FIP Chasing The Dragon (6/9/2006)- Inverness, FL
Welcome back to BRM’s Monthly “This Day in Wrestling History” Review Series. I was having so much fun with the Dragon Gate shows last month that I figured we’d stick with both the “Dragon” theme as well as Gabe Sapolsky’s booking… although this is an FIP show, so I suspect the “having fun” part will soon disappear. Join me as I flagellate myself with FIP Chasing The Dragon.
Dragon theme- name, Dragon’s title defense, Ryan Drago
ALEX “THE PUG” PORTEAU vs. KENNY KING- 3.75/10
This was short, but solid enough. Porteau worked over Kenny King’s back…and then won with a Fujiwara armbar. That was a little odd.
RYAN DRAGO vs. KORY CHAVIS (w/SoCal Val)- 5.25/10
There were two fans in the back of the crowd who Chavis kept jawing with, one of whom was dressed so ridiculously that I assumed he had to be a plant. There were three female fans who had brought a large whiteboard with then and written “VAL IS A WHORE” on it in very large letters.
You could never tell by looking at him, but Ryan Drago is the future Simon Gotch of the Vaudevillains. This was a very good match for the six and a half minutes it got. Chavis won clean, at which point Val ran all the way to the other side of the ring to stand in front of the aforementioned female fans with a huge smirk on her face and made sure to do a celebratory twirl right in front of them. It was great.
FIP HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE TALKING SEGMENT- bad
Davey Richards comes out and says that he deserves a title shot because his team beat FIP Heavyweight Champion Bryan Danielson’s team in a tag match the last time FIP was here in Inverness. Danielson, Dave Prazak, and Mr. Milo Beasley come out and Dragon insists that Davey hasn’t done enough to earn a title shot. The internet tells me that Not only was Dragon not pinned in that match, but Davey didn’t even win the match for this team, so I’m inclined to agree with Dragon.
Roderick Strong came out and said it was his destiny to hold the FIP Heavyweight Title. Sure, Roddy. Colt Cabana came out and said that he wanted the title, too, and suggested that after winning the ROH World Title from Danielson tomorrow night at Impact of Honor, he would take the FIP Heavyweight Title from Dragon, too. Dragon didn’t take kindly to any of this. He told the three of them to have an elimination match to determine which of them would get a title shot the next time FIP returns here to Inverness. This segment was effective in that it got the ideas across competently, but no one was particularly good, either, and there was just too much needless yelling for it to be enjoyable, which was made even worse by the very poor FIP microphones, which are both hard to understand and give me headaches.
STEVE MADISON PROMO- fine
He introduces Shingo Takagi, who he has hired to take Erick Stevens out for him. He also inserts himself into the elimination match for a title shot later on tonight. I get that the idea in FIP is that the wrestlers book the matches, but if Madison can just come out and add himself to a #1 contendership match, then why doesn’t everyone else just come out and do the same thing?
ERICK STEVENS vs. SHINGO TAKAGI (w/Steve Madison)- 5.75/10
Referee Paul Turner clearly caught Madison grabbing Stevens’ arms and holding him in the ropes, but instead of calling for the DQ, he just started a five-count. What the f*ck?! I don’t remember if FIP became all no DQs at some point, but it definitely wasn’t at this point because earlier in this very match we saw Madison being very careful to keep his interference out of the referee’s view.
Other than that one idiotic spot, this was quite disappointing, considering the talent involved. It had the outline of a good power vs. power match for the time it was given, but it lacked the intensity. Shingo using submissions to target the head was an interesting change of pace for him. I didn’t hate it, but I do think that not having the usual intensity you’d expect from these two combined with the surprising use of submissions from a striker to add to the feeling that this match just was… softer than you’d expect. If you stick these two in the same eight months later, they’re lariating and chopping the sh*t out of each other.
Shingo would eventually win thanks to Madison’s help, and they gave Stevens a Spike Piledriver afterwards. Roddy, Cabana, and Davey came out to check on Stevens after the heels left. I think it would have been better to have the babyfaces chase the heels away rather than come out after they’ve left. At least that way you can frame it that as “thankfully they got here in time to prevent any more damage from being done,” and you get a little confrontation to build up to the #1 contendership match that they’re all in later tonight.
HEARTBREAK EXPRESS & SOCAL VAL PROMO- meh
Once again, the audio quality made this very hard to enjoy. They do their usual whining, saying that the way they lost the titles wasn’t fair. Val seems more upset that her expensive handbag got destroyed than she does about her charges no longer being the champions. Sean Davis said that Black Market don’t have the guts to defend the belts against them tonight. Black Market came out and laid them out from behind, then told them they could have their rematch right now, so we got an impromptu…
FIP TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Black Market(c) vs. the Heartbreak Express (w/SoCal Val)- 3/10
They brawled for a while. We finally got to the ring and the bell rang. Within a few minutes, Kory Chavis ran in and caused a DQ. Chavis and Phil Davis held Shawn Murphy of Black Market down so that Sean Davis could crush him with a running splash. Joey Machete chased the heels off with a chair. I generally enjoy hoss fights, but the idea of a Shawn Murphy vs. Sean Davis match does not have me interested at all. That would be less of a hoss fight and more of a fatty-vs.-fatty type of thing.
Joey Machete then cut a promo. He started out by calling Sean Davis a “fatty” (true) and SoCal Val a “skank” (… kayfabe true, I think?). Then then said that the next time FIP was here in Inverness, they would give the Heartbreak Express one last shot at the titles, in a No Disqualifications match.
He promised that it would be the end of the Heartbreak Express, but I’d like to know what makes him so confident? The match where they won the belts showed that they had a counter to SoCal Val in Allison Danger, but what is their counter for Kory Chavis? And even if you do have counters for Val and Chavis, why wouldn’t you want this to be a normal match rather than a match where the unscrupulous heels can just recruit extra people to legally run in? It’s not like we haven’t seen that this group is willing to bribe people to help them with both money and dates. Maybe they already have someone in mind, but it seems a little foolish to make the challenge when you don’t have a plan fully in place yet, and they couldn’t possibly have had enough time to recruit someone to deal with Chavis yet unless one of them has telepathy.
CHASYN RANCE & SETH DELAY vs. THE FAST & THE FURIOUS (Jerrelle Clark & Jay Fury)- 6.75/10
This was a lot more competitive and exciting than I expected it to be.
The female fans from before have erased “VAL IS A WHORE” from their whiteboard and replaced it with “WE LOVE CHASYN.” He came over and hugged one of them. Yeah… it’s rare when calling someone a whore is the sign that makes you cringe less.
SAL RINAURO PROMO- This was a good “I’ll fulfill my dream and become the world champion” promo (in mostly- but not exactly- those words).
FIP HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Bryan Danielson(c) (w/Dave Prazak & Mr. Milo Beasley) vs. Sal Rinauro- 4.75/10
The whiteboard now says “Get a tan, Bryan.” That’s more comfortable. Upon spotting Prazak, they changed their sign to “look, it’s an Oompa Loompa.” The crowd is now chanting “OOMPA LOOMPA!” at Prazak. Dragon used this as an excuse to stall.
Their English skills are not very good. They been forgetting their commas and I’ve been adding them in. Their next sign said “his spandex match your hair.” It should be “matches.” This has been bugging me, so I’m going to shame them for it, fourteen years later. I hope they read this and decide to learn the importance of proper spelling and grammar.
Prazak getting caught tossing Sal back into the ring should have been a DQ. It also should have been a DQ when Prazak was caught trying to pull Sal off the top turnbuckle. The match had FAR too much stalling and gaga. Dragon cheated to win.
FIP HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE #1 CONTEDERSHIP SIX-WAY ELIMINATION MATCH: Colt Cabana vs. Roderick Strong vs. Steve Madison vs. Davey Richards vs. Canadian Cougar vs. Austin Aries (w/Dave Prazak & Mr. Milo Beasley)- 6/10
I guess Aries and Canadian Cougar just added themselves to this match, which begs the question why everyone else didn’t as well.
This is one of those elimination matches where you have to tag in and out, as opposed to one where everyone is in at the same time.
Canadian Cougar was eliminated early. It felt like his only purpose in here was to round the number of competitors out to a more common number.
The next elimination was Madison rolling Roddy up and pulling the tights. Erick Steven came out cut a promo about Madison cheating. Roddy then took the mic and said Madison can’t really beat him, and then challenged Madison to have a match tomorrow night against… Erick Stevens? Shouldn’t the babyface be fighting his own fight? In addition to having some dubious face-heel dynamics, this promo also ground the match to a halt. I get that you want to do everything in front of the crowd, but sometimes that is going to require sacrificing match quality in situations like this.
Cabana starts rolling people up… and now Madison has gone to get a mic and starts cutting a promo. He proposes that they turn this into a tag match with him and Aries against Cabana and Davey, and then, after the elimination tag match is complete, the winners can face each in a singles match. OH MY G-D JUST STICK TO THE ORIGINAL F*CKING MATCH!
So we had this elimination tag match and Aries eliminated Davey with his feet on the ropes for extra leverage. We then got a two-on-one heat segment with lots of cheating (because I guess having a two-on-one advantage isn’t enough for the heels and they need to cheat to have a hope of beating the babyface), after which we got a comeback that was full of “bumbling heels accidentally hit each other” spots, making the heels look totally incompetent. I will never understand why people insist on doing this. The more skilled the heels are, and sweeter the babyface’s victory will be. There is nothing impressive about beating a pair of bumbling idiots.
Once it was down to one on one, Aries because a proper competent wrestler for a bout a minute before Cabana hit a move and to the win. This was not close to being good enough for a main event, and exceedingly disappointing for a match that went half an hour.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- bad
Bryan Danielson runs out and attacks Cabana from behind, but Cabana quickly runs him off, too, even though Cabana was just in a match that went half an hour and got jumped from behind. Again… why make your heels look so bad?
Cabana cuts a promo saying he wants a title match against Dragon right now, which I guess makes sense in kayfabe if he’s good enough to easily dispatch Dragon even after wrestling for a half hour, but from a non-kayfabe point of view, why even bring this up when you know it’s not going to happen? All you do is run the risk of disappointing the crowd. After Dragon turns it down, Cabana says that they’ll have the match the next time they’re here in Inverness, and also says that he’ll take the ROH World Title from Dragon tomorrow night.
Another bad show from FIP. I really should give up on these, but I paid for a chunk of the DVDs and my OCD compels me to understand the storylines, and so I continue to watch them. For next month’s installment of BRM’s Monthly “This Day in Wrestling History” Review Series… I actually already spoiled it in a review I wrote at some point the past month or so, so if you want to find out what it is, go read all of reviews until you find it. Then watch along!
PWG, EVOLVE, AAW, WWN, etc
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