Written by: Brad Dykens from Online World of Wrestling
It was billed as “Florida vs. The World,” but it started with the appearance of the YRR – Claudio Castagnoli, Kenny King, Sal Rinauro, and Chasyn Rance. Double C said he was representing Switzerland in a match against Florida Heritage Champion Erick Stevens. Kenny King started bragging about their private jets, gorgeous women, and lavish lifestyle when Seth Delay and Jerrelle Clark showed up sick and tired of the YRR and issued a special challenge.
The YRR (Kenny King & Sal Rinauro) vs. Seth Delay & Jerrelle Clark: This was your typical big-effort opening match involving four guys who belong in the opening match wherever they go. Don’t get me wrong, the opening match is important because it sets the tone for the night. The YRR continued to be a very dominant force within FIP with a victory over Delay and Clark after interference from Chasyn “Not Cocky” Rance ( 5 / 10 ).
Delirious w/Dave Prazak vs. Jigsaw: This was sort of a clash of bizarre personalities, with Delirious being the clear champion of bizarre behavior. Mr. Milo Beasley is still hanging around during DP Associate matches – I seriously didn’t think this wheel-chair bound character would last this long. Why haven’t they put this guy, who goes by Naphtali on the Florida circuit, in the ring to work a few wrestling matches. Who knows? Delirious won. ( 7.0 / 10 )
It should be noted that at some point during the opening match, the bottom rope snapped and sagged for the rest of the card.
The YRR came out once more to annoy the crowd with poorly written jokes about running Black Market out of FIP. The Heartbreak Express came out and said they may not be friends with Black Market but they have a lot of respect for them. The HBE challenged the YRR to a 3-on-2 match, which signaled the return of So-Cal Val to the corner of Sean and Phil Davis.
The Heartbreak Express w/So-Cal Val vs. The YRR (Chasyn Rance & Sal Rinauro): Apparently, Sal Rinauro was pulling double-duty with a pair of tag team matches in one night. For the last year, I have hypothesized about So-Cal Val joining the YRR, and I finally got my wish. Let’s face it folks, Val epitomizes the YRR philosophies – who better to lead the YRR assemblage. So Cal Val turned on the HBE and sprayed Superstar Sean in the eyes with mace, costing him the match ( 6.5 / 10 )! So-Cal Val cut a loud and proud promo on the Heartbreak Express proclaiming that people like her don’t associate with “losers” like them. That’s gotta hurt!
Shingo w/Dave Prazak vs. Nigel McGuinness: Whenever Dave Prazak leaves the announce booth to perform his managerial duties, they should really throw a replacement in to support the other guy who is left to fend for himself. Heck, throw a wrestler in there so he can talk trash and advance other storylines. This match was Japan vs. England, and the American fans immediately sided with the spiky-haired British combatant. This was an ROH-style match in front of an FIP-style crowd, which doesn’t always translate very well, but the crowd really appreciated this contest. Shingo managed to knock himself out with a chair and Nigel made him tap out with an Arm-bar ( 7.5 / 10 ). Shingo wrapped himself in the Japanese flag and left to the jeers of the Florida crowd.
“Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney hit the stage with really cool new entrance music and talked about driving to Florida and adjusting his rear view mirror so he could look at himself. The flamboyant Larry Sweeney cut a promo on Sean “X-Pac” Waltman and dubbed himself the ‘King of Inverness.’
“Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney vs. Sean “X-Pac” Waltman: You couldn’t make a better match-up of new versus old than Sweeney vs. Waltman. They worked a slow-paced match with nice build, with ICW/ICWA Tex-Arkana Television Champion Larry Sweeney working the crowd like a true master manipulator. Waltman was doing all of his DX stuff, and scored a nice victory ( 7 / 10 ).
Switzerland’s Claudio Castagnoli w/So-Cal Val vs. Florida’s Erick Stevens: Double C and So-Cal Val look really good together; their partnership should make for some great storylines. The vivacious Valerie was a lot louder than she used to be, and thankfully she wasn’t standing between the ring and the main camera so I could actually pay attention to the match! Seriously folks, this girl could single-handedly bring back the lost art of the wrestling valet if given the right opportunity. Castagnoli used his size advantage to maintain the advantage for most of the match, methodically working over Erick’s knee. Stevens refused to go down without a fight, and battled back like a true warrior, nailing the Doctor-bomb and miraculously retaining his Florida Heritage championship ( 7.5 / 10 ). The YRR hit the ring to attack Erick Stevens until the Heartbreak Express, Seth Delay, and Jerrelle Clark made the save.
FIP World Title Match – Roderick Strong vs. Dragon Gate’s Yamato: Yamato came out to a Bob Dylan song – how strange is that?! Roderick Strong came out showing off his brand new FIP “World” Heavyweight title belt, which looks a hell of a lot better than the last belt. Yamato made debut in the United States for Ring of Honor several weeks before, but apparently decided to stick around and work a few more shows. Yamato proved to be a very worthy challenger, but Strong proved why he was champion with an impressive victory over the Dragon Gate rookie ( 8 / 10 ).
Falls Count Anywhere – Mark Briscoe vs. Mad Man Pondo: Mr. Pondo has to be the least athletic-looking wrestler since Mick Foley. The poor guy isn’t really a wrestler; he’s just a crazy bastard who parlayed his high threshold for pain and self-mutilation into a career in professional wrestling. Therefore he does not and will never have my respect. Within minutes, Pondo had already introduced a stop sign, a couple of music records, and a staple gun into the match. It was young Briscoe who got his hands on the staple gun and stapled dollar bills onto Pondo’s face. The Mad Man sold it for all of five seconds before taking the weapon back and stapling Briscoe’s crotch. They left the ring and ended up on the stage where the “FIP Mobile Studio” was set up. Pondo was placed on a table and Briscoe did a running Double-stomp off the stage putting the bloody Pondo through the table. They sold that for about seven seconds before taking it back to the ring, where Pondo strategically placed some chairs around the ring. Pondo was about to murder Mark Briscoe when Jay Briscoe came out to save his brother. Necro Butcher showed up and the referee threw the match out and sent Pondo and Mark backstage so Necro and Jay could start their match. Sure, they used chairs, tables, a stop sign, and staple gun, but THIS caused a No Contest?
No-DQ Match – Jay Briscoe vs. Necro Butcher: The insanity didn’t miss a beat, as Jay Briscoe and Necro Butcher picked up right where their partners left off – kicking each others butts and no-selling moves that would put average people in the hospital. The Briscoes have learned to sell moves for their opponents but Necro and Pondo are absolutely ridiculous. The referee got knocked out, and stayed down for a couple of minutes. Jay laid out Butcher on the floor and put a piece of guard rail on top of him, then hit a running senton which Necro had no choice but to sell. They continued beating each other up, and every time the referee started to wake up, they would knock him out again! That proved to be stupid because once the wrestlers starting going for pinfalls, there was no referee to count the 1-2-3. Mad Man Pondo returned and whacked Jay Briscoe with the stop sign and Mark Briscoe returned to counter Pondo’s interference. After some more chaos, Necro ended up on top of Jay, and the groggy referee counted a slow 1-2-3 to give Necro Butcher the victory ( 8 / 10 ).
Final Thoughts: The show went by pretty fast for a card featuring nine matches, four of which were main event quality.