Written by: Brad Dykens from Online World of Wrestling
The second night of an FIP double-shot brought forth a series of great matches starting with a tag team match featuring the “undefeated” Heartbreak Express taking on the make-shift tag team of Aaron Epic & Kahagas. The HB Express isn’t exactly undefeated; In fact they haven’t won a single match in FIP but somehow they have convinced themselves that they have won every match. It’s a mildly humorous storyline, but I don’t see where they are going with it. Of course, Epic & Kahagas had their hand raised but Sean & Phil wouldn’t accept their own reality ( 5 / 10 ).
Rainman beat Evan Starsmore in the FIP equivalent of a popcorn match ( 2 / 10 ). Salvatore Rinauro issued an open challenge, which was accepted by Erick Stevens. This was another popcorn match and I was beginning to think things would never pick up ( 4 / 10).
Things picked up in a big way in the next match, which featured two of my favorite independent wrestlers. C.M. Punk expressed his desire to take on American Dragon in a good old fashioned wrestling match to see who the better man was. Of course, just as in previous “wrestling” matches, Punk had his crony interfere and ruin the great vibe. Azriael showed up after the referee was knocked out cold and slide a 2X4 into the ring which Punk used to whack Dragon’s knee and score the tainted victory.
Antonio Banks battled Scott Andrews in a rematch stemming from an incident the night before when Andrews refused to shake Banks’ hand after their match. Antonio Banks scored yet another victory over his mentor to set himself up for an FIP Title match at an ROH show the following week in New Jersey. Andrews set his ego aside and endorsed his former pupil after the match and then shockingly announced his retirement from wrestling! ( 7 / 10 )
The inflated ego of ROH World Champion Austin Aries defended his title against Vordell Walker in a wonderful match. There is a handful of Florida guys who really shine when they are put in the ring with seasoned wrestlers and Vordell Walker is definitely one of them. Aries retained his World Championship in the end ( 7.5 / 10 ).
Four guys who I would consider great young talents but not World title material battled each other in a 4-WAY Fray. Puma hand his hand raised in victory after the eliminations of Jerrelle Clark, Fast Eddie, and Azriael. These four ways are a great way to showcase mid=card talent and will often weed out potential main eventers who you wouldn’t expect ( 7 / 10 ).
The main event was a unique match between ROH allies with Rocky Romero challenging Homicide for the FIP World title. Homicide has been valiantly taking on all challengers since becoming the FIP Champion and has proved to be a valuable member of FIP’s success. They put on a stiff contest with Homicide miraculously escaping with his Championship in tact ( 8.5 / 10 ). After the match C.M. Punk & Azriael attacked the weakened Homicide until American Dragon ran down with a 2X4 to save Homicide. Dragon then picked up the FIP belt and reluctantly handed it to Homicide, just before attacking Homicide and leaving him on his back!
Final Thoughts: Horrible start to this show but thankfully turned itself around and ended up being a cool second half. The funny thing about these indy shows is that as long as the main event delivers, then usually everything before it is forgiven. Best matches were Dragon vs Punk, Aries vs Walker, and Homicide vs Romero — DVD Rating: 7 / 10