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Charles (Loss)

[1990-11-10-TWA] Jerry Lawler vs Terry Funk

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Brian Hildebrand, who is supposedly Funk's doctor, cuts a promo on Lawler before the match. Lawler accuses him of being a proctologist. In the medical community, is them fightin' words? I liked Lawler/Gilbert better because the issue was more centered between Lawler and Gilbert, but this isn't terribly far behind. I wish there was a Funk/Gilbert match from the next day just to give us a full round robin comparison. Lawler gets tired of Hildebrand's interference and gives him a piledriver. Lawler/Gilbert was a great wrestling match, while the theatrics of this make it more of a great full-scale production. A bandaged Eddie Gilbert and Brian Hildebrand play a bigger part in this than I wanted them to, but there are individual parts of this that are better than Lawler/Gilbert, especially Funk's crazy chair-throwing reaction to Lawler's series of punches. Funk feeds Lawler at least a half-dozen great crowd-pleasing spots, and he has everyone in the building pretty engaged in this match. I give him lots of credit for that. But this feels less like a wrestling match, and more like The Terry Funk Show, which is why I like Lawler/Gilbert better. Gilbert runs in for the DQ and they are doubleteaming Lawler until Cactus Jack makes the save. I'd love to see a tag match with these four. So glad to have seen both of these matches.

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Funk comes out "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" segue-ing into "Born to Be Wild." Brilliant. Funk is managed by Mark Curtis, doing a doctor gimmick under a name that I don't pick up. This starts off like the MSC tournament match with Funk utterly dominating, until Lawler piledrives Curtis to go onto offense. Don't ask me how that works, it made sense at the time. Eddie Gilbert replaces Curtis at ringside as Lawler and Funk do their respective things. Chairs get tossed into the ring and Funk gets piledriven on one, but Gilbert breaks the pin. Cactus Jack runs into make the save for Lawler, albeit after he's eaten a spike piledriver. Yes, a Lawler/Cactus tag team would be outstanding. This was a little closer to what would make the TWA an ECW precursor but is still an excellent match. Thank goodness the TWA is providing us with full-length versions of the clips we're seeing from the Mid-South Coliseum.

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Good match with a lot of chaos going on. The two piledrivers that Lawler gave out were both brutal. Cactus/Lawler vs. Funk/Gilbert No DQ sounds amazing.

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Funk outsmarting Lawler early and doing little things behind the referee’s back. Hillenbrand gets involved hitting Lawler when the ref is not looking. It gets more brawling like when Funk hits a piledriver on the floor. Lawler eventually piledrives Hillenbrand. Funk dragging Brian on the floor to to back was funny. Gilbert ends up taking over in Funk’s corner. After match Cactus gets involved. Seems like a tag match is due now.

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This really felt like a Memphis match taken on the road, complete with interfering managers being piledriven and lots of great stuff on the mic. Mark Curtis was brilliant as Funk's "doctor" and showed some real verbal aptitude, taking a mean piledriver while he was at it. The match itself took a while to get going, but once it did, it was pretty good, especially when Gilbert came out to second Terry, bandages and all. The comedy highpoint of the match was Terry dragging Curtis off by the back of the neck, then dragging Eddie to ringside in practically the same way.

 

I liked seeing Cactus Jack save Lawler; my one small complaint is that fans who hadn't attended the show the night before wouldn't necessarily have known why he was coming to the King's rescue. I don't know for sure how many people attended both shows, but it's always risky to book a non-televised angle based on something that a part of your audience may not have seen.

 

The referee was a bit distracting during the early parts of this, with his insistence in getting between Lawler and Funk instead of counting. I thought for sure that one of them was going to clobber him, either accidentally or on purpose.

 

Neither man acknowledged their connection, but it was a treat seeing Terry introduced by his former WCW broadcast partner Chris "Crispy Cruiser" Cruise, who was doing the ring announcing.

 

I wonder if there was ever a tag blowoff in the Philly area, with Lawler/Cactus fighting Funk/Gilbert. It would have done some good business, based on the two previous nights of action that we've seen.

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