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Matt D

Match of the Week 3/3 - 3/9: Funks vs Can Am Connection: 11/22/86 AJPW World's Strongest Tag League

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Alright, I think interest has petered out a little bit over the last two weeks, and here I am dropping this one on you. I think it's an awesome match though, definitely the best thing I've ever seen Zenk involved in and one of the best non-straight up Southern Tag Formula stories I've ever seen in a tag match. Also, yeah, it's really something that only sort of works WITH Tom Zenk or someone very similar.

 

I'll include my full write up from a couple of months ago later, probably when this poor bastard needs a bump, but I'll shoot out some talking points quickly.

 

This is one of those matches where you really see Rick Martel, worthy champion, sort of like the Flair match and the Race match. Johnny's gone on a lot about how, when younger, he saw Martel as an equal to Flair and Hogan because the Mags told him so and this match is all about Martel being an equal to the two former NWA champs and Zenk absolutely and Zenk NOT being an equal to the Funks, most especially in their eyes.

 

We get a ton of great character work: an opening segment with Martel and the Funks really wrestling as equals, the Funks taking HUGE liberties with Zenk, Martel coming in pissed and hitting some symmetry spots on what they did to his younger partner, the Funks desperately trying to calm their peer down, an impending sense of double-cross now that they know he's not of a like mind when it comes to such things, and Martel being prepared for it and responding with a ton of heat and fury.

 

It was a really nice surprise when I first saw it and I hope that who does watch it likes it.

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