Liam Lazarus heads to the ring to address the crowd ahead of his title shot against Rampage Brown in the main event. Liam’s all business, saying that tonight he has the biggest fight of his career and how it’s more important than the Venga Boys, more important than the Lazabus and even more important than Yorkshire tea. Strong words. There’s a nice intro graphic that then runs through the matches on the card. I like that, more promotions should do it. Anywho, on with the show;
1. El Ligero vs Mark Andrews
Great way to start the show here, with a match that could be a main event for any promotion in the country. Andrews & Ligero kick things off by swapping entrance atire, before getting down to business with a good exchange on the mat, both men showing off some great technical ability. The pace quickens with a pinfall exchange and Andrews trips Ligero up before hitting a picture perfect standing moonsault for a two count. Ligero then shows his quickness coming off the ropes, as Andrews goes for a leapfrog only to be kicked right in the face by Ligero, who then goes to work with some sharp chops and a seated dropkick to the jaw for a two count of his own. He hits a vertical suplex but can’t put Andrews away, which leads into a strike exchange and here Ligero gets the better of his opponent. Ligero seats himself on the top-rope, but Andrews catches him with a high kick and then clambers up top to hit a super hurricanrana for a two count!
Andrews kicks Ligero in the gut and hits a northern lights suplex, but takes too long to follow up and Ligero rolls him over before hitting a superkick to the face. Things start to break down and there’s kicks flying everywhere, before Ligero scores with a rebound lariat and both men go down. Ligero grabs a waist lock and although Andrews does his best to escape, Ligero smartly turns it into a sick pumphandle sit-out facebuster for a big near-fall. Ligero whips Andrews into the corner and charges, but Mark floats over and Ligero spills to the floor, Andrews then following up with a big tope suicida! He gets Ligero back in the ring and heads up top, soaring off the ropes with a beautiful shooting star press only for Ligero to get his knees up! Ligero hits an Ace Crusher but still can’t put Andrews away, who crawls out to the apron. He springboards in, but Ligero ducks, reverse springboards off the ropes and hits the C4L DDT for the three count! This was a fun back and forth sort of contest with some great action, a perfect opening match that the crowd were well into.
2. 15 Minute Iron Man Submission match: Dan James vs Sean Only
This is the fourth match these two have had in the past three months, Only coming out on top in their best of three series, but the issue between James & Only hasn’t been resolved so they’re facing off again in a 15 minute iron man submission match. Only starts the stronger of the two, slamming James into the turnbuckle before shooting him off the ropes into a big spinning heel kick. Only scores with a snap suplex before applying a the first submission of the match, a kneebar that has James scrambling for the ropes and out to the floor. Only follows him and the two exchange strikes, before James slams Only into the ringpost and goes to work on his arm. He gets Only back in the ring and quickly locks on a Fujiwara armbar that instantly forces Sean to tap. The referee gives Only ten seconds to recuperate before they continue, but James immediately rolls Only over into a cross armbreaker. Sean tries to fight free, but again is forced to tap making the score 2-0 to Dan James. Feeling confident, James toys with Only, kicking away at his arm and applying a wristlock for another rope break. Nice European uppercut in the corner from James, followed by a butterfly suplex. James is far too lackadaisical however and Only catches him with a triangle choke to make the score 2-1.
James, sensing the danger he’s in, gets vicious as he returns to punishing Sean Only’s arm. Sean tries to use his kicks to break free, but James hits a hammerlock backbreaker to end the comeback. Only reverses a whip into the corner, but James catches him with a boot to the face and an armbreaker to ground his opponent once more. James goes for the backbreaker again, but this time Only swiftly floats over and grabs a rear naked choke to even up the score 2-2! Only’s quick to follow up, hitting some kicks, a big knee strike and a curb stomp. He seems to be setting up for the guillotine choke, but instead traps James in his own cross armbreaker forcing James to tap again! 2-3 with three minutes remaining and it seems as if Only has this one in the bag. However, when leaping out of the corner his knee gives way and James quickly pounces, slamming Only’s knee into the mat and locking in a single leg crab as the seconds count down, but he can’t make Sean tap and the match ends with Only the victor. This was good, but I wasn’t a fan of the format which left the match feeling a bit disjointed. Only sold his arm really well throughout and James did a hell of a job working over the body part.
3. Tidal Tsunami Tag Match: Lana Austin & Ruby Summers vs Nixon Newell & Violet O’Hara
Two referees are needed for this ‘Tidal Tsunami’ tag match, where all four competitors are legal and falls count anywhere. Newell & O’Hara jump their opponents to start the match and things immediately break down, Ruby & Violet spilling to the floor while Lana & Nixon trade roll-ups in the ring. A suplex from Austin earns a two count, but when coming off the ropes Nixon catches her wih a big Samoan drop only for Summers to break up the pin. Ruby catches Nixon with a dropkick of the middle rope, but O’Hara makes the save. The diminutive Violet O’Hara hits a nasty kick to the back and a clothesline to floor Summers, following up with a nice snap suplex. Ruby’s slow to get up and O’hara catches her with a low kick to the side of the face and now Nixon & Lana are back in the ring. Nixon & Violet take control, whipping both their opponents into the same corner. Violet gets down on all fours and Newell leaps off her back into a dropkick to the gut that gets a near-fall on Lana. Double suplex from Violet & Nixon, but Lana manages to kick out. Nixon charges, but Lana pulls the top rope down and Nixon spills to the floor where she gets into a strike exchange with Summers.
Meanwhile, Violet takes it to Austin with another nice clothesline and a neckbreaker for a near-fall. Out on the floor Summers trips Nixon up and locks in a camel clutch, while in the ring Violet hits an x-factor. The referee counts to three, but at the same time the other referee calls for the bell as Nixon taps. Neither can decide on a winner, so the match is restarted. Lana hits a seated senton off the stage, but Newell manages to kick out and then suplexes Lana into the wall! Nixon & Violet try to tie up Lana in the corner with a scarf, but they don’t notice Ruby Summers getting back in the ring. She kicks Nixon in the mid-section and climbs up on her back, hitting a beautiful yoshi tonic for the three count! Violet argues with one of the refs post-match and then kicks him low, before Nixon takes his head off with a big flying knee! This match was a bit of a mess, but I liked the false finish and the yoshi tonic from Ruby to end the bout. Instant fan of Violet O’Hara, simply because she lays her strikes in well and showed a lot of attitude.
4. Damian Dunne & Ryan Smile vs The Proven (Caz Crash & Sam Wilder)
The Proven attack Dunne & Smile before the bell, but soon find themselves on the receiving end of some nice tandem offence. Dunne & Smile make quick tags as they control Wilder, working over his arm and keeping him isolated from his corner. Dunne cranks a wristlock and Smile comes off the top rope with a double-stomp to Wilder’s arm, but he scrambles to his partner and makes the tag. Caz Crash immediately runs into a hip toss from Smile followed by a big dropkick to the face for a two-count. Dunne & Smile are looking like a well oiled machine as they continue their good tag work on Crash, but when Dunne hits the ropes Wilder gets a knee into his back and The Proven take control. A nice senton atomico from Crash gets a two-count on Dunne, who’s taking a lot of punishment here. Crash charges into the corner, but Dunne gets his feet up and hits a crossbody off the middle rope and tags in Smile, who ducks a clothesline from Crash before destroying Wilder with a huge dropkick to the face!
He takes Crash down with a leg lariat and The Proven spill to the floor, only for Dunne to surprise them with a tope suicida, followed by a big sommersault senton over the ropes from Smile. He goes up top again, trying for a double-stomp, but rolls through only to get clocked by a big dropkick from Wilder followed by a release German suplex. Crash gets in the ring and catches him with a cutter but Dunne breaks up the pin. Smile manages to fight back, pushing The Proven into each other before whipping Wilder into a big spear from Dunne for two. The match breaks down as all four men start throwing strikes, the highlight being a ridiculous superkick from Smile that takes Crash’s head off! Dunne & Smile hit a nice enziguri/knee lift combo in the corner, before Dunne springboards into a lungblower and Smile hits a huge frog splash from the top-rope for the three count. This was a fun tag match, especially towards the end. My first time seeing either Dunne or Smile and both were impressive, while The Proven showed their strengths as a team even in defeat.
5. Bram vs Pete Dunne
Quite a size difference here as Pete Dunne takes on the much larger Bram, who hails from Yorkshire but has been plying his trade in TNA in recent years. Dunne uses his speed early on to avoid the big man, before trying to ground him with a side-headlock. Bram works his way to his feet and shoots into the ropes, flooring Pete with a shoulder tackle only for Dunne to kip up and grab the side-headlock again. Bram forces his way free, but Dunne evades his offence and rolls him up for a two count, the TNA man starting to show some frustration. He goes head to head with Dunne and just absolutely floors him with a big right hand before going to work. He whips Dunne into the ropes, but Pete catches himself spider style and then ducks out of the way as Bram charges and crashes to the floor. Dunne goes for a tope suicida, but Bram catches him with a huge forearm smash to the jaw that stops him mid-flight. Bram takes Dunne on a tour of the venue, slamming Pete into a pillar before stealing a fans drink and spitting it into Dunne’s face. An angered Dunne fights back and surprisingly gets the upper hand. He takes Bram over to the stairs and they tease back-and-forth suplex attempts, but Dunne superkicks Bram who then crashes down the flight of stairs!
Dunne tries to follow up, but the big man’s still not done and rams him into the ring apron. He rolls Dunne under the bottom rope, but Pete catches him with a forearm and springboard planchas over the ropes into Bram. Dunne struggles to maintain his momentum however, as Bram catches him with a bodyslam before slowing things down with a headlock. He whips Dunne into the corner and goes for a splash, but Pete avoids it and takes him down with a shoulder tackle. Dunne tries for a shiranui, but Bram grabs the top rope so Pete instead resorts to an enziguri to earn a two-count. Dunne heads up top and flies with a moonsault, only for Bram to get his knees up. They struggle to their knees and exchange forearm strikes, Bram getting the upper-hand with a spinning heel kick that Dunne somehow kicks out of. Bram takes far too long allowing Dunne to get back up and, as he charges, Pete catches him with a boot and hits the shiranui, followed by a double-stomp off the top that Bram kicks out of again. Pete charges, but Bram pulls the ref in the way, thumbs Dunne in the eye and hits an implant DDT for the win out of nowhere. This was a good match, but for the physicality on display it never really kicked into higher gear and the finish was a bit of an anticlimactic way to end things.
6. Onesie Match: Dara Diablo vs JD Boom
I presumed the rules of this match would be the loser has to wear a onesie, the ultimate way to make yourself look like an arse in public, but instead to win the match the wrestlers have to don the onesie themselves. JD Boom makes a quick grab for the garment, but Diablo clubs him over the back before taking him out of the ring with a shoulder block off the middle-rope. Boom runs off up to the balcony and then hides, Dara having difficulty finding him. By the time he gets back to ringside, JD’s tied the onesie around the ringpost and tries to clothesline Dara with it, only to get a kicking for his troubles. Diablo gets a fan to hold the onesie up, then whips Boom into it, eliciting a “holy shit” chant from the crowd. Diablo unties the onesie, but JD pushes him into the ringpost and then chokes him for a bit before getting him back into the ring. Bulldog into the middle turnbuckle from Boom. He tries to a double axehandle off the top, but Dara catches him with a big European uppercut! Jawbreaker from Boom who then rushes to get into the onesie, but Diablo cuts him off and regains control, scoring with a big lariat off the ropes. Boom rolls underneath the ring and Dara follows. JD emerges, gets back in the ring and then for some inexplicable reason starts giving a giant swing to the onesie, followed by a vertical suplex for a two-count. On the onesie. Diablo gets back in and viciously suplexes him before hitting a moonsault and grabbing the onesie. He gets both feet in as Boom struggles to his feet and the manages to zip it up, winning the match. Boom offers a handshake to Diablo, only to get stunnered for his trouble. This was a fun diversion of a match that the crowd were into and didn’t overstay its welcome.
7. Mike Bird vs ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster
Big fan of Flash from what I’ve seen of him in other promotions and Mike Bird impressed me at Tidal’s 1st Anniversary event, so I’m looking forward to this one. Very fast exchange to kick things off, both men showing off their speed early on. A bit of miscommunication puts an end to the pace, Bird resorting to throwing some huge chops in the corner. Flash catches him with a smart armdrag, but can’t capitalise and Bird turns the match back in his favour with a chop off the top-rope. Big forearm smash puts Morgan into the ropes, then Bird clotheslines him to the floor and follows up with a tope suicida. He gets Webster back in the ring and tries for a vertical suplex but Flash knees him in the head to free himself and then hits an enziguri, following up with a front-flip senton for a two count. Webster peppers Bird with chops in the corner and a headbutt to the chest, but Bird catches him with a European uppercut and then deadlifts him into a delayed vertical suplex, before dropping him right on top of his head. Bird takes far too long following up as he heads up top and lets fly with a big moonsault, only for Flash to roll out of the way. Flash flips out of the corner and hits a crossbody, followed by a strike combo and a high knee in the corner.
He throws Bird to the floor and hits the ropes, soaring with a beautiful tope con hilo! He rolls Bird back into the ring and gets a two-count, before trying for a double underhook. Bird counters and hoists Webster up onto his shoulders and then just drops him down over his knees for a near, near-fall. Again he takes too long to capitalise and Webster catches him with a boot to the face as he charges, then hops up onto the middle rope and leaps backwards into a huge reverse hurricanrana! Amazingly, Bird kicks out just after the one count. Webster heads up top, but Bird goes after him and tries for a superplex. Webster manages to headbutt him back to the mat and flies with a 630 only for Bird to move out of the way! Bird scores with a huge lariat and then hooks Webster for a sick pumphandle side-slam for the three count. This was a pretty good match, barring a few confused moments in the outset and, although I could’ve done without the reverse hurricanrana one-count kickout, I thought Bird looked pretty good here in victory. Flash put in a good performance as well, a lot of his offence is very crisp and well executed.
8. TCW Title Match: Rampage Brown (c) vs Liam Lazarus
Since winning the TCW title from El Ligero, Rampage Brown has been on an absolute tear through the Tidal roster defeating eight top performers in defence of his championship. Liam Lazarus had something of a breakout year in 2014 but, regardless, is the distinct underdog going into this match. They get things started with Rampage throwing Liam around like a rag doll, before both men lock up and battle for position on the mat. Rampage uses his size to great advantage and goes for an early pin, but Liam kicks out at one. The crowd are firmly behind Lazarus as Rampage shoves him derisively into the ropes, only for Liam to respond with a huge slap to the face! Certainly not advisable against a man like Rampage, who fire back with some clubbing blows before throwing Liam to the floor. Rampage follows, but Lazarus swiftly gets back into the ring and planchas over the ropes only for Rampage to catch him with ease. He tries to throw Liam into the turnbuckle, but Lazarus slips off his back and Rampage colides head-first with the steel. Liam goes to work with some knee strikes and rolls Rampage back in the ring, before rolling him up for a one-count. Lazarus tries for a backslide, but Rampage is too powerful and flips Liam over only to be on the receiving end of a nice standing dropkick. He hits a diving elbow on Rampage in the corner and heads to the opposite side of the ring to try for another, but Rampage rushes after him and as Lazarus turns around on the middle rope he’s met with a huge lariat from Rampage that sends him crashing to the floor! Rampage gets him back in the ring and Lazarus tries to fight back, but gets floored by a huge leaping boot to the face for a two-count. Rampage batters Lazarus with chops and hits a stiff vertical suplex for another two-count.
Rampage shoots him into the ropes and Lazarus tries for a sunset flip, but Rampage holds on, hoists Liam onto his feet and just takes his head off with a lariat. The champion slows the pace down, grounding Lazarus with a side-headlock as the crowd try and get behind the underdog. Liam eventually forces his way to his feet and tees off on Rampage with forearm strikes, only for Rampage to catch him with an uranage. Short-arm clothesline from Rampage, who brutally goes to work on his opponent, stamping on fingers and wrenching away at his arm. Still Lazarus refuses to submit, Rampage resorting to raking Liam’s eyes before hitting two huge powerbombs. He takes a long while to make the cover and although Liam doesn’t kick out, the ref stops the count as Liam’s foot is under the bottom rope. The referee checks on Lazarus, who looks absolutely out of it after the second powerbomb left him motionless on the mat. He shakily gets up as Rampage drags him to his feet and sets up for a suplex, but Liam rolls him up into a small package out of nowhere and the ref counts to three! Liam Lazarus is the new TCW champion! Rampage is apoplectic at his defeat and refuses to hand over the title, before begrudgingly shoving it into the disbelieving arms of Lazarus. They told a good story in this match, Rampage is an utter beast and its always a pleasure to see him perform. Lazarus had a great showing here, in spite of spending most of the match on his back, and sold the beating from Rampage perfectly. The crowd looked like they wanted to celebrate with the new champion post-match as the Venga Boys theme blasted around the Leeds University Union, but I appreciated seeing Liam sell the damage he’d received all the way to the back, as he had to be helped from the ring. This was another very solid show from the Tidal crew and a real easy watch, the highlights being the opener and the main event, both of which are well worth checking out.
Follow TCW on Facebook at; https://www.facebook.com/tidalchampionshipwrestling
Purchase ‘Silent Nightmare’ on DVD or BluRay at; http://tcwrestling.bigcartel.com/
Or as an MP4 download at; http://smartmarkvideo.com/digital/tcw-mp4