In the last two years Full Impact Pro has become my second favorite promotion behind ROH, and at times I enjoy it even more than ROH. FIP is just fun to watch, for example The Usual Suspects has at most one “good” match on it, but the whole show is so absurd that it is fun to watch. (It is the show to crown the FIP tag champions, but since in FIP anything goes the wrestlers make a series of challenges that come together instead of a tournament. It’s half tournament, half gauntlet match and very very wacky.)

FIP shows do not have the wrestling quality ROH shows have. If you compare the workrate of the best FIP shows they do not equal the best ROH shows. But what they do have is a defined heel/face structure, wacky managers, heel/face commentary, and light-heartedness. It is like a hybrid of PWG, CHIKARA and Memphis.

They are also 10 or 15 dollars each, and sometimes discounted to 5 dollars during big ROH sales. So let’s get to the best FIP shows!

1. Cage of Pain II (9/29/2007)

Cage of Pain II makes it to #1 because it offers something for everybody. Do you like garbage wrestling? This has it! Like crazy spot fests? Yep! 80s heels? Sure! More pointless SHIMMER matches? That too! This card is a huge blowoff show, ending the Young, Rich and Ready For Action (YRR) vs Blk Market and Heartbreak Express Feud. BM and HBE had always been enemies, and faced off in the first COP in 2006, so this was a big deal in the Fipp.

The main event is of course THE CAGE OF PAIN, a barbed wire and light tube filled cage pitting the Heartbreak Xpress and Blk Market against the YRR. I can only imagine how poor Jason Blade felt when he heard this match was being booked a few months after he debuted in FIP. “Kid, we’re going to fly you to FIP and book you on every show… Oh… but you are going to have to do a light tube death match…” Talk about good news/bad news. Anyway, this match is actually very very good by death match standards, and a great bloody blowoff in general. The YRR get their asses kicked, get utterly disgustingly bloodied up, and are basically just destroyed in general. It is glorious, and the best match I’ve seen from any of the guys involved. The post match angle is a bit of a retread, but the Florida fans were into it.

That isn’t it though. My favorite match on this card is Jack Evans, BxB Hulk and YAMATO vs Delirious, Hallowicked and Jigsaw. Dragon Gate vs CHIKARA in a Six Man Dragon Gate rules match, and it is fucking awesome. It isn’t at the level of the Super Card of Honor Six Mans, but it is pretty close, which considering the quality of talent involved is surprising. It is impossible not to enjoy this match.  The FIP Title is also defended on this show with Sweeney doing his best 70s/80s heel stuff to try and get the belt away from Strong in a match that was much better than most expected. It is probably overlooked given the quality of wrestling on this show, but what can you do. Sweeney really delivers in title matches in FIP.

That isn’t it though, because Erick Stevens defends the Florida Heritage title against Necro Butcher. There really isn’t anything to say except Necro had an awesome 2007 in FIP, Stevens had an awesome 2007 in FIP, and this is a really good match. Finally, Jay Briscoe and Gran Akuma have a fine little match to round out the good stuff on this DVD. (The SHIMMER match isn’t bad, but I’m just tired of matches involving Lacey, Del Rey and Haze.)

2. Unfinished Business 2007 (1/13/2007)

The top 4 are really tough to rank. They are about equal in overall quality, but there are a few things that makesUB 2007 #2 rather than say, 4. First of all there is Erick Stevens vs Steve Madison in a brutal dog collar match. This blows off a very long feud that goes back to the summer of 2006. Strong and Stevens had a very good Dog Collar match in 2008, but it doesn’t compare to this one. This is the kind of hate filled brawl that reminds you of Magnum and Tully. It is very bloody, and for awhile Stevens said it was the best match he had been in. Hard to argue with the man himself, especially when it really signalled his arrival as big indy talent.  Brent Albright also officially arrives on the indy scene on this show, challenging for the FIP title in the best singles match he’d have until he ran into Morishima in August. It is a different kind of Strong match for FIP too, since it is pretty rarely that he is outsized this much in FIP.

This show also features a TLC match, but it is more like TNA’s version fo a TLC match than WWE’s. That means pinfalls, submissions and run ins! Seth Delay and Sal Rinauro really work their asses off here, but in the end the match more serves as a way to introduce Claudio into the YRR than to really settle any issue. But on a show with a dog collar match that settled a bloody feud that is fine. Usually three really good-great matches on an FIP show is all you’ll get, but Gran Akuma and Jack Evans also have a really good match on this show. Also, Talia Madison (Velvet Sky) has the most passable match I’ve seen her in tagging with Daffney (THE GOVERNOR) against Allison Danger and Sara Del Rey. It isn’t worth watching, but thinking of where the first two ended up gimmick wise amused me.

3. Redefined (2/16/2008)

This show probably makes it to #1 in many lists, well not too many since FIP isn’t that popular, but you get my meaning. Anyway, following the death of Sal the owner’s wife, FIP went on hiatus for several months. In the interim Stevens won the FIP title in ROH, and Gabe decided to make FIP a bit more like ROH, so it had to be redefined and rebooted. A major heel stable would die, a major feud would finally end, and FIP would get a new (old) champion. And ROH fans would complain that not much was “redefined” because they are retarded.

If you like seeing Roderick Strong and Erick Stevens chop the shit out of each other, this is the match for you. They brutalize each other’s chest, but this match also features some wonderful storytelling a step above their ROH matches. Their first ROH match was mostly Strong the veteran abusing the rookie Stevens and Stevens taking Strong to the limit. This annoys some people since they don’t understand that just because Stevens is bigger, he still isn’t as strong as Roderick STRONG. It isn’t their fault, they just are a bit slow. Anyway, this match kicks off Roderick Strong not being able to live without the FIP title. It leads to a great spot where Stevens is cut open by the belt in an “accidental” shot, and Strong has to beg the ref not to get DQed. The match progresses with Stevens bleeding in disgusting fashion out of the side of his head, and Strong eventually realizing he can’t win the belt back legit… and has to cheat on purpose. It is a bit hard to put into words, but when you see the match it is easy to understand. This is in my Top 5 of American matches of 2008. This DVD also includes Strong vs Stevens from Final Battle, so if you don’t have that match, this show probably should be the first FIP DVD you get. I’d guess most people reading this follow ROH and would have Final Battle 2007 though.

Austin Aries puts his FIP career on the line against Davey Richards who puts Dave Prazak’s managerial license on the line. This is really good, but the highlight is DP who is just awesome in his role, and even better in defeat. Nigel McGuinness, just before his ROH heel turn takes on Necro Butcher in another really good match, and I really hope they can face off in another ROH match where Necro isn’t injured. Finlly, the tag title and Heritage title matches are OK, and Heartbreak Xpress is banned from ever wrestling in FIP again, which like DP losing his license are pretty historic.

4. International Impact Phase Two (4/12/2007)

This is another one of those shows with a little something for everyone.  It also ends a major feud that had been raging between the Briscoes and the Kings of the Death Match. The FIP Tag Titles are defended in a “Bar Room Brawl” between The Briscoes and Necro Butcher and Mad Man Pondo. This is easily the best Mad Man Pondo match I have ever seen. He does what he does, Necro does, and these guys take a beating with weapons while the Briscoes do all sorts of their own trademark crazy stuff. Basically, everyone works to their strengths. So that means Mark Briscoe jumps off something really fucking tall! A great, great brawl. If you hate light tubes, this may not be for you though. (Although this is one of the tamer uses of light tubes you’ll see in a match like this.)

Shingo and Yamato face off in what could actually be called an exhibition match. I usually hate the term, but that is pretty much literally what this is meant to be. Shingo is just wrapping up his great run in the US, and Yamato is still pretty green but looks great here. Roderick Strong defends the FIP title against Sal Rinauro in one of his weaker defenses, but Strong was so good in FIP in 2007 that this is still a pretty good match. Stevens is early in his Heritage title reign and starts it off right with a very good defense against Nigel. Nigel is in FIP only rarely but when he is it is always a good match.

Honestly this is a solid card top to bottom. The undercard isn’t really notable, but outside the HBX nothing is bad. (And they are entertaining in their own way. Jigsaw and Delirious have a pretty good match on the undercard too, so make sure you don’t just skip to the big matches.

5. First Annual Eddie Graham Memorial Battle of the Belts (3/10/2007)

This is another show that has a great mix of antics and wrestling. It also sadly wasn’t used last year, although it made its return in 2009. This show is so god damned fun. I’ll try to spoil the tournament as little as possible, but in the first round Mark Briscoe and Delirious have a good little match, as do Shingo and Stevens. The finals are a spectacular match as well, and one of the semi finals is pretty good. So overall that doesn’t sound like an amazing show, right? Sure 3 good matches and one great one is very good but the 6th best FIP show? Well it is. No, the six man tag isn’t some blow away match, or even a good match. What is great about this show is Dave Prazak.  Also important is the first Florida Heritage Champion is crowned in the tournament.

He interupts the opening ceremony and runs down Eddie Graham and his son. He tries to get the tournament cancelled and demands a battle royal be held in its place. When that doesn’t happen he spends the entire show stewing about that and saying how great battle royals are, how DP would win the title so easily in a battle royal, etc. This would become a running gag between Prazak and Leonard on future shows, and to me was absolutely hilarious stuff.

6. Chasing The Dragon (6/9/2006)

Alot of people probably won’t agree with this one, but Chasing the Dragon is everything I love about FIP. It is a show that combines some very good wrestling with wacky antics. The best example of this is the main event. It is a Six Man Elimination match (think Survival of the Fittest.) But unlike ROH, ANTICS ensue! Promos and heel antics abound when we are down to four, and the match switches format to a tag match. Gabe would reuse this idea for SoTF 2006 as well. It eventually switches back to the original format, and it all makes sense and is fun to watch. If you are a serious workrate person this may not be your cup of tea, but if you don’t think wrestling is serious business I bet you’ll love it.

Sal Rinauro seems to be the go to guy when the FIP title match isn’t too important because he gets one here against Bryan Danielson. This is quite a good match. Later in the year Rinauro would get squashed by Dragon in ROH. Funny how much more he means in FIP. Erick Stevens who I really hadn’t been impressed by before this match has a really good match against Shingo, who hadn’t yet become the guy who blew everyone away from December of 2006-April of 2007. Finally the Fast and the Furious have a pretty good match against Delay and Rance, one of the better non gimmick matches I’ve seen out of Rance.

7. Heatstroke 2008 (8/23/2008)

I loved Go Shiozaki’s US run. If you didn’t, I’d hope you can at least love his match against Erick Stevens for the FIP title. Go is managed by Heartbreak Enterprises who do all the xenophobic anti- Japanese stuff you’d expect, but it is combined with the homophobic heat that HBE gets so naturally! Go and HBE destroyed Stevens after he won the belt, and Go had taken Stevens to the limit in ROH, could he win it here with a little help from his friends? The match itself is great, a very hard hitting dramatic match that you’d expect from these two guys with a fuck finish that really, really works given the nature of FIP and the need to keep Stevens looking strong. This is probably the best match Go had in the US other than maybe his match against Marufuji, so I say it again, if Go didn’t do it for you in ROH, check this out.

Overall this is a very solid card. Tyler Black and Necro have a good match with lots of chairs and crowd brawling. Roderick Strong and Kenny King have a very good match with little crowd brawling or chairs. Interesting. Jason Blade and Austin Aries also have a good match, and finally Chris Jones begins to become a breakout star in FIP when he challenges for the Heritage title against Sal Rinauro, a belt he would win later in 08.

8. Evening The Odds 2005 and Attack of the Masked FIPPERs (11/12/2005 and 12/10/2005)

FIP didn’t release most of their late 2005 and early 2006 shows for several years, and in fact they still haven’t released some of them. But when people demanded they be able to see Evening the Odds 2005, FIP decided to burn some on DVD R (instead of the actual DVDs they and ROH use.) There was a problem with the burner, so they changed plans and instead decided to release two packs with two shows on one DVD for 15 dollars. Is it fair to the other shows to compare them to a release with two shows on it? Maybe not, but wrestling DVDs don’t have feelings so who cares.

If you get this, do me a favor. SKIP EVERYTHING ON EVENING THE ODDS 2005 EXCEPT THE MAIN EVENT! The undercard sucks. It features a bunch fo ROH students who were very green at the time. I guess seeing Sean Waltman vs Shane Hagadorn might be worth some laughs, but other than that do not watch this undercard! Anyway, the main event is what you want. It is a 10 Man Elimination Tag match. Roderick Strong, Sean Waltman, Tony Mamaluke, Sal Rinauro and Jerrelle Clark vs Bryan Danielson, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, Adam Pearce and Jimmy Rave (DP Associates.) The heel side is an absolute dream team. The face side isn’t bad either. This match features all sorts of great heel antics from DP Associates, especially Joe and Aries. The match itself is damned good, and very long so it makes up for the rest of the show being terrible.

Attack of the Masked FIPPERs on the other hand is a much better show as a whole. Roderick Strong faces Bryan Danielson. You really shouldn’t need to know anything else. They always have great matches and this is no exception. Colt Cabana and Milano Collection AT have a fun match, which you’d have to expect out of these two. I wasn’t really impressed by AT in his US matches, but this is a good match and showcases both guys personalities. Finally, Clark and Fury (The Fast and the Furious, ugh) have a good little match against Steve Madison and Erick Stevens, way before Stevens had begun to stand out.

9. All or Nothing (11/10/2006)

Roderick Strong faces Bryan Danielson on this show and fails to win the FIP title. Strong had been trying to win the FIP title for almost two years and failed everytime. He had been trying to beat Bryan Danielson since 2005, and mostly failed at that, so failure was no surprise. Hell, he even failed in a recent #1 contendership match against Davey Richards! (Luckily Strong is the Batista of FIP and gets plenty of chances.)  He also faces Bryan Danielson on this show and wins the FIP title. Confused? The answer is ANTICS! Danielson gets himself DQed against Roddy to fuck him out of the belt, and DP Associates gloat about it. Strong demands a rematch later in the night, and Danielson agrees… if it is Strong’s career against Danielson’s title. Strong says OK! There is also some gold involving Mr. Milo Beasley being treated something like a dog. The rematch in the main event isn’t quite as good as Strong and Danielson’s ROH matches, but is is very very good, and made all the more dramatic by the heel/face allignment, and Strong finally winning the FIP World Title. Well I guess it wasn’t the World title yet, but it isn’t really a World title now, so fuck it.

Elsewhere on the show, Shingo continues begins the hot streak he’d end 2006 on against Davey Richards. These two met up a couple times in 2006, and this one is by far the best. Really good stuff, and really both guys were on hot streaks in FIP.  The biggest shock on this show is Rinauro and Rance vs Rhett Titus and Alex Payne. Payne is the worst ROH student in my book… well other than Shane Hagadorn. Titus didn’t show anything until mid 2008 with the Addicted to Love gimmick. This match takes place in 2006! This match is above average, a big shock to me. The YRR had a better tag in the next match against Stevens and Delay, building up feuds against both guys. The Briscoes give HBX a rematch for the tag titles in a No DQ elimination match. I have no idea why Gabe decided 2 on 2 elimination No DQ matches were such a good idea in November 2006… but this was pretty average.

10. Heatstroke 2005 Night One (8/5/2005)

Generally speaking the second night of a double shot is the better night. Heatstroke 05 is an exception, mainly for one match. It isn’t the main event or even close. It features a guy who in recent years hasn’t been that impressive. Tony Mamaluke vs James Gibson is that match. Gibson was awesome in 2005, but Mamaluke was not, at least in ROH. In FIP he was pretty good. This is a very mat based match and both guys take almost no bumps. But it is fantastic, especially if you love WRESTLING!

Samoa Joe and Spanky have a good match as well. It’s funny to watch this now, as Joe is a heel in DP Associates, and Spanky is obviously a face, but now he works so well as a heel as The Brian Kendrick. About what you’d expect with a big punishing heel vs a plucky babyface, but both guys are great so you like what you’d expect. CM Punk begins to wrap up his summer of Punk against Ace Steel in another good match. The main event of the show is just above average with Homicide taking on Steve Madison who I have never really been a fan of, but it is not a bad match by any stretch. Plus seeing Stevens at ringside early in his career is kind of funny.

11. Cage of Pain (12/15/06)

The first Cage of Pain made it to #1, much on the basis of the Cage of Pain being great. The first Cage of Pain gets an extra 1 next to it because the Cage of Pain isn’t very good. Honestly, I didn’t hate it. I just came in with low expectations and it met my expectations. Heartbreak Xpress and Blk Market are not good workers, and HBX isn’t really that good in brawls. They are awesome heels and heat magnets, so this match has its place, especially because it draw FIP’s biggest crowd to date with over 500 people. The match didn’t bore me, it is just a bloody brawl with lots of light tubes, chairs, barbed wire and that stuff. If you hate garbage matches you will hate this, assuredly.

The rest of the card is what makes this show good. Bryan Danielson fresh off losing the FIP title has to earn a rematch against Davey Richards and these guys have another really good match. (They faced off for the title a month earlier and brass knucks meant the end of Davey then.) Steve Madisn gets another title match here, and it is pretty good actually, taking on Strong who had just won the belt from Danielson. My personal favorite match of the show is Delirious and Shingo vs Hallowicked and Gran Akuma. (Ok, favorite other than the Danielson match because he’s Bryan Danielson.) This isn’t too long, but Delirious and Shingo are wonderfully entertaining heels, DP is always great and the CHIKARA guys shine here. Aries and Stevens also have a match, and while it is not on the level fo their FIP title match from ROH’s Proving Ground, it is pretty good, especially considering Stevens was a relative nobody. (That would change just a month later, and really change in April.) This show also features alot of angle progression, notably with challenges laid out for Unfinished Busines 2007.

12.Hot Summer Nights 2008 (7.19.2008)

If you are a match quality person this show probably ranks a bit higher, but since I like the nuttyness of FIP a few other shows rank above this that normally would not. It also features my least favorite Strong vs Stevens match of their feud, which makes it a bit less “much see” in my mind. However, the title does change hands here, so it is still important.

Stevens vs Strong in a Dog Collar match is still a brutal, great match. They had just faced off so many times in the last year plus that this just didn’t feel that new. (Between ROH and FIP they had 7 singles matches, two three ways, tons of tags and a three way in Pro Wrestling Right.) I think the biggest problem is it feels a bit short. It seems like when they start doing great stuff with the chain the match is almost over. However, it is a well worked dog collar match, and these guys have amazing chemistry. The post match angle with HBE sacking both guys and covering Stevens in the Japanese flag is great stuff too.

Go Shiozaki sets up his challenge to Stevens by beating Nigel McGuinness in a non title match that somehow earns him an FIP title shot. (HBE explains it as they beat a champion, but they work in FIP so they want the FIP belt, plus they did lay out Stevens, so why not?) This isn’t quite as good as their title match at Respect is Earned II, but is a very good bout. The YRR fend off the final challenge of the Age of the Fall in a 2/3 falls match for the FIP Tag Titles in another good match, although King and Blade never meshed as well with the AoTF as I hoped they would.

13. Impact of Honor (6/10/2006)

In 2006 ROH wasn’t ready to do Florida shows yet, but Gabe wanted to do some cross promotional stuff (especially since there had been an FIP title change in ROH already.) So he held IMPACT OF HONOR. I know FIP is Full Impact Pro, but shows with Impact in the title, held in Florida always make me think TNA is involved.

The highlight of this show is Clark and Fury (The Fast and the Furious, ugh again) against Austin Aries and Roderick Strong, Generation Next. This is actually one of GN’s weaker ROH title defenses, but that is more a testament to the quality of their ROH matches as this match is quite fun, but the FIP guys never feel like they have a chance here. Ditto with the ROH title match where Colt Cabana takes on Bryan Danielson. This isn’t on the level of their matches in ROH (save the 5 minute one at 100th show) but it is a good match where you know, and the crowd knows Cabana doesn’t have a chance. Shingo and Davey Richards have a good match as well, but considering they had a much better one in another show listed here, it is hard to call IOH notable because of it.  I did enjoy Madison vs Stevens in the early days of their feud, although it isn’t close to the level of their dog collar match.

14. Sold Out (6/24/2005)

For the longest time this show was an enigma. I got it in a grab bag and never got around to watching it. It just sat in my shelf taunting me. Why? Because there was a fucking soccer ball on the cover! WHY WAS THAT SOCCER BALL THERE! I HAD TO KNOW!

The reason is pretty simple. In an 8 Man Tag Team match the heels and faces play soccer using a human soccer ball. The 8 Man Tag match that ends the show is super wacky, and you can guess it would be looking at the participants. CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Fast Eddie and Jimmy Rave take on Colt Cabana, Sal Rinauro, Spanky and Azrieal. This match is mostly comedy, but it is utterly  hilarious, and the wrestling they do is quite good.  The match is set up by a surprisingly good Azrieal vs CM Punk match that becomes a mess and never finishes to lead into this.

The other main highlight of the show is Tony Mamaluke vs Roderick Strong. Strong had not quite shown his awesomeness in ROH, and Mamaluke as said before kind of stunk there in 2005. But this is a really good match and it really makes you wonder why Mamaluke wasn’t better in ROH.  Finally, Jay Fury and Jerrelle Clark have a fun little match.

15. Dangerous Intentions 2008 (4/26/2008)

This show features my second favorite Stevens vs Strong match. The rest of the show is very hit or miss, but this match is great. It is a Last Man Standing match stemming from Stevens losing the belt at Redefined. I generally do not like Last Man Standing matches, but this one really works the gimmick the right way, especially near the end. The highlight of the match to me is Strong hitting a series of big boots on Stevens, each one more vicious than the last. Stevens barely makes the count each time in increasingly more dramatic spots, and eventually comes back. But it is just cool to see Strong’s big boot, which is never used as a finisher work its way in as a legitimate near fall. The other highlight of this match is the CHAIR FORT which looked like it’d be the scariest spot of the match, but was in fact pretty safe when all was said and done.

The FIP title match is a let down to me. It is pretty good, but Kenny King and Jason Blade vs Austin Aries and Jay Briscoe seemed like a sleeper classic, and this just never really got going. Tyler Black and Davey Richards however was quite a good match that I didn’t really expect much from. FIP in 2008 was still a bit weird since guys like the AOTF were faces, so this match worked a lot better in reality than it looked on paper since I sometimes forget Black is a big face in FIP! Other than this the only other match worth seeing is really Sal Rinauro vs Delirious, or if you like the feud Black Market vs Dark City Fight Club, which to me never was that great, other than DCFC’s name which sounds like two film nerds picked out their favorite mind fuck movies after winning a contest to name a tag team.

Cool Hand Poker Microgaming 100% to $350 10
Golden Tiger Poker Microgaming 50% to $200 9.8
PayNoRake Poker Tiger Gaming 100% Rakeback 9.2
True Poker True Network 100% to $200 8.6
Red Cherry Poker Everleaf 300% to $500 8.5