Written by: Brad Dykens from Online World of Wrestling
Roderick Strong started the show with a promo in front of the live crowd talking about his history in FIP and wanting to be the next FIP World champion. Davey Richards came out and said he wanted to wish his friend luck and added once Strong wins the title he will do whatever it takes to get a shot. Strong said if Davey wanted a title shot he’d have one!
Bino Gambino hit the ring for the first match…. Bino WHO? Bino Gambino, man! Okay I don’t know much about him except that he wrestles in California and he was trained by Jesse Hernandez at the EWF training school. Here’s his profile (he as put on some weight since that picture was taken). He’s is using a weird white guy from the jungle gimmick and I have to admit my first impression of him wasn’t that great but once the match got started I realized he was a pretty good wrestler. There was no chance that he was going to beat FIP regular Jerrelle Clark though ( 6.5 / 10 ).
Another couple of first-timers debuted in the next match, which was three-way elimination rules, and included ROH wrestling school graduate Pelle Primeau. The first-timers were Jack Manley and Jake Manning and they were joined by Pelle, who made two appearances in FIP exactly one year ago. Pelle is the type of wrestler who people will say “well at least he’s got a big heart” for the rest of his career. My first impressions of Jake Manning (from the Carolinas) and Jack Manley (from California) was that they were “too indy,” but had the potential to transform into something better if they find themselves in the right place at the right time. Jake Manning was eliminated first and Jack Manley won with a Northern Lights Suplex on Pelle Primeau – well at least he’s got a big heart ( 5.5 / 10 ).
Next it was time for DP Associates (Dave Prazak, Mr. Milo Beasley, American Dragon, Shingo Takagi and Shane Hagadorn) to get all the heat put on their group of bandits with an interview segment. Shane Hagadorn issued an open challenge for any man in FIP to take him on and the Canadian Cougar accepted the challenge. Dave Prazak laughed and predicted victory for Hagadorn.
Thankfully it was a very fast paced match, otherwise it would have been hard to watch, but they maintained the velocity until Canadian Cougar scored the victory ( 6 / 10 )! Shane Hagadorn has the worst tatoo in the history of tatoos.
Shingo Takagi (known simply as “SHINGO”) hit the ring and attacked the Cougar until Davey Richards made the save and they immediately started a match of their own. Anybody who has read any of my ROH or FIP DVD reviews knows that I am very high on both of these wrestlers. This was a rematch from Impact of Honor on June 10. SHINGO that match, and Davey Richards won this match so I guess now they have to do a tie-breaker ( 8 / 10 ).
FIP Champion American Dragon attacked Davey Richards after the match and Roderick Strong made the save and grabbed the FIP belt. When Strong wouldn’t give the belt back, Dragon decided to start the main event early and they started their match for the FIP World championship. About 90-seconds into the match, DP Associates interfered and resulted in a disqualification to once again screw another challenger out of their FIP title shot. DP Associates ganged up on Roderick Strong until he exploded and sent the DP guys running from the ring. Prazak openly bragged about outsmarting Roderick Strong and said Strong won’t get any more title shots! Roderick Strong said he will be the FIP Champion before the end of the night and demanded another title shot. Dave Prazak refused, but American Dragon had an idea to put his FIP title on the line against Strong’s FIP career. Strong agreed!
The YRR faction was featured in two consecutive tag team matches. The first involved YRR members Steve Madison and Chasyn Rance taking on two more first-timers and ROH wrestling school graduates Rhett Titus and Alex “Sugarfoot” Payne; the second match featured YRR members Salvatore Rinauro (who gets to wear his Embassy gear in the YRR) and Kenny King taking on more formidable opponents in Erick Stevens and Seth Delay. As is the case on most night, it was the YRR who had their arms raised in both matches. Madison/Rance beat Titus/Payne in a match that went far too long that it should have ( 5.5 / 10 ). Rinauro/King beat Stevens/Delay ( 6.5 / 10 ). The really cool thing that happened was that Daffney (WCW’s “Scream Queen”) debuted with FIP and joined the YRR faction. I totally love Daffney!! She makes a decent heel but she’s better as a babyface..
The intense feud between Black Market and the Heartbreak Express was starting to settle down when the Briscoes showed up and injected their own flavor and breathed life back into the program, making it a triple threat feud over the FIP Tag Team championship. The Heartbreak Express and Black Market started destroying each other before the Briscoes even showed up. The Briscoes came to the ring with their belts and watched their opponents beat each other up for a minute before doing stereo dives over the top rope! After a few minutes, the Briscoes eliminated the Heartbreak Express when they pinned Phil Davis. A few more minutes later the Briscoes eliminated Black Market after they gave Shawn Murphy a combination Shooting Star Press and Leg Drop from the top rope ( 7.5 / 10 ). The Heartbreak Express attacked Black Market after the match and assaulted Joey Machete with a fork and piano wire as Sean Davis screamed “Die! Die! Die!” leading to their “Cage of Pain” match on 12/15 in Crystal River.
The main event was a historic match which saw Florida’s top independent wrestler Roderick Strong use an exciting flurry of offense to finally defeat his long-time nemesis “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson with the Stronghold submission move to capture the FIP World Heavyweight title ( 9 / 10 ).
They had a post-match celebration in the ring with all the babyfaces hoisting Roderick Strong in the air. Davey Richards congratulated his “friend” and demanded to know when he would get his title shot. The NEW FIP champion said he wanted to celebrate first and they would talk about it later but Richards wouldn’t accept that answer. Things got a little hot from there as Strong and Richards started to fight and had to be separated by all the other wrestlers.
Final Thoughts: It was a historic night with the top FIP championship changing hands on an FIP show for the first time in two years. Dragon won it from Homicide on a Ring of Honor show. For historical significance alone, this is a must have for your DVD collection.