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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Full Impact Pro – Redefined

May 9, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Full Impact Pro – Redefined  

Full Impact Pro — Redefined
by J.D. Dunn

In an effort to boost DVD sales and attendance, Full Impact Pro decided to bring itself more in line with its more successful partner promotion Ring of Honor. This would be the relaunch of the promotion.

The new lighting scheme looks like an ROH show from late 2003, and the setup looks a bit more professional than earlier FIP DVDs. I still advocate using a TV studio and aping the old Championship Wrestling from Florida shows, but this looks quite good too and accommodates more fans.

  • February 16, 2008
  • From Crystal River, Fla.
  • Your hosts are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard. Btw, does anyone else think ring announcer Jonathan Gold looks like Stephen Colbert?

  • DP Associates open the show to tell us that it’s only a matter of time before gold comes back to DP Associates. Austin Aries interrupts and says he never got revenge on Dave Prazak for screwing him over a year ago, so he’s challenging anyone from DP Associates. If he wins, he wants Prazak to give up his managerial license. DP agrees, but only if Aries agrees to put up his FIP career.
  • Opening Match: “The Wrestling Machine” Austin Aries vs. Davey Richards (w/Dave Prazak & Mr. Milo Beasley).
    Aries uses his quickness to stay ahead of Richards early. Richards tries to headscissors Austin Aries, but YOU CANNOT HEADSCISSOR AUSTIN ARIES! Aries also cuts him off on the handspring kick. Wow. Aries is always one step ahead of Richards. Aries tosses Richards’ face into a fan’s boot. I love it! Prazak jumps Aries from behind, but Aries shrugs it off and gives chase. Prazak leads Aries right into a clothesline from Richards. Milo Beasley, who moves well for a cripple, hits a moonsault off the apron and then hops back in his wheelchair. Back in, Richards slaps on a bodyscissors. Aries comes back with a few elbows and hits the suicida, but Richards puts him in the Texas Cloverleaf. Aries makes the ropes and goes up, but Richards pulls a Kurt Angle and runs up the ropes to hit a released German Suplex. Aries slugs his way back and counters a powerbomb to a Kidman-esque facebuster. Prazak gets on the apron, so Aries goes after him again. Richards charges but knocks Prazak off the apron by accident. That allows Aries to hit Richards with the Brainbuster and finish with the Horns of Aries at 11:28. Outside of a few uncharacteristically sloppy points, this rocked me like a hurricane. Aries actually got over by behaving like a babyface! Smart opener. ***3/4

  • After the match, Prazak can’t believe it’s all over. Aries leads the crowd in a “Na, na, na, na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye” chant.
  • Shawn Murphy comes out and announces something is wrong at Joey Machete’s house and he won’t be able to make the show. He says he is in contact with his family, though. That’s uncomfortably close to the Benoit murders for my liking.
  • The YRR arrives in a convertible and makes friends all over the place by insulting the Briscoes and the people in the audience. They spot Shawn Osbourne and Robert Anthony in the crowd and start insulting them. Osbourne and Anthony are about to hop in the ring, but Seth Delay comes out and says he’s got first.
  • Chasyn Rance (w/The YRR) vs. “Cool” Seth Delay.
    Delay chases Rance out of the ring, and Rance receives some treatment from Lacey and Rain. Good job if you can get it. Delay goes out after him, so Rance pulls Rain in the way and cheapshots Delay. Back in, Delay comes back with an elbowdrop but gets distracted by Lacey. She slaps him in the face, allowing Rance to schoolboy Delay with a handful of tights and pick up the win at 3:10. Alison Danger and Trenesha pull the referee aside and try to convince him to restart the match, but the ref doesn’t believe him. This was all about getting the YRR over as cheating, arrogant bastards. 3/4*

  • The Minnesota Home-wrecking Crew (w/The YRR) vs. Allison Danger & Trenesha.
    You know Trenesha as Rhaka Khan and Rain as Payton Banks. Allison tries to choke Rain out with her own arms. Lacey cheapshots her from outside and shows off her guns. That’s the basic formula for the first few minutes – Lacey actually is able to wrestle with Danger, but Rain finds herself totally overmatched. Trenesha tags in and puts Rain the dreaded Claw. Lacey makes the save, and Rain cheapshots Allison to let the MHWC take over. Lacey rolls over into an Inverted Bridging Torture Rack, giving us a rather, erm, “interesting” view. Allison hits Rain with the STO. HOT TAG TO TRENESHA! Trenesha cleans house on Lacey but gets hit with the Lungblower. Lacey sets up for the Tomikaze, but Allison makes the save. Trenesha grabs the Claw on both Crew members and slams them down, but Chasyn has the ref distracted. That allows Lacey to counter to the Triangle Choke at 10:31. Good old-school tag fun. Trenesha and Rain aren’t that great, but they were able to disguise it quite well. **3/4

  • The YRR celebrate, but Tyler Black comes out and tells Lacey that she doesn’t belong with them; she belongs with the Age of the Fall. Lacey leaves with Tyler Black and takes Rain with her. See, now the Age of the Fall really has a natural feud with the YRR, so this works out perfectly. The YRR need some new hot chicks, but honestly, how hard can it be to find hot chicks in Florida. Besides, they should still have SoCal Val and Becky Bayless.
  • FIP Tag Team Titles: Kenny King & Jason Blade (w/The YRR) vs. Robert Anthony & Shawn Osbourne.
    Osbourne seems to be the solid power guy while Anthony is the flippy man – perhaps too flippy for his own good. Osbourne reminds me of a more mobile Brent Albright. They blitz the YRR with doubleteams until Blade yanks Anthony down as he’s going for the springboard. Anthony plays face-in-peril, taking a wicked clothesline from Blade. King hits the uranage backbreaker for two. Anthony gets a flying clothesline and tags in Osbourne. Osbourne cleans house on the YRR, but they catch him with the superkick/German Suplex combo. I love that as a finisher. Anthony makes the save but gets tossed to the floor. That sets up a gutwrench-into-a-facebuster finisher at 10:58. If I’m Anthony and Osbourne, I find all the Hart Foundation matches I can get my hands on and watch them over and over again until I have their formula down pat. Also, they need to develop a cohesive personality as a team. If they can do that, FIP has another great addition to their tag division. **1/2

  • Anything Goes: Nigel McGuinness vs. Necro Butcher (w/Tyler Black).
    Nigel’s ROH Title is not on the line. Black doesn’t hang around long, heading back to the locker room to prepare for his Florida Heritage Title match. Necro grabs a couple of chairs but slides them in to Nigel. Nigel picks one up, but Necro nails him in the gut. Necro is like Bruiser Brody after smoking a bowl. Necro baits Nigel into following him out and slams him on a chair. He sandwiches Nigel in the crowd barrier and hits him with another chair. They work their way to the other side where Necro takes everyone’s chairs and piles them up. Nigel slips off his shoulder and backdrop suplexes him into the pile. Nigel slams Necro’s arm against the railing, perhaps setting up for the London Dungeon. Indeed, Nigel puts him in the stepover armlock on the outside, but it’s not Falls Count Anywhere. To ringside, Butcher tries a clothesline but slams his own arm into the post. Back in, Nigel continues to work the arm, taunting Necro and saying no one cares about Necro. Necro actually starts to turn face in the eyes of the crowd, which is a good thing because Tyler Black set himself and Lacey up as babyfaces against the YRR. Necro fires back and sentons a chair onto Nigel’s chest. Necro goes up, but Nigel tosses a chair into him and hits the Tower of London on the chair. That sets up the London Dungeon for the submission at 17:00. Brutal match at points, but Nigel kept things rooted in reality with the arm psychology. The fans are split on Nigel after the match, but Necro gets a good ovation. ***1/2

  • Commercial for “Rise of the New Dawn: The Best of CM Punk in FIP, Vol. 2.”
  • Florida Heritage Title: Sal Rinauro vs. Tyler Black (w/Lacey & Rain).
    Rain has adopted the Age of the Fall’s goth look. Wow. Didn’t take her long to adapt. Even Prazak mentions it was a quick turn. Sal charges but gets tripped and falls on his mush. He bails out and stalls for a goodly bit. Rinauro gets back in, but Black kicks him to the floor and hits a plancha. The fans love Black here. Rinauro sidesteps a charge and hiptosses him into the corner to take over. Sal knees him in the gut and kneedrops his face as Prazak wonders if the Minnesota Home-Wrecking Crew will wreck any more homes. All of it triggers a hilarious exchange between Prazak and Leonard about Larry Zbyszko (who’s in the crowd for this show) becoming the AWA Champion again in a publicity stunt and whether or not it means Nelson Royal will get the NWA Junior Title back. Prazak threatens to go back to managing and make Leonard commentate with Larry Nelson. The YRR comes back out as Tyler makes his comeback. King tries to break up the powerbomb, but it backfires. Black makes his own save and hits Rinauro with a frogsplash. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Thought that would be it. Rinauro stalks Black, but Black hits an F5 and a kick to the face. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Kenny King pulls the ref out. Rinauro uses the distraction to springboard into a spinkick for the win at 11:54. Good match, if a little overbooked. There were a few moments when I was positive that the title was going to change. I guess the Age of the Fall curse extends even to Florida. ***1/2

  • Loser Leaves Town, No DQ Handicap Match: The Heartbreak Express vs. Shawn Murphy.
    Machete was jumped by a couple of masked thugs, so Murphy offers to go it alone. Murphy holds his own early, whipping Superstar Sean into Phil. Sean shoves Murphy to the floor and hits him with a cookie sheet. Back in, Sean splashes him but pulls him up instead of taking the pin. The babyfaces come out of the locker room to cheer Murphy on as Sean stabs him in the face with the fork. Murphy hulks up and goes wild with a trash can. Everyone is busted open and bleeding all over the place. Murphy wraps a chain around his arm and NAILS Sean with the lariat to put the Heartbreak Express out of FIP for good at 6:51. Hopefully, this is a stipulation that sticks, not because I don’t like the Heartbreak Express, but because I don’t like when they go back on stipulations. The match was the usual handicap stuff, but the Heartbreak Express is the one team that could reasonably be beaten by one guy. *3/4

  • After the match, a pair of masked men come out and destroy Shawn Murphy. Seth Delay, Robert Anthony and Shawn Osbourne try to help out but take a beatdown as well. The masked men strangle Shawn with the chain and leave him lying.
  • Before the next match, Austin Aries returns and promises to keep a close eye on the title match. Lacey comes out and brings up the Age of the Fall’s standing offer for Aries to join. Aries walks out on her instead.
  • FIP World Heavyweight Title: Erick Stevens vs. Roderick Strong.
    Both guys come out as babyfaces. Ground wrestling to start as they reverse each other’s surfboards. Roderick goes for a few lightning quick nearfalls, but Stevens survives and offers a test of strength. Roderick turns it into a Goku-Raku Stretch, choking Stevens out with his own arms. Roddy slaps on a headlock, but Stevens forces him to the ropes to break it up. They get in each other’s faces and come to some sort of understanding – that understanding apparently being that they’ll chop the everloving crap out of one another. This is Flair-Steamboat territory, folks. Strong finally gains the advantage and clubs Stevens’ back. He locks in a reverse bearhug to slow things down. Stevens reaches for the ropes, so Strong scissors his arm with his leg. Nice. Stevens is able to claw with his free hand and make the ropes, though. Stevens fires back with forearms, but a Roderick chop knocks him silly! Oh my God! Stevens battles back again and hits the avalanche. They clothesline each other for a double KO spot. Stevens gets fired up and hits a Jackhammer for two. Roderick blocks the Doctorbomb and hits an enzuigiri. That sets up a Yakuza Kick that puts Stevens on the apron. Roderick follows him out, but Stevens knocks him to the floor and hits an elbow. The ref lays in the count (the title can change hands on a countout in FIP). Strong yanks the title belt away from the ring attendant and accidentally hits Stevens in the head with it. The ref is about to signal for the DQ, giving Stevens the win, but Roderick implores him not to call the match because it was an accident. The ref lets them go, but Stevens is a bloody mess. Strong helps him in and lets the ref check on him. The ref says Stevens is good to go, so Roderick hits a STIFF running forearm and a backbreaker for two. More chops, and Roderick hits a facebuster. Strong goes nuts on Stevens with chops and forearms. That sequence sets up the press gutbuster and a missile dropkick. A flying elbowdrop gets two. A half-nelson backbreaker sets up the Boston Crab. Stevens… just makes… the ropes. He sets Stevens on top, but Stevens knocks him back. SHOULDERBLOCK! Strong panics and tries another kick to the head, but Stevens catches him and spikes him down. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Press into a powerslam! That sets up the pump-handle sitout powerbomb! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Strong misses a swing and takes a full-rotation German Suplex! Awesome visual there. Stevens sets up for a lariat, but Strong yanks the ref in the way. With the ref out of the way, Strong is free to turn full heel and cheat with abandon. Stevens takes it to the floor, but Roderick moves, sending Stevens into the post. Strong nails him with a chairshot and hops back in as the ref recovers. Stevens is out of it, and he’s unable to recover in time to beat the count, so Roderick reclaims the title at 30:55. Wow. Outside of the countout finish — which is fine from a character standpoint, but not so much from a dramatic one – this was several thousand different kinds of awesome. I have no qualms about calling this the best wrestling match in the year so far. This felt just like every great match produced by the Grahams back in the day. Little bits of Flair vs. Windham and Brisco vs. Funk all updated with today’s movesets. Get this match, now! ****1/2

  • After the match, Davey Richards comes out to celebrate with Strong, presumably uniting the No Remorse Corps in Florida.
  • The 411: I'd heard this hyped as the best FIP show in history, and it didn't disappoint. While a lot the talent you see is from Ring of Honor, the flavor is entirely different, drawing on the old Championship Wrestling from Florida days of Eddie Graham. This show felt just like an old Battle of the Belts or Clash of the Champions show from the mid-to-late 1980s. None of the matches relied too much on flippy moves or headdropping. Instead, it was just solid wrestling and storytelling. For once, Ring of Honor's kid sister stepped out of big brother's shadow.

    Thumbs way up.

    411 Elite Award
    Final Score:  8.5   [ Very Good ]  legend

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