Monthly Archives: March 2018

TIDAL: Our Time Down Here

Sunday’s are best when there is a Tidal show on. This was the second event in new home Temple of Boom, and unlike last time there was seating available which made it a much more relaxing Sunday. A couple of big names had pulled outvof the show, but the card was still stacked and it was a great experience.

Brady Phillips vs Stealth vs Visage

Brady is a wrestler I first saw last year in a multiman match for TIDAL. I remember thinking at the time he stood out as being act above and he has continued to impress me since. Stealth was also someone I was fairly impressed by in a multiman match last year, possibly the same match. And visage is someone who is new to me. All three can wrestle well, Visage has a great character that I hope to see develop at TIDAL and the match was a great opener. I did feel that Brady again stood out as the best of the bunch.

El Ligero vs Soner Dursun

This was a rematch from a previous show. Soner is and excellent heel and I thought played the part well. Aye he debuted in Tidal last year in not sure if he was supposed to be a heel, but the fact he was from mamchestergained him heat and he certainly ran with it. This match was excellent. Soner is really good, and its no secret that I think Ligero is one of the top 10 wrestlers in the world at the moment. Great match, told a good story and after plus a later segment meant it looks like we will see them face off again.

Chief Deputy Dunne vs Sean Only

Sean has recently had a face turn in Tidal, where previously he was the top heel. He is still finding his feet character wise as a face but he has made subtle changes to his persona and style and in ring is looking like he could be a top face sooner rather than later. Dunne is a great worker who is experienced and great at drawing heat. Another great match.

Lion Kings vs Aussie Open

This was an I treating line up. Putting internationally renowned tag tag Aussie open, fresh from matches withSanadaand Evil amongst others,against the lion kings. A local team that haven’t been teaming long at all. This was a cracking match. Probably my favourite if the night. Some great team work, excellent wrestling and stealth splattering if storytelling and comedy. Superb.

Luke Menzies vs Sheik El Sham

Menzies continues to impress. Moving from strength to strength looking more impressive by the match. His opponent today was a great worker who drew heat from the crowd, a great match and a finish which left the crowd baying for the blood of usually Baby face ref Cowboy John Parker.

Lil Miss Roxxy vs Rhio vs Shauna Shay

Roxxy is a stalwart of the local scene and the defending TIDAL WOMEN’S CHAMPION. Shauna Shay was making her second appearance and looked great last time, and Rhio is someone I’d not seen before but know has had success in PCW. This match was great. The 3 ladies worked well and out in agreed match that at different point a had me thinking a win was coming for each one.

Dave Mastiff vs H T Drake

This was a cracker. Mastiff is one of the UKs top heavyweights and Drake is becoming a star in many UK markets. This took the usual tidal main event approach of brawling through the crowd, but when all was said and done they were back. A great match.

Overall I loved the show, great matches, a great atmosphere and not one bit of stupid, ridiculous overlooking of finishers that seems so prevalent today

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RISE: Blackout

Yesterday saw RISE: Blackout (or RISE: Blowout if you bought an early bird ticket like me!) It was the second RISE show that had taken place at Temple of Boom, and was a triumphant return. Apologies if the order is slightly out.

The first show took place in the early evening and had the quarter final matches for the no1 contenders tournament.

Sean Only vs Amir Jordan

Sean Only is fast becoming the MVP of the Leeds wrestling scene. He always cuts amazing promos, has real heat when working as a heel (as he was here) and really pulls the crowd behind him as a face. Amir oozes charisma and is loved by the crowd so this was a match that had a great atmosphere. Amir improves every time I see him and the added dynamic of Boy 1 and Boy 2 made for a really good and entertaining match. Stand out match for the first show. Only won, but interference meant he was then disqualified from the main event.

Little Joe vs Saxon Huxley

This was a decent match from 2 good workers, interference from CJ Banks and Lizzie Styles set up a great angle for later in the show.

Danny Darko vs Dom Black

This match was a good solid match from two solid workers. Black is really growing on me and is a heel you just love to hate. Darko is on a mission to get over, but has failed to quite connect despite some great matches so far.

Michael Caden vs Big Joe

On his was to the ring Big Joe was attacked by Darwin and Little Joe, his main rival over the last year, Caden, made the save. Both were put through to the main event

The main show started a little late, and some of te crowd were getting agitated, as were David Graves and Amir Jordan who got in the ring and ran through a few moves, until Graves leg hurt too much to continue.

Next up was a killer promo by the Darwin family who really drew some nuclear heat from the RISE faithful.

Saxon Huxley vs CJ Banks

This was, for me, the match if the night. I like Both these guys and have seen both have killer matches before, but I felt that this was the best match I’ve ever seen either of them. Told a great story, built on the earlier angle and showed a real brutal side of CJ.

Danny Hudson open challenge

Jack Warrington was his opponent, but the match was great. Two guys working a crowd really well and showing some great moves.

Brothers of Rage vs England’s Hardest Men

I only saw part of this match, so can’t really say much about it. It started well.

Boris Koslov vs HT Drake

Drake is an excellent worker, I’ve never seen him have anything other than a great match, but he doesn’t seem to click with the RISE faithful. I think perhaps the gimmick killer gimmick could be working against him here, as RISE is full of OTT characters and the crowd love to get behind him. Perhaps he could tweak the gimmick killer image a little and really get over as a heel. Boris is perhaps the most OTT gimmick in RISE and he is as over as one gets. This match was a classic with both wrestlers showing how good they are.

Lizzie Styles vs Lil Miss Roxxy

Lizzie is one of my favourites in the local scene. All her matches that I’ve seen have been great and she always has the crowd where she wants them. This performance was a little different as I’m used to seeing her work face, but she showed shed just as good at working heel. She changed up her ring style and her crowd interactions and it was brilliant. Roxxy is a great underdog baby face and played her part really well in this brilliant match.

Leonardo Darwin vs Roxxy

After the match, as Roxxy lay prone on the floor Darwin arrived and announced that Roxxy was to be his hand picked opponent, what followed was nothing short of brilliant. Darwin beat down the already battered underdog despite her best efforts to regain a foothold.

Then followed a ref bump, some brass knucks, interference and a NEW RISE CHAMPION!

After a couple of minutes, Cowboy John found the brass knucks and restarted the match, and Darwin stole the win. Brilliant from all involved, and real vitriolic heat from the crowd at Darwin.

Big Joe vs Michael Caden vs Little Joe vs Danny Darko

This hardcore fatal 4 way was typical of RISE hardcore matches. Fighting left the building, into the snow, light tubes, chairs, bins, madness. It was a great end to the night with all involved showing just how mental they are. Hopefully CZW will see it before they book next year’s tournament of death. One nice spot was after slamming Caden onto a crate of Carlsberg Darko started passing out Cans, which certainly helped his mission to get over with the faithful. In the end Big Joe stood tall and a stand off with Darwin set up the title match for wr—— Point at the sign nicely.

All in All, a very enjoyable show.

2018 – So far so good.

2017 felt like a water shed year in wrestling, particularly British wrestling, and I got the feeling that some worried as we headed into 2018 that the bubble would burst. This has not happened as yet and I feel that worldwide we’ve had a good start.

WWE

The women have continued to break new ground. We’ve had an women’s rumble and elimination chamber – both fantastic. All 3 women’s divisions are strong enough to hold more than one spot on a PPV card and we’ve had the signing if Ronda Rousey to bring some extra eyes to the division as we head into mania season. Looks like WWE are serious about continuing this push.

Meanwhile the means divisions have also managed to produce some excellent matches so far in WWE and look at the gauntlet match from raw, in particular Rollins 3 matches, to get an idea of this.

205 live is stronger than ever and NXT continues to produce the goods. AoP vs Undisputed Era and Cien vs Gargano both from Takeover Philadelphia being 2 of WWEs best matches so far.

New Japan

This is a promotion that continues to grow worldwide, wrestlekingdom again produced the goods and the involvement of Y2J will certainly have brought more attention to it in north America. A real strong start and potentially and even better year.

BritWres

RevPro have now got a women’s champion and the have held the first of their York hall shows, which was a cracker. They also seem to have upped their game when it comes to booking cracking cards for their smaller shows too.

PROGRESS

Going from strength to strength, embarking on some massive shows this year with 3 dates at Ally Pally, Victoria warehouse Manchester and Wembley. The cards for all the chapters have been great and produced the goods and their live at the dome shows are also proving massively enjoyable.

Live events

So far I’ve managed 5 live shows in 2018. Not too bad given we’re only 8 weeks in but far less than some have managed.

RISE Rumble 5th Jan, Brudenel Social Club, Leeds

Local promotion RISE ran this shows, the second half of which was a 30 man rumble which must have gone past the 90 minute mark. It was an incredible show, the undercard had some crackers, including an amazing bout between David Graves and Liam Slater. The rumble was my favourite rumble ever, and the heat the heel winner got at the end was insane.

REVPRO: High Stakes 2018 – York Hall, Bethnal Green

This was another cracking York Hall show, some phenomenal matches and an all round great time. Highlights for me were Adam Brooks vs Ryan Smile, MAndrews vs Will Ospreay and Aussie Open vs Sanada and Evil.

Tidal: Wipeot – Temple of Boom, Leeds

Another of our local promotions trying out a new venue for size. Some amazing matches, the highlight for me being David Graves vs HT Drake l. You can read my full review here.

PROGRESS 63 – 02 Ritz, Manchester

Another amazing show from PROGRESS. Every match was phenomenal, hard to choose highlights but I’d have to go with Tyler Bate vs ZSJ, Travis Banks vs TK Cooper vs Chris Brookes and the Grizzled Young Vets vs Havoc and Haskins.

NGW- PUDSEY Civic Hall, Leeds

An NGW show on the doorstep with cheap tickets on Groupon, what’s not to like?! Highlights definitely Nathan Cruz on the mic, Grado vs Kirby Nathan Cruz vs Justin Sysum and Lizzie Styles vs Chardonnay, but all matches were cracking. Read my fuller review here.

So that’s Jan and Feb, now we move to March, which starts in style tomorrow with another RISE show.