*** FIP DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
February 16, 2008 – Crystal River, Florida
FULL IMPACT PRO – REDEFINED
Another night of Full Impact Pro action began with Dave Prazak appearing on the scene with the Vice-president of DP Associates, Mr. Milo Beasley, as well as Davey Richards following close behind. Prazak said that his faction would be “redefined” tonight and it was only a matter of time before the FIP World championship is back in the DP fold. Austin Aries showed up in FIP for the first time in a year, and challenged Davey Richards to a match with Dave Prazak’s managerial license on the line. Prazak foolishly accepted the stipulation, but only if Aries put his FIP career on the line. Aries asked the fans and they all agreed that it was worth the risk to rid FIP of the evil Mr. Prazak.
PRAZAK MANAGERIAL LICENSE VS. ARIES FIP CAREER MATCH Austin Aries vs. Davey Richards (w/Dave Prazak & Mr. Milo Beasley): What a hot match to start what promised to be a very hot show. In bitter sweet fashion, it was botched interference by Dave Prazak himself that cost Davey Richards the match as well as his own Full Impact Pro managerial license. Prazak took a hissy fit in the ring like a like a child who had his bike stolen and dropped his ice-cream on the ground.
The attention-craving faction known as the YRR drove a convertible into the building through a garage door. FIP Tag Team champions Kenny King and Jason Blade, with FIP Florida Heritage champion Sal Rinauro, Chasyn Rance, and the mouthy Minnesota Home-wrecking Crew (Rain and Lacey) partied in the ring, celebrating the absence of the Briscoe brothers. The YRR started bad-mouthing some fans, and two fans in particular, former WWE developmental wrestlers Robert Anthony and Shawn Osborne! Anthony and Osborne wanted a shot at the FIP Tag Team titles later. Seth Delay came out to support the two new-comers, and said he had unfinished business with Chasyn Rance.
Chasyn Rance w/The YRR vs. Seth Delay: As usual the YRR stayed at ringside to “support” their buddy. Rain and Lacey in particular were very instrumental in helping Rance pick up a tainted victory over his life-long nemesis, Seth Delay.
WOMENS TAG TEAM MATCH The Minnesota Home-wrecking Crew (Rain & Lacey) vs. Allison Danger & Trenesha: Allison Danger and a new girl named Trenesha, also a former WWE developmental wrestler, came out to protest the outcome of the previous match and began an impromptu tag team match with the Home-wreckers. You probably know Trenesha from the current TNA roster, where she works under the name “Rhaka Khan” in Scott Steiner’s corner. Trenesha was definitely the weak link, and that is why Allison Danger did most of the work, but Trenesha showed more charisma here than she ever has in TNA. Eventually Trenesha tapped out to a Lacey submission hold, giving the Minnesota Home-wrecking Crew the big time victory.
After the match, Tyler Black came out and said Lacey doesn’t belong with the YRR. Black said that the Age of the Fall is where Lacey belongs. Lacey immediately abandoned the YRR and rejoined the Age of the Fall, a faction she helped create in Ring of Honor, and brought Rain along with her!
FIP TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH The YRR (Kenny King & Jason Blade) vs. Robert Anthony & Shawn Osborne: The YRR was not at all impressed with their beautiful arm-candy abandoning them right before the match. Robert Anthony and Shawn Osborne are just two of the many wrestlers who were fortunate enough to get trained in the developmental system for a while before being discarded without a single opportunity at the big time. Anthony and Osborne made a very impressive debut, but came up on the losing end of their bid for the FIP Tag Team championship.
ANYTHING GOES MATCH Nigel McGuinness vs. Necro Butcher: The crazy barefoot brawler, Necro Butcher, brought his insanity back to FIP in an Anything Goes war with ROH World champion, Nigel McGuinness. The fans scattered as the fight spilled out of the ring and into the seating area. Some fans can be such marks. They took the fight all over the building before making their way back inside the ring, where Nigel is most comfortable. This was definitely not Nigel’s prefered ring style, but he held his own against the independent hardcore icon. McGuinness adapted and used a Tower of London onto a chair to incapacitate the Butcher, and made him tap out via an arm submission.
FIP FLORIDA HERITAGE TITLE MATCH Sal Rinauro vs. Tyler Black (w/Lacey & Rain): It looks like there is a feud between the YRR and the Age of the Fall brewing, after AOTF member Tyler Black snatched away the YRR’s female entourage. Rain and Lacey went from colorful groupies to dark and mysterious, changing into sexy black outfits to fall in line with the Age of the Fall. Sal Rinauro ranted about how they didn’t need Rain and Lacey, because they have lots of girls waiting in the wings. Announcer Lenny Leonard went out on a limb and predicted that the YRR would interfere at some point during the match – and he was right! Tyler Black came within an eyelash of winning the Florida Heritage title several times, only to get screwed by the YRR. Black lost his focus and got whacked by a spin-kick off the top rope and pinned, giving the victory to Sal Rinauro, with a little help from his friends.
HANDICAP MATCH (LOSING TEAM LEAVES FIP FOREVER) The Heartbreak Express vs. Shawn Murphy: Earlier they announced that Joey Machette was not there due to a problem at home. Shawn Murphy revealed that his partner had been attacked by two masked men outside of his house. Murphy decided to put his FIP career on the line in a match with the Heartbreak Express all by himself. Sean and Phil Davis quickly over-powered Shawn Murphy and busted him open pretty good. Allison Danger led the babyface roster to ringside to encourage Murphy in his pursuit of justice. Murphy made a brief come-back and sliced open Sean Davis’ head – and he is one of the best bleeders in wrestling today! Murphy wrapped a chain around his arm and gave Superstar Shawn a big Lariat clothesline and scored the 1-2-3 to abolish the Heartbreak Express from Full Impact Pro! After the match, the aforementioned “two guys in ski masks” hit the ring and pummeled Shawn Murphy. Seth Delay, Shawn Osborne and Robert Anthony tried to help but they got beat up by the masked men too. The mystery men finished what they set out to accomplish and calmly got up and walked out the side door as they were showered with boos and catcalls from fans.
FIP WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH Erick Stevens vs. Roderick Strong: Just before this event, Erick Stevens had defeated Roderick Strong on a Ring of Honor show to capture the FIP World Heavyweight title. Now Roderick Strong is mad and he wants his championship back from the man with the Mohawk. These two guys are perfect examples of how awesome Full Impact Pro has gotten over the years. Both of these guys work so damn hard for everything they get in professional wrestling and deserve a whole lot more than they have received. They both started out as babyfaces. Late in the match, while the fight spilled out to the floor, Roderick Strong couldn’t resist putting his hands on the FIP belt. Roderick slipped and inadvertently hit Erick with the belt, and busting him open pretty bad in the process. The referee was about to call for the bell, but Roddy begged him not to do it, explaining that his actions were an accident – as Stevens bladed and created a puddle of blood on the floor. The fans agreed that the match should continue, and Stevens wanted to continue, so the referee over-looked the belt-shot and the match continued. The sympathetic challenger took it easy on the champion for a little while before getting aggressive again. Strong locked Stevens in the Stronghold, but the champion valiantly made it to the ropes forcing Strong to break the hold. A few minutes later, the referee was bumped and he was knocked out, at which point, Roderick Strong got a little more vicious, smashing Erick Stevens with a stiff chair-shot to the head! Roddy rolled back into the ring and told the referee to start counting the champion out – since titles can change on a disqualification or count out in Full Impact Pro. Stevens willed himself back to his feet and desperately tried to slid into the ring but could not get back in before the ten-count. Roderick Strong was once again awarded the FIP World Heavyweight title. Strong’s No Remorse Corps stable-mate, Davey Richards, came out to congratulate Roderick on regaining the belt that he always believed was his all along! That was one of the best matches in FIP history, and arguably the greatest match of Erick Stevens’ career. Congratulations to both on such a memorable performance.
I want to make mention that the DVD was dedicated to the memory of Tammie Hamaoui, the wife of FIP promoter Sal Hamaoui, who tragically passed away on December 1, 2007. It is truly heart-breaking to lose a loved one, but it can be unbearable when they are taken away so suddenly. All the best to my friend, Sal, and the entire Hamaoui family. God bless you all.
BONUS MATCH Roderick Strong vs. Erick Stevens: Do yourself a favor and watch the BONUS material BEFORE you watch the actual DVD. It features the entire match from the Ring of Honor show where Erick Stevens defeated Roderick Strong for the FIP World Heavyweight title. It’s amazing how much Erick Stevens has changed over the past year or two. I remember when I first saw him, I was describing him as a total jabroni in my DVD reviews. He slowly grew to be one of the top independent guys, and probably the best guy on the Florida circuit right now. I can say, with all the confidence in the world, that Erick Stevens deserves all the success and praise that he receives. It’s interesting to note the cosmetic differences between Ring of Honor and Full Impact Pro – the same two guys wrestling in different promotions.