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DVD Review: FIP "Big Year One Bash" (9-2-05) w/Gibson-Strong, Homicide-Nigel, plus Lethal, MVP, Spanky

Nov 8, 2007 - 4:07:54 PM
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By Chris Vetter

Full disclosure: This DVD was sent to me to review.

Full Impact Pro, the sister promotion of Ring of Honor, holds shows across Florida, and this show, “Big Year One Bash, night 1” was held in Arcadia, Fla., now two years ago.

This DVD was produced by Big Vision Entertainment – the company has modified it for retail sale; specifically, they have deleted entrances so there are no copyright issues with music that plays. I do not like the way this show is edited, as it feels ‘choppy’ at times, and viewers go straight from one match to the next, with little to zero breathing room.

The crowd here in Arcadia is between 50 and 70 people, which was typical for FIP in its early days. What I really don’t like is that no fans are sitting across from the hard camera. On commentary are Dave Prazak and Mr. St. Laurent. (I prefer Lenny Leonard with Prazak!) Prazak plays the heelish colorman and heel manager here; I’m not really a fan.

FIP has the old-school vibe, with all the action done in front of the crowd, so there are no backstage segments here. To the ring!

(1) Erick Stevens defeats Evan Starsmore at 1:58.
Starsmore is an ROH school graduate, but he is dangerously thin and looks anemic; it was only a matter of time before a guy this slender was going to get injured in the ring. (Unfortunately, that has happened since this show took place.) Stevens is the heel here, and he is taller and thicker, and he rightfully dominated here. Stevens hit a powerslam, some forearms, a backbreaker over his knee, and a loud chop, but he missed a senton. Starsmore tried a clothesline, but it had no effect. Stevens hit a back suplex and a sitdown piledriver for the pin. Basic squash.

* Steve Madison got on the mic, and he called the Florida fans “toothless rednecks.” He demanded someone else come out and face Stevens!

(2) Erick Stevens defeats Chasyn Rance at 2:43.
More basic squash stuff. Rance hit some weak forearms. Stevens hit a shoulder tackle. Rance hit a dropkick and some armdrags. Stevens hit a bodyslam, a kneedrop on the face, and a back suplex, then a LOUD chop. Rance hit an enziguri and a nice hurricanrana. Rance went for a second-rope crossbody block, but Stevens caught him, and Erick hit a sitdown piledriver for the pin.

* Madison got back on the mic and said he wanted a turn, and he issued an open challenge!

(3) Tony Mamaluke defeats Steve Madison at 5:28.
I’ve said this before, but Madison has a “Randy Orton-type heel charisma.” He attacked Mamaluke as Tony entered the ring. Madison hit a nice back suplex for a nearfall, and he yanked Tony down by his hair and choked him on the mat. Mamaluke got a sunset flip for a nearfall. Madison applied a Camel Clutch, but Mamaluke escaped at 3:00.

Madison hit a running Ace Crusher, but he missed a running knee in the corner. Throughout the course of the match, Mamaluke kept going for an armbar, but Madison had successfully avoided it. Suddenly, Mamaluke got on a Triangle Choke! Madison hit a powerbomb, but Mamaluke wouldn’t let go. Mamaluke then got a Fujiwara Armbar locked in, and Madison tapped out. Good for the time given.

* Homicide was interviewed at ringside, as he showed off his FIP heavyweight title, saying, “this belt is going nowhere.” Nigel McGuinness suddenly attacked Homicide, and they fought on the floor. Nigel shoved Homicide shoulder-first into the ring post. Nigel got on the mic and called the fans “stupid Americans. Everyone knows the real wrestlers come from England.” Nigel promised he would win the title, but never come back here! (I think Nigel looks a bit heavier here; he’s definitely slimmed down a bit in the two years since this was filmed!)

* Antonio Banks appeared at ringside. (Banks is now best known as Montell Vontavious Porter, or MVP, on WWE Smackdown). Banks hair is more curly here, where in WWE, it’s usually shorter or in cornrows. Banks was upset at his former teammate, Rainman, who had attacked him after they had won a match. “I still don’t know why he did it,” Banks said. Suddenly, LaDuke Jakes attacked Banks!

(4) Antonio Banks defeats LaDuke Jakes at 3:06.
Jakes is a Big Daddy V character – a heavy black man who throws his weight around. Jakes hit some punches, and he choked Banks in the ring. “He’s a savage individual. He shows no mercy,” Prazak said. Jakes hit a running clothesline in the corner and a bodyslam. Prazak stressed that it is unclear why Jakes jumped Banks. Banks hit two enziguris and some forearms, but he couldn’t knock Jakes down. Banks suddenly hit a big spin kick to the face for the pin! Basic.

* Rainman attacked Banks! Bruce Steele in and made the save, leading to the next match.

(5) Rainman defeats Bruce Steele at 6:11.
Steele is bald, wore yellow trunks, and he has a good physique. Steele hit a shoulder tackle, a nice exploder, and a big clothesline, and he was fired up, as he hit some forearms and punches. Rainman came back with his own punches, and he snapped Steele’s neck across the top rope, then he whipped Steele into the ring post and got a nearfall at 2:30. Rainman hit some stomps in the ring, and he jawed at the crowd. Steele hit a nice hammerlock DDT.

Prazak talked about how he dumped the weak link in DP Associates, Fast Eddie, and that his faction is now stronger. Steele hit a clothesline, a backbody drop, and a Samoan Drop for a nearfall. Rainman hit a sitdown Spinebuster for a believable nearfall. Rainman nailed a low blow mule kick, then he got a schoolboy rollup with a handful of tights for the cheap pin.

* Dave Prazak appeared at ringside with his newly formed team of Jimmy Rave & Jay Lethal, and he promised they would win the tag titles from Sal Rinauro & Spanky.

(6) Spanky & Sal Rinauro defeat Jay Lethal & Jimmy Rave (w/Mr. Milo Beasley) at 15:20.
Wow, what an absolute disappointment. Seriously, with the talent of these guys, this should have been significantly better. Spanky (Brian Kendrick in WWE) started against Jimmy Rave, but Rave stalled and he jawed at the crowd. Spanky hit several shoulder tackles, and this was SLOW early. Sal entered at 4:00, and he grounded Rave with a headlock. Lethal tagged in, but Sal kept him grounded with more headlocks on the mat. Wow, this was BORING. Sal missed a plancha at 6:30, and he tweaked his knee.

Milo tripped Sal, and Lethal attacked Sal. Rave applied a Camel Clutch, and the crowd rallied for Sal. Lethal hit a top-rope ax handle to the floor on Sal for a nearfall. In the ring, Lethal completely airballed a basement dropkick to the head. Ugh. Rave hit some punches and chokes, and this match was still in first gear! Sal hit a stunner on Rave, and they were both down at 12:00. Sal hit a top-rope elbow drop, and they were both down. Spanky FINALLY made the hot tag, and he hit some clotheslines, a hiptoss, and a backbody drop on Lethal.

Spanky hit a nice dropkick on Rave for a nearfall, then a Stinger Splash for a nearfall at 14:00. Rave got a schoolboy on Spanky for a nearfall. Rave hit a spear for a nearfall. Spanky hit a double bulldog on both heels. Spanky then hit a Sliced Bread #2/flipping overhead bulldog to pin Lethal. Blah.

* The Heartbreak Express (Phil & Sean Davis) came to ringside and demanded a tag title shot RIGHT NOW. Spanky & Sal agreed!

(7) The Heartbreak Express defeat Sal Rinauro & Spanky at 2:43 to win the tag titles.
Blah. The faces hit simultaneous superkicks, and the heels bailed. They all fought briefly on the floor. In the ring, Spanky hit a frogsplash for a nearfall. Sean accidentally hit Phil. Sean whipped Sal into the guardrail. Sean hit Spanky with the title belt. Sal hit a hurricanrana on Phil in the ring. However the HBE snapped Sal’s neck over the top rope, rolled him up, and got the pin, to win the tag titles. That’s it? Seriously, that’s it? Sal was pinned on that move? UGH UGH UGH.

(8) Jerrelle Clark & Jay Fury defeat Azrieal & Seth Delay at 14:00 even.
This is a face vs. face tag match. Clark and Azrieal started and traded armbars and armdrags. Seth faced Fury, and they had an intense lockup, with Seth applying a cross-armbreaker. Azrieal hit a dropkick on Fury at 3:00, then a basement dropkick to the head. Fury hit a hurricanrana on Azrieal. Clark hit a bodyslam and a baseball slide guillotine legdrop on Azrieal for a nearfall. Seth hit a nice dropkick on Clark. Clark hit a nice Pele Kick on Delay at 5:30 for a nearfall. Clark & Fury hit a team faceplant on Delay for a nearfall. Fury hit a nice dropkick.

Clark hit his nice handspring-back-moonsault on Delay, as they worked over Delay. Delay hit a nice DDT on Fury for a nearfall, and Delay made the hot tag to Azrieal at 8:00. Azrieal hit a spine kick and some forearms on Fury. Delay hit a flying forearm on Fury for a nearfall. Azrieal hit a basement dropkick to the side of Fury’s head for a nearfall. Azrieal hit a catapult senton for a nearfall, but he missed his second-rope doublestomp on the head. Fury hit a brainbuster on Azrieal at 11:30, and the crowd rallied for Fury.

Clark made the hot tag, and he hit some dropkicks. Azrieal hit a tope con helo/dive through the ropes onto Fury on the floor. Meanwhile, in the ring, Clark hit a spinebuster on Delay for a nearfall. Fury hit his “Jay-Trix”/back bump & kip up & enziguri combo on Azrieal, and Azrieal immediately rolled to the floor. Clark hit an elevated 450 Splash on Delay for the pin! Good match!

* Sal Rinauro and Spanky appeared at ringside. Sal thanked Spanky for being his partner. Fans chanted, “Don’t go!” (to the WWE) at Spanky. One fan loudly shouted, “F**k Vince!” and Spanky laughed. He thanked the wrestlers and the fans.

(9) James Gibson defeats Roderick Strong at 28:02 to retain the ROH World Heavyweight Title.
Excellent match, and easily best of the show. They opened with intense armbars, and the announcers talked about the handful of other ROH title defenses on prior FIP shows. They had some good reversals and a standoff at 3:00. Gibson applied a hammerlock. Prazak said these two met at the ROH “Super Juniors” tournament show. Gibson snapped the left arm between his knees at 6:00, and he stayed focused on the arm as he twisted it in the ropes. Gibson hit a back suplex onto the arm. Strong hit some forearms and his first backbreaker at 8:00.

They went to the floor, and Strong hit some blows to the back and some chops. Strong hit a nice dropkick in the ring for a nearfall, and he was now in control, as he hit a nice butterfly suplex. Strong applied a half nelson leglock, but Gibson escaped and tied Strong in a Rowboat position, and he then turned it into a surfboard at 10:30! Nice. Strong flipped Gibson to the floor. Strong began jawing at the crowd and acting more heelish, and they traded blows on the floor. Gibson hit some chops. Strong applied a sleeper, but Gibson escaped. Gibson hit a plancha to the floor that nailed Strong, and Roderick landed in the front row of fans. In the ring, Strong hit an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for a nearfall at 13:00. Strong applied a bearhug on the mat, then he nailed a half nelson backbreaker over his knee for a nearfall, and he went back to the bearhug.

Gibson hit a German Suplex, and they were both down. Strong hit a backbreaker over his knee, paused to shout at the crowd, and he got a nearfall at 16:30. Strong hit a LOUD chop and he pushed his boot into Gibson’s throat, then he planted a knee in Gibson’s back. Gibson hit a back suplex, and they were both down at 19:30. They traded forearms, and Gibson nailed a flying kneestrike, and he was fired up! Gibson hit a bodyslam, a second-rope elbow drop for a nearfall, but he clutched his back in pain. Strong hit another backbreaker over his knee, but he couldn’t hit a top-rope superplex. Gibson hit a flying kneestrike off the top rope, then a brainbuster for a nearfall at 22:00. Gibson hit a dropkick and a top-rope hurricanrana for a nearfall, and he went for a Texas Cloverleaf, but Strong grabbed the ropes.

Strong hit his Gorilla Press Gutbuster over his knees and a running basement dropkick for a believable nearfall, but Gibson reached the ropes at 24:00. Strong hit another backbreaker over his knee, but he couldn’t get the Stronghold/vertical Boston Crab locked on, as Gibson reached the ropes. Gibson got a Crucifix Takedown for a believable nearfall; Strong hopped up and immediately hit a hard spine kick! They traded more forearm shots, and Gibson applied a Front Guillotine Choke! Strong reached the ropes. Strong applied the Stronghold, and he sat down on the back for pressure, but Gibson was able to get a rollup for a nearfall at 27:00. Strong hit a backbreaker. Gibson applied a Front Guillotine Choke on the mat. Gibson then hit the Gibson Driver/butterfly powerbomb for the pin. WOW that was good stuff.

(10) Homicide defeats Nigel McGuinness at 14:11 to retain the FIP Heavyweight title.
Good match, but these two can do SO much more. Fans chanted, “USA!” Nigel hit some European Uppercuts, and Homicide hit some punches. Prazak said this was Nigel’s FIP debut. Nigel twisted the left arm, and he definitely looks beefier two years ago. Homicide applied an STF, but Nigel reached the ropes, and he cowered in the corner. Nigel hit some punches, and he jawed at the crowd. Nigel applied a headscissorslock on the mat at 4:30. Nigel drove Homicide’s arm to the mat, and he applied a Cobra Clutch-style keylock that grounded Homicide. Homicide eventually applied a Rings of Saturn at 8:00, but Nigel escaped and bailed to the floor.

Homicide hit a baseball slide dropkick, and Nigel crashed into the chairs. In the ring, Homicide got a sunset flip for a nearfall. Nigel hit a Divorce Court armbreaker. Homicide hit an Ace Crusher, and they were both down at 11:00. Homicide hit a Tornado DDT for a nearfall and an Exploder suplex for a nearfall, then a standing neckbreaker and a top-rope flying headbutt for a nearfall. Nigel hit a kneedrop to the back, and he went back to the armlock. The crowd rallied for Homicide. Homicide applied an STF, but Nigel reached the ropes at 13:30. Homicide nailed a couple of hard clotheslines to get the pinfall out of nowhere!

Final thoughts:
DVD runs 1 hour, 48 minutes.

The Gibson-Strong match is the reason to pick up this disc. It’s easily in the top 10 FIP matches I’ve ever seen, and likely in the top five. The action was intense, and both men picked a body part and worked it over, and each man did a good job of selling the effects of those beatings in the match. Both men busted their butts here, and this had a nice build. I never would have guessed – especially with all the short matches early in this show – that this would reach 28 minutes!

Nigel vs. Homicide earned second best here. It was good, but not great. The face-face tag match was really good, and that earned third best. On the strength of these top three matches, the show earned a thumbs up. However, those three matches are the only ones, out of 10 matches overall, to earn ‘above average’ grades from me.

The negatives: Honestly, very little excited me early on. Spanky/Sal vs. Rave/Lethal might be the most disappointing match I’ve seen this year. What did Spanky do in the first 12 minutes of the match? He hit four or five shoulder tackles, then stood on the ring apron. Sal – who is a TERRIBLE face – put the crowd to sleep with some boring headlocks on the mat. Rave & Lethal worked Sal over with some dull offense. This match could have been so good. If it sounded good in my description … I’ve done something wrong.

You can see from watching this show that Antonio Banks was a special talent that FIP didn’t get to utilize enough before he left for WWE. Mamaluke vs. Madison was fourth-best overall, but was just too short.

There were just too many meaningless squash matches here. I can do without LaDuke Jakes and Evan Starsmore. Erick Stevens has come a LONG way in the two years since this show was held. I miss Jay Fury – the team of him & Jerrelle Clark as “the Fast & the Furious” was really good while it lasted.

I just want to reiterate that I really didn’t like the Big Vision editing; the DVD ended just seconds after Homicide won his match. I get that the idea is to avoid music copyright problems, but the pacing of the DVD suffers with these cuts. This DVD is available for $10, so it’s worth it to pick it up for the top matches, thus it earns a mild thumbs up.


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