Dragon Gate USA announced the first matches for its events on March 26th and 27th in Phoenix. It will be Dragon Gate mania as the six man tag team tradition returns!!! Here’s all the info from DGUSA.tv News Alerts:
-March 27th will feature CIMA, Gamma & Dragon Kid vs. BxB Hulk, Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino as the main event at the first class Celebrity Theater.
-March 26th will have Shingo vs. Masato Yoshino as one of the top matches in Arizona.
-DGUSA returns to pay-per-view three weeks from Friday. See “Fearless” from Chicago starting on March 5th. Check your local listings for more information.
-DGUSA has released this free video in anticipation of the “Fearless” PPV: http://www.vimeo.com/9367672
-There are a limited amount of Dragon Kid, CIMA and BxB Hulk figures now available in the DGUSA.tv Store or by calling 267-519-9744.
-For all the latest info make sure to visit the DGUSA.tv News Alerts section several times a week.
-DGUSA is giving away DVDs as part of its Weekly Special. Here’s all the info:
Note: As part of the www.DGUSA.tv Weekly Special, which ends February 16th, you can get the DVD(s) of the following three FIP shows for FREE. Here is the basic info:
-Order $50 worth of stuff from the DGUSA.tv Store or by calling 267-519-9744 and pick one for free.
-Order $75 and pick two for free.
-Order $100 and get all three for free.
-To redeem in the DGUSA.tv Store simply list the DVD(s) you want in the “Special Instructions” at checkout.
-IMPORTANT: Shipping charges do not count towards your totals.
-Everything in the DGUSA.tv Store does count towards your totals including live event tickets, DVDs, shirts, hoodies, figures, keychains, knit hats, caps, bags, thundersticks, 8x10s and more.
-The three FIP DVDs you can pick from are:
-4/21/07 International Impact: Phase Two
-3/10/07 Battle Of The Belts
-Simply look at your total before shipping, then add the DVD(s) you qualify for to the “Special Instructions” during checkout.
-Here’s a look at each show:
My Favorite FIP Shows
by Gabe Sapolsky
I was lucky enough to be FIP booker from September 2004 until October 2008. There is a lot of stuff there I am really proud of. We had some incredible talent and big names. They put on some special matches, feuds and cards. I really feel a lot of this stuff is overlooked. I think part of the reason was promoter Sal Hamaoui’s unselfish nature in that he would always push back the releases of his own DVDs to work countless hours all day and throughout the night on other DVDs. He served his client first. The result was the FIP DVDs coming out after talk of the show had died down and interest was lost. As a result, you might have missed some good stuff. I am guilty of not writing enough about FIP in my own blog, as there were some great road stories and fun times in Florida.
As I look back, there are three FIP shows that really stand out to me during my tenure. Sal and I really feel you should see these cards. As described above, we are giving the DVDs of these events away for free as part of the DGUSA.tv Weekly Special (ending February 16th). Here’s some of my thoughts and memories of each of these three events:
“Redefined” – 2/16/08
This was a very emotional show. It was the first event after the hiatus taken after the just plain tragic and sad passing of Sal’s wife Tammie Hamaoui. We were at a new beginning. I really feel this show delivered a home run due to the talent in the ring. Roderick Strong and Erick Stevens proved they were the foundation of FIP with an intense main event. Those two Floridians took great pride in FIP. They wanted their home state to have a top notch independent group and they did everything they could in their matches to make that happen. The main event of this show was a prime example of that.
This card also featured one of my favorite all time matches, which might surprise you. It ended up being a handicap match as Shawn Murphy of Black Market took on The Heartbreak Express. Both teams were staples in FIP and sold tickets with their first feud. This was the blowoff to the sequel. The idea was that with a fresh start to FIP, one of these fixtures would be gone as the losing duo could never team again in FIP. Then we had a problem. Murphy’s partner Joey Machete couldn’t make it. I forget the exact reason, but remember it was a circumstance beyond anyone’s control. Everyone was disappointed, but we had to move forward. The time was here to put this feud to an end. I have to be honest. I wasn’t expecting much except to get it over with. Murphy, Sean and Phil Davis then went in there and delivered a great blowoff that had the crowd rocking. It was perfect for the fans of Crystal River, who had seen these men battle time and time again. It will always be one of my favorite live matches.
We were all really happy with this show from beginning to end. It started hot with Austin Aries vs. Davey Richards and was good all the way through including a women’s tag, Nigel McGuinness (Desmond Wolf) in a brawl against The Necro Butcher and the further development of The YRR as Sal Rinauro took on Tyler Black. This show will always be something special to me.
“International Impact: Phase Two” – 4/21/07
I included this show because it featured one of the most insane, wild and violent brawls I’ve EVER seen. I mean it. It was a total modernized version of an old school ECW fight. It pitted Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The Necro Butcher & Mad Man Pondo in a “Bar Room Brawl” match. Sal and I had decided a few months earlier to go in a more hardcore direction. I was looking to book Necro in something following up the tremendous CZW vs. ROH feud, but it was too soon for him to go back to ROH. Pondo always seemed like a good guy. The Briscoes, well, they are just crazy and up for anything. When I approached Mark and Jay about working a program with Necro and Pondo they jumped at it. They were looking forward to doing something different in FIP by going all out with these brawls. This show featured the finale and all four men took it to the next level. Light tubes, trash cans, chair shots, barbed wire and even the ring truck were used in this match. I have to admit, I don’t know if I’d ever book a bout like this again.
The undercard supported the main event nicely, highlighted by a great match between Shingo and a young YAMATO. Shingo requested this match and promised it would be something special. Of course, he got what he asked for. This contest really showed why these two have rose so quickly in the ranks of Dragon Gate. The card also had Delirious vs. Jigsaw, Claudio Castagnoli vs. Jerrelle Clark, Roderick Strong vs. Sal Rinauro, Erick Stevens vs. Nigel McGuinness and more so there is good stuff from start-to-finish.
“Eddie Graham Memorial Battle Of The Belts” – 3/10/07
I’m just a big fan here. Mike Graham gave Sal permission to use his father’s name and the “Battle Of The Belts” moniker, which was a live TV special I fondly remember from my youth. The goal with this show was simple. Present a pure wrestling tournament that would do the history of Florida wrestling proud. We loaded the tournament with eight quality workers. They all came through for a great night of wrestling. My one lasting memory came backstage. The show started with an angle with the disrespectful YRR and Mike Graham. We were backstage talking it over. I was in the middle of explaining something, then suddenly Mike Graham got all fired up, put his fists in the air and firmly stated to everyone around him “if any of you get too close to me I’m really going to pop you one because that’s what we did back in the day.”
I looked around at The YRR. We all gave a nervous laugh. We thought Graham lost it and weren’t sure how to react. Then Graham broke the slight tension by slyly saying, “I’m just kidding.”
Great moment. FIP was full of them. I hope you won’t overlook them. Go to www.FullImpactPro.com to check out the entire FIP DVD catalog and get complete match listings for these DVDs.