Sunday, August 9th, 1997 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ECW Arena – A Barbed Wire match for the Extreme Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship where champion Terry Funk defended the title against challenger Sabu, with his manager Bill Alfonso.
To be dead honest, after watching this match (for the second time that I can recall), I’m not fan of the original ECW, or at least matches like this. The reason, as I will state later as well, but matches like this will shorten a man’s career, and as well as a man’s life. This match was hard for me to watch the whole thing. With both men being wrapped in barbed wire at the end, I almost stopped the DVD and threw away my notes. But I didn’t, because I wanted to write this flashback for you guys and give ya’ll my opinion about this match! So here it is!
One thing I noticed right away with the match was when the camera went to Bill Alfonso; he was wearing a WWF Raw red baseball hat! Why did I notice that right away and took note to it? Because you know for sure that TNA wouldn’t do that on their TV time, ROH wouldn’t do that, and WWE will not acknowledge that there are other wrestling companies out there.
Another thing I noticed was Joey Styles telling us because of the brutality of the match that will about to begin, that “This match is exclusively for ECW home video.” That made me smile, how now ECW home videos don’t exist anymore outside of the VHS tapes that originally recorded the action. All due to the McMahon Empire, all its glory, and all its screw-jobs!
Two cool moves that I enjoyed at the start of the match was the low drop kick to Funk’s knees that Sabu did and the single leg Funk did to Sabu to get the upper hand after the low drop kick Sabu gave him.
But it didn’t take long before the competitors went into the barbed wire and went outside to the concrete floor to do battle. Both men where Irish whipped into the barbed wire and it were brutal on them, and it was brutal on my eyes to watch. I am remembering why I only watched one ECW television show when it was actually around.
Much after this point, it started to break down into shock value for shock value sake, in my eyes. Funk dragging Bill Alfonso over the top of the barbed wire into the ring and Funk doing a suplex, then reversing it, dropping Sabu on the top wire of the barbed wire. Funk also wrapped a little of the wire on his fist and nailed Alfonso with it. Then for some odd reason, Sabu was using boa cutters to cut one side of the wire off to use later in the match. Nothing is making sense to me.
RVD runs in and attacks Funk and is wearing work gloves, which is smart, and is wrapping Funk in the barbed wire outside of the ring. If I heard correctly, Styles mentioned that when this match was taking place, Funk was 53 years old! Talking about being middle aged and crazy! Really! But RVD was able to put Funk and his barbed wired body on a table and Sabu jumped out of the ring and put Funk through it to the concrete floor.
After which, Tommy Dreamer came out with a trash can lid, laid out RVD with a shot to the head and DDT’ed him out of the concrete floor. Then Dreamer picked up RVD, put him over his shoulder, and brought him out of the arena and we saw no more of Rob Van Dam or Tommy Dreamer.
With the match being over, I was happy. Because it was hard to watch, even though it was 12 years later. Why did I watch this then? For I can do at least one ECW Original Flashback! But this is Eric Darsie from Minnesota, happy that there isn’t any more Barbed Wire matches anymore, that I know of, goodbye!
Check out more of Eric’s blogs at http://jericholic2009.blogspot.com.
Own the match and other ECW classics on the Bloodsport : ECW’s Most Violent Matches DVD by clicking here.
Read the Hardcore History: The Extremely Unauthorized Story of the ECW book by clicking here.
Read – Terry Funk: More Than Just Hardcore book by clicking here.