FIP: Unfinished Business 2007


Crystal River, FL – 1.13.2007

Larry Sweeney vs. Claudio Castagnoli

Sweeney goes to the apron when Claudio backs him to the corner in a lock-up. He claims hair pulling which of course is a total sham. Sweeney slaps Claudio and cowers back to the apron. Claudio easily wins a test of strength. He hip tosses Sweeney into an armdrag that sends him to the floor. When he comes back in, Claudio shoulder blocks him twice. Sweeney Hot Shots him onto the top rope and puts the boots to his back. He chokes Claudio on the middle rope. Sweeney puts on a side headlock. Claudio breaks free but gets thrown to the canvas by his hair. Sweeney chokes Claudio with his wrist tape on the floor where the referee can’t see. In the ring he misses the 12 Large Elbow. Claudio fires back with some chops and a dropkick for two. Sweeney catches him with a spinebuster for two. Claudio comes back with a crossbody off the second rope for two. A standing crossbody brings both men to the floor. Both guys fight on the floor and don’t make it back in the ring before the ten count. Super babyface Claudio is a lot of fun to watch, especially against the blatant, cheating Sweeney. They kept it simple and the finish was whatever, but I had a good time watching these two do their thing. **

Gran Akuma vs. Jack Evans

Evans headscissors Akuma to the corner. They trade holds until Akuma trips Evans. Some Lucha rolling leads to Evans snapping off some armdrags and sending Akuma to the floor with a headscissors. Evans comes off the apron with a dropkick. Evans slingshots back in the ring with a corkscrew press for two. Akuma responds with a sole butt and a fallaway kick to the chin. Akuma turns a half crab into a Japanese strangle hold. He throws some kicks and snapmares Evans into a kick to the back of the head. Akuma misses a back elbow. Evans comes in with a back handspring elbow. When he springboards in from the apron, Akuma catches him with a kick. He locks Evans’ leg and applies an abdominal stretch. Evans rolls out so Akuma kicks him in the back a few times. Evans, in an obviously post-edited spot (I presume he botched it the first time), comes off the second rope with a quebrada enzuigiri. Evans ducks a flurry of clotheslines only to be dropkicked to the ropes. Evans uses the ropes to back flip into a dropkick. He springboards in with a tornado kick for two. He also gets two with a Busaiku Knee. Akuma gets two with the Tenchi Crash. He gives Evans a backbreaker and a Snapmare Driver. Evans kicks out. Evans evades a backbreaker. He kicks Akuma in the side of the head. A standing corkscrew splash only gets him two. Evans slips out of a German suplex and knees Akuma in the side of the head. Akuma avoids a 450 splash. Evans lands on his feet. Akuma drives his knees into the mat and gives him a vertical suplex. Akuma misses a frog splash. Evans gives him a Northern Lights suplex. Akuma blocks a clothesline. He drops Evans with a 2k1 Bomb for the pin at 11:32. Not only was I surprised Akuma won, but I was surprised at how great this match was. We’re talking one of my favorite Akuma singles matches ever sort of territory. They worked some magic and put on one heck of a back and forth bout. The double main event featured a TLC and a Dog Collar match, so it’s easy to see why this was overshadowed. Nevertheless, these guys deserve props for the hard work they put in here. ***1/2


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