Hey there, David Wells here making his debut for the Pulse. I’m here to bring you the low down on the independents in the United States. Each week I will spotlight one Indy (the Indy which I spotlight will likely be an Indy which has a show(s) coming up the weekend my article is posted). With that said, this week’s edition will feature Full Impact Pro (FIP).
FIP is a moderately large independent company which runs in Florida (specifically Crystal River, Arcadia, Brooksville, Melbourne, and Inverness). It’s often referred to ROH’s sister promotion due to the fact tha it’s booked by ROH’s booker Gabe Sapolsky and use many of the talents which you see in ROH (Roderick Strong, Austin Aries, Erick Stevens, Davey Richards, and the Briscoes just to name a few).
The style of FIP is unique because as ROH’s sister promotion and given it’s talent pool, you’d likely expect incredible matches every single month but while FIP does have it’s fair share of great matches, it’s not completely geared towards that mindset. The matches typically don’t last long due the the fanbase being made up of mainly children and women. FIP’s style has a real southern feel to it (and that’s not because they’re based in Florida) because of the crowds. The crowds aren’t filled with smarks but rather just casual fans who boo the heels and cheer the faces which makes for a really fun atmosphere.
As I noted above FIP is dominated by ROH talent but they have developed their own talent pool down there which includes the YRR, Damien Wayne, and the Heartbreak Express just to name a few. FIP has also been used as a kind of proving ground for the Chikara talent before they were brought up to ROH’s roster.
Now, moving along to the meat of the article…
FIP will return to action on May 30 and 31 fresh off the heels of yet another successful show, Dangerous Intentions 2008. For those of you who missed the results, here is a quick run down of the results.
-Roderick Strong retained the FIP World Heavyweight Championship against Erick Stevens in a brutal Last Man Standing match
-Kenny King & Jason Blade (The YRR) retained the FIP Tag Team Championship against the makeshift team of Jay Briscoe & Austin Aries
-Tyler Black defeated Davey Richards in what was described as an â€œexcellent matchâ€
-Black Market vs. The Dark City Fight Club brawled to a no contest
-Sal Rinauro retained the FIP Florida Heritage Championship against Delirious
-Damien Wayne defeated Seth Delay
-Rex Sterling defeated Chris Jones
-Jigsaw defeated Chasyn Rance
Now, FIP will return with several debuts. Firstly, on May 30, former WWE star Scotty 2 Hotty and former ECW, WWE, and TNA star Jerry Lynn will make his debut. Then, on May 31, former WWE star and WWE Hall of Famer Greg â€œThe Hammerâ€ Valentine, former WCW star Norman Smiley, and former WWE tag team The Gemini will all make their debuts. Scotty 2 Hotty and Jerry Lynn will also be apart of the 5/31 show. Along with those talents you will see your regular FIP talent. However, FIP World Champion Roderick Strong will not be on the May 31st show.
As of now there are several matches announced with the liklihood that the rest of the matches will be announced at the shows themselves.
The 5/30 show will see Erick Stevens continue his ongoing rivalry with Davey Richards, Black Market and the Dark City Fight Club will continue their heated feud in a Anything Goes Match, the FIP Tag Team Champions of Jason Blade & Kenny King will defend against the duo of Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black, and in the main event, Roderick Strong will defend the FIP World Championship in a three way elimination match against Austin Aries and Jerry Lynn.
Then, on 5/31 you will see Scotty 2 Hotty take on Davey Richards and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine will battle Norman Smiley.
These two shows have tons of potential and there is no reason to miss these events if you live in Crystal River, Arcadia, or any area surrounding these venues. For more information on these shows or purchasing tickets head over to FullImpactPro.com
Now, ROH used to have a tradition of ranking the challengers for their World Title so I thought I’d be a fun idea to resurrect this ranking system for FIP. Here is my current top five rankings system for Roderick Strong’s FIP World Championship.
FIP World Heavyweight Champion: Roderick Strong
1. Erick Stevens (Despite losing to Strong at Dangerous Intentions 2008, heâ€™s still Strongâ€™s toughest adversary and is always a looming threat to re-capture the FIP Championship)
2. Tyler Black (Picked up a big win over one half of the tag team championship (Jason Blade) at Unfinished Business 2008 and defeated Davey Richards at Dangerous Intentions 2008. Not to mention Black took Strong to his limits back at Heatstroke 2007 Night 1)
3. Nigel McGuinness (Defeated Necro Butcher in a wild brawl back at Redefined then followed that up with successful ROH Title defense against Larry Sweeney at Unfinished Business 2008. Nigel also holds a ROH Title victory over Strong in ROH so heâ€™s proven he can beat the champion)
4. Sal Rinuaro (FIPâ€™s Florida Heritage Champion has made two successful championship defenses over the past few months. First, he defeated Tyler Black back at Redefined and more recently defeated Delirious at Dangerous Intentions 2008)
5. Damien Wayne (While Wayneâ€™s resume isnâ€™t as appealing as the other four competitors, his star is quickly rising in FIP. Heâ€™s racked up a few undercard wins over the past few months and has aligned himself with the former FIP Tag Team Champions, the Heartbreak Express)
And don’t forget, if you want to purchase FIP DVDs head over to ROHWrestling.com or FullImpactPro.com to do so. There is a great selection of shows available including the recently released Redefined featuring Roderick Strong vs. Erick Stevens, Third Anniversary Show featuring Dragon Gate talent, and Cage of Pain II featuring the return of the Cage of Pain and Dragon Gate talent.
That’s it for this week folks. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out this column each and every Friday to get the run down on your favorite Indy promotion. Be sure to check back next week as I spotlight the Southern California company that is Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.