On the 09/02/2014, TIDAL Wrestling held their 2nd show at the absolutely awesome venue of The Cockpit for their 2nd show in the Leeds area following the Tidal Wave Tour in November of 2013.
First off, I must admit I was in two minds about attending this show. Primarily as I didn’t decide to let my friends know it was happening until about half past 11 on the Saturday evening. Them being non-independent wrestling fans, they know nothing of the Indy scene (apart from the one friend I took to the previous TIDAL show, and now is a massive Colt Cabana fan. He’s also massively into Grado, despite me never mentioning him ever).
So I spent most of Sunday chasing numerous friends via just about every method of communication available in the 21st Century (including the lesser used “going to someone’s house and knocking on their front door”). Suffice to say, I either got no answer, an apologetic excuse as they have made previous plans or just a flat out no. I don’t think I like that friend any more. Anyways, with an hour to go and with all preparation for the next day of work, I decided I’d pop along, alone.
I didn’t regret this decision for a second as I joined the queue. It seemed there was a few people at this show alone (which I think is another discussion for another time), and I almost immediately found myself chatting to others around about the night of action and also wrestling in general. (I’ve also been advised to watch something called HOODSLAM, which seems interesting, and may end up being a future review).
The ring is stood in the middle of the club, which looks pretty awesome with it’s curved roof with fans standing around. It makes for a pretty good atmosphere. They even put soap in Jagermeister bottles in the toilets. Attendance was slightly down but that’s kind of to be expected seeing as this didn’t have any of the US talent that was on the previous show. Still a respectable number, and one I can only see growing.
Anyways, enough gibberish, on to the night of action. First up came El Ligero vs. Noam Dar. If this is the opening match of a show, you know you are in for an amazing night. Ligero & Dar have faced in 3 matches for the London based PROGRESS Wrestling, the 2nd of which being at PROGRESS Chapter 7: Every Saint has a Past, Every Sinner has a Future. That match was absolutely amazing and is as good as any match as you’ll see in the U.S., Japan or anywhere.
While this match wasn’t as good, it was a still a ridiculously good match. My fuzzy memory from the show can’t recall a great deal, but what I do remember is Noam Dar taking a fucking day and half to get to the ring. It’s a good thing he has quality theme music. I also remember reading a tweet from Dar about him building his match around the Khali Chop to the head. Fair play to the lad, he did just that and it worked pretty well. He does hit a cracking Chop to the Skull. He’d have beaten Rey Mysterio in the middle of his World Title reign on an episode of SmackDown! with that move. Anyways, the action picked up in a big way and built to a solid conclusion with a C4L for a Ligero victory.
Following this, Ligero wanted to shake Dar’s hand but Dar would only accept on 1 condition – all the fans sat down and gave him a “Seated Ovation”. Surprising, all 70-80 fans did so and Dar shook Ligero’s hand and left.
Ligero’s flat out awesome and Dar has quite the banter with the crowd now. One of the strongest things about TIDAL is how the fans comments may impact the matches. This worked well in this one and provided an exciting opener.
The next one came out of nowhere to be a pretty good match – an “Ladies Excuse Me!” Four-Way Match, presented by British Bombshells. The idea of the match being quite clever, as in a traditional Four-Way, it never makes sense to tag out to an opponent, as you can’t win that way. This match was promoted as Blind Tags only. The match featured Violet O’Hara (“Are you 12?”) and Lana Austin, both of which wrestled on the last TIDAL show, this time being joined by Pollyanna and Kay Lee Ray.
Despite the rules, this quickly went out of the window as the ladies were tagging out to each other left, right and centre. Few good spots and dives early on with a pretty good finishing sequence full of high spots and multi-woman submissions. It genuinely built up really well and was a massive improvement on the previous show, even to the point where the fans chanted “THIS IS AWESOME” at it. Now, I’m not sure i’d have said that, but perhaps maybe it was “AWESOME” in comparison to what many fans see at Women’s Wrestling. Still, it was a good match that finished off with Kay Lee Ray getting the win with a Swanton Bomb. Following the match, Violet O’Hara attacked Kay Lee Ray and left her laying. I’m sure this is heading somewhere.
The final match of the first half saw The Proven of Sam Wilder & Caz Crash face off against “Jeremy Kyle’s Worst Nightmare” in Stevie Boy & Davey Boy – The Bucky Boys. Now The Buckys are definitely something special – and both guys are going to be great in their own individual right eventually. At the current moment, Davey Boy has the best look and has a really awesome intense nature about him that commands you look at him. Even when the match was at it’s rowdiest, Davey Boy could still be heard shouting abuse (FUCK YOU BATMAN). The guy is an absolute nutter. Speaking of nutters, Stevie Boy dove off the banister of a stairwell. And that was after smacking his head off the floor with a dive. Madness. Stevie Boy is class too, one of the smoothest flyers in the UK today. Most underrated too, doesn’t get the recognition that a Mark Andrews would get, which I’m not sure is completely fair, but he’ll get it in time.
In all this Bucky talk, I’m forgetting The Proven. Tag Team coming out of NGW. They definitely have a good look about them, as they definitely look the part, that’s for sure. They might not have the flashy moves, but they were good at gaining heat for the most part. There was also a weird bit where a guy in a NGW Hoodie chanted “You’re shite!” at them. I’m not sure if he was doing it to give them heat, or if he genuinely thought they were shite. I love any fan who’s into it though.
The main thing to come out of this match is that I want to see both teams again. I think The Proven are due to breakout with a killer angle. They look like a pair of great character guys given the opportunity. Oh, and The Buckys won with a 3D.
Following a short intermission, it was time for our 2nd Tag Match of the night as the team of Flips & Forearms – “White Lightning” Mark Andrews & “Dynamite” Pete Dunne against the makeshift team of Liam Lazarus & Matt Myers. My knowledge on this one was kind of limited – I’ve seen a lot of Mark Andrews in PROGRESS Wrestling and seen bits of Pete Dunne, yet all I could remember was him going for the Kota Ibushi pin a dozen times a match. You know the pin, the one where he sits on your chest and hooks the legs, usually following the Phoenix Splash.
Again, this was another amazing match that built up really, really well over the course of the bout. Andrews & Dunne played the heels working over one half of the other team, until the inevitable “Hot Tag” leading to the match descending into absolute chaos. Lots of high spots in this one, including ridiculous dives onto the 2 most awkward sides of the ring, which just added to the madness. I love it when it breaks down and someone loses a pint, for some reason. Anyways, the match ended following a beautiful Shooting Star Press from Andrews. It’s clear to see what PROGRESS and just about all the other Indys see in him. Pete Dunne’s not far behind and I’m demanding he come to PROGRESS for the Natural Progression. He’s my pick. Again, both of these teams would add to a pretty amazing Tag Division. Project Ego vs. Swords of Essex in April should only strengthen that.
And for anyone keeping count, Dunne only did the Ibushi pin once.
Match Number 5 was a match that nearly every single person in the crowd was afraid of (except me because I forgot it was advertised) as “The Bastard” – “Big Bad” Dave Mastiff faced off against Rampage Brown. WHAT. A. FUCKING. WAR. Seriously. For a show featuring only 100 fans at absolute best, they destroyed each other. Or made it look like they were. Either way, it’s the most fun I’ve ever had during a wrestling match.
Both guys started by beating the shit out of each other in the ring, which then resulted in them beating the shit out of each other out of the ring, and then into the next room. Sometime between them going around that side, and me eventually following them – Rampage inherited an El Ligero t-shirt. Mastiff also gave him a Defend Indy Wrestling shirt as a gift, but he didn’t seem to appreciate itl. Anyways, this ended when Mastiff launched Rampage through a table. It didn’t break, it just made a nasty cracking sound. They continued to brawl and Rampage chopped a support beam. Mastiff even did a deadlift Michael Elgin-inspired suplex on the floor – it was crazy. Back in the ring, I’m fairly sure that Rampage did an El Ligero kip-up and a Missile Dropkick from the top. Still not certain on that one. It can’t be true can it?
The ending was one of my favourites for a long time, Mastiff hit a German Suplex and Rampage immediately stood up, and drilled Mastiff with a nasty looking Piledriver. This only got a 1 count. The pair then looked at each other, charged, and Rampage was able to connect with the Lariat, landing on top to get the 3. Neither man got up in a hurry, it was an absolute war. I need to see more of that.
Finally, we saw the amazing Leeds debut of the man they call GRADO as he face the man from… hull – Nathan Cruz. These guys had a VERY, VERY, difficult task. They had to go on after the amazing acrobatics of all 4 participants in the tag match and then 2 of the best heavyweights in the country beating the piss out of each other. Still, they provided a very entertaining match and matched-up well. Grado is definitely the most entertaining man in wrestling, and knows his limitations and is able to work to them superbly. Nathan Cruz also looks the part, but he already knows that so I’ll leave it. Again, it was a very good and entertaining match.
I wish I could recall more of it, but I’m afraid that following the Rampage/Mastiff match and tag match, my mind was blown. I did like the great amount of comedy used within this match and I quite liked how Grado was able to get the decisive 3 count following an F5.
Overall, I loved my TIDAL Wrestling experience, and I’m definitely back for their massive Championship Iron Man Match. The 4 options are all very good and any potential match will work out for the absolute best.
If I have 1 criticism of the card, it would be the pacing. I’d have probably have put Grado & Cruz as the main event of the 1st half with a 2nd half of the Flippy Tag, Excuse Me! Four-Way and then Rampage vs. Mastiff to finish. Nothing was ever going to top that absolute brawl. I felt Grado & Cruz was put in a tough spot if they couldn’t match up to the speed or brutality of the previous 2 matches, and they may have burnt the crowd out. Still, everyone was into the Grado match, as of course, he’s Grado, he’s absolutely awesome.
Remember to follow TIDAL Wrestling (@TIDALWRESTLING), and keep up on all of their upcoming dates. They have a pretty tidy show in Darlington coming up on March 8th headlined by Rich Swann & Johnny Gargano, which should be pretty nifty if you’re in the area!
This review was re-published with the permission of @LOUDWrestling – Give them a follow on twitter