Added by Andrew Ogden

Hello and welcome everyone to this edition of Graps and Claps taking me to the nation’s Capital of London and the New Cross district to be exact to see Tidal Wrestling’s return to London after 6 years away. This very much felt like a football away day going to support your local team 200 miles away on a cold Sunday afternoon, setting off at 7am from my house in Rochdale to catch the bus, to arrive in Manchester with enough time to have a sausage baguette and hash browns from the local Co-op whilst I waited for our Geoff to surface so we could board the near 3-hour Virgin Train service to London.

Arriving in London for 1205pm, we made our way to visit Ben Corrigan and his mate Jodie in the Barrel Vault Wetherspoon’s at London St Pancras Station for a swift half of Cowcatcher APA (4.8% £2.64) that had a clean and crisp finish in taste – a perfect starter to the drinking day. After this it was another 35 minutes of travel time passing through London Bridge and finally reaching our destination of New Cross Gate Station at 135pm.

Now on first impressions New Cross Gate is a proper rough and ready London borough akin to Cheetham Hill in Manchester (so a shithole to put none to fine of a fact on it!) With around half a dozen beggars on the way to the venue and shifty folk wanting to give you information on the local Grime night, this isn’t one place you should be walking around at night without the fear of getting knifed. First pub was located just across the road from the New Cross Inn, that being The Amersham Arms which is a student style set-up with the regular Oy Oy! Lagers on – Fosters, Carling, Pravha and a couple of guest ales from Brewdog costing anything around the £5 and above marker. I plumped for a pint of Pravha for the half an hour we were there, I also took a look inside the toilets, as a couple of reviews posted to me were not favourable and on my impression this is certainly a front runner for ‘Worst Toilet of the Year’ – proper rough as arseholes!

Luckily for our drinking exploits for the afternoon, this got better as we visited The White Hart off Andrew Campbell’s recommendation from the UnTappd application which pointed this out for a good real ale selection and my god what a range of beers from Kernel Brewery and quite a few beers not locally produced but from up North which brought a sense of home to myself. On walking in we also had a table near the door that were providing musical entertainment for the afternoon playing fiddles, which is something you don’t see every day.

Having initially spending 20 minutes outside on a fairly sunny afternoon, it started to spit with rain a bit so we decided to move back inside in a little corner of the room with of all things in front of my eyes – a vending machine full of beer which I found out is something that is currently popping up in quite a few pubs nowadays! Absolutely fascinating to see! Anyways, I had two pints in here including a pint of The Kernel India Brown (6.2% £6.90) that was a cracking drink to have and one to search out if you spot it in your local beer shop in bottles. Overall a great pub to visit if you are in this area and one that offers reasonably priced beer for London and a great selection – Check it out!

With the time coming up to 3pm, we made our way to the venue which was a 5-minute walk up the High Street on the left-hand side of the road for those needing to spot it out for next time, Tidal run an event here on the 16th June. Arriving at the venue, I can only describe this place as an old rock club with spaces for the crowd on 3 sides of the room, with a small stage and the wrestling ring in the centre of the room. Toilets in this venue were through the entrance curtain and down some stairs, so on many occasions you had to time it, so you weren’t interrupting any of the entrances of the wrestlers.

Beer prices were exceedingly cheap for London with around 4 real ales on costing anything from £3.20 a pint to £4 for a pint of Wainwright’s Golden Ale all served in plastic pint pots. Still certainly better than most of the shite you get on tap at wrestling shows, plus there wasn’t much chance after 4/5 pints of this stuff that you would be staggering!

With a crowd of around 100, which can be seen as a success for the Promotion, especially with Rev Pro running later on in the day across London Town, so the hope of a good show on this afternoon would hopefully bring those people back for the next time Tidal are in town. With the show just running over by 10 minutes, we got things started at 340pm with our first contest for the afternoon which was between Boris Koslov and Sean Only.

Early on Koslov was using his advanced wrestling skills to full effect as he schooling Sean quite a bit on the mat, that was until Only managed to get his range in hitting numerous kicks to Boris to the chest and the back to get a two count from this barrage. Boris then came back to hit a Side Suplex for 2, following up with a Submission that was making Only wince in pain but he was able to escape Boris’s cluches. Back at a standing base, Koslov was further on top as he hit a BIG shoulder block following up with a Russian Missile for a two count. As the action went back and forth, Only hit a sweet Superkick to Boris under his chin, but this was then soon countered with a Boris Spinebuster for a two count. With Boris looking on top as we reached the conclusion of the match, Only caught Boris out of nowhere with a cutter and then followed up with a Curb Stomp to Boris to get the 3 count in a very competitive opener that went down very well with the crowd in attendance.

More new faces for the London audience next, as we had a proper young Tsunami tag match with The Breakfast Club (Joe Nelson and Natalie Sykes) took on the popular tag team of Jake Silver and Jack Bandicoot – CRASHBOAT! Lasting around 7 minutes, this match went at 100 miles an hour, with plenty of fighting around the ringside area including Sykes being swung into the sound board as she banged her head, Nelson and Bandicoot fought over near the merchandise table as they slammed each into the side of it. Both teams performed stereo dives as the match reached its conclusion as Jake Silver pinned Joe Nelson with a Moonsault at the second attempt to get the victory for CRASHBOAT in a good showcase match. All 4 worked well with each other, and is something I could easily see happening again back in Leeds with more craziness.

Third match now was for the TCW Openweight Championship with Little Miss Roxxy (Champion) taking on Sadie Gibbs. Now Gibbs who have only seen the once live back at PCW a couple of years ago, is someone who is making waves on the scene, and has been a part of a couple of tours of Japan in recent months to hone her craft – with her size and overall look I can easily see her in the WWE in the next couple of years (proper star aura about her). Early on, Gibbs tried to show off her power as both her and Roxxy worked an arm ringer spot, that Gibbs got the better of as she rolled through from this move to lock in an arm submission which Roxxy escaped from.

After a small miscommunication in the middle of this match, both managed to get things back on track as Gibbs hit a Cartwheel Elbow, followed by a Headscissors roll through. Roxxy came back with a STO to get a two count on Gibbs, Gibbs however, once again used her considerable strength to Ultimate Warrior Press Slam Roxxy to sounds of WOW! From the crowd and as she hit Roxxy, she followed it up with a moonsault to get a two count. Luckily for Roxxy though, she managed to dust herself off as she hit a roll through bomb into the corner and not too long after locking in a neck crank submission to make Gibbs tap in around 10 minutes in a good match. Roxxy as ever was excellent here, Gibbs however is one to keep a look out for if she is booked on a show near you – She is the business!!

Half time Main Event now with two of my personal favourites Brady Phillips taking on ‘Crown of Thorns’ member Will Kroos. Now with this show it looked like all storylines had been put on hold for the evening and everyone was there to just put on good wrestling matches to a new audience which was a good idea. Here we had Kroos being the defacto good guy with Brady being the cockier more heelish type wrestler for the evening, which I wasn’t expecting.

As ever Brady turned up once again in his Rupert the Bear pants and was ceremoniously crucified for these by the usual rabble (not naming names) greeting with songs about his shit pants and song with the words Baby or Lady in which had a number of the audience in fits of laughter before the match got started, chanting in London is something that isn’t usually prominent nowadays so it was great to see the locals get into this frivolity. In a near 20-minute match, this was an absolute stonker of a contest with some amazing thing happening including a double Suplex spot to the outside that ended in a hard landing for both competitors. We had Brady hitting a dive to Kroos which had a couple of people scattering, this was then followed up though with the much larger Kroos hitting a dive of his own which had many more people scattering out of the way with their drinks intact.

Back inside the ring, we had attempts by Kroos to hit the ‘Greetings from Sincil Bank’ to Brady, but he ultimately failed on both occasions. Brady performed a feat of strength himself as he powered up Kroos from a seated position to hit a Tombstone to nearly get a three count that brought a great ovation from the audience. Kroos however came back to hit a Michinoku Driver to get a 2 count, with the match reaching fever pitch, Brady crotched Kroos on the top rope leaving him open for Brady to hit an elevated DDT to get the three count – BOOOOMM!!!! This was great!!

Back from the half-time break, we came back with more Singles action as HT Drake took on my sworn enemy Gabriel Kidd, now as ever before the start of Kidd’s matches he was asking where I was so he could give me jip, whilst calling everyone a Soy Boy or a Cuck. As ever my retorts were based about not seeing him on TV for ages since World of Sport fell on its arse, plus quotes of him not being needed in Enfield yet! – He bloody hates me, but I suppose he gets a reaction. To Gabriel’s credit, he is actually very good on the microphone, he looks in great shape and is a fine wrestler – to be honest I still don’t know what got his goat with me???? Answers on a postcard.

Another good match to add to the previous 4 we had in the first half, we Kidd ultimately dominating for the bulk of this contest, hitting chops and lariats to Drake that connected very hard on a number of occasions. Kidd looked like he was well on his way to victory as he hit a Tombstone to Drake, only for Drake to kick out at 2 and ¾ to upset the Young Bull. With Kidd frustrated, he was hit out of nowhere with a Lungblower by Drake who duly pinned Kidd to get the three count in 10 minutes – Cue up the AAAAARRRGGGHHHH finger point of doom for Mr Kidd who got upset at this, as he asked for the Microphone to proclaim that he is a big star who has been on the TV and is too good for TIDAL and promptly quit on the spot. Many celebrations were had at this remark as we waved Kidd off with the chant of – NA NA NA NA NA FUCK OFF!!

Tag Team Title action next with the rubber match between Never Say Die (Champions) vs The Lion Kings/Cubs (Nsereko and Man Like Dereiss) with Sebb Strife in their corner. Before we get into the match, it has to be noted that The Lion Kings got a great reaction from the crowd with the audience singing along to Toto’s Africa at the top of their lungs. In a match that maybe wasn’t as good as their epic match last weekend but still a reasonable effort that was possibly hampered with Nsereko sporting a black eye from the previous night at True Grit wrestling to impair his vision. Going around 15 minutes, the match ended with Never Say Die hitting a top rope version of the Hart Attack to Dereiss to get the victory, meaning they get the upper hand on the Lion Kings and move on to face CRASHBOAT on the 31stMarch in Leeds. As for the Kings it is back to the drawing board, as they look like they will be occupied by The Crown of Thorns in Leeds.

7th match in now with Joseph Conners having to pull out due to a stomach bug, his replacement was none other than ‘The Rulebreaker’ Terry Isit making his second appearance in a Tidal Ring, I have previously seen him at Southside in a tag team with JJ Barker and was promising on that occasion. His opponent was Ben Corrigan’s favourite Chuck Mambo who is looking in fantastic shape (abs on abs). In a decent 10-minute match up, it would be Mambo who would put away young Isit with a Beach Break lungblower and then a top rope splash to get the three count. However, it does have to be noted that Terry Isit more than held his own against his more experienced counterpart and certainly got over with this writer in the process – more Terry Isit please he has got plenty of potential (I did feel sorry though, for the comparisons to shit Dolph Ziggler/Josh Bodom/Mark Andrews chants he received, the Josh Bodom one made me chat to Dann and Emily Read of Pro Wrestling EVE fame about the Bodom incident at PCW a few years ago where him and his brother got twatted off Rampage Brown and T-Bone! Needless to say if they ran a men’s promotion he won’t be getting booked anytime soon.

Main Event time now with the TCW Championship on the line with T.K Cooper who has just made his return to PROGRESS in the past week and is also the Current Breed Pro Wrestling Champion taking on the TCW Champion and the ‘Leader of the Band’ Sugar Dunkerton for whom himself made his PROGRESS debut in a pre-show defeat to NIWA. As ever the Band were well tuned up to greet Sugar on his arrival with the 1-2-3-4 Sugar song reverberating around The New Cross Inn as the match got started with Sugar getting the early upper hand by frustrating TK with comedic shenanigans.

However, things took a turn for the worse as they went to the outside as they slapped each other whilst sat on stools, which then led to TK dropping Sugar on the ‘Hardest part of the ring’ to get in control.

As the match wore on, TK hit a somersault leg drop to the back of Dunkerton to get a two count, thankfully though for the Tidal faithful, Sugar rallied enough to catch TK unawares with a pinning-combination from out of nowhere to get the three count in a good main event to bring the curtain down on the show! Cue a speech from Sugar to thank everyone for coming out to end a successful return to London for Tidal Wrestling who I felt won over quite a few people in the crowd on this afternoon, hopefully for them to return on the 16th June back in this venue.

With the show done, we milled around for about 5 minutes to get our bearings and in the process get pictures with Brady Phillips and Will Kroos – both nice fellas! Setting off back to Euston Station to get the train at 757pm with time to spare we made our way home to Rochdale, where I eventually got back home for 1130pm.

 Tidal Wrestling’s next show is on the 31st March at The Temple of Boom in Leeds with a Women’s Matinee show and then a main show in the afternoon, make sure to check the TCW Wrestling website for more details on ticket prices – you certainly won’t be disappointed! Anyways, the next time you will hear from me, will be when I go International on Friday and travel to Oberhausen for WXW 16 Carat Gold 2019 as part of the invited Press which should be amazing.

As ever, give this all the Likes, Retweets and shares on Social Media and I will see you next time for another fun filled edition of Graps and Claps.