British Wrestling is currently in its biggest boom period since the heyday of World of Sport.
With shows packed to the rafters across the UK, for a number of years Brighton has stood out as one of the major cities lacking a promotion to call its own.
Enter Riptide Wrestling, who held their first show at the Brighthelm Centre last Saturday. The card for their debut event, branded “Beer. Bands. Wrestling.” had all the makings of a great show on paper. To say that they hit a home run is an understatement.
The packed crowd was vocal and up for the in-ring action from the first bell to the last in what was a phenomenal show. Booking established independent stars such as Josh Bodom and Combat Zone Wrestling World Tag Team Champions Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos, - collectively known as CCK – among others helped give Riptide a real legitimacy in terms of the quality of wrestling on the show.
The music element of the event saw local Pop-Punk group River Jumpers play a set during the interval. This added a different vibe that made Riptide stand out from the dozens of independent shows I’ve attended over the past few years.
The night was unsuprisingly stolen by the world-class calibre main event. New Japan and Ring of Honor star Will Ospreay and Shane Strickland, who wrestles as Killshot in Lucha Underground, have faced each other numerous of occasions, but even they would argue this may have been their best match yet. They delivered on every level, and had the crowd encapsulated throughout the contest.
Everyone I spoke to leave the show was blown away by what they’d seen. For fans to be chanting the name of your promotion during your first event is no small feat, and Riptide now has an audience eager for them to deliver more of the same in Brighton in the future.