Tuesday, July 1, 2008

FIP In Full Force

1. Jay Fury vs. Steve Madison - 4
2. Antonio Banks vs. Phil Davis - 2
3. Samoa Joe vs.Evan Starsmore - 1
4. Samoe Joe vs.Rainman - 4
5. Vordell Walker vs. Jared Steel - 3
6. Tony Mamaluke vs. Don Juan - 2
7. CM Punk and Azrieal vs. Roderick Strong and Jerrelle Clark - 5
8. "Fast" Eddie Vegas vs. Sal Rinauro - 1
9. Colt Cabana vs. Homicide - 6

This was an earlier FIP release, back when they were still distributed by Big Vision, which isn’t a good thing. Basically that means there’s a section accessible via the main menu dedicated to shitty trailers for their other releases, including a bunch of chopped up compilations of bad hardcore wrestling, as well as shoot interviews with druggies and despots like New Jack and the Hardy sisters. The video looks washed out like they left the original source stock in their trunk and it got deteriorated by the sun because one of the Big Vision boys had to run into the pharmacy to get some jerky and laxatives—fucking idiots. Lastly, another reason this isn’t as good as today’s releases is really, really poor music choices. Also accessible from the DVD menu is a section containing four random music videos from some truly deplorable and awful hardcore bands that hurt that scene’s credibility like Sonjay Dutt’s strikes hurts ours. Even worse, during the wrestlers’ entrance and exits, the DVD producers have dubbed over similar really bad hardcore music, which I found rather distracting and amateur. Why would a thug like Rainman enter to band poorly imitating Every Time I Die?

In what’s billed as his FIP debut Fury looks really good, for a bigger guy, his flashy highflying offense sure looks tons better than many smaller guys working a similar style. Madison is a good, textbook heel. Madison wears a shirt down to ringside and once he enters the ring and the bell rings he goes to take it off but Fury goes in like he’s going to pop him so Madison backtracks. Madison doesn’t attempt to take off the shirt again until after he’s knocked Fury to the mat. I know it sounds like an incredibly simplistic thing, but its good psychology, especially by Fury, to not just let Madison pull a shirt off over his head after the bell has already rung as technically their supposed to be in a fight against each other. Phil Davis is one-half (not the fat slob one) of the repugnant Heartbreak Express tag team. Antonio Banks (now WWE superstar MVP) is great pre-match on the stick, he’s a natural talker and makes for an awesome, charismatic, streetwise face. The match is pretty listless, but gets a bonus point for the attempted heel beatdown post-match on Banks that Antonio totally fights off like he’s an invincible superhero.

Seeing Samoa Joe as a member of CM Punk’s emo New Dawn faction wearing makeup makes for a good chuckle. How many fat Samoan guys do you know that rock Clockwork Orange eye makeup on the daily? Evan Starsmore is skinner and smaller than me in middle school and Joe quickly decimates him like a little bitch. Rainman comes out to make for a more realistic challenge and they have a pretty decent but too short to be memorable bout. Rainman’s selling is what gets them points from me, as his facial stuff is some of the best showcased on this DVD, even if he looks more like a Foot Locker employee than professional athlete.

I was kind of dozing off during the next two matches. Jared looks more like today’s typical indy worker’s uncle than an average indy worker himself. But, he’s got some heel mannerisms down, and he and Vordell had an adequate match. Juan is a chubby chump, lackey to the Heartbreak Express up until this show, where earlier he was given the boot. Mamaluke in his FIP debut bumps around and makes Juan look about as good as can be hoped for. Juan does some limb work and kills Tony with an overhead toss into the turnbuckles in a decent spot. The tag match was overall one of the best on the DVD, although there was too much tomfoolery and not enough emphasis on having a great match to get this one safely on the recommendable side. Highlights were Strong’s brutal chops and the heels doing decently at feeding themselves into the faces’ offense.

Eddie Vegas really sucks here. I mean, generally speaking, he’s a pretty lousy worker from all I’ve seen. His performance here calls to mind the mental image of a piece of sourdough bread covered in hippopotamus anal squirts. He just comes off like a high school jock that probably picked on you for rocking an X-Men shirt, but the true reason you disliked him was he seemed too dense and stupid to be allowed to exist in society. He doesn’t even have a good build, per se, so I don’t see what the real draw or attraction is. Sal bumps and sells fine, but this is still really awful and Eddie needs to commit to the business if he wants to be in it and actually put forth an effort. I liked the main, but don’t come expecting their ROH feud to manifest itself anew. Colt works like an old school heel, and while his sells may be a bit over the top, at least their consistent, as he tries to get over both things big and small as if he was taking damage. Homicide isn’t actively bad here, he looks okay, but he never ratchets it up to the next gear, which was a disappointment. I did like the finish as Homicide caught a distracted Cabana with a really solid clothesline. It features the best storytelling and is given more time than anything else, and I think you could make a pretty easy argument stating it as the best thing on the DVD.

You can safely skip this DVD, as there’s nothing I’d really say is worth going out of your way to track down. Still, don’t take that as a discredit on FIP as a whole, as personally I think their one of the more entertaining American companies around. I’ve ordered a lot of their discs and will be reviewing more throughout the year.

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