Background: After many years of waiting, Shane Douglas was ready to win the championship that made him “The Franchise” of Extreme Championship Wrestling. His opponent would be none other than the man who won the title at ECW’s first pay-per-view, Terry Funk.
July 19, 1997
Terry Funk vs. Shane Douglas
The champion came in ready for war, literally tossing his belt across the ring so it landed in the front row. Douglas tried to get the jump on Funk, but the champ had other things in mind; bashing Douglas with a chair. The fans were thoroughly behind Terry Funk, demanding he funk up the challenger. This title fight literally went around the arena until the two opponents were battling outside. Douglas, grabbing a chair, crowned the champion four times. Yet, Funk wouldn’t go down. It would take a freak accident to turn the tides for Douglas. A wild chair shot stunned Funk himself, causing him to find haven in the ring. The challenger refused to let Funk get ay real distance, clubbing the champ’s left leg with a wooden crutch. To add insult to injury, Douglas wanted to make his opposition tap in Funk’s patented submission, the Spinning Toe Hold.
Funk used a small package to counter the submission, initiating a fistfight. Though the champion was losing the battle, the war was still his as he refused to fall while spouting obscenities. Taking the fight to the floor, Terry Funk retrieved a table to suplex his challenger through. Shane Douglas rolled into the ring, waiting for a chair-wielding Terry Funk to follow. Low blow by Douglas left Funk prone for a suplex set up through two chairs. Somehow, some way, Funk muscled the maneuver into his favor, dropping Douglas not only back first across the chairs, but also left knee first. Funk was literally whipping Douglas with chairs until Douglas was in position for the Spinning Toe Hold. Before Douglas could submit, his valet Francine entered the ring. Funk stopped whatever Francine had in mind, dropping her with the atomic drop!
Douglas was on the floor when Funk refocused on the task at hand. Locking the Spinning Toe Hold on Douglas, Funk was attacked from behind by Douglas’ Triple Threat teammate Chris Candido. The referee had no choice but to pull Candido to the back as Funk had to knock Francine off of his back while she tried to choke him like her name was “Taz”. The action finally returned inside, with Douglas refusing to submit in the Spinning Toe Hold. Terry Funk’s ear had been sliced opened during the commotion, sending him into an outrage. Funk was tossing referees around until they had no choice but to disqualify Douglas after Francine bit the ear of Funk a la Mike Tyson to the champion’s Evander Holyfield.
Winner: Terry Funk (12:51)
Is It A Classic: Just a crazy brawl where Terry Funk, though in his late fifties, seemed as spry and brutally vibrant as Douglas. The ending definitely left something to be desired, but the fans didn’t care as they had witnessed some insane action (mostly thanks to Funk’s penchant for throwing objects like footballs). While not a classic in the sense of you needing to see this match, it was wall-to-wall old school ECW wildness at its best.