Full Impact Pro returned to internet pay-per-view last Friday, August 7. All three of the promotions titles were on the line, including the FIP World Heavyweight Championship which would be defended by Kaleb Conley in the main event against the uber-talented Trevor Lee.
Full Impact Pro
August 7, 2015
Ybor City, Florida
Flying Solow (Jason Cade & Aaron Solow) vs. Nuclear Kassarole (Chase Brown & Peter Kaasa)
The night’s opening match started slow and never went above a gentle pace. That was not a bad thing. Both teams took turns trading holds and submissions and by doing so they conserved their energy for the closing third of the match. When the time came to switch the match into a higher gear the competitors were not too exhausted to deliver a satisfying finale.
Peter Kaasa of Nuclear Kassarole is a name to watch. The big man combines power and athleticism in a way that is reminiscent of an unpolished Uhaa Nation. Kaasa picked up the win for his team after hitting a beautiful 630 Senton.
Each team came out of the match looking fantastic and should earn future bookings. ***1/4
The duo of Earl Cooter and Zane Riley, better known as Trailer Park Nation, made their way to ring and Cooter introduced the world to his new squeeze, Veronica Voxx.
Gary Jay vs. Zane Riley
Jay was coming off an impressive performance at EVOLVE 45. The ginger haired wrestler took to the air early and often. Already known for his impressive striking game, Jay used this match to show what a well-rounded wrestler he is.
Zane Riley had a few chances to win this match but was preoccupied with his tag partner putting on a PDA spectacle with the team’s new valet. During a moment where Riley was gawking Jay ascended to the top rope and hit a Flying Elbow that earned him a win.
Despite Jay’s good showing this match was more of an angle and never really got going. **1/4
Cooter berated Riley for his loss and made matters worse for the Husky Harris look-a-like.
Earl Cooter vs. Bolt Brady
The story of Zane Riley’s despair at his partner’s new flame carried over into the next match. Riley tried to get involved several times and ended up costing Cooter the match.
The angle between the two is fine but carrying it over into back-to-back matches gave the show a repetitive tone only three matches into the card. It also denied Trailer Park Nation and Bolt Brady a chance to show what they can really do in front of a larger audience.
Yet another contest marred by being more angle than match. The bout’s placement also diluted its quality. *3/4
FIP Florida Heritage Championship Match, – Johnny Vandal vs. Maxwell Chicago ©
Maxwell Chicago is a known punching bag on VOW’s flagship podcast. Personally, I think his lounge singer gimmick is unique and can take him in small doses, but putting the promotion’s secondary title on a comedy wrestler is asinine booking. Before anyone disagrees with me just watch this match as proof.
Johnny Vandal is a worse wrestler than Chicago. He is wooden in the ring, lacks charisma and has an atrociously bad BDSM gimmick with Trina Michaels.
So one would think that the two would logically be confined to a six or seven minute comedy match and it started out that way. Then mid-match Chicago and Vandal tried to make this a serious, back and forth title fight. Neither has the chops to do so and the result was a painfully bad closing stretch that ended with Chicago retaining his title with a fluke pin.
I don’t know who books FIP but they need to evaluate their decision making because letting this one go so long badly exposed both wrestlers and made the Heritage Championship look like an absolute joke. DUD
Vandal did not take his loss well and destroyed Chicago after the match so it looks like this feud will continue.
Blake Edward Belakus vs. Martin Stone
If you are a promoter this is the kind of match you want to anchor your undercard. It was the appropriate length and catered to the strength of both combatants, striking in this case.
The handful of times I’ve seen Stone and Belakus wrestle other opponents their performances left a lot to be desired. Each man brings out the best in the other and they have very good chemistry. Stone got the win with a Rope Hang DDT.
The show needed a solid match to keep the card from going south and this one delivered. **3/4
In a post match interview Stone declared that he wanted FIP gold.
Deimos vs. Josh Hess
The pre-show build advertised this math as a battle of former partners. Deimos was the muscle of the operation and Hess was the little shit with a motor mouth that hid behind him. The format and outcome of this match were written stone, it would be short and Deimos would kill the smaller Hess, which is exactly what happened. The only surprise was that Hess got in more offense than usually seen in a squash. **
Rhett Giddens vs. Monster Tarver
The commentary team of Lenny Leonard and So Cal Val hyped this as a battle of two huge guys teeing off on each other. If the match had stayed within those confines it would have been fine but instead they tried to get cute.
I don’t want to totally trash this match because it had good moments. At the last FIP show Giddens fell to Tarver and was looking for redemption. He started the match hot with a nifty flurry of Running Big Boots and a Dropkick. That was a great throwback to their previous contest and the crowd was behind Giddens for the duration of the fight.
Tarver survived the opening minutes and soon asserted his dominance over Giddens. Most of the time Tarver was on offense the match was dull as dirt. The best part of Tarver’s control period was his leg work which included a filthy variation of the Knee Bar. At some point Giddens had to make a comeback but he never did. The focus of the match shifted to a mental breakdown that Tarver had which was bizarre and added so many unnecessary minutes to the bout. By the time Tarver got the pin the crowd was absolutely dead.
The structure of the match was atrocious. Giddens had complete crowd support and deserved at least two or three hope spots. Instead, this turned into an extended squash with a few fleeting moments of brilliance snuffed out by bad booking. **1/4
After the match, Tarver cut an excellent promo in which he informed Giddens that it would take more than wrestling moves to beat him because he is a monster.
FIP World Tag Team Championship Match (No Disqualification) – The Hooligans (Devin & Mason Cutter) vs. Savages © (Teddy Stigma & Eddie Graves)
On the indie scene no disqualification has devolved into a pattern. A few minutes of crowd brawling followed by one team littering the ring with chairs and then a bevy of spots using said chairs. Both teams worked hard but relied on a formula that does not make for compelling matches. The Hooligans picked up the win and the titles after a double chair shot on Teddy Stigma. **1/2
Frustrated at losing the titles Eddie Graves turned on Stigma and dissolved Savages.
FIP World Heavyweight Championship Match – Trevor Lee vs. Caleb Konley ©
The main event was heading for disaster early. Konley and Lee were allotted a decent amount of time for the match and did not seem to know how to use it. They stalled early on by trading holds and then brawling in the crowd.
Then Conley took control and the match fell into the usual Premiere Athlete Brand lull. I’ve discussed this in my EVOLVE reviews but PAB matches feature a longer than normal period of slow heel offense and outside interference. It sucks the life out of a match.
Thankfully, Rich Swann came to save the day. He took out the PAB’s resident muscle Andrea and stayed to play Trevor Lee’s cheerleader. Swann’s energy was infectious and woke up by both the crowd and the two in the ring.
As the match reached its terminus Lee and Konley started to bust out their familiar hits for a handful of near falls that the crowd bought each time. The spot of the match went to a nasty Avalanche German Suplex that Conley delivered on Lee. After being pushed to his limit Konley retained after a Death Valley Bomb.
Champion and challenger worked overtime to bring this match back from the dead. ***1/2
Final Thoughts: The opening match and main event of Heatstroke were good. Sandwiched in between them is a real hot mess of a show. Whether it be bad booking, poor match structure or a lack of talent most of the matches on Heatstroke did not make the grade. FIP has a talented roster but that alone can’t overcome the obvious issues the promotion has with booking etc. Don’t waste your time or money on this one.