Tidal Championship Wrestling presented High Tide, from the Leeds University Stylus Nightclub and, as has become tradition for TCW in Leeds, it was a memorable night of chaos.
Joseph Conners vs Kenny Williams
With Conners being quite clear what he thinks of Williams’ antics, Conners was at his finest with his slow dismantling of the fleet-footed Scottish sensation, Kenny Williams, leading to a nasty DDT for the three count victory.
In any match, it takes a certain type of presence to shine against the all-encompassing darkness that is The Righteous Joseph Conners. Kenny Williams manages to shine, but this is a match that belongs to Conners on many levels.
Ruby Summers vs Bete Noire
With Lana Austin as special guest referee – in a flattering referee outfit – things could be looking up for Ruby Summers, despite her opponent being Bete Noire, a renowned powerhouse in British wrestling.
Like a pitbull with her favourite toy, Noire throws Ruby around the ring, taking the occasional moment to maul her. Despite fighting back, a death valley driver sees Noire score the victory, although Summers’ foot was on the ropes.
The tensions between Austin and Summers finally erupt and Lana delivers a kick to the stomach into a DDT.
Despite a spotty win-loss record at Tidal, Ruby Summers is far-and-away one of the most consistent women wrestlers in TCW. The fans are certainly behind her and with good reason. There can be no doubt, however, that Bete Noire made an impact in this match and will hopefully return to face Summers again in the future.
Sean Only vs Joe Hendry
With both men being skilled in martial arts, this is a match that comes down to size, dexterity and ability, as opposed to a contrast of styles.
Only is at his best when he has an opponent that can push him in terms of size and speed, and Hendry certainly manages to do that. As both men clash in explosive style, it ends with Only victorious and Hendry looking uncharacteristically dejected.
Hendry shows, once more, the elements that make a good wrestler – ability, charisma and confidence, and all of it seeming to come naturally. Only may not have the bluster of Hendry, but he certainly doesn’t need it as he cuts a fine figure in the ring, with considerable focus, intensity and confidence of his own.
Peace vs Pastor William Eaver
A product of the Projo, Pastor William Eaver is making waves in British wrestling and the reasons for that are on show in his debut match against Peace.
Though Peace was able to fight back, and do it in style, Eaver hit a crucifix powerbomb to score the win.
Considering Eaver says very little as he moves with serenity, he certainly has the support of the Tidal’s fans. Peace, by contrast, can’t do anything right in the eyes of the Tidal fans, despite putting in a valiant effort. Hopefully, they will, indeed, give Peace a chance!
Addy Starr vs JD Boom – Barefoot Lego Deathmatch
Before the match, JD Boom comes out, declaring himself the winner thanks to wearing ‘bear feet’ and referee Dan Eagle donning protecting goggles, the tone is well and truly set for Starr’s showcase match – the Lego deathmatch.
JD Boom, however, starts off by slapping Starr, leading to Starr viciously assaulting Boom with a flurry of kicks. A failed low blow drives Boom to bring out the Lego, including Duplo, a Lego penis (I kid you not), and all manner of strangeness ensues until Addy Starr is finally able to stand victorious with a Lego-loaded TKO punch.
Whilst Boom has been a bit of a comic foil in Tidal, this match sees a much rougher and darker, though no less comedic, JD Boom as he tries to beat Starr at her own game, and it’s a revelation! Ruthlessly reckless wrestling combines with innovative use of Lego in a match that certainly drove the crowd to its most vocal in a non-main event confrontation.
Heavyweight Tag War Round 2: Dave Mastiff & T-Bone vs Wolfgang & Damo O’Connor
Their previous match caused Tidal’s ring to collapse, so switching this one to a falls count anywhere affair seems like a good idea.
With split screen used to keep track of all four men, and Craig Anderson assist Dan Eagles on referee duty, we experience a hard hitting affair, a lot of which was certainly missed by the fans in attendance as they work their way through Leeds University Union before returning to the Stylus nightclub, colliding like a quartet of wrecking balls until Mastiff and T-Bone stood victorious.
There’s something rather surreal about seeing Dave Mastiff holding a giant glitterball aloft, but it’s just one moment of what is an all out wrestling war in which four of the biggest men, who are certainly more than just brawlers, demonstrate why they’re at the top of their games.
Dan James vs El Ligero
With strong words about Ruby Summers, Dan James foolishly gets on completely the wrong side of El Ligero.
James spends much of the match as the dominant man in the ring, working El Ligero’s arm in a hope to prevent him from getting in a lot of his offense, but he’s underestimated, arguably, the best wrestler in the UK. An attempt to hit him with the ringbell hammer sees Ruby Summers grab the implement from Dan James, allowing The Mexican Sensation to hit the C4L for the win, and Ruby Summers to get a small taste of the justice she deserves.
Dan James has found his place in Tidal, and it’s as a misogynistic, offensive loudmouth who deserves to be put in his place. His submission style works well as it gives him plenty of time to humiliate his opponent. Unfortunately, for him, that opponent happened to be one of the best in the country and El Ligero stops at nothing to dazzle the Tidal fans, even when favouring his arm.
The Proven vs The London Riots
A tag team match that starts off with a light hearted exchange and quickly becomes a brawl as two teams who are defined by predatory instincts collide.
Rightfully described, on commentary, as Tidal Wrestling’s best tag team, The Proven definitely had the support of the fans but The London Riots would get the upper hand.
A strong showcase for both teams, with The London Riots debuting in Tidal with a taster of what has made them a daunting prospect on any card. Together, they are a destructive machine that lays waste to any opponent.
The Proven have shown, throughout their tenure at TCW, a rather sarcastic sense of humour behind their considerable technical skills. High praise that TCW fans appreciate their work and that Tidal continues to showcase them against such competition. Perhaps Tidal needs a tag team title as gold would look good on these guys!
Liam Lazarus vs Rampage Brown – Last Man Standing
The much anticipated rematch between Rampage Brown and Liam Lazarus starts with a powerbomb from Rampage Brown and sees Lazarus working incredibly hard to outclass Brown and retain the belt, in controversial circumstances.
On paper, there’s an instant disadvantage for Lazarus in a Last Man Standing match, given Rampage’s renowned strength, endurance and vicious nature. He has speed on his side, but it doesn’t amount to much when he’s being thrown through the air, down the lift shaft and finding all of his offense limited by Rampage Brown’s impenetrable defenses.
Battered and bruised, Lazarus calls upon his inner strength to overcome the odds, but a controversial ending sees his best friend, Sean Only, secure the win for Lazarus and then betraying him with a kerb stomp on the title that Liam had fought hard to retain!
Liam Lazarus has, show after show, been the beating heart of TCW – he’s faced opponents that many young wrestlers would dream of facing, defended the title with tenacity and the fans love him because that he’s talented, charming and a fighting champion who doesn’t do anything halfheartedly, and this match is yet another testament to his quality.
By comparison, Tidal fans also adore Rampage Brown. He may have been taking the war to their champion, but the former champ has found a way into their affections – he may strike fear into anyone foolish enough to heckle him, but he does it with a slightly malicious smile, usually as he’s demolishing an opponent with efficient brutality.
The ending, though, with Sean Only interfering, unbeknownst to Liam Lazarus, certainly sets up an interesting future. How will Rampage react? What’s happened with Sean Only? What does all this mean for Liam Lazarus?
Jade Till’s photography gets showcased as a gallery, capturing the events wonderfully.
There’s also a preview trailer for High Tide 2015 which, whilst well produced, is a bit of an oddity. As a taster of what TCW does, it’s a great introduction.
Being able to listen to the show with or without commentary certainly does make a difference as, without commentary, you can hear much more of the fan chanting, wrestler exchanges and general feeling of the live show.
The commentary, once again, is ably handled by Craig Anderson and Aaron Beatup and later Sebb Strife and JD Boom. It is, however, recorded live and, as such, does occasionally get drowned out by the volume of the fans.
Another strong outing from Tidal Championship Wrestling, with interesting storylines mixed with seeming random fare. It’s saying something when a Lego Death Match comes close to eclipsing the drama of the main event, but Liam Lazarus and Rampage Brown manage to deliver a stand out clash, with Sean Only added to the mix for good effect.
Hopefully, TCW will continue to deliver on all levels as they’re building up quite a following, as can be seen in the audience of High Tide.