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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 19 June 2017

Review: Riptide Wrestling At Brighthelm Centre Auditorium

Brighton's Brighthelm Centre Auditorium played host to an unsurpassed night of wrestling. Riptide Wrestling not only exceeded expectations from the standpoint of a company running it's first event, it also blew away any independent shows I have seen in the last twenty years. 

Part of what made the event special was the attention given to the auditorium's layout, by only giving space to a few rows of seats on one side of the venue. 

I had seen all standing events happen in Germany with some fans resting their beers on the ring apron during the matches but was really unsure how this would work with a Brighton crowd. 

While there was no leaning on the apron, it made you feel a lot more invested in the action and moving at the last second while a wrestler flew towards you certainly made it more exciting.

There was a truly rabid feedback from the fans to all of the action and the wrestlers seemed heartened to have such a strong and unique response to everything they were doing. Spike Trivet's strong and stable style was greeted with Jeremy Corbyn chants for instance. 

The set by Brighton based rock band River Jumpers was a great way to hold attention for the intermission. A minor gripe being that an introduction by the ring announcer would have made it a lot more obvious to the crowd that they were about to take the stage.

The two main matches featured talent you would never expect to see on the bill of an inaugural wrestling promotion. 

Combat Zone Wrestling tag team champions CCK had a great outing in a six man tag match where Chuck Mambo's beach balls became a weapon and even the referee did a dive to the outside of the ring. 

Then it was on to the main event. Whatever the promoter did to secure talent of this calibre is unreal and they stepped up to the plate in a faultless effort where the obvious outcome of the British favourite winning on home turf was turned on it's head. 

Everyone was looking at Will Osprey who is currently signed to Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling, even winning their annual Best of the Super Juniors tournament in 2016, to be the stand-out performer of the night. 

He put in one hell of an effort and was matched in every way by Shane Strickland, a veteran of CZW shows who also wrestles under a mask for the LA based Lucha Underground promotion. 

This was some of the most crisp action you will ever see in a wrestling ring. That Strickland got the win was a big surprise and still sent the crowd home happy.

I honestly lost count of the amount of times a chant started for Riptide Wrestling. All I know is that if they keep putting together shows like their first, I will never miss one.

For more on Riptide Wrestling CLICK HERE

by: Dave Hills




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