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*** Official FIP DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
September 24, 2004 - Emergence: 2 Disc Set - St. Petersburg, Florida

My first taste of Full Impact Pro, the prominent 'sister promotion' of Ring of Honor, was well anticipated as I sat down to watch the FIP Emergence 2-Disc set. Emergence featured a traditional 16-Man Tournament for the FIP World title which included several of my favorite wrestlers (Punk, Homicide & Aries) and a handful of guys I'd never seen before. It was two nights of old fashioned wrestling action, the way it used to be, and the way it should be now.

Disc 1 included the eight opening round matches of the Tournament. There were several upset victories in the first round with Kahagas scoring a victory over Florida mainstay Scoot Andrews and Joshua Masters pinning Lex Lovett. The rest of the first round was good solid match-ups including former ECW World Champion Justin Credible moving onto the next round. Austin Aries also took on Roderick Strong in a really great match. This was before Strong gained a measure of fame in ROH. The highlight of Round #1 was the main event between Homicide and AJ Styles. They had a dynamite match for about 20 minutes before C.M. Punk & his disciple Joshua Masters interfered and caused Styles to be DQ'd. Styles endorsed 'Cide to win it all. The final eight was determined and one man would have to defeat three men the following night to earn the right to call himself the first ever FIP World Champion.

Disc 2 was even hotter with the Quarter-finals, Semi-finals, and eventually the finals of the Tournament scheduled to take place. Jerrelle Clark vs Austin Aries was probably the best match of the Quarter-finals in my opinion. It had become exceedingly obvious from the beginning that they were setting the stage for a C.M. Punk vs Homicide showdown at the end of the night. Along the way, Homicide disposed of Joshua Masters and Austin Aries, while C.M. Punk managed to get past Justin Credible and Rainman (cheating both times when scoring the pinfall!). FIP also presented its first ever 4-WAY Fray, a kind of match that will be exclusive to FIP - which involved four men in the ring at the same time with elimination rules. It was basically FIP's answer to ROH's 4-Corner Survival match. Cide and Punk did not disappoint, as they started to brawl before the opening bell. They fight spilled out onto the front lawn of the building, which was funny because the announcers had been saying all night that there was a hurricane going on outside. The announcer yelled "they're fighting in the middle of a hurricane!" but it looked kind of calm at the time, so he covered by saying it was probably the eye of the storm. Funny stuff. The brawl lasted about 12 minutes and eventually ended up in the ring where the bell rang and the two performers wrestled the best match of the night. After another 12 minutes or so Homicide claimed victory and was awarded the FIP belt and celebrated with the fans. Cameras were up-close as Homicide circled the ring signing autographs and letting fans hold the belt. That was a really nice touch from a classy guy who usually plays a bad-ass wrestling gangster.

Final Thoughts: FIP is a more traditional kind of wrestling for a more traditional crowd. They is less violence and less profanity and is suitable for children of all ages. That is a rare occassion in the wrestling industry these days and I commend the FIP talent for going back into the small towns and giving the fans a good old school wrestling show. They proved that wrestling can be the focus of a wrestling show and still be entertaining. Good job by FIP and good job by all the wrestlers. Rating: 8/10

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