Monday, November 9, 2009

FIP The Usual Suspects

So, I had to review this show mainly because it's named after one of my favorite flicks. The title screen plays this strangely haunting music then reveals some of the wrestlers behind a really cheesy line up screen. I'm seriously doubting this show will have the awesome characters, plot twists or stirring music the film had but I"ll give it a shot. This whole show is to crown the 1st ever Tag Team champions for the promotion. The announcers are hyping there are no Tournament brackets or rounds, it's anything goes which to me doesn't say innovation, it says lazy booking.

1) Heartbreak Express v. Carnage Crew- 4
2) Carnage Crew v. Ring Crew Express- 2
3) Roderick Strong/ Jerelle Clark v. Homicide/ Vordell Walker- 3
4) Spanky/ Sal Rinauro v. James Gibson/ Steve Madison- 5
5) Jimmy Rave/ Eddie Vegas v. Evan Starsmore/ Aaron Epic- 2
6) Jimmy Rave/ Eddie Vegas v. Ring Crew Express- 3
7) CM Punk/ Don Juan v. Spanky/ Sal Rinauro- 3
8) Antonio Banks v. Rainman v. Jared Steel- 4
9) CM Punk/ Don Juan v. Jimmy Rave/ Eddie Vegas v. Roderick Strong/ Jerelle Clarks (FIP Tag Title Finals)- 3

Our opening match features the very 70's like Heartbreak Express whose stalling and whiny primping make them an act to see just for their throwback-ism (def. not a word.) We have some routine comedy stuff, if you think nipple pinching is routine. I'm dying to see a heel handshake attempt. The match itself was short on content but what was done felt right, both teams playing their roles correctly. I loved both Express memebers really gawking expressions after taking a few moves. Loc's comeback to finish was pretty weak though.

Next, the Ring Crew Express bolt right into the ring and we're off for our 2nd bout. Double bulldog spot right away and I'm digging this. Devito and Loc start in with huge power offense, which feels so off from the easy face heat stuff they were doing in the first match, now intsantly they're back to heels? I love Dunn & Marcos finish and it looks appropriately painful here. Quick sprint that didn't offend.

Our 3rd match features two strangely paired teams with basically nothing in common at all. I like how Strong sets up his takedowns & reversals by seeming to be looking for a way to do it, not just going through rehearsed spots the whole match. He throws a powerful dropkick and does a plancha outside while Walker is standing there, but I like that Vordell doesn't arbitrarily step into it. Clark and Walker botch 2 consecutive attempts at a headscissors. I'm not seeing much synergy between either team, they have nothing in common, it was just two teams thrown together and it doesn't work. Clark takes a brickload of a beating but when he has the chance to tag, what does he do? A 619 submission thing on the ropes, looked terrible. Even Leonard calls him out on that one. Homicide with a very Memphis style piledrive late in the 4th quarter. Clarks' comebacks are so unbelievable, it totally feels like he's just acting hurt instead of making me believe he's been beat on in a wrestling match, especially when he's attempting springboards & 630 splashes. Strong makes the final sequence with some nasty backbreakers and a good flip out into a Stronghold.

Madison has nice deep arm drags. Gibson is wrestling with a lot of poise & fluidity, he manuevers Spanky exactly where he wants him and looks like a pro doing so. I love Jamie's nasty elbows to the top of the head. When did a tilt-a-whirl reversal and armdrags become Indy spot 101? Sal is taking the lump sum of abuse and while he's playing a good rag doll on all the big bumps, his faces are so little brother it's quite sad. I don't even feel sympathy for him, I want to give him a wedgie myself. Same formula as the last match but done better. Sal also botches his comeback by trying a sharpshooter so ugly it will keep Bret Hart out of the industry another 5 years. Madison dead weights a suplex sell at the end then totally blows his own. He's a different guy than he was in the beginning of this, looking like a strong bruiser. Like when Kevin Pollak went from Todd Hockney in "Suspects" to hosting Celebrity Poker Showdown.

Okay fatty Prazak brings out his team to face two jobber dudes. What, no tags in this one? really dumb. Epic sits on his ass and stares at Rave's crotch waiting for the running knee. Good nearfall with clotheslines by Starsmore, Rave gave a real Flair-esque 80's jobber spot there. Starsmore wants to impress someone and it's definitley not the girlfriend he doesn't have, so he flattens his face on the mat with a sell and busts his nose open. This one's over fast.

And again, Dunn & Marcos come right out for the next match. Vegas' punches look like a bear on tranquilizers pawing at the air. Lot of whiffed kicks by the Ring Crew, no silent fit like Shawn threw on Raw though. Dunn's hot streak is way more exciting than the previous 7 minutes of chinlock on Marcos. The setup for the finish is way too contrived and hated how Dunn had to act like he was falling off the top rope as a reason why not to break the pin.

Punk makes his 1st in ring appearance and is totally going to take a night off. Match starts with some 3 Stooges acts involving eye pokes, and partner miscommunication. Never really picks up or takes a turn for the serious and I totally didn't buy Rinauro's hot streak on Punk. Don Juan was as useful as the $91 million of cocaine in Suspects.

Our only "singles" match of the show featured some interesting work. Banks (now MVP) showed tons of enthusiasm and sharpness on his offense, really violent kicks and stiff clotheslines. Rainman's punches looked like he was showering some slugs on his front porch with salt. Steel showed some charisma in his couple high spots and blended nicely into the background of this match while still contributing to it. His elimination was nice, clean, and made sense. Banks was throwing some backyard (at best) attempts at suplexes at the end where Rainman was falling on his face every time. That's what kept this at a lower grade than I expected.

Finally, our 3 teams meet in the main event and what a disorganized cluster this was. Smartly, Strong was kept in the ring most of the match, either working with Punk, Juan, or Rave. Clark's only time in the ring was way over the top and didn't feel like it fit in with the rest of the match at all. All the heels were fine in their rolls as fodder for Strong & Clark when the time came, but this never really developed at all, I think it went 12 minutes and ended after tons of different guys ran in and out hitting various moves. I wasn't bowled over with this at all.

Overall, this was a piss poor show. While Full Impact Pro later became the training ground of ROH talent, at this time, it was another backhole pit stop for people looking for a quick payday willing to come to Clearwater. Show def. didn't warrant the name of the Usual Suspects that's for sure.

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