1. Dave Carbon vs Perfect Purdie
Commentary informs us that Carbon hasn’t been making too many friends in Tidal lately, after viciously injuring several members of the roster and putting them on the shelf. Michael ‘Perfect’ Purdie has taken exception and now has a chance to get his hands on Carbon. Purdie starts out the stronger of the two, slamming Carbon from pillar to post until Dave manages to fight back on the floor and work over Purdie’s arm. He chokes Purdie on the ropes and then hits a big kneelift in the corner, followed by a nice snap suplex. Purdie tries to fight back, but Carbon’s firmly in control, stomping his arm to the mat before hitting an armbreaker to earn a nearfall. Carbon takes too long to follow up and Purdie floors him with a crossbody for one and a neckbreaker for two. Purdie signals for the finish, but Carbon rolls him up with a handfull of tights for the three count. Purdie protests to the ref, but Carbon hits a low blow and grabs a chair from the crowd, preparing to break Purdie’s arm, but AJ Anderson (the first man Carbon injured) hits the ring to make the save with a superman punch. Pretty average opener, Carbon was solid enough but definitely seemed a few steps ahead of Purdie in terms of ability and experience. The crowd were also firmly behind Carbon, the heel in the match.
2. Kay Lee Ray vs Robbie Ryder
Ryder takes a while to get started, wary of Kay Lee’s ability on the mat. He takes a cheap shot, but gets caught in a roll-up for a one count. Ryder bails out of the ring to find some composure, seeming to take issue with Ray perhaps taking him less than seriously. He accepts her handshake, but then slaps her about the face and Kay Lee responds with a huge forearm smash. She tries for a a dive, but Ryder runs away. Big missile dropkick from Kay Lee Ray earns a two count. She tries to hoist Ryder up for a Gory Special, but he frees himself and slams Kay Lee into the turnbuckle. Bodyslam from Ryder, followed by a leg drop for two. Kay Lee fights back with some big punches, but gets cut off when Ryder catches her with a back elbow. He applies a chinlock, but Kay Lee fights to her feet and hits the ropes. She avoids the back elbow this time and instead they both clothesline each other! Both wrestlers work their way back to their feet, Kay Lee blocking a series of punches from Ryder before scoring with a reverse springboard kick and then just battering Ryder with forearms in the corner. She lifts Ryder up and transitions smartly into an Ace Crusher for a near-fall. Kay Lee picks Ryder up again, but he surprises her with a rolling solebutt before hitting the ropes and following up with a nice flipping neckbreaker for a near-fall of his own. Spinning heel kick from Ryder gets another two. “This is it!” he says, indicating that he’s about to lose, and hits the ropes, only for Kay Lee Ray to catch him with a Gory Bomb for the 3-count. This was fine for the time allotted, both wrestlers did well and I was impressed with Kay Lee Ray’s technique.
3. Dan James vs Sean Only
This is the third meeting between these two in Tidal, each having won one a piece. Intense start with both guys slugging it out from the bell. Side-slam for an early one count for Sean Only, but James grabs hold of Only’s arm and begins to work it over. He isn’t in control for long, however, Only turning things in his favour with some of his precision strikes and a big corner dropkick for a two count. A nice leaping European uppercut gets another near-fall, but when he charges into the corner James grabs him and slams his shoulder into the ring post. James goes to work, using the ropes to his advantage as he tears at Only’s arm. Sean works his way to his feet and forces James into the corner, climbing up top to deliver some right hands, only for James to slip out from underneath and trip Only off the ropes, his face colliding with the top-turnbuckle! Some more solid limbwork from James, who’s really going to town on Only’s left arm. Real nice backbreaker, as James hammerlocks Only’s left arm before dropping him over the knee for a near-fall.
They trade some forearms, James getting the better of his opponent until Only catches him with a spinning heel kick and follows up with some strikes and a high knee for two. He goes for a curbstomp, but James avoids it and hits a backcracker with the arm hammerlocked for another near-fall. Only’s arm appears to be in a ton of pain as James follows up with a big spinebuster, but he can’t put him away. James takes too long following up and Only catches him with a neckbreaker, before hitting the curbstomp for a close near-fall. A rattled James manages to free himself from a headlock and tries to hit a backdrop driver, but Only floats over and locks in a guillotine and chokes James out for the win! This was good, the crowd weren’t terribly into it to begin with, but soon livened up as the wrestlers ramped up the action. Perhaps one near-fall too many in the finishing stretch, but I enjoyed it regardless and was impressed with both guys. James had some really solid offence, while Only sold well and got the crowd behind him, although I would have liked to see him lay it in more with his strikes which, while showing good form, lacked impact.
4. Jainus Centurion vs Liam Lazarus
Young vs Old here as up-and-comer Liam Lazarus takes on the two thousand year old Roman warrior, Jainus Centurion. Starts off fun & playful, with Lazarus drawing the Centurion into a Venga Boys-themed dance off that he quickly loses. They go for a test of strength, but Liam transitions very smoothly into a cravate and begins wrenching on the neck. Big shoulder tackle from Lazarus, but Jainus kips up and hits a series of nice lucha armdrags. Vertical suplex from Centurion, who then applies a chinlock, but he can’t keep Lazarus grounded and gets tripped to the mat, Liam following up with a slingshot plancha for two. Lazarus drills Jainus with some European uppercuts in the corner for another near-fall, before tying the Centurion up in a headscissors with the arms trapped. Jainus rolls it into a pin for two and then they exchange roll-ups, none of which are very successful. Centurion hits the ropes and catches Liam with a headscissors. He runs to the corner and tries to float over Lazarus who’s following him, but gets caught with a German suplex for a near-fall.
Lazarus grabs a waistlock, but the Centurion backs him into a corner and snapmares him over, following up with a low dropkick to the mush for a two count of his own. Nice wheelbarrow facebuster from Jainus, but he still can’t put Lazarus away. Schoolboy roll-up from Liam for two, followed by a sunset flip for another. He signals for his finish, but the Centurion floats over and kicks Lazarus right in the face. They trade forearms and Jainus hits the ropes, only to get caught with a huge high kick from Lazarus! Liam picks up the Centurion and hits a sick vertical lift facebuster for the 3-count. This was fun enough and, although they got a bit lost in the middle, the finishing stretch was good. Impressed with the technical ability of Lazarus and I like his finisher, plus he engages well with the crowd. Definitely one to watch. Centurion’s a fun gimmick but could do with some work, I liked his lucha armdrags though, very smooth.
5. Joe & Mark Coffey vs The Proven (Caz Cash & Sam Wilder)
I think the best word to describe the Coffey brothers is ‘beefy’. They look ridiculously solid, a big test for The Proven here who can’t make up their minds who gets to start out with Joe Coffey. Sam Wilder eventually bites the bullet and Coffey just muscles him into the corner. Test of strength and Joe forces Wilder to the mat, before just hoisting him up while holding the knucklelock. The big man Mark Coffey tags in, but Wilder scrambles to his corner to bring in Caz Cash. Mark completely overpowers him and works on the arm. He hits the ropes, but Wilder throws a cheap shot his way and Mark just floors him and Caz with forearms. All four men trading forearms in the ring now. The Proven hit the ropes but eat a big pair of dropkicks, before some tandem splashes in the corner from the Coffey brothers. More brutal double-team offence, including a pair of high knees for a near-fall on Caz. Joe tries to turn Caz over into a Boston crab, but he kicks Joe into the ropes and Wilder yanks him down to the mat by his hair. Caz throws a few right hands before hitting the ropes, only to get floored by a big shoulder tackle from Joe. In tags Mark. Big elbow strikes followed by a huge lariat for a near-fall! He takes too long following up, however, and Caz capitalises with some strikes to the mid-section and an eye gouge.
Wilder tags in and stomps Mark in the corner, Caz then choking Mark on the ropes when the ref’s back is turned. Quick tags from The Proven, making the most of their opportunity as they isolate Mark. It isn’t long before he’s free, however, absolutely obliterating Caz with a huge elbow to the jaw! He crawls for the tag, but Wilder interrupts him and grabs a side-headlock, only to get dumped on his neck with a backdrop driver! Joe tags in, big uppercuts followed by a series of splashes in the corner. Wilder ducks out of a bulldog, but gets caught with a pop-up European uppercut for a two-count. He picks Wilder up and hits a giant swing before locking in a deep Boston Crab, but Caz makes the save with an enziguri. Superkick from Wilder, followed by an Ace Crusher from Caz, but before the ref can count the pin Mark gets back in and just plucks Caz off the mat with a deadlift fisherman-style backdrop suplex! That looked brutal. Caz gets back in and tries for a full nelson, but Mark fights out of it only to get caught with another Ace Crusher. Joe floors Caz with a rolling elbow before flattening Wilder with a lariat. He kicks out at two and Joe picks him up for a deadlift German, but Wilder grabs hold of the ref and low blows Joe followed by a roll-up with his feet on the ropes for the three count. A bit of a down ending to an otherwise enjoyable tag match, but the crowd were well into this from start to finish. The Coffey Brothers make for an awesome bruiser tag team, I was very impressed with them. The Proven were solid as well, using some good tag team wrestling tactics to control the mid-portion of the match and, ultimately, pick up the win against far larger opponents.
6. TCW Title: Rampage Brown (c) vs BT Gunn vs Wolfgang
This match was turned into a 3-way after El Ligero couldn’t make it to face BT Gunn (as he had donated his services to the TravAid benefit show), so the champion Rampage Brown is left with the unenviable task of defending his belt against two men who are well known to fans of ICW. Wolfgang has had issues with BT Gunn in the past, so he partners with Rampage to get things started, but Gunn avoids the charge and Wolfgang goes shoulder-first into the ringpost. BT floors Rampage with a dropkick, another that sends him to the ring apron and then a step-up dropkick to send him to the floor. He turns around and eats a massive clothesline from Wolfgang, who then goes to work on Gunn with some European uppercuts. Gunn hits the ropes and tries for a headscissors, but Wolfgang stalls it and powers BT Gunn up into a huge sit-out facebuster! He goes for the cover, but only gets two and then before he can follow up Rampage drags him out to the floor before taking over. Vicious stomps in the corner from Brown. All his offence looks so solid, it’s easy to see why he’s one of the best in Britain today. Wolfgang’s back in the ring and seems to want to ally himself with Rampage, for the time being. They take it in turns stomping Gunn, until Wolfgang whips him into a nasty lariat from Rampage. He goes for the cover, but Wolfgang breaks it up. Rampage gets in his face, only for Gunn to roll him up for a two-count.
The impromptu team of Rampage & Wolfgang turn their attention back to BT, working him over with stomps, but are perhaps a bit too lackadaisical and BT Gunn surprises them some nice kicks, before running Wolfgang into Rampage’s mid-section and then hitting a neckbreaker on Rampage that causes him to DDT Wolfgang! Gunn tries to cover both men in turn, but can only get a two-count for each. He charges with a nice European uppercut and catches Wolfgang with an enziguri before heading up top. Gunn goes for a crossbody, but Wolfgang catches him out of mid-air, only for Rampage to hit a freaking beastly German suplex for his own pair of near-falls. Rampage & Wolfgang get into it for the first time in the match up, trading some big strikes. Rampage tries to go for the piledriver, but Wolfgang back-bodydrops him and heads up top, flooring Gunn with a double-axehandle only for Rampage to take him out of his boots with a huge running kick! That only earns the champion a near-fall, however. He switches attenton to Gunn, who nicely reverses a piledriver attempt and scores with a step-up tornado DDT! He can’t capitalise, however, as Wolfgang absolutely spikes him with a vicious spear for two. Wolfgang goes up top again, but BT cuts him off with a high kick to the head. He climbs up himself and tries for a superplex, but Wolfgang holds on and drops him with a facebuster. Wolfgang gets to his feet on the top-rope and hits a swanton bomb on Gunn! Wolfgang celebrates at the crowd’s rapturous approval, but Rampage blindsides him and hits a piledriver for the win, retaining the TCW title.
This was a good main event, perhaps could have done with a few more minutes, but all three guys impressed and the match didn’t suffer the usual problems that can often plague three-way matches. First time seeing Wolfgang & BT Gunn and I came away a fan. Wolfgang’s very solid when laying in his offence, which I always like to see, while Gunn’s strikes were on point more than anyone else on the card. Rampage has an amazing presence, he’s just on another level in terms of physicality and I love seeing him batter fools about the ring, one of my favourite wrestlers in the UK over the past year or two. Overall ‘Deep Rising’ was an easy watch, albeit not a very long one. This was a solid, if unspectacular show, the main event is definitely worth checking out and really I enjoyed the tag match for the most part, while the undercard was decent, the highlight being Dan James & Sean Only’s well worked match. Production wise, the camera work was good as was the picture quality and I found the commentary to be unobtrusive, while getting across the various storylines well. The crowd weren’t very numerous, but they were into the action throughout and made a fair amount of noise. This was my first Tidal show and I definitely came away wanting to see more, looking forward to watching Tidal’s 1st Anniversary Show, which I’ll be reviewing here on The Indy Corner shortly.