Riptide Point Break
July 5 2019
We’re in Brighton, East Sussex at the Brighthelm Centre for Riptide’s Point Break. A show that got significant buzz after a certain surprise match went up on YouTube and got Cara Noir over huge.
Lion Kid vs. Mike Bird
Lion Kid has carved out a nice spot for himself in BritWres history. A masked performer who appeals to the kids but also a hard worker who’s been around for 15 years. They put on a technical showcase here with Bird in the mood for some mat grappling. Bird leans heel but not in any serious manner. “It’s a stupid mask”. “Fucking sports entertainer”. That one gets him kicked in the mouth. Lion Kid is sneaky good. I’ve seen him a few times over the years and he’s definitely a smoother, more complete wrestler now.
I like the mixture of attitudes here. Lion Kid being so playful and Bird being a prick. Bird takes it because nice guys finish last.
Final Rating: ***
Promo Time: Jack Sexsmith
This is quite sad. Jack announces his retirement after suffering a reoccurrence of a knee injury. It’s just totally destroyed. Sexsmith is an interesting character study and I’m glad I’ve seen him at wrestling and still being around what he loves since the retirement announcement. Doesn’t make it any less sad. He looks genuinely distraught here.
Chuck Mambo vs. Jordan Breaks
Mambo is the local champ but the belt is not on the line here. He’s been sent out to bring the crowd up after that announcement. These two have a fun lighthearted match with lots of silly near falls and the spot where Mambo pretends his hand is a phone. “It’s a wristlock”. It’s inspired stuff. Breaks is great at small venues where everyone can see his technical skill and he’s building a reputation. He’s also keeping the traditional BritWres style alive. Mambo resorts to high flying to offset the approach and they do a good job of balancing the match but still having Breaks boss it until Chuck counters a roll up and scores the pin. Very good match. Every time I see Breaks I appreciate him a little more.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Lord Gideon Grey & Kurtis Chapman vs. Paul Robinson & Chakara vs. Anti-Fun Police vs. Jinny & Martina
Jinny is a face here and has issues with the Robbo & Chakara team. There’s a bunch of banter to be had here. The two heel teams are especially fun but also Los Federales Santos Jr. His bit with Robbo where he accuses him of “classic small man’s syndrome”, with a Spanish accent of course, is fantastic. Also Robbo starting into Gideon and calling him a “bald cunt” only for Kurtis to lay him out with a forearm is gold. The match has a lot of moving parts and it occasionally stops working but for the most part it’s a lark. The complex stretch is particularly impressive as it requires a lot of coordination and nobody fucks up. Chakara pins Jinny while she’s running riot with a Gorybomb. This was a well structured match that gave each team highs and lows and it was great fun.
Final Rating; ***1/2
TK Cooper vs. Kyle Fletcher
Teeks has been rehabbing himself in Riptide and feels like a genuine threat to the top tier. Nothing about his in-ring has really changed since the height of his powers in Progress but the lack of Dahlia Black is still painful for him. He’s never quite found that final part to replace her in the act. Fletcher meanwhile has evolved a great deal since his UK debut. Both in style and appearance. He’s looking perhaps a little soft here and if anything TK has the better physique. There’s one noticeable fuck up where the ref gets in position for a pinfall that never happens and TK runs right into him. The ref then gets in TK’s way again and the match starts to fray at the edges. The technique of both men is very good so in spite of the little mistakes it’s still a solid match. Kyle’s structuring has gotten a lot better in singles this year and it shows here. There’s a lot of big shots back and forth and thighs are slapped gentlemen!
Do they overdo it a bit? The Canadian Destroyer might be a bit much. Nevertheless the crowd are into it and they certainly overcome the ref issues. Just when it seems they’re onto an absolute winner Kyle botches with the ropes giving up on a springboard. At least it leads almost directly to the finish with TK taking over on a groggy Fletcher and pinning him with the frogsplash. There’s an obvious argument here as to whether you can consider the match great when it has a few very apparent errors in it. They’ll be disappointed that happened because without those errors it’s clearly a four star level match, or maybe even higher and potentially Cooper’s best singles match. But it isn’t.
Final Rating: ***3/4
Ashmore vs. Connor Mills
Ashmore, who has a hipster gimmick, has gotten good on the Indies and Connor is a hard worker, albeit too skinny still. With Maverick Mayhew elsewhere he’s been left to fend for himself. He’s been putting on some solid singles matches. Both guys are potentially stars in the making for bigger promotions. Connor shows some terrific understanding on selling here by favouring his back and being countered because he’s hurt. He uses the notoriously shaky ropes but Ashmore does a fantastic job of countering him in mid move. They have the odd timing issue but it’s mostly a solid match with bags of effort. Connor in particular tries so hard to get this over. The idea being that Riptide is a place that offers chances to up and comers. So you might as well take those chances. There are aspects of this match that are above the rest of the card, in particular the selling. Connor does a great job of selling his back heading up top and Ashmore kills him with a Lumbar Check on the way down. That has to be the finish and it is. Good stuff!
Final Rating: ***1/2
Post Match: Ashmore gets run off by OJMO.
Rob Lias vs. Candy Floss vs. Millie McKenzie
Lias, who has been trying to get over as a heel in Rev Pro forever, has an Inter-gender champ gimmick a la Andy Kaufman here. There’s an issue here where Riptide made it clear they do IG in the earlier tag and that women are not disadvantage. And then make this a virtual handicap match with Rob the Gob being considered vastly superior. It’s Rob Lias, guys. If the promotion presented women as inferior it would probably work better but that’s not a good idea at all. So you have to accept Millie as a massive underdog and I just don’t because she’s been booked in more prominent spots than Lias. Despite the efforts of all involved it’s the worst match on the show. Then there’s not even a happy ending with Candy submitting Millie in the only time they clash in the match. I didn’t get this.
Final Rating: **
Video Control gives us a chat with Spike Trivet and as a promo he’s quite stunning. I believe him.
Cara Noir vs. PAC
This was a ‘mystery opponent’ for Cara and a genuine statement of intent from Riptide to have PAC as a surprise opponent.
Cara Noir’s entrance is one of the most stunning things in BritWres and seeing it live is an experience. PAC gets a fucking huge pop.
As with most of his run so far PAC plays the heel, refusing a handshake and being very aggressive. The structure of the match is very much aimed at showing that Cara can hang with PAC and for that he only wants a handshake. Which is great logic because Cara can’t beat PAC but if he can get a handshake, that’s a win of itself. PAC has made a few errors of judgement in deliberating working heel on shows where the crowd were desperate to cheer him. That’s not the case here. PAC comes across as genuinely evil and aiming to beat up the local guy and prove himself as more important than the company.
Cara fights from underneath and PAC makes the match great by firstly bullying the Swan and then by taking fantastic bumps for him on the comebacks. The execution is clean and crisp and it’s a level above everything else on the show from an execution stand point but also from an emotional stand point. The crowd bite on everything and even though I know the result I’m very into the near falls as they feel like potential finishes and everyone gets so fired up from it. PAC even shows a little frustration that he can’t pin Cara, which is not something he’s littered his Indies work with. Red Arrow finishes. PAC was incredible here. The big fish in the small pond. It’s probably my favourite match of his on the Indies since the WWE release. No handshake still.
Final Rating: ****1/4
Spike Trivet vs. Cara Noir
Trivet has a shot at Cara to determine the #1 contender spot but he claims Cara Noir isn’t fit to compete so he should be named the #1 contender. Even with an obvious advantage Spike still needs his little entourage and threatening to beat up the ring announcer. He is an odious little prick in this promotion. This match is far more storyline driven than the one before and there’s a lot of awkward distraction stuff. I honestly don’t know what they’re doing a few times when they set stuff up. The referee positioning is especially bad and it’s a poor finish to a strong show. There’s a ref bump and Spike taps out. They position the ref again and Trivet hits a move on a chair and that’s it. I loathed this match, which is a pity because the show had been wonderful up to this point.
Final Rating: *
Another hugely enjoyable Riptide show with good action up and down the card, with the exception of the main event, and an outstanding Cara Noir vs. PAC match that helped to get some buzz going around the promotion. They followed this by doing a two-show outdoor event in Brighton after bank holiday weekend.