FIP Everything Burns
March 14, 2014
-From Ybor City, FL. Our hosts are Lenny Leonard and Rob Naylor.
-Before we get started, I would just like to wish everyone a safe and happy Pi Day!
-MSL has purchased some interview time and promotes his brand of douchebaggery. He introduces his favorite client, Chasyn Rance. MSL knows that Rance can win the FIP Championship, but he’s throwing his support behind newcomer, Kennedy Kendrick. They’re interrupted by Larry Dallas, who wants to showcase his new client (and possible girlfriend) Nikki Kneeds. Since they’re seemingly debuting an entire roster at once, they’re also joined by new Dallas stablemate, Jack Gallows. Nikki fetches Larry’s brand new FIP Bahamas Championship, which he supposedly won while on vacation. Josh Hess (in a “I’m an MSL guy” t-shirt) interrupts and demands a shot at the Bahamas Championship. Dallas doesn’t feel Hess has proved himself in the Bahamas rankings or something, who knows, I’m about done paying attention to this nonsense.
Josh Hess vs. Jack Gallows
Oh, they’re going to wrestle, how nice. All the newcomers from the previous segment are lingering around ringside, I’ve lost track of who is aligned with who. Hess has an irritating Chuck Taylor-lite persona and Gallows angrily tosses him around. Hess misses a rolling elbow and suffers a German suplex. Gallows applies an ankle lock and Hess taps immediately at 1:54. At least it was short. ¼* for the German.
Winner: Jack Gallows
-Dallas strips down to wrestling tights and it’s hard not to notice that he’s put on some serious weight. NOW, Dallas is willing to defend his Bahamas title.
FIP Bahamas Championship:
Dallas takes advantage of a hurt Hess, delivering a Bronco Buster. Dallas picks up the easy win at 0:46, and acts like he just won the main event of Wrestlemania. DUD.
Larry Dallas © vs. Josh Hess
Winner and still FIP Bahamas Champion: Larry Dallas
Blake Edward Belakus vs. Aaron Epic
Belakus reminds me of Tyler Reks. Apparently, Epic was in the first ever FIP match, so I guess he’s a longtime veteran of the Florida indy scene. They trade some holds but quickly transition to exchanging hard shots. Epic scores a flurry of arm drags but drives himself into the turnbuckles, where Belakus wrenches the arm. Belakus takes some shortcuts while working over the arm. Epic counters with a running Liger Bomb for a near fall. Epic sneaks in a sliding lariat, but Belakus comes back with a Burning Hammer for the win at 5:49. Okay-ish semi-squash match, *½.
Winner: Blake Edward Belakus
-The lady ring announcer interviews Belakus after the match. He’s a man of few words, simply stating we can see “a lot more” of him in FIP.
Jason Cade and Aaron Solow vs. The Juicy Product (JT Dunn and David Starr)
I’ve never heard of Cade and Solow, who come across like designated jobbers. The Juicy Product get a superstar entrance and project confidence well. Cade goes toe to toe with Dunn and catches him with a hurricanrana. Starr tags in but quickly gets caught with an enziguri for 2. Solow and Cade demonstrate strong team work by making quick tags, but Dunn gets blind tag and reenters with a flying double stomp. The Juicy Product nail double drop-kicks to the head of Cade. Starr plants Cade in the crowd for a flying guillotine leg drop off the apron by Dunn! That was pretty cool. Cade stomps the head of Dunn and makes what should have been a hot tag to Solow. The Juicy Product quickly overwhelm Solow with a super kick into a suplex spot. A pair of rolling elbows from The Product finish this at 6:48. Really fun extended squash match here, **.
Winners: The Juicy Product
-Dunn and Starr are interviewed by the stage. Dunn declares their intention to become the next FIP Tag Team Champions. Sounds good to me.
Earl Cooter vs. Maxwell Chicago
Cooter has a greasy racing fan vibe to him. Chicago is playing the character of a Rat Pack-esque crooner and comes out to a big band rendition of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Chicago panders to the crowd by requesting free beer for the fans in the VIP seating. Cooter attempts a cheap shot, but Chicago takes control with a full nelson suplex, and then struggles to nip up (intentionally). Chicago teases a dive, but instead delivers a Thesz press on the floor (to an ironic “holy sh!t” chant). Cooter comes back with a diving clothesline. Chicago takes a picture (for Twitter?) during his comeback. Cooter misses a moonsault by a mile and I start to wonder if I’m watching $5 Wrestling. Cooter scores a near fall with by dropping Chicago head-first on his knee, but Chicago nails the Gimmick Stealer (Side Effect). Cooter arranges a ref bump and grabs a chair and clocks Maxwell in the head for the win at 7:53. Nothing quite like bad comedy wrestling, DUD.
Winner: Earl Cooter
-Moose, an intimidating looking former New England Patriot, marches to the ring. Cooter begs for mercy but eats a spear. Moose menaces Chicago but decides to beat up Cooter some more instead, dropping him with a botched slam. Don’t be surprised if this guy signs with WWE by this time next year.
FIP Florida Heritage Championship:
Dorado’s theme music starts off with the meowing cat food jingle before turning into a cool metal riff. Akuma offers a handshake, but gets a hug instead, but it was a ploy for a roll-up. They trade holds at a fast pace before reaching a stalemate. They sprint through an exchange until Dorado uses an arm drag to set up a suicide dive! Slingshot senton by Dorado gets a 2 count, as does a leaping head butt. Suplex by Dorado and a standing moonsault keeps the 2 counts coming. Akuma counters Dorado in the ropes with a lung blower and takes control. Akuma applies a Boston Crab and lets go to dish out a suplex for 2. Akuma rolls Dorado around, applying a Mexican surfboard and Dragon Sleeper! Back suplex by Akuma gets another near fall (while some fans support Dorado by meowing). It’s FIGHTING SPIRIT time as they trade strikes and Akuma delivers a Brainbuster for 2. Lince escapes the Gory Special and scores with the springboard Asai moonsault! High cross body by Dorado and a back handspring elbow. A top rope hurricanrana still isn’t enough to finish Akuma. German suplex by Akuma and a sit-out power bomb only get a 2 count. Dorado bounces back with a Michinoku Driver. Akuma evades some attacks and missile drop-kicks the head. The rolling Death Valley Driver by Akuma is another 2 count (too many near falls, I sez). Dorado scores a flip piledriver (or something, I was busy complaining about near falls) and scores the win at 17:15. Title changes are fun. This was your usual indy spotfest kick-out festival, but it was still heads and tails above anything else on this card so far, ***½.
Gran Akuma © vs. Lince Dorado
Winner and new FIP Florida Heritage Champion: Lince Dorado
-Post-match interview with Dorado reveals that he’s going to celebrate with a plate of milk and play with some balls. In all seriousness, he’s very proud to be Heritage Champion.
Leva pays tribute to the late Harold Ramis by coming out to the Ghostbusters theme. Both women exhibit high energy as they exchange holds. The crowd is pretty alive for this as both women reveal themselves to be sound ring technicians. Leva begins favoring attacks to the arm and shoulder of Ivelisse. Leva falls for the oldest trick in the book when Ivelisse says “Hey look” while pointing behind her. Leva recovers with a double stomp to the back and applies a rear chinlock. Ivelisse comes back with an unfortunate looking clothesline. Springboard cross body by Ivelisse gets a 2 count, but sets up a Camel Clutch. Ivelisse switches it up with a strangle hold. Leva escapes, only to get chopped into a Dragon Sleeper. Leva knees the face to break the hold, and scores some high kicks. Ivelisse unleashes a series of Yakuza kicks but Leva nails a side Russian leg sweep for a near fall. Ivelisse counters with a crucifix pin attempt. Leva delivers a bulldog into the turnbuckles and a flying double stomp to the back for a good false finish. Ivelisse nails a snap mare into a leg lariat for another near fall. They trade counters until Ivelisse scores a sunset flip for the win at 15:47. Highly enjoyable outing here, Ivelisse belongs on NXT, ***.
Ivelisse © vs. SHINE Tag Team Champion Leva
Winner and still SHINE Champion: Ivelisse
-Post-match interview with Ivelisse gives her a chance to put over how important the SHINE Championship is to her.
-The Savages (Teddy Stigma and Eddie Graves) and Johnny Vandal, with Trina Michaels surround Leva in the ring. The men beat her up, apparently at the orders of Trina. The Submission Squad storm the ring for the late save and we have a six man tag on our hands.
The Submission Squad (Pierre Abernathy, Evan Gelistico, and Gary Jay) vs. The Savages (Teddy Stigma and Eddie Graves) and Johnny Vandal (with Trina Michaels)
I’ve never seen any of these six men before, so this will be fun to recap. It’s almost 11 p.m. so my patience for filler is waning. The match breaks down pretty quickly with the Submission Squad connecting with dives to ringside. Vandal scores a Yakuza Kick on Gary Jay to set him up as the heroic baby face in peril. Vandal is considerate enough to have his name plastered on his ass, so I know who he is. The Savages look like a poor man’s team of Chris Hero and Matt Hardy. Jay gets beat up for a while but nails Stigma with a tornado DDT, allowing the hot tag to Abernathy. Gelistico helps Abernathy overwhelm the Savages and the match breaks down yet again. The Submission Squad put together a string of moves (known as the “Get F*cked”) on Stigma, but soon all six men are down and out. Trina provides a distraction so Gelistico buries his head in her cleavage (that’s nice). Vandal plants the distracted (yet happy) Gelistico for the win at 9:11. These guys were eager to please so the match didn’t suck, but this would have benefited from going on in the first hour, **.
Winners: The Savages and Johnny Vandal
-Post-match interview with the Savages and Vandal showcase their arrogant personas. These guys plan on sticking around FIP. Their advice for the kids is to eat steak and drink whiskey, and they’ll be just like the Savages. Okay, that last line might have won me over.
Biff Busick vs. FIP Tag Team Champion Roderick Strong
This might be really good, or it’ll be another patience-testing round of “Hit finisher, kick out, repeat x 50.” They start off with some chain wrestling, true to the formula. Busick looks right at home trading holds with the much more established Strong. They quicken the pace and Roderick nails a leg lariat. They brawl through the crowd, with Roderick lighting up the pale chest of Busick. Strong gets his neck snapped on the ropes and Busick considers using a chair, but instead goes on a full-blown assault to the head. Strong counters with a snap mare, but Busick trips him up to regain control. Strong reverses a suplex but Busick goes for a sleeper. They sprint through a series of counters until Roderick nails a backbreaker. Strong is lighting fast delivering a clothesline and heel kick. Strong serves the Olympic Slam for a pin attempt. Busick counters the Tiger Driver and nails a half Nelson suplex for 2. Cue the FIGHTING SPIRIT slugfest. Gut-wrench Doctor Bomb by Busick would impress Cesaro. They jockey for position on the ropes until Roderick nails a backbreaker onto the turnbuckles. Busick blocks a pin attempt and applies a Rear Naked Choke! Strong comes back with the gut buster and Sick Kick for the win at 18:15. Excellent outing here, they avoided getting carried away with false finishes and instead just focused on delivering some great counters and exchanges, ****.
Winner: Roderick Strong
-Strong puts Busick over in the obligatory post-match interview. He expects we’ll see Busick tearing it up for a long time to come.
CZW World Heavyweight Championship:
I’ve never heard of Thatcher, but the word in the WWNLive chat room is he’s a stiff, submission specialist from England. They start off with a grappling contest, both men wrestling are wrestling cautiously. Thatcher scores first with an awesome single arm suplex. They take their fight to the mat, with Gulak barely avoiding an arm breaker. Gulak rolls into a half crab, but Thatcher transitions into some arm work. Gulak ties up the leg and kicks the head to maintain the hold. Thatcher escapes and pretzels the arm, but Gulak forces a cover, but still gets trapped in a figure four armbar. They are tied up by the legs and trade open hand slaps and then roll onto their heads where they continue to trade shots. Thatcher has had enough and starts lighting Gulak up with stiff shots, which Gulak is happy to return the favor. Gulak sprints for an overhead belly to belly superplex! Drew dives off the top rope and then DDT’s the knee! Thatcher survives a suplex and regains some ground by attacking the head. Thatcher delivers the Tower of London for a nice 2 count. Thatcher goes nuts with open hand slaps and applies an armbar! Gulak counters with a Piledriver but Thatcher kicks out! Thatcher comes back with a gut wrench suplex and reapplies the armbar. Gulak desperately nails a cradle suplex. They block submissions and trade more stiff shots until Gulak rolls into the ankle lock. Thatcher taps out at 19:26. This was an amazing technical display and one of the best pure wrestling matches I’ve seen in ages, ****¼.
Drew Gulak © vs. Timothy Thatcher
Winner and still CZW World Heavyweight Champion: Drew Gulak
-Roderick Strong storms the ring and offers Drew Gulak a congratulatory handshake. They will meet for the CZW title the next night in Orlando. Strong throws a warning shove and backs out of the ring. Drew challenges Roderick to get back in to fight, but Strong takes off without any further incident.
Final Thoughts: That first hour of bullcrap was making me distraught over having purchased the iPPV and committing to reviewing it. Fortunately, the four big matches surpassed my expectations, especially with Strong/Busick and Gulak/Thatcher entering the ****+ territory. I’d strongly recommend ordering the replay and skipping the first hour, as Biff Busick, Drew Gulak, and Timothy Thatcher are breaking out of the pack. Thumbs up.
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