O.A.T. However, the man in front of him is much more than a gimmick. Cassius might be all tassels and glitter to the eye but this is a guy who is not all show and no go. The kid can go and from my viewpoint, he is the future of Riptide. I was shocked he went out in the first round of the Pride of Brighton tournament but this is a great way to bounce back.
Cassius will face a stern test in Bird, who will not take ‘The Neon Explosion’ and his flashy offence with good humour. He will be looking to make an example out of Cassius and show that this is professional wrestling, not some kind of sports entertainment – whatever nonsense that means. But Bird, take Cassius lightly at your peril because if you do, you will be a stepping stone to Cassius’ rise to the top here in Riptide.
David Starr vs Gideon Grey
A fascinating contest between two vastly different athletes. David Starr is one of the best professional wrestlers on the planet right now and is leading the charge for independent wrestlers world-wide. Gideon Grey literally wrote the book on how to cheat at wrestling. Gideon has been begging Riptide for a ‘credible’ opponent for months and now, in his mind, he has one but he might have bitten off more than he can chew.
Will Gideon ascend to god-like status or can ‘The Cream in your Coffee’ put the Lord in his place?
Jordynne Grace vs Rob Lias
Do you want to see a public flogging? Here you go.
Rob Lias has been on a one-man mission to stop intergender wrestling in Riptide (hey Seth Rollins) and has had limited success, losing to Gisele Shaw in a dark match and then being the odd person out in a triple threat match with Millie McKenzie and Candy Floss. With those two otherwise engaged, Riptide management has decided to bring in Jordynne Grace to presumably throw Rob Lias about a bit. The current (at time of writing) PROGRESS Women’s Champion will be doing her part for women’s rights by ideally yeeting Rob ‘The Gob’ into the sea whilst young Robert will want to get a win on the board. I have my doubts on the latter.
Ashmore vs Connor Mills vs The O.J.M.O vs Paul Robinson
A match with more issues than Vogue, the ongoing problems between Connor Mills, O.J.M.O and Ashmore reach boiling point here. At Point Break, Ashmore defeated Connor Mills and still beat him down with Hack-Knees for good measure, only for O.J.M.O to make the save. Add an absolute maniac in the form of Paul Robinson to the equation and you have a four-way in what I have christened Riptide’s London division. What tube line will be superior? The O.J.M.O representing the Northern Line (Old Street), Ashmore representing The Overground (Hackney Wick), Connor Mills defending the honour of the DLR (Lewisham) and the wildcard Paul Robinson on the C2C (Okay Southend Central but it goes into London and it has London Southend Airport so shut up).
In all seriousness, three of the UK’s best British wrestlers alongside one of BritWres’s best-kept secrets? This is going to be good.
Session Moth Martina & Rocky Mac (with Dave Benson Phillips) vs The Anti-Fun Police
Right, bear with me on this one; this is going to take a LOT to explain.
Last year, Martina teamed with former CBBC presenter Dave Benson-Phillips to face Chief Deputy Dunne and Los Federales Santos Jr. in a match where there was gunge, hilarity, more gunge and I had a stomach ache from laughing so hard. Fast forward a year later and the Anti-Fun Police are still on the hunt for the Session Moth, but this time she’s brought her other half (I think, it’s either him or John Cena, I can’t keep up) Rocky Mac with her. With Dave Benson Phillips taking up the role of manager, will Martina and Rocky escape arrest? Or will the Anti-Fun Police ‘get their own back’?
Oh, you try previewing a match like this seriously – it’s going to be insanity, and hilarious. There you go.
The thorn in Riptide’s side Spike Trivet also recently stated than Riptide would meet the newest member of Money vs Everybody… soon. Will it be on bank holiday Monday? I’d like to think not, as it’s certainly refreshing to have two Trivet-free Riptide cards but he always seems to turn up where he’s not wanted, like a bad penny, so we shall see.
So pack your best shorts, several beverages (keep hydrated!) and your highest factor sun cream and in the words of Nicki Minaj; let’s go to the beach, beach! (It’s more of a park, park!… but you get the gist) Riptide has put on two tremendous cards for Bank Holiday which will be fun for all the family. Now where did I leave my bucket and spade….
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @MattyID. Thanks for reading!