Thursday, 5 March 2015

Terry Funk & Mike Awesome v Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka (FMW, 9/24/96)

I wasn't sure what to expect out of this, but it wound up being totally badass. It's in Korakuen Hall so there's plenty of wild crowd brawling with guys getting their faces slammed into walls and a thousand chairs being scattered every which way. Funk was the absolute greatest in this. He's your Charlie Kelly level wildcard, throwing chairs and tables and staggering around punch drunk, then when you think he's taken all the punishment a near-pensioner with no knees can take he surprises you with a reckless piledriver where he stumbles backwards ten feet before falling. There's one amazing bit where Hayabusa climbs up top and from out of camera shot he gets belted by a flying chair, and you know exactly who flung it. Awesome does a bunch of really impressive athletic spots for a guy his size. His big no hands dive looked killer and he was never afraid to take a wild bump. He also hits about fifteen different powerbombs, with the one off the top rope being completely nuts. Tanaka has probably kicked out of more potential match-ending moves than anyone else on the entire 1996 yearbook, and he's only been in like three matches. Of the fifteen or so Mike Awesome powerbombs done in this match, Tanaka must be the recipient of fourteen of them. Hayabusa has a cool tope suicida, but the thing I remember about him most here is his willingness (or maybe he wasn't willing, but it happened anyway) to take an utterly outrageous double team from Funk and Awesome. Funk gets a chain or a belt from somewhere and wraps it around Hayabusa's neck like a noose, then Awesome lifts Hayabusa up on his shoulders. Funk then goes out onto the apron and, using the belt/chain, yanks Hayabusa backwards off Awesome's shoulders, which basically results in Hayabusa taking a Doomsday Device-Ganso Bomb onto the fucking ring apron. I was pretty much in shock that it never crippled him. Post-match Funk cuts an amazing rambly promo introducing his new stable, saying they're gonna tear a path through every promotion until American wrestlers in Japan return to their former glory of the 70s and 80s.

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