Tidal Championship Wrestling present ‘Return Of The Kraken’ from their home in Leeds with a good, vocal crowd on hand. Always a company who have prided themselves on showcasing talent from their home county and building stars from their own area, this show is testament to the hard work they have put into investing in that talent. Bradford-based Liam Lazarus has catapulted himself through the ranks since the promotion began, from talented local prospect to the main event, while many of the other talents who the promotion has invested in have come into their own.
Flash Morgan Webster’s opening contest with Danny Jones seems slower than your average Webster match, but is a strong back-and-forth struggle in which both show obvious talent. Webster hits his usual impressive high flying moves and Jones shows good character work. The slow pace at the start builds progressively, but never seems to really break out. Saying that, Webster throws up in the middle of the ring at one point during the match, which must have been off-putting for both participants. Nevertheless, still a fair opening match to start the show.
The tag match which follows between Ward 13 and The Burial is another match which seems to fall down in the same way; the execution is fine, but the pace never really picks up. One good point to bring up here is that Ward 13 are a good example of how Tidal create, maintain and build new characters, as the group has had a growing presence for several months which introduced them to their audience before having actual matches, establishing the characters so that the crowd would be invested in them. This seems to have paid off early on and will only continue to do so as the team progress, although some small changes would be welcomed if the group is to stick with the gimmick long-term. Special Referee JD Boom sports some questionable clothing when Lana Austin faces Ruby Summers. The action is a combination of grappling and brawling, with the two ladies performing their respective roles well and telling a decent story.
‘The Mexican Sensation’ El Ligero vs Martin Kirby is a fantastic match and well worth a watch, even for people who may have seen the two compete countless times before. They show their usual level of creativity to make the match feel fresh and new, including Kirby retrieving a luchadore mask from the locker room and working an entirely lucha libre segment into the proceedings. Perfectly weaving excellent action with comedy and entertainment, this one has something for everyone and is one of the main strong points of the disc.
Josh Bodom vs Perfect Purdie is a well constructed and even battle, which is a good platform for both. Strong execution and some good interactions with the crowd make this another reason to check out this release. The following contest between Sean Only and Violet O’Hara is the TCW Open Championship Tournament Final, crowning a champion in a division where anyone can compete for the title. The believable booking and excellent execution by both make this (albeit brief) match a welcome addition to the card and helps to establish Only as a credible heel. The tag match pitting The Proven (Caz Crash & Sam Wilder) against Matt Myers & John ‘The Judge’ Bishop is a couple of steps above the previous tag match, with a good pace set from the outset and building throughout until a sudden, but dramatic conclusion. This is an impressive debut for Bishop, while the rest show the versatility and aptitude which have established them as regulars on TCW shows and others around the country. Explosive action and creative exchanges make this highly recommended.
The main event is for the TCW Championship and is a No Disqualification, No Count-Out match between Liam Lazarus and Mike Bird. This is an excellent match which is worthy of it’s main event spot on the card. Lazarus is a surprisingly well polished and believable babyface champion, even given his young age. Bird is the perfect foil here, executing the heel role well and making everything count in a show of techincality and brutality as he attempts to take the title. This closes out the show on a high note and is definitely worth a look, even if you are not familiar with one or either of the competitors’ work. This is a perfect introduction to what each of the two are capable of and will also be a new favourite for any existing fans of either.
Overall, a triumph for TCW, as they progress storylines and characters while delivering an all-round good show with some excellent matches. Ligero and Kirby, The Proven’s tag match with Myers and Bishop and the main event are all good enough to recommend this DVD and the rest make this a title with a bit of everything.