Torch Flashbacks FUNK FLASHBACK: Terry Funk's famous "WrestleFest" retirement show 18 yrs. ago today - the closest Bret Hart came to ECW
Sep 11, 2015 - 12:38:16 AM
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Eighteen years ago today, Terry Funk promoted a semi-retirement show in Amarillo, Texas, where Funk wrestled Bret Hart in the main event. The event also featured a pseudo ECW card, the closest Hart came to wrestling for ECW during his career.
September 11, 1997
Amarillo, Tex. at the Tri-State Fairgrounds Coliseum
Est. Attendance: 4,000
Originally Published PWTorch Newsletter #458
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The event was taped for the documentary "Beyond the Mat" directed by Ron Howard.
(1) Wing Kanemura beat Roadkill. A good match for what it was.
(2) Taz beat Chris Candido to retain the ECW TV Title. Sunny wasn't with Candido despite being advertised.
(3) Shark Tsichiya beat Lady Cooga.
(4) Sandman fought Buh Buh Ray Dudley to a no contest. It was scheduled to be Sandman vs. Balls Mahoney. Sandman came out to a big pop. He did his usual beer guzzling routine. This time he drank Coor's instead of his usual Budweiser because Coor's sponsored the event. He bled heavily after smashing a beer can against his forehead. Buh Buh Ray Dudley came out instead of Balls. He attacked Sandman with the cane and gave him a shot to the groin. They declared the "match" a no-contest.
Balls Mahoney's music then started. He came to the ring. Sandman continued to lie on the mat, immobilized, with the cane still between his legs. Mahoney told Buh Buh that he had the hardest chairshot in wrestling and then challenged Dudley to a match. He hit him with a chair to help him with his decision. The announcer, though, said promoters wouldn't sanction a match. Mahoney said, "If you don't sign this match, I'll kick your ass." The match was immediately sanctioned.
(5) Balls Mahoney beat Buh Buh Ray Dudley after a chairshot.
(6) The Youngbloods (w/Rick Romero) beat The Bushwackers. Being that the Youngbloods are local wrestlers, they got a big pop and were favorites throughout the match.
(7) Shane Douglas (w/Francine) beat Tommy Dreamer (w/Beulah) to retain the ECW Hvt. Title. Dreamer dominated the match and got numerous near falls. They brawled at ringside with a chair. Dreamer got a few beers from ringside fans and smashed the cups on Douglas, then he drank what was left. Francine ran in and raked Dreamer's eyes. Then Beulah raked Douglas's eyes. Douglas gave Beulah the belly-to-belly. Dreamer gave Francine a piledriver. Eventually Douglas got the three count after a belly-to-belly on Dreamer.
(8) Dory Funk, Jr. beat Rob Van Dam (w/Bill Alfonso). A pretty good match. Naturally, Dory got a huge pop.
(9) Mankind beat Sabu (w/Bill Alfonso) via DQ. Sabu broke a table by throwing Mankind into it. Sabu didn't do half of what he usually does, probably because they couldn't risk seriously injuring Mankind since Vince McMahon let him and Bret work the show. Sabu pulled Mankind's mask off, so Mankind basically became Cactus Jack. Fonzie interfered, causing the DQ.
(10) Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka & Jensei Shinzaki (a/k/a Hakushi) beat Jake Roberts & The Head Hunters (w/Victor Quinones). Roberts appeared to have slimmed down a bit since leaving the WWF.
(11) Bret Hart beat Terry Funk. Before the match most of the ECW wrestlers -- heels and faces -- came to the ring. Paul Heyman presented Terry with a belt, proclaiming him to be a Lifetime Heavyweight Champion. All of the wrestlers applauded. Candido seemed especially moved. Bret came to the ring with Keith, Bruce, and father Stu Hart. He got on the mic and said it was an honor to wrestle Terry. He talked about how he lived with the Funks early in his wrestling career and that Amarillo wrestling meant a lot to him. But, he said, despite all of that he was going to "give Terry Funk a Canadian ass kicking." They shook hands. Bruce Hart was very vocal with the crowd. The crowd gave Bret the finger and shouted every profanity possible at him. In response Bret said, "F--- you, too." He gave Funk the figure-four leglock around the ringpost. The ref pulled him off. They brawled at ringside. Funk bladed and was a bloody mess. Funk gave a belly to back suplex to Bret, but he didn't lift his shoulders during the three count and Bret did, therefore Bret was declared the winner. They shook hands after the match. During the match the entire locker room watched the match from the stage. A very good match to end a very good card.
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