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*** Official FIP DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
January 7, 2005 - NEW YEAR'S CLASSIC - Lakeland, Florida

The opening match featured Mike Shane destroying Brian Gamble in a short match. Shane is really good and again I have to question WHY WWE is wasting their talents on Smackdown!. They have started calling Mike Shane the "Vanilla Gorilla" which is the best wrestling nick name since Tazz wanted to call Brock Lesnar "Manster". The next match was a tag match between the ever-so-irresistible Heartbreak Express and Scott Andrews with a mystery partner who was a 7 foot Asian dude in his early 20s named Ryze who could really move around the ring for his size. I could REALLY see WWE picking him up some day if he has a good attitude. Vordell Walker beat a new-comer by the name of Seth Delay -- who had the best vertical leap since Mark Jindrak. California-based wrestler Puma debuted as well and had a decent match with Azriael, who got yelled at by New Dawn leader C.M. Punk for failing to win the match. C.M. Punk "showed him how it's done" by defeating Antonio Banks -- very glad to see Banks facing upper-card talent. Samoa Joe debuted with FIP and jumped right into the deep-end challenging Roderick Strong to a match. Strong came up short but was so inspired by the contest that he challenged Joe to a rematch the following night. Dave Prazak promised to bring Tag Team gold to DP Associates as his men, Jimmy Rave & Fast Eddie Vegas, scored yet another victory over Jerrelle Clark & Salvatore Rinauro. The Tag Team division in FIP is really refreshing as they actually embrace old school tag philosophies. I look forward to seeing how they determine tag team champions.

The main event featured Homicide defending the FIP championship against a recently freed WWE prisoner. James Gibson (aka Jamie Noble) really won me over with his stint in Ring of Honor, but this was before he joined ROH. Gibson was just hitting the independent circuit and well on his way to rekindling his love for wrestling. Gibson put up a good fight but was eventually pinned by the Champion after a stiff lariat. The drama continued after the match when C.M. Punk & Azriael attacked an exhausted Homicide. James Gibson came to 'Cide's rescue, and C.M. Punk ended up taking a involuntary ride on the night club's mechanical bull to put a happy ending on another night of FIP excitement.

Final Thoughts: Great action by FIP and its roster of wrestlers. As long as they keep putting my favorites in the main events they will keep getting thumbs up from me. They don't go over the top and they don't put any pressure on the viewer, it's just good wrestling matches and that.... that is cool! DVD Rating: 8/10

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