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El Boricua

Terry Funk vs. Rick Martel (9/20/86)

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Terry Funk vs. Rick Martel (9/20/86)

I don’t recall ever having seen this before so I’m really excited. Funk had that Windham match the day before so I know he’s on fire and Martel is still at his peak as great worker. So I have high hopes. Can we get 3 in a row? Slaps to start and Funk bails out of the ring. Instead of wearing the hat like Windham, Rick Martel elbow drops and knee drops Funk’s hat. Hahahahaha! Great start! While this is happening Funk’s chaps fall down so he just stands there with his arm raised. Hat freshly knee dropped and pants haven fallen off. Everyone laughs at him and he tries to rip off the chaps but has a little bit of trouble so he gets even angrier. This is fucking beautiful. Funk finally gets in the ring but Funk stalls and pushes the ref out of the way saying “let us box.” Martel gets the advantage boxing and takes over early on with Funk stumbling and falling all over the place. Love it. This is just Terry Funk at his Fuerza Guerrera best making a complete fool out of himself including crotching himself on the top rope. He actually starts throwing chairs into the audience, which is pretty freaking insane, and squaring off and threatening to punch the commissioner, getting caught up on the ropes and Martel pulling his pants halfway down. Funk Doesn’t realize his ass is hanging out and gets back in the ring and circles around so everyone can see and laugh at him. He finally realizes what is going on and gets embarrassed again. I’d say Fuerza never went this far but he wrestled his entire career with his ass hanging out. But this is such a blast. Funk decides to make the ref shake his hand. This is the most ridiculously great comedy match ever at this point. This settles down a bit with both guys trading headlocks and Funk using his to shield the ref from seeing Funk kick Martel in the balls. Funk goes from goofy to crazy as he drags Martel outside and piledrives him in the grass. Funk is firmly in control beating the crap out of Martel. Throwing him into the folding chairs and sauntering around like a badass. Funk stays in control with a sleeper and wraps a chain/rope around Martel’s neck as well. Martel finally reverses it and gets some payback choking Funk and getting his own sleeper. Funk breaks it up by spilling over the top rope and these two start brawling outside. HOLY SHIT SPOT where Funk gets his head caught in the chair again and gets caught in the ropes again but not before Martel PILEDRIVES HIM with his head stuck in the chair. INSANE. This was another incredible match. 3 in a row for sure holy fuck. I’d need to look through all the other sets but these might be the best 3 matches in a row of on any 80s set. They’d be 3 of my top 4 matches on the set so far actually.

 

Right this second my top 5 on the set it:

1. Invader 1 vs Ron Starr 9/19/86

2. Terry Funk vs Barry Windham 9/19/86

3. Invader 1 vs Eric Embry June 86

4. Terry Funk vs Rick Martel 9/20/86

5. Sheepherders vs Youngbloods Spring 85

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Another fab Funk match. I think I prefer the match with Windham but this is great too. The early going is very much the Terry Funk show. His selling of the head butts to the turnbuckle is so good, but that's nothing compared to his selling after he crotches himself on the top rope. seriously, this has to be seen to be believed. Hysterical! As is him taking forever to pull his trunks back up. Just very funny stuff. The match gets more serious as it goes on with Martel showing some great fire. The spot where he piledrives Funk while he has a chair around his neck is utterly crazy! And he sells a piledriver from funk on the outside like he's been paralysed. Just great stuff. Funk steals the show though.

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This is similar to Funk/Windham, but with a whole lot more comedy and stooging in place of some violence and intensity. Its thus not a classic here but a fun outing and singular Terry Funk performance.

 

The early boxing was a ton of fun and sets up some comedy with Funk trying to hide a branding iron. Between that, an all-time sell of a nut shot, throwing chairs against the netting protecting fans and a much more exaggerated version of the spot from the Windham match with Funk getting a chair hung around his head, this was almost a parody of that. Well done though. Business picks up down the stretch and we get a similar finish here as well.

 

On its own this might fare all the more better, but pales next to the Windham outing. Still very fun with great comedy and good action.

 

***3/4

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Fucking hell, Terry Funk in Puerto Rico might be one of my favourite wrestlers ever. It's like Walt Goggins in Sons of Anarchy or Timothy Olyphant in Archer, where they show up for an episode or two and just absolutely steal the show (man I miss Justified). This was another incredible Funk performance, maybe even better than the last one. The whole first half is basically one big Terry Funk comedy stooge showcase. He slaps Martel before the bell and runs away, so Martel elbow drops Funk's cowboy hat and Funk's chaps fall down. He gets back in the ring and wants a boxing match, so Martel obliges and Funk ends up throwing midair punches before falling flat on his butt. He climbs the ropes, but he's unsteady up there and just falls and crotches himself on the top rope, and I cannot possibly describe his sell of this. I couldn't do it justice. Everything Funk does in this first half is designed to make him look like an idiot and it was god damn beautiful. People at ringside laugh at him so he starts throwing chairs into the audience! I never noticed the safety net in front of the crowd so when he threw the first one I expected a fan to literally be killed. Then he grabs the security guard by the scruff of the neck and threatens to ding him, but this is motherfucking Puerto Rico and security in Puerto Rico aren't scared of shit, so Funk backs up apologetically. Then he threatens a fat guy in a green t-shirt instead. He almost falls out the ring running the ropes again, so Martel pulls his trunks down and Funk obliviously walks around with his bare ass out. When he eventually realises he's been humiliated (again) he picks another a fight with the fat guy in the green t-shirt. Concluding that his current strategy is getting him nowhere fast, he takes over by changing tact and luring Martel into that dreaded false sense of security. He breaks clean a few times and applauds Martel's efficiency at working the headlock, but as soon as he gets his chance he goes to the low blow. At this point he takes all that anger at being laughed at and directs it at Martel, piledriving him on the grass, choking him with a chain, throwing him into stacks of chairs. When Martel comes back we get more of Funk walking around with the chair over his head, but this time they turn that into an utterly insane spot with Martel piledriving Funk on the floor with the chair still around his neck! In very un-Terry Funk-like fashion he barely sells this and basically goes straight to the spot where he gets his head/chair stuck in the ropes, but I'm astounded they did a spot like that in the first place. I mean, you know Funk is a lunatic, but wow. I also love how Martel can't hit his slingshot splash even in Puerto Rico. In fact, I loved all of this. All of it. I'd put it a hair below the Windham match, but it still ruled and I want to see every single thing Terry Funk ever did on this glorious island.

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Funk's performance as mentioned above is all kinds of great. I'm hard pressed to think of anyone I've seen work harder to make an ass (literally) of himself. Loved Martel's seizure-selling of the piledriver outside. One thing that really stands out about Puerto Rico in general is that it is the only place a lot of these things could have ever happened.

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