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Rated R Reviews: FIP: All or Nothing – 11/12/06

July 24, 2011 | Posted by Mike Campbell
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Rated R Reviews: FIP: All or Nothing – 11/12/06  

November 10, 2006

It’s been quite a while since I last sat down with some Full Impact Pro, but the combination of seeing a Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong match and Davey Richards vs. Shingo is something I can’t pass up.

Jake Manning . . . looks impressive in a three-way match, despite only getting a few minutes to show off his stuff.
Shane Hagadorn . . . actually looks like a fun heel to watch, despite being regulated to a manager role in ROH.
The Briscoe Brothers . . . get treated like an afterthought, despite being the FIP Tag Team Champions.

As far as openers go, this isn’t anything special, although it’s solid for what it is. Gambino isn’t much for actual work (if this match is any indication) but he’s a fun loudmouth heel in the Chuck Taylor mold. The crowd cracks up when he tells the ref that he doesn’t need to check him because he says he doesn’t have anything and his word is gold. Clark is able to keep the match exciting with some of his flying spots. It’s telling when the best thing from Gambino is the running lariat, only because of Clark’s inside out bump. Clark pulls out impressive looking things like the arm wringer and then floating back over to hit an armdrag, and his handspring moonsault. Gambino looks like he can do a nice quebrada, but we’ll have to wait until next time to see it, he misses the spot and Clark spikes him with a piledriver for the win. Clark and Gambino managed keep the fans entertained for the eight minutes that they were out there, but don’t accomplish anything more than that.

This was fun while Manning was involved. He wasn’t anything overly great, but he held the match together pretty well by being the dick heel and beating on both Primeau and Manley. Once it’s down to Primeau and Manley any real sense of flow to the match just dies. Manley tries to pick up where Manning left off by being the aggressor, but their exchanges are too back and forth to go anywhere. The one nice touch is Manley blocking the flying stunner (which Primeau had used to stun Manning and then cradle him to eliminate him), and hitting an NLB to win the match. I’d like to see more of Manning after seeing this, but that’s all I can really take away from it.

This is a shorter, but better, version of the opener. Cougar’s spots are smoother and more impressive than Clark’s, especially the rana off the apron and the flying bulldog that he uses to finish off Hagadorn, both of which could have gone horribly wrong. While Gambino was more funny, Hagadorn is just a jerk. Like Gambino, his actual work isn’t anything to write home about, but he’s good at getting the fans riled up by doing thinks like choking Cougar with his wrist tape and raking his eye across the rope. Hagadorn shows some grapefruits by slapping Cougar to start the match and by stomping Cougar’s face. This still isn’t exactly good, but they were going in the right direction. Come to think of it, Manning, Gambino, and Hagadorn would make a fun midcard heel trio.

Between their intensity and the fact that they actually tried to tell a story, it’s easy to see that this is the best match of the night, but it still has its issues. The main one being Shingo’s performance. He doesn’t seem to feel like playing along with Davey when it comes to Davey working his arm over (which wound up being the finish). He’s fine for putting the arm over when Davey is actually working a hold, but except for using it to explain his delay in pinning Davey after the Blood Fall, he doesn’t make it matter long term. Of course, the storyline may have a factor in that, Shingo is supposed to be little more then hired muscle. But, even as the match winds down and it’s obvious Davey is building up to the keylock with things like the tornado DDT segued to the Fujiwara armbar, Shingo is hitting his normal spots like the pumping bomber and not putting over the arm at all.

They also have a few weird spots. The big one being Davey’s cross body press that Shingo rolls through for a near fall. The spot itself looked a bit loose, like Davey didn’t have enough momentum on the press, but it just seemed to be randomly dropped into the match. When they stay on task, this is quite the nice little match. Davey has always been good as taking apart an arm, and he’s not any different here. And again, their intensity is quite welcome. Shingo plays his role as Danielson’s policeman rather well. His goal is to go out there and hurt Davey, and he does just that. But Shingo is capable of better than that. Shingo just going out there to throw someone around would work if he was paired up against Pelle Primeau, but Shingo/Davey should be a pairing to potentially steal the show. ***1/4

This is all angle, but it’s rather well done. They brawl on the floor for a minute or so, and when the match gets into the ring Strong hits a backbreaker and puts on the Stronghold (which made Danielson tap out in a tag match previously) and Shingo and Hagadorn interfere to save the title. Strong challenges Danielson to one more title shot and Danielson agrees if Strong puts his FIP career on the line.

I can understand that ROH sends the students down to FIP for experience and seasoning, but this is simply too much time for Titus and Payne to work with at this point in their careers. It’s clear that they’re competent wrestlers, which means they can do the moves, but they’re lacking in being able to add to this match in any other way. Neither is very sympathetic when getting worked over, and neither shows any personality (something that Rhettski the Jetski would overcome). There’s some OK comedy involved with a Titus/Madison knuckle lock sequence with Payne making an assist, but they needed a whole lot more. Even Payne’s hot tag isn’t really that “hot” of a tag, sure, he seems fired up, but he’s just doing the same basic stuff that he did before only he’s a bit faster. The heels steal the win when Madison prevents Payne from coming off the top rope and giving Rance the opening to spike him, and it leads to a brawl between YRR and Stevens/Delay, which starts the next match.

This is almost a carbon copy of the previous match, only everyone involved is better. Rinauro is so much better in this cocky heel role than he was as faux member of the FBI during his 2005 ROH run. It’s a straight up formula style tag team match, with Sal and Kenny being good enough jerks to carry the heat portion, good enough to overcome what they lack in actual work department. Stevens and Delay were also great in their roles, with Stevens being the perfect hot tag, ready to kick ass and take names and making the fans want to see the YRR lose in the end. The missed tag to Stevens came off perfectly, and the actual tag was a out of nowhere, although it was a logical setup. The babyfaces seem to have things well at hand, but Daffney interferes and Rinauro cradles Stevens with a handful of tights to steal the win. Fun match. ***

I like a good ECW-style brawl as much as the next guy, but that’s contingent on the brawl being a “good” one. This is just boring. The Heartbreak Express and Black Market brawl, the Briscoes intervene with a nice pair of dives, and the match turns into a boring brawl between three teams instead of two teams. Despite the best efforts of the announcers, there isn’t any sense of real hate to the match. The match picks up a bit when the Briscoes eliminate the Express, the match goes into the ring and they actually wrestle, but it’s too short to do much. Murphy does a decent job of throwing around both Mark and Jay, but the Davis’ take out Machete and that allow the Briscoes to pin Murphy with their stereo legdrop/SSP combo. This just seemed like an excuse to continue the Black Market/Heartbreak Express feud while getting a tag title match on the show. Not the best use of the Briscoes.

Although this is far from the level of their best ROH matches, this is still good. It’s not very long, only about sixteen minutes, and Danielson spends some time crowd playing, and stumbling around with his ass hanging out. So it doesn’t get enough time to build up and become the epic sort of match that Strong finally dethroning Danielson should be, even if it is only for the FIP Title.

As far as their actual work goes, their best stuff is the final stretch with the teases of Danielson winning with the cradle and then Strong passing out in the chickenwing. They’ve got some good moments, Danielson’s missed elbow that gives Strong the chance to take control and Strong’s little flurry toward the end with the cradles, backbreaker, and Stronghold are good as well. But a lot of the match (which again, isn’t very long to begin with) is Danielson stalling and letting Prazak and Milo interfere so they can attempt to screw over Strong again. Strong won’t be denied though, and after he finally does away with Danielson’s entourage he hits the running kick and Tiger driver, and makes Danielson tap to the Stronghold to finally win the title. The pop for the win and the ensuing celebration was fun, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that everything would have come off world’s better had this happened in ROH. ***

The 411: Well, this is easily the best FIP show I’ve reviewed, but it still comes off lacking to me. Danielson/Strong didn’t live up to the standards they’d set for themselves, Davey/Shingo was good but could have been much better, and the tag title match was complete bullshit. The show itself has enough ‘good’ that I can recommend picking it up, but don’t have high expectations.
Final Score:  7.5   [ Good ]  legend

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