All or Nothing
Full Impact Pro
Reviewed by Joe Babinsack
FIP. Full Impact Pro, the place where Ring of Honor talent tries new things, pares down the work to Old School mentality like no other place on the planet, and one of the most unsung indy promotions around.
It’s been a while since I looked at FIP, but with Bryan Danielson in the news and all over other promotions, and being used as a sales gimmick, I wanted to tout FIP as another place where all the “Yes! Yes! Yes!” chants started to originate.
Because in FIP, the devilish version of Daniel Bryan began to emerge.
Ok, not so much like Kevin Sullivan, but more like the Old School chickenheel. In FIP, at the All or Nothing event, Bryan Danielson was indeed the FIP Heavyweight Champion, and was being challenged by Roderick Strong, with the scenario of Strong getting one last shot at the Champion protected by Dave “the Truth” Prazak and his Dave Prazak Association of henchmen.
The show-long angle (a throw-back to another era), is this last chance for Roderick Strong.
In the quaint atmosphere of FIP, where things move a little slower, and guest and indy stars move in and out, even the local hero (who often plays heel outside of Florida) does seem to get the reactions that sell the sense of danger, the sense that this may just be the last chance for Strong.
Somewhere in the midst of the undercard, Strong rushes to the aid of a Dave Prazak led post-match assault. Actually, it’s the post-match kerfluffle following Davey Richards vs. Shingo, which also plays into the opening promos, which also plays into the closing scene of the show.
Nice, tidy package this show presents!
The save by Strong leads to an impromptu match with Danielson for that FIP World Heavyweight Championship, which in heelish fashion, and with great facials, and with classic expectations, the Champion gets disqualified and seems to have dodged a threat and vanquished the babyface contender.
But how does it play out after there?
Well, that’s a bit interesting and worth watching.
In the end, we do get the scheduled match, because, well, it was scheduled. In the FIP Heavyweight Title Match, Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong isn’t your standard indy spotfest. It’s more methodical, more straight-forward, more pared back and a lot more satisfying.
The great thing about Full Impact Pro is watching wrestling have fun in (and out) of the ring, taking on different roles, playing to a style much different than usual.
It’s also a great glimpse at what Daniel Bryan is today, him playing the heel, playing against the crowd, playing against a vanilla babyface – a definite throwback to another era.
FIP Tag Team Title: No DQ, Elimination Match
Briscoe Brothers vs. Heartbreak Express vs. Black Market
It’s been a while since I beheld the awesome feud of Sensational Sean and Fabulous Phil against Joey Machete and Shawn Murphy. Here, it’s spiced up with none other than the now current ROH Tag Team Champions, the Briscoes.
A blast from the past here, with the FIP style craziness, which is … well, not so crazy, but all the while just as exciting for the locals.
There’s nothing like the crowd interactions of smaller crowds and guys working to that crowd.
YRR (Sal Rinauro & Kenny King) vs. Erick Stevens & Seth Delay
FIP features two dominant heel groups – the loose association of mostly younger guys and smaller heel veterans, expanding their influence and their ranks. A nifty angle here is the introduction of the newest member of the Young, Rich and Ready for Action.
Can anyone guess, Daffney?
What’s cool here is the angle, interrupted by Stevens & Delay attacking the group after the previous tag match, as well as seeing Kenny King and Rhett Titus on opposite sides of the heel/face factions.
Stevens – the powerhouse, and Delay – the human crash dummy, make an interesting team and it’s an interesting match.
YRR (Steve Madison & Chasyn Rance) vs. Rhett Titus & Alex Payne
This first of two tag matches of the YRR has the big gun of the group and the young gun of the group taking on a very young Titus, and a young Alex Payne.
One more match with young talent working it out in the ring, having fun, and the example of the YRR faction is one that could be emulated if the mainstream wanted to create some interest among new faces.
Davey Richards vs. Shingo
To be fair, this match is nothing like it would be three years later, let alone six. But seeing younger versions of two top tier current indy talents is of note. Richards plays out the brash midcard babyface on this DVD, and Shingo is Prazak’s big muscle, protecting Danielson.
The match is more backdrop and character development than workrate, but it’s fun.
Canadian Cougar vs. Shane Hagadorn
I’m still not up to speed on the whole Canadian Cougar deal … or I’ve already forgotten this bit of Florida wrestling lore.
Hagadorn as a wrestler ?!?!
Yeah…. It’s something to behold, but even more forgettable.
Pelle Primeau vs. Jack Manley vs. Jake Manning (Three-way elimination)
Primeau was one of the jobbers of the class of a Mulkey or a Mike Jackson or a Frankie Williams (if we get all Northeastern). Where is he now?
Either Manley or Manning is getting somewhat of a push here. Not exactly a squash, but guys get to hit some spots, it moves, and it’s over.
Nothing wrong with that.
Jerelle Clark vs. Bino Gambino
Not sure if Bino is tied to the wrestling faction of Western Pennsylvania or not.
Jerelle Clark is a guy that had a lot of potential, was part of the Fast and Furious tag team that I believe got some looks in ROH. He then got a solid run in TNA, back when they truly did feature fresh talent and let them shine.
Clark would retired in 2011, at that year’s installation of the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup Tournament.
Speaking of such, I know this DVD is a bit dated, but the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup is one annual event that Full Impact Pro should be lauded for doing. Check out the web site for more about the latest installment of this event. Also look for any available DVDs….
FIP is solid, Old School wrestling entertainment and equal parts nostalgia for days gone by, and nostalgia for some notable names of the mainstream and indy scenes. You may not ‘get’ the style quickly, but you won’t be disappointed by the efforts.