wrestling / Video Reviews

The SmarK Retro Repost – Return Of The Funker (02/94)

July 31, 2002 | Posted by Scott Keith

Hard to believe, I know, but there was a period when I not only *didn’t* hate ECW, but actually *looked forward* to watching it on a regular basis via America One on the dish. Did I mention recently how much I miss my satellite dish? Sigh. Anyway, we move ahead to one week after Double Tables, as everyone regroups and tries it again…

– Taped from the Hall of Bingo.

– Your host is Joey.

– Opening match: The Pitbulls v. Chad Austin & Joel Goodhart. The rebuilding of the Pitbulls continues, as the jobbers du jour bump all over the place and the steroid freaks squash them like used needles. They finish Goodhart with the superbomb in 4:32. Good bumping from the jobbing side, at least. Ѕ*

– Joey brings out Raven & Stevie. Raven gives a rambling discussion of something that might be his shopping list for all I can decipher, and Tommy comes out to offer a counterpoint (basically “you suck”) and then leaves. Stevie pipes up, pointing out that just the other day he got his ass kicked in a bar by Tony Stetson & Johnny HotBody, and they just happened to be available for hire, so maybe they can do the same to Tommy? Tommy charges the ring to attack Raven, and a big pull-apart brawl follows, with Raven, Stevie, Stetson & Hot-Body all jumping Tommy before security intervenes. Good angle, all leading up to Raven revealing why it is that he hates Dreamer so much. While I’m on the subject, what’s with Heyman’s constant jobbing out of the TWA guys? It seems like as soon as he got control from Eddie Gilbert, he started systematically destroying guys like Stetson, Hot-Body, Tommy Cairo (who’s actually a decent worker), and the rest of the group of Tri-State workers and replacing them with his own people. This must be one of those inter-promotional bitterness things, because otherwise I don’t get it.

– Mikey Whipwreck & Hack Myers v. Jason Knight & Paul Lauria. Quick start for the faces as they do stereo sunset flips on the heels for two. Mikey drops an elbow on Lauria for two and they him over. Standard stuff there. The heels bail and Mikey headfakes them, then brings Lauria back in. Lauria hits a spinkick and Jason dominates Mikey. He plays face in peril. Jason & Lauria try some interesting double-team stuff, but Jason is SO useless that he ends up screwing up both moves. Jason presses Lauria onto Mikey for two, and Lauria uses a bow-and-arrow on Mikey. Good lord, that’s not only WAY out of place in this match, but there was no pyschology to build up to it. Jasson misses an elbow and Mikey plays possum. Jason thinks he’s still got the upper hand, so of COURSE he tries the most high-risk move he can think of on the top rope, and gets crotched. Mikey, like an idiot, won’t tag yet, and gets tossed out. He comes back with a missile dropkick, but Jason moves. Mikey finally tags, and Hackamania runs wild, brother. Mikey hits a top rope bulldog (with Lauria standing around like a retard for 30 seconds while everyone gets positioned) and we get a bunch of sloppy near-falls. A mysterious masked man enters the ring, KO’s Hack, and puts Lauria on top for the pin at 15:00. Way too long, and an embarrassing, bush-league effort from all involved. Ѕ*

– 2 Cold Scorpio v. Hector Guerrero. My dream match realized: Flash Funk takes on the Gobbledegooker! Awkward wrestling sequence to start. Headscissors puts Hector on the floor. Back in, Hector gets a pumphandle backbreaker for two. Scorpio sunset flips him for two. Hector works the arm. To the floor, and it goes nowhere. Hector argues with the ref in the ring, trying desperately to get a reaction out of the crowd. Scorpio gets a backdrop for two. Hector chokes him out for two. Man, this match sucks. Scorpio superkick for two, powerbomb for two. Hector gets a pump splash for two. Scorpio misses a moonsault and Hector gets the Oklahoma Roll for two. Scorpio gets Rock Bottom for two. Rollup sequence goes nowhere. Scorpio hits the 450 for the pin at 11:16. This was just a bunch of stuff vaguely stuck together. The sum total was NOT pretty. *

– Ian Rotten v. Axl Rotten. Ian snags a barbed-wire baseball bat before it can go on a pole and much bleeding results. I take the opportunity to grab a snack, because nothing makes me hungrier than an Axl v. Ian bloodbath. Usual vampire crap here. There’s LOTS of blood – about 0.75 Muta total between the two of them. And lots of sick “Oh no, he’s digging the barbed wire in ” type of spots. Ian breaks the flow by doing a piledriver (WRESTLING???) FOR TWO. Joey of course says “crimson mask”, and much like saying “Hitler” draws a discussion to a close on Usenet, using a Gordon Solie clichй on a wrestling show means the finish is near, and indeed Axl pancakes Ian on the baseball bat for the pin at 12:17. This was pretty much what you’d expect and nothing more. *1/2

– ECW World title match: Shane Douglas v. Marty Jannetty. This was during the “Shane is a fighting champion” period where he defended against all comers (preferably people who had held major titles recently) in an effort to legitimize the ECW World title. Hell, the other two “World” champs at the time were Diesel and Hulk Hogan, so I’d say it had it by default. Triviata: I was at a 1990 WWF house show shortly after Summerslam 90, and Shane & Marty teamed up as “The New Rockers” for the show (and a few others) because of Shawn’s knee injury. They even made the PWI Top Ten, which was notable because it was, if I’m remembering correctly, the only time up until that point when someone was in the top 10 with two different teams at the same time. Someone should e-mail Bill Apter and ask him – I *know* there was some significance to Shane & Marty making the top 10. Anywho, Douglas offers Jannetty a clean, classic, scientific match, because he wants to prove himself. And of course he jumps him. Jannetty rolls him up for two, then armdrags him for two (?). Douglas bails. And stalls. This match is obviously being crafted on the fly by Douglas, so I guess Jannetty must not be stoned here, because otherwise Shane would have to write everything down on Post-It Notes for him. Back in, Shane ducks a superkick and stalls again. Crowd chants “We want Shawn” to piss off Marty. A little later in the year, that same chant could be used to piss of Shane. They trade hammerlocks. Marty powerslams him for two. Into some sweet chinlock music as they plot things out. Douglas ducks another superkick and lowblows Jannetty, who bails. He suckers Shane over, then sneaks in and dumps him over the top. They brawl, with Shane going into the crowd, and Jannetty goes flying over the railing with a clothesline. NOW we’re getting somewhere. Shane drops him on the railing to come back. Back in, Shane works on the back and Marty work in the CLOTHESLINE OVERSELL OF DOOM and bails. Shane follows and pounds him. Marty goes hard to the post and he might need some painkillers (wink wink) after the match. Marty comes back and hits two superkicks on the floor, then Douglas takes over back inside. Marty mounts the comeback, working the arm. The crowd is actually on Marty’s side now, chanting for him openly. Rocker dropper gets two. PRIMO superkick KO’s Shane, but Jannetty misses the fistdrop from the top and lands on his feet. He manages a DDT for two. He tries a rana, but Douglas blocks it with a powerbomb and grabs some tights for the pin at 18:19 to retain. Started awkward, but that built into one HELL of a match. **** But then I like Jannetty anyway.

– Johnny Grunge wheels Rocco Rock out for an interview. They wuz ROBBED last week, and the crowd agrees. Benoit & Malenko get so sick of hearing them whine that they storm out, enact some CANADIAN VIOLENCE (we’ll call Dean an honorary Canuck for this show) and generally beat the ever-loving crap out of my least favorite team. Sabu & Taz charge the ring and we’ve got…

– ECW World tag title match: Sabu & Taz v. Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko. Big brawl to start, as everyone hits crazy highspots so fast that I can’t keep up. The Triple Threat control things until Sabu nails a seated dropkick on Malenko. Benoit takes over on Taz and they double-team him. Dean drops Sabu with a pair of brainbusters, which is cool because Benoit broke Sabu’s neck a few months prior to this and the fans all remember it. Taz hits an awesome series of suplexes, but gets stopped by Malenko. Taz & the challengers then go into an intricate series of suplexes and counters that ends with Taz dropping Benoit on his head and Dean clipping him from behind. The action is literally so fast and furious that I can’t transcribe it properly. Dean slaps on a legbreaker, and Benoit stands there and kicks him in the head to be a jerk. The champs bail to regroup, and 911 decides that Taz has had enough and carries him to the dressing room for medical attention. That leaves Sabu 2-on-1. He gets a double dropkick, sending Benoit & Malenko to opposite sides of the ring on the floor. Sabu hits a somersault plancha on Dean, then a crazy suicide dive and quebrada on Benoit. Both Benoit & Malenko regroup and Sabu hits both with a tope. He pops into the ring again, sets up a chair, and goes flying over the top onto them. See, now that’s the difference between Sabu in his prime and today: Back then he used to fire off a crazy series of highspots, with everything hitting, and everything leading to something else. Now, it’s just spot, walk around, spot, etc. He brings Malenko in and puts a table on the top rope and a chair on top of that, but Benoit pushes him off, then brings him to the top, powerbombs him off, and pins him to capture the ECW tag titles at 10:27. Literally non-stop action here. ***3/4 The Public Enema returns and 911 cleans house on everyone, and THAT would set up the Three-Way Dance, which I erroneously attributed to this show in the Double Tables recap.

– Sandman & Nancy call out Cactus Jack because of Double Tables. They have a surprise for him: DC Drake in a big wooden box. Ooo.

– Sandman v. DC Drake. Efficient squash for Cactus, as he finishes Drake with a DDT in 4:02. Ѕ* But that’s not the point of this. Sandman attacks and gets rebuked, so he rolls out of the ring and into the box. Jack drags him out and pulls off a cloth covering him…and it’s Terry Funk! The crowd goes nuts and Funk kicks Jack’s fat ass. Extended beatdown on Jack follows from Funk & Sandman. Tommy Dreamer makes the save, but he’s too much of a sissy boy to hit Funk, so he gets taken out like the garbage. Finally, Shane Douglas appears, supposedly to help the heels out, but he remembers his friendship with Foley and turns on Funk & Sandman, setting up a tag match at Three-Way Dance. Awesome angle to end the show.

The Bottom Line: Two excellent matches in a two-hour show plus a cool heel beatdown makes for another easy thumbs up here. The Raven-Tommy stuff is STILL compelling five years after the fact, which shows how strong an angle it was and what a good job Heyman did in developing it.

Next up: Three-Way Dance! Hardcore Heaven! More shows that DON’T suck! More CANADIAN VIOLENCE! Be there!

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Scott Keith

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