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*** Official FIP DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
June 24, 2005 - SOLD OUT - St. Petersburg, Florida

It was C.M. Punk's final weekend with Full Impact Pro and he brought his working boots to St. Petersburg and worked two matches totally about an hour of action. The show began with super-heel Steve Madison calling out James Gibson in one of those "I know you're not here, so I'm calling you out now" things. I don't know why they haven't been bringing Gibson back to FIP regularly. Steve Madison needed to use a foreign object to defeat Rainman in the opening match, and still looks forward to another encounter with James Gibson.

Ring Crew Express members Dunn and Marcos both scored upset victories in singles matches on this night. Marcos defeated the much larger Jared Steel, and Dunn pinned Tony Kozina. It's sort of surprising to see Dunn and Marcos in singles matches but at least they get to show just how talented they really are. The first three matches of the night were hard fought and got the show started on the right foot.

With Punk leaving the promotion, there was bound to be some drama over the fate of The New Dawn and it all came to light when Punk announced that he was selling the contracts of Azriael and Samoa Joe to Dave Prazak, the leader of DP Associates. Samoa Joe didn't seem to care, but Azriael took great exception to being treated like a piece of meat at the market. Azriael quit the New Dawn and got beat-down for his bravery until Colt Cabana, Sal Rinauro and Spanky made the save.

This laid the ground-work for a huge eight man tag team main event.

The Heartbreak Express managed to NOT lose their match for a change, but they didn't win either. Sean and Phil Davis went up against Antonio Banks, who was joined by the "Texas Treat" Don Juan. The match ended in a No Contest when Juan turned on Banks and became best buddies with the Heartbreak Express again. I hated this for several reasons, most of which was that I was actually started to enjoy Don Juan as a babyface and more so when he was tagging with Chris Marvel. It goes without saying that Sean and Phil Davis claimed their fictional winning streak was still in tact.

The match of the night was a Strong Style Challenge between Tony Mamaluke and Roderick Strong. They went back and forth with some great mat wrestling and then it started to get really rough with some stiff strikes to the head and backside. Tony Mamaluke picked up the victory in what I would consider a minor upset.

Next up was a High Flyers Challenge which saw Jerrelle Clark defeat Jay Fury. They are building up a lot of people here in FIP such as Clark, Vordell Walker (not on the card), and Antonio Banks but you get the sinking feeling they will never got a shot at the main event. I hope they do, or at least get some shots at Homicide's FIP Championship.

Azriael challenged his former mentor C.M. Punk to a match, a concept that was universally laughed upon by Punk, Samoa Joe, and the other members of DP Associates. Punk had his hands full for at least 20 minutes of tough wrestling against his former lackey. Azriael is a total jobber but I'll be damned if he doesn't step up the plate every time he's in the ring with a top guy. It was a damn good match until everything fell apart and everybody interfered causing the match to be thrown out and morphed into an epic eight man tag team war.

Colt Cabana, Sal Rinauro, Spanky and Azriael defeated C.M. Punk, Samoa Joe, Jimmy Rave and Fast Eddie under the watchful eye of Dave Prazak. I felt weird about Jimmy Rave and C.M. Punk standing on the ring apron next to each other after their violent past in ROH. This match went on for over 30 minutes and had a lot of comedy involved and included a several minute stint where Punk wrestled with his bare ass hanging out of his tights. One thing is for sure, Punk owns a tanning bed. C.M. Punk was heavily involved with this match; he would take a beating and then tag out, only to get tagged back in a minute later. It seemed like he was doing all the work. It was a fun match that lacked the action that is expected of a main event with eight guys in it. After the match, Cabana, Spanky and Rinauro danced around the ring and unsuccessfully attempted to teach Azriael how to dance.

Final Thoughts: I feel very good about the growth of FIP and there are a lot of things they are leading towards that I am looking forward to. Now that they have tag team championships they should be pushing the tag team division. And get Jared Steel some cowboy boots!

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