FIP Payback 6/25/2005

Written by: Brad Dykens from Online World of Wrestling

It was billed as C.M. Punk’s final appearance in an FIP ring and Punk make damn sure that he went out with a bang. Having sold the New Dawn assets to the evil Dave Prazak, Punk was ready to exit on a high note there was one man standing in his way. Not just any man, but Punk’s best friend and current enemy, “Classic” Colt Cabana.

The show started with its usual three basic singles matches. Rainman defeated Jared Steel by submission ( 4.5 / 10 ), Steve Madison defeated Kahagas ( 4 / 10 ), and Spanky defeated Tony Kozina ( 6 / 10 ). Nothing too exciting to report, except Spanky and Kozina finished with a handshake. After that match, Dave Prazak decided to verbally torment Spanky until Spanky grabbed him by the collar. This brought out Jimmy Rave to save Prazak’s butt.

Then it was time for an appearance by The Heartbreak Express and Don Juan, who challenged Antonio Banks to find himself two partners for a big six man tag. Dunn and Marcos stepped up to the plate to help Banks, who committed the cardinal sin of saying “who are you guys?” which is the exact opposite of putting a guy over. It’s like Banks was saying “You guys are nobodies.” Anyway that’s a minor mistake on Banks’ part but hardly anybody would notice. This match had some great action and was eventually settled by the Heartbreak Express regrettably keeping their losing streak alive ( 6.5 / 10 ).

Tony Mamaluke faced off against Sal Rinauro and Jay Fury in a 3-WAY Elimination match. Fury was eliminated first and needs to develop himself some more, he does all the same things every time I see him. Sal Rinauro and Tony Mamaluke put on a dynamite match which ended with Mamaluke stretching Rinauro into painful submission ( 7 / 10 ).

After that match, Dave Prazak appeared once more to antagonize Sal Rinauro this time. Samoa Joe snuck up behind Rinauro, who was waiting for the sneak attack and fought back. Azrieal showed up and valiantly challenged the sadistic Samoa Joe to a match. As usual, Azrieal upped his game and hung with the big boys and really gave Joe a run for his money. Azrieal gives the impression that he doesn’t belong in a wrestling right, until that bell rings and he somehow transforms into a worthy participant in a wrestling contest. I give him all the credit in the world ( 7.5 / 10 ).

Finally the FIP tag team titles were defeated as DP Associate’s Jimmy Rave and Fast Eddie Vegas locked it up with nemesis Jerrelle Clark and Roderick Strong. It was a successful title defense on this tonight as Rave and Vegas retained their championships and celebrated with their manager, Dave Prazak ( 6.5 / 10 ).

The main event lasted roughly 50 minutes and included bell-to-bell drama and excitement from both Colt Cabana and C.M. Punk. Having worked together on so many different occasions, it is virtually impossible to have a bad match. Punk did the honors and passed the torch to Cabana by jobbing to him around the 50 minute mark to end an extraordinary match between two of the greatest wrestlers in FIP and on the planet today ( 9 / 10 ).

Final Thoughts: This was the longest FIP DVD to date, with a run-time of 2:45 so it is well worth it to purchase. I have failed to mention during my reviews how great of a job Lenny Leonard and Dave Prazak do on play-by-play. Prazak doubles as an important on-screen character as well, so he often abandons Lenny Leonard at the booth for 2, sometimes 3, matches per show. They do a fine job, though. Prazak was on his game for the main event, giving lots of background information on Punk and Cabana growing up in the business and many of the things they did together.

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