New World Champion Crowned
Tyler Black was able to salvage what appeared to be a lost weekend in FIP by capturing the FIP World Heavyweight Title from Go Shiozaki. After missing his flight due to the voicemail that he received before he traveled to Florida, it was revealed that it was Baby Doll of the Heartbreak Enterprises who left the message in an attempt to keep him from getting his title match.
Black was given his title match because of a loophole announced by Championship Committee member Larry Zbyszko due to the disqualification in Melbourne. Tyler was given his title match, but his dream of winning the title appeared to be dashed again after the members of Heartbreak Enterprises got Go Shiozaki disqualified again. Larry Zbyszko stopped Heartbreak Enterprises as they went to the back and announced that the match would continue.
After Black won the title, there were some problems in the ring as Phil and Sean Davis were not happy that their Pearl of the Orient lost the title and they showed Go their disappointment. Their plan went awry when it was the Davises laid out in the ring while Go left the ring and earned the respect of the new champion.
New Tag Team Champions Crowned
During the last year, Roderick Strong and Erick Stevens have been battling over the FIP World Heavyweight Title, Roderick Strong and Erick Stevens appeared to have buried the hatchet in Melbourne when they defeated Sal Rinauro and Jason Blade. After the main event when they could not win the World Title from Go Shiozaki, they set their sights on the Tag Titles held by Kenny King and Jason Blade of the YRR, and were awarded the title match after impressing the Championship Committee.
Strong and Stevens were able to end the thirteen month reign of Blade and King in a match of the year candidate. With the victory, Erick Stevens becomes the first Triple Crown Winner in FIP history. With Strong’s past tag team success with Austin Aries, will he be able to bring that experience to this team and lead to a long title reign that appears to be the pattern in FIP? As Strong left the ring, there appeared to be some minor tension between the two with their stare down. Was that a minor glitch or will that be something that other teams will be able to exploit as they try to wrest the titles from Strong and Stevens.
Factions in Turmoil
During the last three years, there have been a number of factions that have dominated FIP. The first one was DP Associates which possessed one of the most dominant and lengthy roster in the sport. After Dave Prazak lost his managerial license, DP Associates disappeared from the FIP landscape. The YRR followed and took over the mantle of the most hated group in FIP. They used their money to get what they wanted and they were able to win the FIP Tag Titles and the Florida Heritage Title. Over the last few months, the YRR have fallen on some hard times. Sal Rinauro lost the Florida Heritage Title to Chris Jones and all attempts to regain the title failed. Then Jason Blade and Kenny King lost the Tag Titles in Crystal River. Are there cracks in the foundation of this group or will they be able to turn things around in 2009?
After the Heartbreak Express lost the right to wrestle in FIP, they decided to move up into management and they started to bring in talent to try to win the tag titles with the Heartbreak Assassins. Then they added Go Shiozaki and were able to bring the World Title into their organization. While the Heartbreak Assassins are trying to get a shot at the tag titles, they lost the World Title on Saturday in Crystal River. At the end of the night, Sean and Phil Davis were on the mat and did not have the World Champion any more.
Championship Committee Makes its Impact
This year has seen a number of changes in Full Impact Pro Wrestling and the most recent change is the creation of a Championship Committee and the fact of that committee was present in Crystal River. That man is Larry Zbyszko. In his first night in the company, Zbyszko made his mark in the World Title picture by giving Tyler Black his title match and then preventing Heartbreak Enterprises from escaping with a disqualification victory. How will Larry do at his second show when FIP returns on Sunday, February 8, 2009.
Battle of the Belts Returns
It was announced that the Battle of the Belts will return when FIP starts in 2009. The first Battle of the Belts saw the FIP Florida Heritage Champion crowned in an eight man tournament. Make sure to check out fullimpactpro.com for more details on the participants and location. This should be an exciting way to complete a triple shot weekend in conjunction with Ring of Honor’s return to Florida. Check out the Battle of the Belts on Sunday, February 8, 2009.
Here are the results from the show.
Match Number One: Gran Akuma defeats Brett Thunder
Akuma works on Thunder’s arm at the start of the match and then he stretches Thunder but Thunder is able to make it to the ropes to break the submission attempts. Thunder is able to work on Akuma’s arm. After a series of near falls and counters both wrestlers struggle to get to their feet because both appear to be dizzy from the last sequence. Akuma shows why his kicks are so effective as he takes Thunder down with a series of kicks. Thunder avoids a charge into the corner by Akuma, but Akuma is able to finish off Thunder with a Rubik’s Cube (package driver from an electric chair).
Jonathan Gold tells the crowd that the Championship Committee has determined that Erick Stevens and Roderick Strong will face Jason Blade and Kenny King for the FIP Tag Team Titles tonight. He also mentions the flight troubles that Tyler Black had last night in Melbourne.
He brings out FIP’s Investigative Reporter Shannon Rose to provide more details. Shannon mentions that Tyler arrived at the building in Melbourne during the main event and he wants his title match against Go Shiozaki.
Tyler Black comes out and he apologizes for not being in Melbourne. He talks about the voice mail that he received.
It is announced that Larry Zbyszko is a member of the championship committee and he comes out to address the situation. He says that he heard the voice mail and he knows that it was Baby Doll.
Sean Davis comes out and he says that it was not Baby Doll. He says that the contract was for the 19th and since it is now the 20th, Black loses his title match. He also asks Larry Zbyszko what proof he has that it was Baby Doll on the tape. Larry says that he knows and since Go lost by disqualification in Melbourne the contract is null and Go will wrestle Tyler Black tonight. Sean Davis pushes Tyler and a brawl ensues.
Match Number Two: Brad Attitude defeats Sal Rinauro
Rinauro tries to convince the crowd in Crystal River that he is not a chicken, but he fails miserably. Rinauro then has a discussion with a fan in the crowd and Brad comes up behind Sal and Sal does not realize that it is Brad until it is too late. Rinauro gains control of the match, but he delays too much when he tries to cover Brad so Brad is able to kick out. Rinauro’s attempts to get inside Brad’s head fail and Brad hits a TKO and DDT combination for the three count.
Match Number Three: Jigsaw defeats Shawn Osborne
After the two men go back and forth at the start of the match, Osborne gets too aggressive and he misses a charge at Jigsaw and Osborne goes to the floor. He is joined by Jigsaw who hits a dive to the floor. Brad Attitude comes out to watch the match and Osborne finds a way to get back into the match after hitting a spear. Jigsaw gets the three count out of nowhere with a rollup.
After the match, Osborne freaks out and he starts throwing things at ringside before he goes to the back.
Match Number Four: Roderick Strong and Erick Stevens defeat Jason Blade and Kenny King to become the new FIP Tag Team Champions
Strong and Stevens work well as a team as they are able to isolate King and use a number of double team moves on King. Interference from Blade allows King to regroup. The champions are able to recover and work over Strong and keep Stevens out of the match for a while. When Stevens tags in, he cleans house and works over King and Blade while Strong recovers. All four men get involved in the ring and then it spills out to the floor. Strong and Stevens hit a Hart Attack on King, but Stevens can only get a two count. The referee loses control of the match again as all four men return to the ring. Strong and Stevens appear to have King finished, but Blade makes the save and the match continues. King stops a Yakuza kick attempt and hits a suplex followed by an uranage for a near fall. Blade and King hit a super kick and German suplex combination but Stevens kicks out at two. Stevens hits a lariat on King and a German suplex on Blade. Strong hits the Gibson Driver on King while Stevens hits the Doctor Bomb on Blade for the double pin.
After the match, King and Blade are angry that they lost the titles. There also appears to be some tension between Strong and Stevens while Stevens celebrates in the ring and Strong celebrates by the mobile studio.
It is time for intermission.
During intermission, Santa Beasley comes to the ring with his helpers, Rain and Leva and they give presents to the crowd. The Dark City Fight Club comes out and they attack Santa Beasley. Leva turns on Rain and has joined the Dark City Fight Club and then Chavis holds Rain for Davis to hit a leg lariat.
Heartbreak Enterprises comes out and Sean Davis gets on the mic. He says that he is not happy with the shenanigans that have been going on. Sean also wonders why the Heartbreak Assassins did not get a title match. Sean says that he wants to get out some frustrations and he challenges any three men to face the Heartbreak Assassins and Rhett Titus.
Grizzly Redwood comes out and he is joined by his ‘cousins from another forest’ The Loggers.
Match Number Five: Grizzly Redwood and The Loggers of Lumberjack Manley and The Mighty Dagon defeat Rhett Titus and the Heartbreak Assassins of Damien Wayne and Chris Escobar
The Loggers double team Escobar at the start of the match, but Escboar is able to change the momentum when he forces Manley off the turnbuckles. The Heartbreak Assassins and Titus work over Manley. Manley escapes a piledriver attempt and he sends Wayne to the floor. All six men get into the ring and Redwood gets a rollup but while the referee is dealing with the pandemonium, Escobar rolls Redwood over but then Manley does the same thing and the referee makes the three count while Sean Davis thinks they have won.
Match Number Six: Dark City Fight Club of Jon Davis and Kory Chavis defeat The British Lions of Chris Gray and Tommy Taylor
The match starts off with all four men fighting in the ring and then the British Lions work on Davis. They turn their attention to Chavis and they work over Kory until Davis is able to drop Gray on the top rope when the referee deals with Taylor. Things go back and forth until The British Lions try to double team Chavis. Davis hits a Pounce on Gray and then Davis sends Taylor into the turnbuckles. Davis catapults Taylor into Chavis who hits a power slam for the three count.
Match Number Seven: Chris Jones defeats Chasyn Rance to retain the Florida Heritage Title
Jones has the advantage over Rance at the start of the match and he works on his arm and then turns his attention to the leg. Rance is able to gain control and he works over Jones. Rance tries for the Chasyn Driver but Jones fights out of the hold as they fight back and forth and exchange forearms. Rance tries for a superplex but Jones blocks it and then Jones tries for a sunset flip power bomb but Rance holds on to the ropes. Jones gets a number of near falls. After avoiding another Chasyn Driver, Jones gets the three count with a rollup.
Match Number Eight: Tyler Black defeats Go Shiozaki to become the new FIP World Heavyweight Champion
Shiozaki tries to stall at the start of the match but Black will have none of that as he works over the champion. After Black sends Shiozaki to the floor, Shiozaki is able to use the ring post to work on Black’s leg and knee. Sean and Phil Davis work on Black while Shiozaki spends time with the referee. Shiozaki tries to finish off Black with the figure four leg lock, but Black makes it to the ropes. Black tries to work over Shiozaki, but he is unable to put much power into it because of his knee. Phil gets on the apron and Black knocks him off. Black hits a TKO and then he goes up top, but Sean Davis shakes the ropes and the referee calls for the bell to disqualify Shiozaki.
Larry Zbyszko comes out and he takes the belt from Shiozaki and the match is restarted.
Black tries to get a quick victory with an inside cradle, but Shiozaki kicks out. Shiozaki tries to get Black to tap out again with a Boston Crab but Black is able to escape the hold. We see Shiozaki and Black alternate near falls and then after a Saito suplex by Black, the referee is knocked down after a boot. The Davises try to interfere but Erick Stevens and Roderick Strong stop them and they fight to the back. Shiozaki hits the Go Fixer but the referee is still a bit woozy from when he was knocked down. Black with a kick and then he goes up top for the Phoenix Splash and gets the three count.
After the match, Sean and Phil argue with Shiozaki and push the former champion. Shiozaki hits a super kick on Sean and then takes care of Phil before Shiozaki leaves the ring. Black shakes Shiozaki’s hand as he goes to the back.
It seemed like it was one of the larger Crystal River crowds of the year and I thought they got a good show. The Crystal River crowd is always strong for FIP.
I thought the opening match was a good way to get the crowd into the show.
I think Brad Attitude will be a good addition to FIP in 2009. He had two strong matches this weekend including a victory over a former Florida Heritage Champion.
I wonder what they are going to do with Brad Attitude and Shawn Osborne since Brad came out to watch Shawn's match.
I thought the Osborne/Jigsaw match was good and I thought the tantrum thrown by Shawn after his loss was effective.
I thought the best match of the weekend was the tag title match. Kenny King and Jason Blade work so well as a team and Strong and Stevens have known each other so long that they look so flawless together in the ring. I liked the double pin because it built on the pin/submission combo that they used on Friday night.
A lot of people I know expected to see the tag titles change hands but the reaction from the crowd was great.
It looked like there was a bit of tension between Stevens and Strong after they won the title while they celebrated. It shows that there are still some issues between them over their feud for the FIP World Title.
It was strange that the Dark City Fight Club finally got a heel reaction for beating up Milo Beasley and Rain. However they got cheers again during their match against the British Lions. The combination of Kory Chavis, Jon Davis, and Leva is different but it will be interesting to see how they work together.
I guess with the authority figure having an active role, the concept of the inmates running the asylum and Anything Goes is over?
I liked the way that the Loggers made their debut since they have something in common with Grizzly Redwood. I know a few people who were hoping that this would happen when it was announced that Redwood would be on these shows.
I wonder who the next challengers for the FIP Tag Titles are going to be. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Dark City Fight Club get a shot at the titles unless the Briscoes come back to FIP.
Chris Jones has established himself in FIP after defeating most of the YRR since winning the Florida Heritage Title. I think there are times when he tries to do too much in his matches and if he is able to slow down his pace at times, I think it will benefit him in the long run.
I thought the main event was okay and I am glad that Tyler Black was able to win the title. He gets a good reaction from the crowds in FIP and I think he will do a good job when you consider the lineage of the title.
Based on the last two shows, will there be disqualifications if Larry Zbyszko is not in the building since they allowed the disqualification on Friday but it was disallowed on Saturday?
During the restart of the match, I thought there was too much going on with the ref bump and interference by Sean and Phil Davis only to be stopped by Erick Stevens and Roderick Strong.