Before the very first match, we get behind the scenes footage of Lana Austin and JD Boom in the toilets at seemingly unisex Leeds Union’s Stylus Nightclub. Boom gives Lana a very special gift – her very own Team Loom varsity jacket, before confirming what Tidal fans have suspected – they’re a couple!
Against All Odds features MCs Craig Anderson and Aaron Beatup, who also provide commentary with Sebb Strife, introducing the show before we go into the new Tidal opening title sequence, a refreshing change from DVDs that just launch straight into the show.
JD Boom vs The Dappler Grappler Josh Alden
Making his feelings of a second moustachioed individual known, JD Boom enters a match that leaves him at a distinct disadvantage when facing a technical specialist like Alden.
With plenty of facial hair related abuse and Boom’s low threshold for pain playing a huge part in this match, Alden is able to systematically dismantle his opponent, until JD Boom unleashes his mean streak and gets the upper hand. Boom’s hubris, aided by his trademark tacherangs, could be the end of Boom but interference from Austin allows the Master of the Moustacheterpiece to put Alden away for the three count!
His popularity in TCW has led to JD Boom being featured elsewhere, with many wrestling fans in the north-east of England appreciating his own brand of brutal buffoonery. Alden continues to shine as a submission specialist and will surely be back in Tidal sometime in the near future!
Martin Kirby vs The Priority Chris Ridgeway
The second debut of the evening, Chris Ridgeway faces on the hugely popular, incredibly talented, Martin Kirby, in a showcase for both their abilities.
Both men put on a superb display of technical ability, with Ridgeway and Kirby switching from mat wrestling to high-flying then high-impact style with fluidity. With Ridgeway’s confidence in full flow, it’s looks like he may have the upper hand until confidence turns to arrogance, allowing Kirby to capitalise for the victory.
Ridgeway looks like an absolute machine in the ring and has the kind of talent that can only garner him the exposure he deserves. Kirby should be a regular fixture on every promotion in the UK – he’s a confident performer who can easily shift from comedic to serious, light-hearted to dangerous, without missing a beat.
Lana Austin (w/JD Boom) vs Violet O’Hara
Lana starts by commenting on Violet O’Hara’s short stature, before O’Hara explodes with fury and thus begins a confrontation that is far from graceful and ladylike. Eventually able to take control, thanks to the support of her own inflatable “Lana Banana” wielding cheerleader, it’s actually Boom that manages to cause the upset, inadvertently tripping his BAE and allowing O’Hara to pin her for the win.
Surely, Team Loom can’t be over before it has really begun? With Lana issuing a beatdown on O’Hara, this surely isn’t the end of their issues either.
Sean Only Surrenders the TCW Open Championship
Grudgingly interrupting the catfight in the ring, Sean Only, who has been instructed to drop the TCW Open Championship title or be fired, addresses the audience.
He talks about his injury and the effect he’s had upon him, the fact it’ll be a while before he returns and he just wants the opportunity to address the fans. Tearing into the fans verbally and Tidal management before delivering the most devastating line in TCW’s history – “this title without me holding it is that same as this title without me holding it… absolutely worthless.”
His anger radiates from the screen and there can no doubt that his return will be a true dark moment in TCW’s near future.
Joseph Conners vs Hardcore Holly
Holly looks bemused with a Hardcore Holly chant to 2 Unlimited’s No Limits and if you’re watching this expecting Holly to be there just for an easy payday, you’d be totally mistaken.
In incredible shape, Holly faces one of the most focused, talented and intense wrestlers in the UK today, Joseph Conners. The initial lighthearted interplay turns into tests of strength and ability, with both men pushing the limits of their opponent and definitely leaving an impression (physically and mentally) on each other until Holly hits the Alabama Slam for the win.
Holly still has speed, strength and ability on his side – he’s not slowed down or become mellow with age, as Conners will no doubt be able to attest. Conners has proven to be a man with talent far beyond his years and seeing him in this match is a testament to the regard with which TCW, and many others, hold his outstanding abilities.
HT Drake vs Xander Cooper
With much mockery from the crowd, Drake and Cooper continue the theme of hard hitting home grown talent with the much more experienced Cooper taking on relative newcomer HT Drake.
A rather tall fellow, Drake manages to pull off the type of moves that shorter highfliers keep in their repertoire, whilst Cooper counters with his own whirlwind of fists, forearms and kicks. With it becoming clear that Drake may just be the better man, Cooper gets an assist from the ropes for the win.
Drake is improving with each Tidal match and shows the spirit of character that, if he can capitalise on this, will make him a true asset to TCW, whilst Cooper should be seen more often in Tidal his flair for the dramatic matching his flair for wrestling.
The Proven vs New Nation
For a match that’s all about impact, there’s a rather funny streak running through this whole match as The Proven showboat, the crowd playing off the North vs… well, further North animosity and New Nation run roughshod over the competition.
It’s when The Proven hit their tag team combinations, flawlessly in unison and with pinpoint precision, that the match really comes to life allowing them to take control of the bigger men and finally score the pin for the win.
The Proven – Sam Wilder & Caz Crash – have shown themselves to be “the benchmark of tag team wrestling in Tidal”, as Craig Anderson comments. Whether being sardonically humorous or dangerous devious, they’re competitors without compare within Tidal. Jason Prime and Alexander Spiers are new to Tidal in Leeds, with their combination of size and strength almost dwarfing their opponents, they could very well be a force to be reckoned with in wrestling.
Nsereko vs Jack Gallagher
One of the best technical wrestlers in the UK today, Gallagher was scheduled to face Dan James who, according to commentary, “stuck his finger up at Tidal and refused to turn up.” Nsereko, the Ugandan Warrior, debuts in James’ place against the debuting Gallagher.
A much more sedate, but no less physical, match, Gallagher and Nsereko collide, swapping submission holds and stretches, until Gallagher is able to make the Ugandan Warrior submit.
With an animalistic style, Nsereko works at a methodical pace, working well with Gallagher’s traditional British wrestling mentality. Outclassed at every step, Nsereko never really manages to make an impression against the much more capable Gallagher, who blends old school style with carnival showmanship.
TCW Championship Match: Liam Lazarus (c) vs El Ligero vs Dara Diablo vs Matt Myers
A four corners, four chairs match starts with Myers taking control and suggesting a game of musical chairs – with Myers promptly losing and being eliminated. Dara becomes the voice of reason returning us to wrestling for the title, whilst Myers tries to sneak off the belt… for the “second time” in Lazarus’ reign.
And so the match begins with all four men clashing for the belt, throwing themselves through the air, around the ring and around the venue, over the balcony (in a heartstopping moment for Myers, followed by an equally tense crossbody off the balcony from El Ligero)
The in-ring action sees Lazarus, increasingly frustrated, pull out all the stops, with a jeans-wearing El Ligero becoming exceedingly reckless, Dara powerhousing through his opponents and Myers hitting with brutal force when the opportunity arises.
It takes all three men to stop Dara, splashing him, piling the chairs and then seeing Myers and Ligero hit cannonballs, before Lazarus hits a coast-to-coast leg drop, to chants of “this is awesome” until Ligero hits the C4L on Myers. It’s this moment that truly sees a change in the champion as Lazarus stops Ligero getting the pin, telling the Mexican Sensation that it’s “my show and my house” before he pounces!
It’s nowhere near over, as Lazarus stops another pin and Myers has words for the champion. We see, for the first time in TCW, a dangerous, arrogant and malicious Liam Lazarus, and it’s a revelation. If Sean Only, the man who lit the fire under Lazarus, has done anything, he’s revealed a more vicious side to the defending champion.
With three men down, Dara Diablo takes the opportunity to take on the first TCW Champion, El Ligero, and, in a surprise moment, Diablo becomes the fourth Tidal champion, ending Lazarus’ 280 day reign.
After the show, the camera catches up with Lazarus and the startling truth is revealed – Lazarus reveals that he’s lost so much over summer and how he through his dreams came true, but they were shattered by people he thought to be friends. Directionless and defeated, is it time for Lazarus to be reborn?
A match that encompasses so much that is great about British wrestling – the ever reliable, always impressive El Ligero could easily have been the focus here, the crutch on which the rest lean, but it’s really Myers and, most importantly, Lazarus’ who shine here as they go from good natured friends through to bitterness, with Ligero drawn into the mix and Diablo ascends from the conflict. The look on Liam’s face as realisation sets in, with Dara holding the belt proudly aloft, says so much and the fallout will probably be felt for shows to come.
An absolutely top class main event tops off yet another great show from Tidal, with so many strong moments that it’s hard to keep track. With Craig Anderson and Aaron Beatup on commentary, there’s rarely a dull moment in this show, though Dan James vs Jack Gallagher was a truly missed opportunity that will, it seems, happen in 2016. Sean Only captivates with his obsequious speech to the fans that quickly turns memorably vicious, whilst Liam Lazarus has genuinely never been better as his attitude turned to arrogance before revealing the truth behind the man in an emotional moment. The Proven vs New Nation should become a series of matches, hopefully TCW will get Tidal belts because these guys deserve the accolade. Elsewhere, who’d have thought Lana Austin would find the love of her life with JD Boom and that he would continue to irritate in the way only an unwanted teenage brother can, whilst the debuting Chris Ridgeway has to be one to watch for the future. And then there was the match many had anticipated since the show was announced – Hardcore Holly didn’t disappoint, nor did Joseph Conners – stellar work from both men at very different points in their careers.
You can purchase the DVD (or Blu Ray) from http://tcwrestling.bigcartel.com