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El Boricua

Terry Funk vs. Barry Windham (9/19/86)

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Two of my favorite wrestlers. Windham is probably in the beginning stages of his career peak while Funk is the GOAT. I lied earlier when I said I’d only seen the scaffold match and Colon/Hansen series. I’ve seen this before too and always really enjoyed it. This starts with Barry grabbing Funk’s hat off the ground and putting it on proudly. This starts with them circling each other and locking up a few times feeling each other out. Windham starts out in command with Funk taking a wild bump over the top rope. Funk tosses a chair in the ring and Windam grabs it with one hand, which was badass. Awesome comedy spot from Funk as he hits the ropes and almost spills over the top rope and is flailing like a fish but manages to right himself. Good stuff after the wild brawl before it on the show. Shoving match in the corner and Funk spits at Barry leading to this spilling to the outside. Barry’s anger gets the best of him as Funk posts him and piledrives him on the floor. Awesome stuff with the veteran psyching out the bigger, stronger faster younger guy. Barry manages to fight back so Funk plants him with another piledriver on the floor. Funk you Harley Race. That’s how you do it. Barry crawls his way back to the ring and Funk in control with his world class punches even on his set. Lowblow by Funk and he stays in control. Barry is awesome selling in this. He’s very Ricky Steamboat over the top which is a style of selling I really like in 80s matches. Funk is awesome in control with punches and headbutts. Beautiful Terry Funk twist on the double knockout transition as Funk wildly bumps to the outside. Barry ends up posting Funk and they brawl on the outside for a while. Funk’s selling is typically awesome and Barry gets some payback with a piledriver in the ring and throws Funk outside for a piledriver on the floor. Barry pants Funk with a 2nd one after Funk wildly spins around right into it. WOW! This fucking rocks. Even after the last match this comes across like an awesome match. I like this more than I ever have before. These guys seem inspired by the last match as they are leaving everything out there. Funk in particular is having an absolutely classic performance. I love beyond words the spot where Funk tries to hit a neckbreaker but Barry holds onto the ropes. Barry is such an amazing athlete. These two should have had a mega feud in the NWA because this is one of the best Barry matches ever and wouldn’t look out of place to me on a list of Funk’s best either. The spot where Funk gets his head caught in the chair and tries to get in the ring but can’t is the most beautiful Terry Funk moment ever. What a match. What a one-two punch on the set.

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I was really looking forward to this match between two of the all time greats and it lived up to my expectations. I'm aware that this match has been out there for a while now and i'm not sure why i've never seen it before. oh well, some highlights:

 

1. Barry wears Funk's hat before the start of the match. It suits him

2. Terry going all Terry and throwing chairs into the ring.

3. Terry piledrives Barry outside the ring. Twice

4. Windham gets his own back by executing a piledriver on Funk in the ring and two more outside.

5. Terry's punches and elbows.

6. A great back suplex from Windham

7. Windham rapidly ramming Funk's head into the turnbuckles and Funk selling it as you would expect. So awesome.

8. Funk with the chair around his neck getting decked with punches.

 

This match was so great. Not the best on the set but probably my favourite so far. Both guys were great but Funk was on another level. Also awesome is Funk's post match promo

in which he calls PR the world's largest pig farm and screams at Savinovich. :D That is Savinovich right?

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Cowboy Funk! How do you not love Funk bouncing off the ropes and his general ring movement & demeanor in the early stages of a match building up to and around a lockup? Some early comedy and stooging as he bounce outside and gets read to fight the camera man, then throws a chair into the ring. American menace Terry Funk! Funk is raging and threatening everyone. May not want to take that tact with local police. He spits at Windham and bails, then posts Barry when he follows and the heat is on. Piledriver on the floor! Another one! Tosses Barry into chairs! Just awesome violence and intensity here. Windham selling and bumping like a fool here, but somehow this still feels like the Terry Funk show as he just dominates the scene.

 

Funk punching away and Barry even incorporates a Buddy Rose bump to the floor. Funk just pounding away with punches and finally a back kick low, but knocks himself loopy with headbutts and soon bumps to the floor when they collide running the ropes. Windham takes over outside and posts Funk, then works in punches & chops around Terry swinging wildly before slamming him into a table. Funk is just incredible selling everything here. Windham with an awesome jumping piledriver in the ring that only gets a 2 count!

 

Barry takes it back outside and pays Funk back with a piledriver on the floor of his own, that sees Funk sell it with that great, seizure-like shaky leg. Its worth nothing that this is my absolute favorite kind of heel Terry Funk. We got the comedy bits out of the way early and then got into the meat with a mixture of committed, crazed violence and unparalled selling. Fantastic spot where Terry eats a punch and falls right into position for another piledriver. So ridiculously smooth and didn't feel forced at all.

 

Back in the ring Funk tries for a reverse neckbreaker but Barry grabs the ropes to block it and drops a knee for a 2 count in yet another tremendous spot. This isn't even peak Barry Windham. He may not have Funk's presence in 1986, but this match doesn't reach this level without him bringing his "A" game. Funk is desperate now so while he can look for the Spinning Toehold its just something else for Windham to counter as the babyface is in absolute control here. One of the better sunset flip spots I've seen gets a great near fall. Just incredible timing and exection. Funk manages to get a chair wrapped around his head on the floor that lets Windham punch it off. Now that is how you use a prop. False finish when the ref counts 3 on a Windham jumping lariat but then realizes Funk's foot was on the rope, which sets up a cradle with tights for the win.

 

With a proper finish this may very well have been one of the best matches of the 80s. I loved it that much. But I didn't love the finish, and that matters. Either way this is the runaway top match in Puerto Rico thus far and a straight classic. How did we never get to see them do this again here? In Crockett? Florida? Somewhere? Definitely missed out on one hell of a feud. A crazed Funk promo setting up his match the next night against Martel wraps things up, and its as awesome and out of control as this match.

 

****1/2

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So, in one of my more shitheaded moments, I had Terry Funk at #11 on my greatest wrestler ever ballot. After watching a fair chunk of Terry Funk matches the last couple months, #11 now feels at least twelve spots too low. He was absolutely incredible in this, just having the time of his life coming into Puerto Rico and doing a greatest hits of Terry Funk shtick. In the first few minutes he gets Flair Flipped in the corner and tries to yank the nearby cameraman off the apron, then he nearly falls out the ring running the ropes and picks a fight with another cameraman at ringside, who of course runs away like a sane person. He launches a wooden chair in the ring out of frustration, but Barry is cool as ice and plucks it out the air with one hand. Eventually Funk takes over with an awesome transition. He spits on Windham and bails to the floor, and as Barry chases him out Funk grabs him and rams him into the post, then hits two piledrivers on the floor. I don't know if he pointed to his head afterwards like he was smarter than everyone else, but it was one of those moments where you knew the crazy guy wielding the branding iron had been around the block a few times. Barry is great selling the ensuing beatdown and Funk is clearly having fun being in a territory where it's not as frowned upon to mule kick someone in the balls. When Windham takes over again he gets his revenge by hitting a couple piledrivers on the concrete, and Funk then spends the rest of the match on the back foot doing something amazing every thirty seconds. Windham was already super great in 1986 and this isn't even remotely a carry job, but it's really Funk being Funk with Barry playing along. Terry is so great at setting things up here, usually stringing multiple comedy spots together seamlessly. Barry rams his head into the turnbuckle as the crowd count to ten along with him, then Funk grabs the ropes in a daze and staggers over to the adjacent corner, so Windham follows him over and does it another ten times. Then Funk comes out the corner rocking back and forth as if Windham is still bonking his head off the turnbuckle, like the motion has been permanently seared into his muscle memory. At another point he punch-drunkenly falls out the ring and tries to crawl away, stands up with a chair wrapped around his head, then gets stuck trying to climb back in the ring because the chair won't fit through the ropes. It may honestly have been the hardest I've laughed - like genuinely, heartily laughed - at a spot in a wrestling match ever. There was about fifty other things he did that ruled, too. He fell into the laps of pensioners at ringside, recklessly fell headfirst out the ring in an almost reverse Buddy Rose bump, went for a neckbreaker but ended up only hurting himself because Barry was holding onto the rope (and you could see Funk set it up by forcing him over to the ropes as he was about to do it), did an AMAZING double pirouette off a punch that Simone Biles probably stole for a floor routine, and in his post-match interview he called Savinovic a pig and Puerto Rico as a whole one giant pig sty. I'd seen this match before years ago, but I really didn't remember a whole lot about it. Turns out it was grade A awesome. Who would've thought?

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Funk really brings his A game in this one. Barry is right there with him most of the match, which is about as crazy as...well, Terry Funk. Loved how Terry got control and the beating he put on Windham. I will say Barry catching the chair Terry throws into the ring is super impressive. The way the fans scrurry whenever Terry is outside the ring is incredible. Might have something to do with things like Funk throwing a punch over a guy's head after sitting in his lap. Barry brings a lot of fire into the comeback and it's just a great, great match. Unfortunately, we do see a bullshit finish, but it fits what was going on with the rest of the match. Funk's promo after the match is all kinds of great too. I must like pigs, since I am so into wrestling from PR...

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