All posts by srcav

About srcav

Maths teacher, learner, rugby nut, rock god and general legend.

TIDAL GROUNDED

Today was a great day. my favourite promotion were running 2 shows on my home town and i was able to get to them both. What a time to be alive. That promotion os Tidal and the venue is temple of boom.

The afternoon show waa a no ropes show, and it started with a match between tag team partners.

Jack Bandicoot vs The Pop Punk Kid

These notorious high flyers took to the no ropes gimmick really well. The matcb was very different to wjat they’d normally do but allowed them to show off a different style, and they found some very interesting ways to hit some high spots

Grod vs Sebb Strife

This battle of the big lads saw 2 extremely talented monsters put on an excellent match. Both guys were phenomenal and worked the crowd well.

H T Drake vs Brady Phillips

This match was excellent. Drake is the workhorse of TIDAL, on every card and never has a bad match. Brady has gone over the last year or two from a young guy who stood out as oozing with potential to one of the top heels in the company and everyone loves to hate him.

Sean Only vs N’Sereko

Sean is one of the best wrestlers in the country, and N’Sereko isnt far behind. I am loving only as a face, and these two, despite being clearly out of their comfort zone with no ropes, put on an incredible match.

Dan Evans vs Kev Lloyd

These 2 looked the most comfortable without ropes and gave us a great technical wrestling match that hadthe crowd hooked. I hope to see a lot of bith of them in up coming shows.

Chakara vs Camdyfloss

These two young (very young, it is amazing how great they are at such a young age, I’m fairly sure if you add their ages together im still older!) ladies put on am incredible match. They clearly know each other well amd know how to put a latch together that hooks am audience amd entertains on another level. It was the main event of this show, and it deserved to be. It left me wondering, if they are this good now, how fantastic will they end up? I look forward to finding out.

All in all, a great show. Tidal rules.

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Megaslam – Scarborough

Holiday camp shows are a massive part of the culture and the history of British wrestling. If you listen to anyone, from William Regal to Dash Wilder, from Robbie Brookside To Daniel Bryan, from Nathan Cruz to Marty Scurll, talk about their careers you will hear fond stories of holiday camp shows and how much they learned from them. I’ve never stayed at a holiday camp, and as such have never seen one. But this year (and last year I believe) Scarborough council brought Megaslam in to perform a number of shows in the open air theatre, effectively adding it as a venue on the holiday camp circuit.

As luck would have it, one if these dates happened to fall while i was in Scarborough for a family holiday, which gave me an opportunity to check out a “camp show”, and gave me a great family friendly setting to take my 6 year old daughter to a live wrestling show. She doesn’t pay too much attention to it at home, she likes the WWE women and their bright hairstyles, has expressed an interest in womens matches elsewhere, and has been a bit scared at times (she doesn’t like chair shots and is terrified of Marty Scurll’s plague mask!). My wife also came, she isn’t a fan of wrestling really, but did come to a NOAH show in Coventry years ago and had fun.

We arrived quite early and had a coffee while the wrestlers were putting up the ring, the only one I recognised was a young lady who I know know to be called Natalie Sykes who I was fairly sure I’d seen as part of SOBER at RISE Summersesh.

The crowd was decent, i think probably over 60 people there. Not bad for an open air show in overcast conditions threatening rain that hadn’t been well publicised. I believe that some camp shows get upwards of 1000 people, so this might have felt a small audience but I have certainly been in much smaller crowds at wrestling shows.

The show started with the referee coming out. I didn’t catch his name, but I think I have seen him before. He was really good. He got the kids to practice booing and cheering, he interacted with the wrestlers well and had a real dry humour at parts that had me in hysterics (we’ve not brought a bell so ding ding ding).

Joel Redgrave vs Natalie Sykes

First out was Joel Redgrave, he wound the crowd up from the get go walking round and round saying he wouldnt get in till they cheered him. Instant pantomime villian heat. Then out comes Natalie Sykes, who is now my daughter’s favourite wrestler. The match had a lot of comedy, Joel working the pantomine villian angle well. Natalie chopped the hell out of him for a while, there was a couple of clunky bits and then a really good period to finish with some excellent suplexs and combinations. They worked the angles really well, Joel had some dastardly heel tactics and there was some amazingly funny bits. Natalie overcame the odds and was victorious.

Tiger Junior vs Adam Daniels

Tiger Jr came out first with scream of “cheer for me” which got him instant heat, he flipped a kids cap of and wound up the crowd in expert fashion. Then entered Adam, the conquering hero. This match was really good, I really liked both guys. Tiger especially looked crisp in everything he did. They also worked the crowd well and included some hilarious moments. After Adam won Jake arrived followed by Natalie and a tag match main event was set.

Team Sexy vs Natalie Sykes and Adam Daniels

The tag match was great fun, more hilarious spots, more crowd interactions, great referee interplay leading to a superb hot tag, some great move combinations and the faces standing tall at the end.

Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. The matches weren’t as impressive as you might get at a high profile york hall show, but they were exactly right for the situation. As a wrestling fan, I was very entertained, as a non wrestling fan my wife was very entertained and as a child experiencing live wrestling for the first time my daughter was very entertained, and has asked to go again. All in all a sucessfull day.

RISE SUMMERSESH 2018

Another summer, another RISE show at the Brudenel. RISE shows tend to be mad, and the Brudenel ones are up a level of madness from anything else.

I didn’t arrive in time for the preshow, but im told Caden and Darko lost to Englands hardest men in a decent match. When it was time for the show proper to start it didn’t feel as full as the last Brude show and the crowd didn’t feel as lubricated.

The show started with Leanne coming to the ring and announcing herself as the management liaison. This is an interesting turn inthe wider story arc and I’m interested to see what can come from it. Dr Darwin came out and hillarity ensued involving Darwin,Leanne and The Bulk with the outcome being Leanne was named as special guest referee for the main event.

After the segment it was time.for the first match:

Lizzie Styles vs Charlie Morgan

Charlie is one of the hottest properties on the scene right now, making waves in WWE, carrying titles everywhere she goes and stealing the show at york hall. Lizzie is a regular at the northern shows but has yet to make the national breakthrough of her opponent. Unfairly in my opinion as ive never seen her have anything less that a good match. I enjoyed this match, some excellent technical wrestling, some great heel work and a bit if crowd interaction, although the crowd were far from warmed up by this point. Lizzie picked up the win.

Sean Only vs The Men

This qas a great match. Sean is one if the top.northern heels and I feel he’s a mot better than some making their names in bugger stages. The men are Jack Bandicoot and The Pop Punk Kid, two local youngsters who are exciting to watch and improving all the time..This match had a great promo to start, built on a great on going story and had some great high spots. My favourite match in the first half. The men won, but took a neat down at the hands if the rest of SOBER.

Big Joe’s open Hardcore Title Challenge

This was a clusterf*ck of a match really. Loads of people, all entering at random points, the referee dishing out random RKOs to some competitors, breaking any semblance of impartiality and even handing weapons to some competitors. There was no real narrative and a lot of it made no sense. That said, it was still a lot of fun with some real hardcore spots and some amazing comedy section. Darko left with the belt. The interval happenednext to allow time to clear the ring.

Boris Koslov vs Martin Kirby

This was my favourite match of the night. Both guys are extremely talented. Kirby has been at the top of the UK scene seemingly forever at this stage and Boris is so over on the local scene a friend referred to his pop as “like the second coming” when he saw his first RISE show last time out. I first saw Boris a couple of years ago and have loved him ever since. His infectious charisma is hard to escape and he is improving at a great rate and is now a great worker. This was a loser leaves RISE match and had the added stipulation that if Boris lost he needed to go back to Russia.

They built the story well. Had many brilliant spots and brilliant false finishes, took out some crowd members with a suicide dive, and tore the hearts out of the faithful with a Kirby win.

After the match Boris cut an amazing promo, telling of how he was made to work heel as a Russianwhen he first arrived and that the RISE faithful were the first to see past that. I hope he finds a way to stay. (After the match Boris sought out the crowd members he’d taken out and apologised. Shortly afterwards, RISE management arrived and gave them guest list for next time. A nice touch.)

England’s Hardest Segment

England’s Hardest Men came out to celebrate being top of the league, Coyle and Screwface came out to stir trouble. Shreddy had a great match with Screwface but ultimately the underhand tactics of Coyle got Screwface a victory. I enjoy the work of all the guys involved here and look forward to seeing them in tag action against each other soon.

El Ligero and CJ Banks vs Musclecat and Cowboy John

The scheduled match had Gabe Kidd partnering Saxon, but he couldn’t make it. Ligero (speaking perfect English for a mexican) cut a great promo on Saxon saying he didn’t blane Kidd for not showing up etc, eventually John had enough and said hed be Saxons partner. John is one if my favourite Refs and ive been looming forward to seeing him wrestle for a while. His first proper RISE outing being in a tag with WWE guys and a WOS guy could have been daunting but he rose to the challenge well. He sold brilliantly and wrestles to his place, allowing the more experiencedguys to lead. When you consider the standard of talent within it’s no surprise the match was thoroughly enjoyable and it was great to see John pick up the pin.

Darwin vs Pastor

The main event. Pastor William Eaver is a former PROGRESS champion, an accolade some would say is the highest currently in uk wrestling, so this is a marker that shows his class. Darwin is a killer heel. Draws nuclear heat with his promos and backs it up in the ring, playing a dastardly heel impeccably. He’s another I cant understand isn’t more widely known.

The match was great. Darwin’s Bastard son Joe Vega was being dastardly at ring side. Leanne was great for the story as ref and Darwin and Pastor put in a great performance woth Darwin leaving as champ following some dirty tactics.

All in all, a very enjoyable RISE show and a great summer blowout.

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

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.

NGW- PUDSEY

I’ve been aware of NGW for a while, I’ve watched a number of episodes of their TV show and have always been impressed with the strength of the roster. This was my first live experience and I have to say it was very enjoyable over all. The venue was good interesting and there was a great atmosphere.

The show started with the good news that we were in solid refereeing hands with Cowboy John, local hero.

Luke Menzies vs Justin Sysum

The hammer was scheduled to take on Nathan Cruz in the main event, but in the opening promo Nathan stated he wasn’t going to wrestle unless Justin could first beat the debuting monster Luke Menzies. This was a good solid match, Justin looked fluid and a great worker, and Menzies looks more and more impressive every time I see him. A great start.

Sons of Ulaid vs Amir Jordan and Ace Matthews

This was a solid match including 4 great workers. I’ve only seen Sons of Ulaid live once before and they impressed then as they did today. Jordan oozes charisma and his in ring work is steadily improving. Matthews is solid and strikes me as someone ready to move up the card, although I think his gimmick needs tweaking a little to do this. I could see him in a good main event run as a heel.

Grado vs Martin Kirby

This match was amazing. It was comedy gold that booked the crowd and took us on a ride of emotions. Grado is solid and his success speaks for himself, Kirby on the other hand seems to be a bit forgotten too often. He’s an incredible worker, I’ve seen him tons of times over the past 15 years or so and he’s never had a match anything less than great. He can do comedy extremely Well, but it’s not all he can do, I’ve seen him have excellent technical matches and he’s equally as effective as a heel or a face. Perhaps the most underrated wrestler on the scene today.

Rampage vs Matt Myers

Both these guys are staples of the Yorkshire wrestling scene and both are very good. Rampage is probably my favourite heavyweight on the British circuit and Myers is another who has great matches with everyone. Both can wrestle face or heel, today RAMPAGE was the heel and the story they told was great.

Chardonnay vs Lizzie Styles

I didn’t know Lizzie was on the card, and her music hitting was a great surprise. She’s a superb wrestler who has recently has a great run as champion in Tidal, one of our local Leeds promotions. I’d not seen chardonnay wrestle before, but she showed she is also a talented wrestler. This was a great match, although it looked as though Lizzie hurt her knee. I hope she was just selling, and if not I wish her a speedy recovery.

The Showstealer vs The Hammer

No, not Alex Shane vs Greg Valentine, but Nathan Cruz vs Justin Sysum. Nathan is one of my top 3 wrestlers at the moment, and I’ve not had the pleasure of seeing him live since he left PROGRESS so this was a match that had me excited. It didn’t disappoint, the story was great, Nathan was awesome and Justin looked incredible in this match. He’s looked great vs Menzies earlier but he really took it up a notch for this one probably a combination of holding back earlier knowing he had to wrestle later, and this time being in against someone as skilled and experienced as Cruz.

All in all, an excellent show. Topped off by a chance meeting with BritWres legend Alex Shane outside. I’ll definitely be heading back to NGW.

TIDAL WIPEOUT 2018

This was the first Tidal show of the year, and as such was an exciting event. We are lucky, here in Leeds, to have two great promotions running regularly. Tidal, and RISE. This was Tidal’s first show at their new home, Temple of boom. A great little venue that RISE also run in from time to time.

The card was exciting to me; it included David Graves challenging HT Drake for the Tidal championship and a co-main event of El Ligero vs Soner Dursun. The rest of the card looked good too.

Match 1: Crashboat vs Ruby Radley and Shay

This intergender tag match was for the Tidal open championship, currently held by Jack Bandicoot (or possibly by the tag team Crashboat). The open championship is open to anyone, tag teams, male wrestlers, female wrestlers etc. Back in the day, it was defended in matches that worked in rounds. The match was fast and enjoyable. Ruby is an excellent worker who has been a star in the local women’s divisions for a while. Crashboat (Jack Bandicoot and The Pop Punk Kid Jake Silver) are two of the rising stars of the local scene. Both mixed solid working with a good amount of comic relief to create a highly entertaining high-flying tag team. Shay was making her Tidal debut and looked extremely solid and hard hitting. This was a great opener and I enjoyed it very much.

Match 2: Arcadian vs Terry Isit

This match was between two wrestlers I had yet to see, which is always an exciting prospect. Arcadian is a spaceman who was over with a lot of the crowd. Terry came out and was a heat seeking missile, immediately rubbing the crowd up the wrong way with his arrogance during his ring walk. His ring work backed up his arrogance and these two put on an interstellar match. I hope to see them both, but particularly Terry, back in Tidal soon.

Match 3: Sean Only vs Sugar Dunkerton

Sean Only has been one of the top heels in Tidal since I first started attending shows regularly. He is cocky, arrogant and a great wrestler who does not mind taking shortcuts. He is the defacto leader of a stable called the service who have run rough shod over the company for a while. Recently, however, he seems to have had a change of heart, and when his stablemates arrived with pool cues to help him out in this match he sent them away.

Sugar was over from America; I had heard good things about him but had not yet had the pleasure of watching any of his matches. This one was great, the crowd were well into it and it told a story of Sean Only trying to become a better person, trying not to cheat to gain an advantage, trying to do things right. Afterwards, Sean took a beat down after from the rest of the service and was saved by tag champions The Lion Kings.

Match 4: The Lion Kings vs The Service

The Lion Kings are the Ugandan Warrior N’Sereko and local legend Sebb Strife. N’Sereko is fairly new to tidal, but Sebb has been a stalwart of the promotion for a long time. Previouly working as a commentator while injured. They are both excellent workers, and Sebb is far more agile than it seems possible for a man his size to be. They were up against former Tidal Champion Dara Diablo and Dan Evans. A solid team made up of two guys who can really go. Dara especially has a great style and is amazing a whipping the crowd up into a hate-filled frenzy. The match was another cracker and the crowd went mad for a lion kings win.

Match 5: Ace Matthews vs Luke Menzies

Ace Matthews previous teamed with David Graves as part of Go Team sports, they were a good team and always well received. Since Matthews last came to Tidal, Graves has risen to the top, and Ace seems a little bitter about being left behind, coming out with a real distain for the crowd that cleverly brought heat straight to him. His opponent was Luke Menzies, Yorkshires own Brock Lesnar in training. The WWE are hot on Menzies and each time I see him I understand why. He has the look, has a great skillset for someone who has not been in the business long and has a superb grasp of ring psychology given his short time in the business. This match was great and I hope to see Menzies more before his inevitable move to Florida.

Match 6: Violet O’Hara vs Lil Miss Roxy

This match pitted the current champion, Roxy, against the former champion who never lost. Violet is a dynamo and was a great women’s champion who sadly had to relinquish the tidal due to health reasons. The crowd were into the match and both ladies had their supporters amongst the tidal faithful. I really enjoyed this one and hope it is a feud that continues.

Match 7: El Ligero vs Soner Dursun

This is the second Tidal show in a row where he has been pitted against a local hero. Last time out the Mancunian received a lot of heat when going up against Leeds’s own David Graves, and this time he received the same reaction when he went up against Leeds’s favourite Mexican. The match was great. Ligero is, for me, one of the best three or four wrestlers currently working the UK scene regularly and I enjoy every match I see of his. Soner is a great young worker who I have only seen a few times but has so far always looked good. A great match with a great story and some impressive moves.

Match 8: HT Drake vs David Graves

HT Drake won the title at the last tidal show, it took him a long time and many chances and he won it in a face vs face stand-off with Rampage Brown. The crowd that night favoured Rampage, possibly due to him being more local, but Drake still got the respect and applause from everyone on winning.

This time out, for his first defence he took on David Graves. Graves has been around tidal for a while. Previously he was part of a tag team and feuded with many people. Things changed for Graves in 2017. He spent more time as a singles wrestler, took on a more sinister edge to his in ring work and his look. The net result was that in many ways 2017 was his year. In Tidal (vs Joey Janela), and our other local promotion RISE (vs Liam Slater), Graves had what many others and I would call the match of the year for each. He has risen through the ranks. This was his big shot at the title.

The crowd were massively invested in the match. Many getting massively behind Graves to the point it almost felt as if Drake was the heel, even though he is certainly also loved by many of those in attendance. The match was an instant classic and I am sure it will be in the discussion come December for Tidal match of the year. Graves came up a tad short this time, but I hope that he will fight his way to the top for another, more successful shot.

2017

I’ve not written a lot in here in recent months. This has been due to a lack of time, rather than a lack of wrestling. I’ve seen some amazing stuff recently, all year in fact. I thought I’d take the opportunity to note down some stuff about 2017:

I attended 25 live shows this year, which was great. Here in Leeds we have 2 excellent promotions running regularly called Tidal and RISE, if your local and haven’t yet been check them out. As well as shows from these two I’ve been to a few PROGRESS shows, some RevPro and others. Full breakdown by promotion:

PROGRESS x6

TIDAL x6

RISE x4

WWE x2

RevPro x2

RevPro/NJPW/ROH x1

ICW x1

WCPW x1

DEFIANT x1

Futureshock x1

I enjoyed all the shows. I’m aiming for 30 next year. I already have tickets for 10 shows over the space of the year including 2 new promotions and I have my eye on a lot more.

Here are some of my favourite things in 2017 in wrestling.

Match of the year: I’ve tried to include only 1 match from each wrestler in each category. I haven’t split WWE into attended and attended live as I only got to 2 WWE house shows.

In WWE:

1, Pete Dunne vs Tyler Bate – NXT TAKEOVER 

2, AJ Styles vs John Cena – Royal Rumble

3, Brock Lesnar vs Bill Goldberg – Mania

Non – WWE watched on tv:

1, Okada vs Omega – Wrestle Kingdom

2, El Ligero vs Nathan Cruz – Old man yells at cloud

3, WALTER vs David Starr – wXw 16 carat 

Non-WWE attended live:

1, Marty Scurll vs Zack Sabre Jr – REVPRO High Stakes

2, David Graves vs Liam Slater – RISE Summersesh 

3, Zack Gibson vs El Ligero – PROGRESS 46

SHOW OF THE YEAR

WWE:

1, NXT TAKEOVER CHICAGO

2, Wrestlemania

3, Summerslam

NON-WWE:

1, Wrestle Kingdom

2, Super Strong Style 16

3, wXw 16 Carat

That I attended:

1, PROGRESS Chase the sun

2, RevPro High Stakes

3, RISE Summer Sesh

Male Wrestler of the year:

WWE: AJ Styles 

NON-WWE; British – El Ligero 

Non Brit- Okada

Female Wrestler of the year:

WWE: Alexa Bliss

NON-WWE: British – Jinny

Non-Brit: Toni Storm

Tag team of the year:

WWE: Breezango

NON-WWE: Grizzled Young Vets 

BREAKOUT STAR: David Graves 

Top 3 moments:

1) TK and Dhalia return to PROGRESS 

2) Matt Hardy gets woken 

3) Don Callis and Scott D’amore take over impact.

Promotion of the year: PROGRESS 

Predictions for 2018:

David Graves and Spike Trivet will have big years.

Aleister Black will make an impact on main roster.

Miz will break Jericho’s record.

5* will cancel more shows.

August

Blimey, what a month this was, Live I saw RevPro, ROH/NJPW/CMLL, TIDAL, RISE and WCPW all in the space of about 10 days. It was incredible. Plus there was the second half of the G1. It’s been hard to marrow it down, but I reckon the 5 I enjoyed most were (to narrow it down I tried to limit it to 1 match per wrestler/promotion):

5: Asuka vs Ember Moon – NXTTAKEOVER 

This was an incredible march on a truly fantastic show. Each match on the card was immense and I think in the end this was my favourite.

4: Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar vs Samoa Joe vs Braun Strowman – Summerslam

Another decent card for August, but this match was the best by a mile. It was truly perfect for what it was.

3: David Graves vs Liam Slater – 2 out of 3 falls – RISE Summer sesh

Two incredible young local.talents putting on a technical wrestling match as good as any you’ll see. In a tiny ding in a tiny room. Amazing.

2: Will Ospreay vs Marty Scurll – WCPW Stacked 17

Marty vs Will is a match for the ages and this one was incredible. On a stacked card that also featured Rey vs Ricochet, Mike Bailey vs Takahashi and Travis Banks vs Kushida it still somehow managed to shine brightest.

1: Kenny Omega vs Kazichuka Okada – G1 Climax 

The third instalment in an incredible feud was again perfection. And a great pay off. I’m intrigued to see when they will meet again. These have to be the two best wrestlers working today.

  • Ibushi vs Tanahashi – G1 Climax 
  • Evil vs Omega – G1 Climax 
  • Tanahashi vs Makabe – G1 Climax 
  • ZSJ vs Naito – G1 Climax 
  • Sanada vs Kojima – G1 Climax 
  • Juice vs Omega – G1 Climax 
  • Evil vs Okada – G1 Climax 
  • Ibushi vs Yoshi Hashi – G1 Climax 
  • Naito vs Makabe – G1 Climax 
  • Tanahashi vs Ishii – G1 Climax 
  • Elgin vs EVIL – G1 Climax 
  • Omega vs Sanada – G1 Climax 
  • Okada – Suzuki – G1 Climax 
  • Goto vs Ibushi – G1 Climax 
  • Tanahashi vs Naito – G1 Climax 
  • Ishii vs ZSJ – G1 Climax 
  • Elgin vs Juice – G1 Climax
  • Okada vs Omega – G1 Climax 
  • Bucks vs Ricochet and Tagushi – G1 Climax 
  • Warmachine vs Cody/Page – G1 Climax 
  • Bubblegum vs DJZ vs El Ligero – TCW LEEDS 
  • Sexsmith vs Trivet – TCW LEEDS 
  • Brookes vs ZSJ – Summer Sizzler 
  • Gibson vs Castle – Summer Sizzler 
  • Rey vs Marty – Summer Sizzler 
  • Jay White vs Travis Banks – Summer Sizzler 
  • Jushin thunder liger vs Josh Bodom – Summer Sizzler 
  • Briscoes vs All Day Swerve – Summer Sizzler 
  • Mark Briscoe vs Ryan Smile – WOTW London 
  • Kushida vs Titan – WOTW London 
  • LIJ vs Bullet Club – WOTW London
  • Hideo Itami vs Aleister Black – NXT Takeover 
  • Asuka vs Ember – NXT TAKEOVER 
  • Roode vs McIntyre – NXT TAKEOVER 
  • Ambrose/Rollins vs Shemus/Cesaro – Summerslam
  • AJ vs KO – Summerslam 
  • Brock vs Joe vs Reigns vs Braun – Summerslam 
  • Kushida vs Travis Banks – WCPW
  • Ricochet vs Rey Mysterio – WCPW
  • Marty Scurll vs Will Ospreay – WCPW
  • Liam Slater vs David Graves – RISE
  • El Ligero vs Saxon Huxley vs Pastor Bill Eaver vs Joe Conners – RISE
  • Sean Only vs Boris Kozlov – RISE 
  • Kairi Saine vs Tessa Blanchard – MYC 
  • Grizzled young vets vs FSU- PROGRESS 54
  • Doug Williams vs Tim Thatcher – PROGRESS 54
  • Gallagher vs Gibson – PROGRESS NYC 
  • SPPT vs BSS – PROGRESS NYC 
  • Walter vs Riddle – PROGRESS NYC 
  • Travis Banks vs Jack Gallagher – PROGRESS Boston
  • Ringkampf vs BSS – PROGRESS Boston