Wrestling is back in Brighton, England. British Strong Style take on Joey Ryan, Candice LeRae and Colt Cabana, whilst Eddie Dennis faces Session Moth Martina in a drinking match. In the main event, Jimmy Havoc faces Bullet Club member Marty Scurll…
(Winner via disqualification: Jack Sexsmith)
(Winner via pinfall: Chuck Mambo)
Session Moth Martina
Lord Gideon Grey
(Winners via double pinfall: Eddie Dennis & Session Moth Martina)
(Winner via pinfall: Dahlia Black)
Tyler Bate, Pete Dunne & Trent Seven (“British Strong Style”)
Joey Ryan, Candice LeRae & Colt Cabana
(Winners via pinfall: Ryan, LeRae & Cabana)
(Winner via submission: Marty Scurll)
I was drawn to Riptide Wrestling through a lot of social media buzz for their latest show, Riptide Wrestling Returns. I’d seen a bit of chatter about it the day it was taking place, with indie wrestling biggest UK supporters all seemingly descending upon Brighton for the big show, but beyond an interesting name, I hadn’t taken too much interest. It was only when, this past week, a series of photos and gif’s appeared on Twitter that I sat up and took notice – this show looked beautiful.
Given wrestling is a live sport, some would say that the cinematography of the taped versions of each show isn’t important, but they’d be wrong. Go to America, and most indie shows look exactly the same with little thought out to making each promotion look different, but in the U.K., there are companies who take this part of their production very seriously. PROGRESS Wrestling initially made me fall in love with it through its visual presentation, and that love then grew to encompass everything that that company does, and it was Riptide‘s look that made me decide to splash out on the download of their first show (direct link at the bottom of this page).
I went in expecting great and unique visuals, but came out incredibly surprised at the content. As my taste in professional wrestling moves closer toward the strong styles presented in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, or promotions such as the aforementioned PROGRESS, Riptide is a move to the other end of the spectrum, where a real sports-like feel is exchanged instead for heavy entertainment and a bit of silliness. Where this show got its silliness right, though, was that it treated its rediciulous moments with absolute seriousness, which made them even more hilarious without taking you out of the show. Honestly, when I began viewing this show, I didn’t expect to be laughing out loud by the end of it.
To counter that somewhat, I will say that I did sometimes wonder why such big names were booked if they were mostly going to be used for comedy, rather than their wrestling skills, but ultimately those names get bums in seats and draw attention to the company and brand, so I do get it. And quite frankly, seeing Tyler Bate being overpowered by Joey Ryan’s penis, and that whole sequence as a whole, was one of my favourite moments in wrestling in 2017. Bate’s attempts to keep a straight face during that part of the match were hilarious all on their own.
From a wrestling perspective, we had some good moments here and there, but there was certainly a heavier focus on entertainment. Did I sometimes find myself wishing they’d get down and wrestle? Of course, particularly in the whole Eddie Dennis and Session Moth part of the show, but I can get full on wrestling matches from these talents in other promotions, so it was fun to just see them let their hair down and have fun here. Would I like to see a little more wrestling in Riptide‘s future shows, with perhaps some higher stakes on the outcomes? Definitely, but partly because this company is presenting shows that look absolutely gorgeous and I want to see how top quality wrestling matches benefit from it.
I may be wrongly implying that there wasn’t good action here for wrestling fans to enjoy, because there was. Jimmy Havoc and Marty Scurll had a nice main event match, and I thought Dahlia Black did some good stuff even though it got a little patchy at times (putting that on Candyfloss, but both gave a nice performance), and the wrestling in the British Strong Style match was good as expected, but absolutely enhanced by the sheer insanity of what Joey Ryan brought to the contest.
Would I pay $9.99 for all future Riptide shows? Probably not, given that’s the price of an entire month of WWE Network, and more than I pay for other wrestling promotions, so hopefully they will introduce a cheaper subscription model once they have more shows under their belt and a regular event schedule. Of course, there’s always the option to rent it too, which is significantly cheaper. But I will make an effort to watch their next couple shows, regardless of what pricing option I choose, because this really did entertain me and as I’ve said previously, it’s stunning on the eye.
Would I like to see entrances? Yes. Would I like commentary? Possibly, although it would possibly interfere with the presentation style they are going for. Would I like to see the live band music performances from the interval(s) included? Damn right. All that said, what they’re doing this early into their run looks and feels great, and I’m sure they have a very clear idea of where they want to go with this as they grow and develop.
Worth going out of your way to watch. Vince McMahon would actually be jealous of how Riptide manage/ to do silly sports entertainment moments without them coming off as cringeworthy.
Match of the Night
British Strong Style vs. Candice LeRae, Joey Ryan & Colt Cabana