Tidal Championship Wrestling reached its second anniversary on 22 November 2015 and brings wrestling fans its suitably named Anniversary #2 DVD, featuring…
JD Boom vs Panda Cub
With JD Boom, Tidal have found an unusually endearing buffoon who manages to put on some rather unconventional and comedic matches. As this also forms Boom’s first anniversary with Tidal, it’s a momentous occasion for the Master of the Moustacherpiece, who has gone from strength to strength over the past twelve months!
Whilst Panda Cub may have an unusual gimmick of his own, he’s quickly overshadowed by the larger-than-life JD Boom, whilst the appearance of Big T Justice is the move that puts away the Dragon Pro protege.
As matches go, there’s little that stands out here. outside of JD Boom’s infectious silliness.
Dan James vs Violet O’Hara
For the TCW Open Championship, Dan James takes on the diminutive Violet O’Hara in a match that shows Dan James as a misogynistic brawler, with little care for the condition of his opponent.
Violet O’Hara has managed to make her home at TCW, finding herself women’s and intergender matches and performing with customary heart and surprising strength, though it’s Dan James who dominates this match with his rough and ready form of wrestling.
A strong outing for the brutal Dan James and the fan favourite Violet O’Hara, everything’s going well, as it seems Dan James is about to get his comeuppance, until Ward 13 appear… and it all goes terribly wrong (and not in a good way).
The Burial vs Ward 13
BA Rose and David Graves are making waves in Tidal and wrestling in the North East with effortless charisma and growing talent. Rose is a powerhouse of a brawler, whilst Graves brings loudmouthed humour, speed and strength to the team. They’ve gelled well and it can’t be long before The Burial stand amongst the best tag teams in the country.
Ward 13 are a tag team that really haven’t found their place in Tidal – a monster and a gremlin, only one half of the team could be described as an imposing presence. It’s hard to take the little fella seriously in the ring, which is a shame.
Despite The Burial’s best efforts, the match sucks… The monster of Ward 13, on his own, would have made an interesting opponent in a handicap match, but as a tag team they never really show any sense of teamwork, only half the team has anything approaching a convincing offense and The Burial are the ones pulling out all the stops. Eventually the match falls to pieces and it’s only after the ref calls for the bell that the fans actually get back into what they’re seeing, with a decidedly angry Graves and Rose despatching their opponents.
Tyler Bate vs Pete Dunne
An exhibition match that sees Pete Dunne – a man who has focused on his size, strength and technical ability to become a “bruiserweight” – take on Tyler Bate, a wrestler who has become recognised as one of the best young technical wrestlers in the UK today.
Anyone who has watched the development of these two across British wrestling in the past couple of years will have seen Dunne reinvent himself and Bate continue on his stratospheric rise, with both becoming premier personalities in many wrestling rosters. They bring all that to Tidal Championship Wrestling and it pays off in droves.
Bate and Dunne put on a slow burn of an encounter, showcasing their technical ability and agility, with the occasional sidestep into fan interaction. Whilst Dunne has managed to impress over and over in TCW, demonstrating his no-nonsense intensity and technical ability, this is a bit of a redemption for Bate who was woefully misused in his Tidal debut against The Fabulous Bakewells – this match is Bate as Bate is meant to be seen.
Rampage Brown vs Mike Bird
The Tidal fans in Leeds love Rampage Brown with good reason – an imposing presence in the ring with unexpected agility and speed to back up the power he brings to his matches, there’s no doubt that Rampage Brown is at the very top of his game and a man that wrestling fans can look upon to deliver the goods.
Mike Bird’s rare appearances in TCW are always high intensity and he certainly has the appreciation of the fans, with the Ginger Jesus having his own disciples in Leeds. Grace goes out of the window as Bird turns heavy hitter to tackle Brown.
Liam Lazarus vs Mark Haskins vs Martin Kirby
Haskins is a man who is rarely seen in Tidal, which is a shame for wrestling fans in the North of England, whilst Martin Kirby is a man who appears in Tidal infrequently and always shines. Despite the potential of Kirby and Haskins, it’s Liam Lazarus who is a star player in this threeway encounter.
Since losing the TCW Championship, Lazarus has been a broken man, shunning the fans and his former friends and taking on a much darker, hard hitting and dangerous persona – there’s so many elements of Haskins’ style here that, at times, it’s like watching a mirror image at work.
Whereas Haskins vs Lazarus would be something to behold, Kirby’s presence brings a light-hearted injection of skill and subtle humour to the vicious of technical wrestling, MMA and plain brawling.
Kirby may have picked up the win, but TCW’s fans recognise good wrestling when they see it and the appreciation of Haskins’ ability should be enough to ensure that he has a return in the near future.
The Proven vs So Scandalous
After the earlier TCW Open Championship match may have fell apart thanks to Ward 13, The Proven vs So Scandalous becomes the decider for the championship.
With the match being a decider in their one-all series, this two out of three falls match sees the talented and cocky loudmouths that are The Proven take on the talented and cocky loudmouths that are So Scandalous.
Both teams are quite well matched, with Damian Dunne and Caz Crash being the brawlers of the teams, whilst Ryan Smile and Sam Wilder are the flashy, athletic showoffs. While Dunne and Smile may be well known around the country, The Proven deserve some of that adulation from British wrestling fans.
With Caz Crash scoring the first pin, the tone of the match changes as the intensity levels rise and the risks get greater, until Dunne is able to get the second pin. The third pin comes from the hell-for-leather, crazed antics of both teams until a Point Proven sees The Proven as the new TCW Open Champions!
The New Nation – Alexander Henry & Jason Prime – however, have something to say about the victory and it’s Tidal management, with a threat of a firing, that manage to keep the teams apart… just.
Addy Starr vs Nixon Newell
Both women are no stranger to fighting with finesse, Addy Starr and Nixon Newell are an example of the new generation of women’s wrestling.
Both women are fired up and the crowd lap up every moment of their combination of wrestling prowess and hard hitting brawling – it’s certainly a change of pace from Starr’s encounters with JD Boom.
They rain blows on each other that would shake some men, with reckless abandon at times, and it’s eventually Starr that picks up the win in a match that should define the TCW Women’s Division.
TCW Championship Match: Dara Diablo vs El Ligero
For his first title defense, Dara Diablo isn’t the happiest of fellows after the hugely popular introduction of his opponent, El Ligero, and it doesn’t get much better as he addresses the fans, and his opponent, in disrepectful terms.
A no disqualification match, the chairs come out early and the stipulation is well used as both men take a tour of the Stylus venue in Leeds University Union, allowing them to highlight an innovative ability to turn any surface into an offensive weapon.
A showcase for The Mexican Sensation, a man who consistently performs across the country at the highest level and is looked upon as a archetype of professionalism, El Ligero, once more, puts his body on the line against a man to whom he is no stranger for fans who love him for all the right reasons. Dara Diablo’s journey has been a roller coaster one in TCW and his unexpected title reign gets off to a flying start with the fans respecting the disrespectful one as he tears up Stylus in his quest to retain the belt… until Liam Lazarus comes out to settle scores, and help an unwitting Diablo.
Diablo may have won the match, but it’s Lazarus that leaves with the belt that he considers to be rightfully is and issues an ultimatum of his own.
The DVD includes three extras – JD Boom addressing the Stylus venue and celebrating his first anniversary with TCW and an angry Dan James addressing Jack Gallagher (having been unable to make a previous TCW show to face Gallagher) and Violet O’Hara. There’s also a trailer for previous TCW shows. A few more intros, especially considering the talent on show, wouldn’t have gone amiss.
The video quality is what TCW fans have come to expect from Tidal DVDs and stands alongside other British wrestling DVDs – the lighting in Stylus does make it difficult to get consistent video quality and the commentary, by Aaron Beatup, is broadly audible over the sound of the in-ring action and the occasionally louder fans… you know who you are!
Tidal Championship Wrestling’s Anniversary #2 is a catalogue of the best and worst of TCW all in one show. They’ve got a cult-like following in Leeds and certainly deserve a bigger audience, though anyone picking up this DVD should exercise caution if they want to base their opinion of Tidal on the first match, the end of the second and the one half of Ward 13 vs The Burial. The rest of the show, however, is a high watermark for TCW, with much of their regular roster, particularly Liam Lazarus, setting the standard, and their occasional performers – Starr, Newell, Bate, both Dunne’s and Smile and others – rising to the challenge.
You can buy the DVD from http://tcwrestling.bigcartel.com or you can grab the MP4 download from http://smarkmarkvideo.com