Tidal Championship Wrestling rounded off its first year with three shows over three weeks – Tidal Wave, Dark Waters and the First Anniversary Show. The first two of these shows were presented on a single DVD and Blu Ray and recently made available to buy from http://tcwrestling.bigcartel.com/ as well as at Tidal events and as digital downloads from http://www.smartmarkvideo.com/digital/tcw-mp4.
Micky The Dragon vs HT Drake
HT Drake, we’re informed, has something to prove following his loss to Joe Hendry, whilst Micky The Dragon is hoping to impress in his Tidal debut.
The action in the ring shows two capable competitors – with Drake dominating, until Dragon takes control of the match with display of athletic aggression. Despite this come back, it’s Drake that scores the win with a controversial pin.
Neither Drake or Dragon can be described as flashy wrestlers, with Dragon seeming to be the less experienced of the two. Whilst Dragon demonstrates athletic potential, Drake’s mat-based ring work and persona do come across better on screen – the ending is, however, a bit messy.
Dave Carbon vs Robbie Ryder vs Perfect Purdie
Carbon has been on a role in Tidal over the past few months, brutalising his opponents and placing AJ Anderson on the injury list. Purdie and Ryder, despite this being a triple threat match, are cautious around Carbon, but it’s clear that the match can be anybody’s as they eventually end up brawling with each other.
The match quickly showcases Carbon, as he skulks around the outside of the ring, is pretty nefarious in his actions, exploits Purdie and Ryder’s attempts to win and, eventually, manages to score the submission victory by making Purdie tap out to an armbar.
Jainus Centurion is at ring side as some form of observer, though he doesn’t do much, until he protects the fallen Purdie and calls Carbon back to the ring. It’s Purdie and Carbon that end up exchanging blows outside the ring. To add to the confusion, a guy in turquoise joggers, white vest and a white face mask destroys Centurion and Purdie before being joined by another guy, similarly garbed. The crowd definitely don’t know how to respond to this as both men are escorted from the ring by… a mad woman.
When he gets going, Carbon is interesting to watch. Though not as imposing as some of the other members of the Tidal roster, he’s still got presence. Let’s hope that, sometime in Tidal’s future, he gets to tackle the guys from this match one-on-one.
The Bucky Boys vs Noam Dar & El Ligero
El Ligero stood in as a replacement for Grado, so we don’t get to see Gradar in action (which is what I hope they call themselves). The match starts with plenty of tomfoolery from both the Bucky’s and what would eventually become El Ligero & Sin Dara, albeit briefly!
Whilst Dar may not be as quick on his feet as El Ligero, he’s certainly no slouch. With the match being less about technical brilliance and more about humour and silliness, it would have been easy for both men to put on a slower paced match to bring out the humour, but both teams are on form.
The Bucky Boys are a entertaining to watch and listen to, through their thick Scottish accents. The same can be said of Noam Dar who has carved himself as a niche as a really funny guy who happens to be a great wrestler. Teamed with the all-but-silent El Ligero, you might expect The Mexican Sensation to play the foil to Dar’s comedy, but Ligero is a born entertainer – whether he’s wrestling or keeping up with Dar’s comic antics.
With help from Jumping John Myers, the referee, Dar manages to bodyslam everyone in the ring, going for a pin on his own partner. Everyone gets a boot to the face from Dar, who then sets up a rather suspect chairshot, before Dar and Ligero remember that they’re tag partners and pin on Stevie Boy.
Kay Lee Ray vs Nixon vs Ruby Sewell
In a three way match, these women certainly aren’t ladies! With a heavy hitting Kay Lee Ray and a deceptively powerful Nixon Newell, it’s Ruby Summers that a lot of the beating in this match before, seemingly out of nowhere, Kay Lee Ray scores the win by pinning Ruby Summers.
All three women show just how far women’s wrestling how far removed British women’s wrestling is from its WWE counterpart. There’s a few moments where they go from being quite brutal to a bit too gentle and these definitely stand out – the rest of the time, though, they don’t let up. Kay Lee Ray and Nixon Newell, in particular, spend a lot of the match slapping each other around and slamming each other with viciousness. Ruby Summers, who has been on something of a losing streak, may not have been victorious, but she’s certainly more than capable in the ring – Ruby Summers vs Kay Lee Ray would be something to see!
Jainus Centurion vs Sebastian Radclaw
Before he steps into the ring, Radclaw’s natural charisma has the crowd enthralled. As he attempts to climb into the ring, using the ropes as if it were a ladder, the crowd are definitely behind Radclaw, Scatmonkey and Uncle Eggbert.
As Aaron Beatup comments, it’s something when the 2,000 year old centurion is the sane one in a match! A staring contests turns into a gremlin dance lesson, but eventually they get down to some wrestling with a flurry of moves that sees Radclaw deliver a beautiful springboard moonsault before getting the pin with a frogsplash… and a breathless, emotional speech from Radclaw, declaring it possibly “the worse wrestling match anyone has ever seen”.
Obviously, not the most serious of matches, the humour of Radclaw was spot on.
Liam Lazarus vs Mark Andrews
Lazarus recognises Mark Andrews from TV and asks Andrews to sign his flask of Yorkshire Tea… then the match begins, and it really is as good as you’d expect from one of the best high flyers on the scene when he takes on one of the most gifted breakout stars in Tidal and the North of England. Andrews may be better known on the British wrestling scene, but Lazarus is definitely stepping out of the shadows, demonstrating confidence, charisma and talent.
With Lazarus as the bigger man in the ring, he’s effectively a roadblock for the highflying Andrews as the match stays rather mat-based. Despite a missed Vengabuster that gives Andrews an opportunity to capitalise, Andrews never really manages to fly and it’s Lazarus who manages to roll up Andrews for the pin.
Mark Andrews is in an awkward position for those that know his work – there’s almost an expectation that his matches will be flippy filled showcases of aerobatics, so seeing him work a mostly technical match is a bit of a surprise. In this match, he’s on an even footing with Liam Lazarus – both very talented and great to watch. Andrews may be off to pastures new, but Lazarus is in a perfect position to step up!
Stixx vs Rampage Brown
More than 150 days as TCW Champion, Rampage Brown goes up against the Heavyweight House of Pain, Stixx, in a match that is heavy hitting and ring shaking!
The Championship match is what you’d expect from two of Britain’s best powerhouses as they batter each other. Both men are adept at defying convention – two heavyweights that can move, when needed, like cruiserweights.
After seeing the action leave the ring and take a violent tour of the Darlington Dolphin Centre’s main room, the action returns to the ring and both men try to put an end to this match – Rampage Brown manages to kick out of a spear that folds him in half, and both men trade near falls until, eventually, Rampage retains the belt with a spike piledriver on Stixx
Two opponents who clearly know each other and know how to dominate in the ring – it’s a classic of wrestling: the much lauded ‘unstoppable force meets immovable object’, and neither man disappoints. This is the type of match that certainly deserves a rematch and would look fantastic at Leeds Union!
The video quality is solid throughout and, with a roving camera complimenting a fixed hard camera, the action is relatively well captured. Filming wrestling is a difficult thing – opportunities will be missed as the wrestlers move around the ring and the cameramen try to keep up. It’s not ballet!
The audio is variable – it appears to be caught from the cameras and, as such, if the wrestlers are facing away from the camera whilst interacting with the crowd, it can be difficult to hear what’s going on. Mixed with the commentary, there’s moments where you can’t quite hear what is being said by the wrestler.
On commentary, Aaron Beatup and Seb Strife (who joins in later) do a great job of enhancing the story, promoting their product and highlighting the action. A bit more play-by-play would have been good, but this is still Year One of Tidal and there’s no doubt that they’re a company that is finding its feet and growing with every show and media release.
With the complete Dark Waters 2014 event as an extra on this DVD, it’d be foolish to not cover that as a separate review of its own, which you can find elsewhere on the site.