Wrestler of the Day – October 15: Funaki

Today’s Wrestler of the Day loves the way Stallone says YO in Rocky: Funaki.

We’ll pick things up at the usually awesome Super J Cup in 1995.

Super J Cup First Round: Sho Funaki vs. Ultimo Dragon

Dragon seems to be the heel here. He steps on Funaki’s back to start but has to escape a Fujiwara Armbar attempt. Instead Funaki puts on a leg bar to send Dragon rolling out to the apron. A plancha takes Dragon out again and Funaki goes back to the leg. Back up and they slug it out with Funaki taking over again with a headlock. Funaki grabs another leg lock so Dragon slaps him in the face and puts on one of his own.

They keep fighting over the leg locks with Funaki getting the better of it and keeping Dragon on the mat. Dragon grabs his own leg lock at the same time before they both get back up. A botched hurricanrana takes Funaki down and a Lionsault press gets two. No selling of the leg to be found in case you were expecting any for some reason. A fisherman’s buster gets two for Funaki but Dragon pops back to his feet and hits a hurricanrana followed by a DDT for the pin.

Rating: D+. When half of the match is spent with both guys working a leg and then both guys popping up for speed and high flying stuff, it’s really hard to care about the first half of the match. They looked like they were setting up something good but it wound up being all for naught because selling didn’t seem to exist here.

Off to the WWF now with one of Funaki’s first matches taking place at In Your House XXII.

Kaientai vs. Taka Michinoku/Justin Bradshaw

Kaientai is a three man team (Dick Togo, Sho Funaki and Mens Teioh) who has been attacking Taka for reasons not quite clear. Bradshaw has befriended the much smaller Taka and is backing him up tonight. The good guys (the two) jump Kaientai to start, sending them out to the floor. Bradshaw launches Taka over the top to take them all out until we get down to Taka vs. Funaki. A clothesline puts Taka down but it’s quickly off to Bradshaw, sending Funaki running to the floor for a conference.

Bradshaw gets tired of waiting and chases everyone around until we get down to Taka vs. Togo. Taka hits a tornado DDT for two but everyone else come in, leading to Bradshaw and Michinoku cleaning house again. Back in and Togo gets a sitout wheelbarrow slam to take over ad it’s off to Teioh. A big boot to the face and a release butterfly suplex gets two on Taka and a cannonball attack off the top puts Taka down again.

We hit the chinlock on Michinoku before a powerslam gets two more. Togo comes in off the top with something resembling a Swanton Bomb before it’s back to Funaki for a sleeper. Kaientai starts cheating again with Teioh distracting the referee so Funaki can put on a camel clutch and Togo can hit a quick dropkick to Taka’s face.

Michinoku finally avoids a charge and makes the hot tag to Bradshaw with the big man cleaning house. Togo hits him low though and Kaientai literally uses Bradshaw as a pedestal to pose. Bradshaw throws them all off and cleans house again but Taka’s Michinoku Driver only gets two on Togo. Teioh and Bradshaw head to the floor, allowing Togo to hit a top rope senton backsplash for the pin on Taka.

Rating: C. This is one of those matches that was better than the crowd reaction would suggest. The fans didn’t quite get this style yet and in an old school town like Milwaukee, the reaction really isn’t surprising. Bradshaw wasn’t much of a factor here but Kaientai bouncing off of him was fun stuff.

Now for a very fun handicap match from Summerslam 1998.

Oddities vs. Kaientai

The Oddities are Golga (Earthquake under a mask), Giant Silva (Great Khali’s size and about a tenth of the skill) and Kurrgan (uh….yeah). Kaientai is a four man heel team here and not the comedy guys they would become in a year or so. Golga starts with Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku and the big man rams his own head into the buckle for some reason. He shoves down all four members of Kaientai as we’re firmly in comedy match territory.

Golga steals Kaientai’s manager Yamaguchi-San’s shoes and blasts various people with it before it’s off to the dancing Kurrgan. He gets on his knees to fight Funaki in a funny bit before dancing even more. Three of the four Japanese guys swarm Kurrgan to no effect as he cleans house anyway. Yamaguchi-San is shoved down again and it’s off to Silva to clean the little bit of the house which isn’t taken care of yet.

Kaientai gets in a fight over who comes in but it’s Dick Togo (Best name EVER) who gets the job. All four guys come in again but they can’t combine to lift Silva’s legs. Silva sends all four of them into the corner and crushes them at once before Kurrgan comes in to whip one into the other three. Silva throws Taka over the top onto the other three as this is complete dominance. Back in and Golga tries a seated senton on Mens Teioh but Taka and Togo hit a double dropkick to stagger him.

Two members of the team combine to slam him and four straight top rope splashes followed by four straight legdrops get no cover. A quadruple dropkick has Golga in trouble but a quadruple clothesline puts Kaientai down. The hot tag brings in Kurrgan who takes down everyone in sight and hits a wicked side slam on Funaki. Everything breaks down as managers Luna Vachon and Yamaguchi-San get in a fight. A quadruple chokeslam is good for the pin by Golga on everyone from Japan.

Rating: C-. The match was nothing but comedy, it was overly long, Golga is the only Oddity that could do a thing in the ring…..and I can’t help but love the Oddities. There’s just something so innocently goofy about them that I smile every time I see Kurrgan do his dance. The match sucked but it has no expectations coming in so it’s completely harmless.

Funaki wrestled on Raw, May 24, 1999, more commonly known as Raw Is Owen.

Hardy Boys vs. Kaientai

The Hardys don’t mean much at all and are low level heels with Michael Hayes managing them. Kaientai rushes the ring and it’s on fast. Double teaming to Matt as the foreigners take over to start. Swanton Bomb (not called that yet) to the floor to Taka by Jeff as the Hardys have taken over.

Jeff tries a Phoenix Splash (moonsault with a twist into a 450) but eats canvas. Michinoku Driver gets no cover and it’s a double tag. Funaki and Matt hit the floor and Hayes interferes. Taka takes both Hardys out as the crowd isn’t that impressed. And the Twist of Fate ends Funaki. Nothing match so no rating.

Time for some hardcore hijinks at Wrestlemania 2000.

We see a conference with the Hardcore Battle Royal participants. Basically it’s a huge free for all and not a traditional battle royal. There’s a fifteen minute time limit and there can be as many title changes as there needs to be. Basically whoever is the last man standing is champion and the 24/7 rule stops after the last fall.

Hardcore Title: Hardcore Battle Royal

Tazz, Crash Holly, Hardcore Holly, Viscera, Joey Abs, Rodney, Pete Gas, Taka Michinoku, Funaki, Thrasher, Mosh, Faarooq, Bradshaw

Crash is defending coming in. He comes in last and we’re ready to go. Remember there’s a fifteen minute time limit. Everyone else fights to the floor and Taz hits a fast suplex on Crash for the pin ad the title in thirty seconds. So now, only Taz can be pinned for the title. A few seconds later, Viscera hits Tazz with a board and gets the title. Now we move into an extended period of hitting people in the head with whatever objects are handy.

We’ve got thirteen and a half minutes or so to go. Someone uses a box fan on someone else and that’s about the most in depth coverage you’ll be getting here. Everyone jumps Viscera and hits him with whatever they can find. Crash appears to be busted open. The Acolytes double team the champion and the beatings continue on everyone for a bit. Hardcore and Mosh beat Viscera down and get two each.

We’re under ten minutes now and it’s fine extinguisher time. There’s so much stuff going on it’s impossible to call. Viscera heads back into the ring and goes up top (for those of you unfamiliar, Viscera is about Big Show’s size), only to be slammed down by the Acolytes. The APA (Acolyte Protection Agency, same team) breaks a board over his back and Bradshaw hits a top rope shoulder to put him down. For no apparent reason they throw Kaientai on top of Viscera, giving Funaki the belt.

Funaki, apparently the smartest guy in the match, grabs the belt and runs away. Everyone catches up to him in the back with 7:00 left. Rodney gets a fluke pin out of nowhere for the pin, which I believe is the Posse’s first pinfall. Joey suplexes him down and wins the title but Thrasher gets a clothesline and the title. Everyone beats up Thrasher now because its their job and we come into the arena again. Pete Gas hits Thrasher with a fire extinguisher and wins the title.

Taz gets his hands on the champion and brings him back to ringside for a beating. A t-bone suplex puts the bloody Pete down for the pin and the title with….dang it they took the clock down. Hardcore sends Taz into the steps for two before Mosh takes a shot at him. Taz rolls up Mosh for two on instinct alone. Now it’s the Hollys and Taz in the ring and three minutes to go. Crash gets cracked in the head by Taz for two which again means nothing. Hardcore puts Taz down and the cousins fight over a cover. Two minutes left and both Hollies get two off a powerslam by Hardcore.

We’ve got a minute left as Hardcore hits the dropkick for two. The champion hits a suplex on Hardcore to send him outside as Crash hits Taz with a trashcan lid for the title. The Tazmission goes on Crash but Hardcore blasts Taz in the head with a candy jar and covers Crash. The ending is screwed up though as Hardcore was supposed to get two but be stopped by the time.

Instead the referee had to stop counting…but Hardcore wins anyway. It made no sense, but either way the important thing here is Taz actually. That jar was made of real glass and when it shattered, some of it got in Taz’s eye. Allegedly he was supposed to win the Intercontinental Title but the reign went to Benoit instead.

Rating: B-. What do you want me to say about this? It was exactly what it was supposed to be so I can’t complain about it in that regard. They beat the tar out of each other with some funny spots and it was contained in one match instead of a big goofy show long angle like we had two years later. This rating could be all over the place depending on your taste for this stuff.

Same idea at Unforgiven 2000.

Hardcore Title: Steve Blackman vs. Al Snow vs. Test vs. Perry Saturn vs. Crash Holly vs. Funaki

This is a Hardcore Invitational which means it’s like Mania 2000: there’s a ten minute time limit and the last person to get a fall over the champion wins the title. Blackman is champion coming in. This was during Snow’s reign as European Champion and what I thought was a hilarious gimmick as he would come out dressed as someone from a different European country every show, in this case Italy, complete with a fish and a portrait of Tony Danza.

They cover the 24/7 rule as that rule is taken away for 24 hours so the champion has a day of rest after the match is over. Everyone goes after Blackman to start and it’s a big mess as you would expect. Saturn takes Trish down and Test is mad. He clocks Saturn so Snow takes Test down with Head. Crash totally botches a rana and is more or less powerbombed. Funaki hits a cross body for two on the champ.

Saturn hits a decent moonsault to take out Crash and Snow on the floor. Everyone is on the floor now with seven minutes to go. Crash and Snow are still in the ring and doing nothing interesting. Test is the only one going after Blackman at this point. Scratch that as Crash gets a shot in and pins him with just over 6 minutes left. He runs down the aisle and right into a trashcan shot by Saturn for the pin. Most of everyone fights into the crowd and Saturn isn’t smart enough to run for the hills.

There isn’t much to say here as everyone is fighting in the same place and there isn’t much to say. With three minutes left everyone is still in the same place they were in a few minutes ago. Saturn and Blackman are at ringside now as is Snow. Saturn is in the ring alone with a stick. Blackman grabs his two sticks while Snow grabs….a pizza box? Snow is back in with two minutes left. Steve gets the kendo stick and beats up everyone, winning the title after a shot to Saturn with it at a minute left. Everyone goes after him but they’re running out of time. Blackman hangs on because no one covers since they’re stupid.

Rating: D. This was boring. At Mania it was at least fun but this had a total of three changes. At Mania there were 11 in just five extra minutes. There was no insanity here and it wasn’t fun at all. That’s not good for a match that is supposed to be designed around total insanity, which this was supposed to be.

Kaientai would become a regular tag team and speak in some usually funny dubbed English voices with Funaki’s only line being a deep INDEED. Here they are on Raw, January 15, 2001.

K-Kwik/Too Cool vs. Kaientai/Tazz

Kwik is commonly known as R-Truth. Some odd pairings here to be sure. Tazz cuts a brief promo. Kaientai’s dubbing gimmick is something I wasn’t a fan of back in the day but now I find it hysterical. Scotty and Funaki start us off. Too Cool hits a Hart Attack of all things. Taka tries a rana but gets caught in a nice sitout powerbomb by Grandmaster. Tazz surprisingly does the worst of his team as Truth comes in. The Worm hits Tazz but after Funaki interference the Tazmission beats Truth.

Rating: D+. Nothing special here in the slightest. It was a quick six man tag to fill in a spot on the card. Tazz would be face by Mania and I have no interest in the other five guys here. Yeah there really isn’t much else to say about this match is there? Why was this on the card again?

And again on Raw, April 23, 2001.

Kaientai vs. Right to Censor

Goodfather/Buchanan this time. The Japanese guys head to the back to get John Elway jerseys to make the crowd love them. They still can’t quite get the lip synching thing right. Paul: “Their lips don’t match!” Jim: “Get out of here!” Another good one: Jim: “The RTC is on a bad losing streak. It’s almost as bad as my broadcast partner’s losing streak with women.” This commentary is on tonight. The RTC fights them off early but it breaks down fast. Buchanan gets crotched but manages to catch a diving Taka. Funaki dropkicks Taka down onto Buchanan and hooks the foot for the surprise pin. This was again nothing.

Time to hit the syndicated shows with Metal on January 26, 2002.

Funaki vs. Perry Saturn

Saturn gets rolled up for a pair of twos to start and Funaki nails him with a low dropkick to the head. Things slow down a bit as Saturn takes a breather, only to come back with a superkick for two. Funaki gets hammered even more and sent flying with an overhead belly to belly. A quick Majistral cradle gets two on Saturn and Funaki follows it up with a high cross body. Coach and Kelly are talking about racism and dancing the Charleston before Funaki gets caught in a kneeling shoulder hold (called the Rings of Saturn here but not the traditional hold) for the submission.

Rating: D. They knew they were on a show no one was going to watch here and wrestled accordingly. This was a glorified squas that just kept going despite it not having any real interest. Saturn is a guy that can go when he’s motivated but that certainly wasn’t the case here. Is it any real surprise that he was gone in a few months?

He would get a singles match at Rebellion 2002.

Funaki vs. Crash Holly

See what I mean about not the most interesting matches? This is Crash’s UK debut apparently. The fans are WAY behind Funaki here. Fast start which doesn’t really get us anywhere. Crash pulls out a Japanese flag (called the British flag by the idiotic announcers) bandana and it’s a kung fu match apparently.

Crash takes over and we hit the chinlock. This show is getting very boring very quickly indeed. Apparently the winner of this might get a Cruiserweight Title shot. Both get rollups for two. Crash attempts an Oklahoma Roll but Funaki lays down on him and gets the pin. This was another rather short match with nothing special about it at all.

Rating: C-. Not a bad match or anything but sweet goodness this has been a boring show and this match didn’t help it. The problem is that there’s no point to this and it’s nothing but filler and everyone knows it. Not a bad match or anything like I said but it would be nice to have something actually matter.

Time for a tag match on Smackdown, April 3, 2003.

Tajiri/Funaki vs. Team Angle

Haas and Benjamin are Tag Team Champions but this is non-title. The champions clean house to start and Benjamin offers a mock bow to Funaki. Tajiri comes in for some jumping jacks and makes things even worse for his partner. A hard double back elbow puts Funaki down and Haas tells him to tag his partner. Tajiri cleans house with his kicks to the face but Charlie takes him down with a belly to back suplex for two.

Benjamin jumps over Haas’ back to land on Tajiri for two more and we hit the Boston Crab. Funaki finally makes a save so Tajiri can hit a double handspring elbow to put the champions down. A hot tag brings in Funaki for some chops and a high cross body for two on Haas. Everything breaks down and Shelton charges into the Tarantula. Haas escapes the tornado DDT though and Benjamin chop blocks Funaki, setting up the Haas of Pain for the submission.

Rating: D+. Pretty dull match here even though I like most of the guys in the match. Funaki didn’t do much in this one and it brought the match down a little bit. Haas and Benjamin were fresh off keeping the titles at Wrestlemania and needed a new team to beat up so why not go the ethnic route?

Back to the hardcore days at Vengeance 2003.

Bar Room Brawl

Shannon Moore, Doink the Clown, Faarooq, Bradshaw, Brother Love, Nunzio, Matt Hardy, Chris Kanyon, Danny Basham, Doug Basham, The Easter Bunny, Sean O’Haire, John Hennigan, Orlando Jordan, Funaki, Los Conquistadores, The Brooklyn Brawler, Johnny Stamboli, Chuck Palumbo, Matt Cappotelli, and Spanky.

There’s a bar set up in the arena and we’re just going to fight in there. Los Conquistadores are Rob Conway and Johnny Jeter in case you’re wondering. Aaron Stevens is the Easter Bunny. He was on Smackdown for a cup of coffee as Idol Stevens in like 05 or 06. McCool managed him. John Hennigan is more commonly known as John Morrison, and this Doink is played by Nick “Eugene” Dinsmore.

In essence, this is a big OVW party as a ton of these guys were in OVW at the time. Most of the jobbers don’t get intros. Spanky is up on the bar dancing. Bradshaw says the rules are that the last man drinking wins as we’re testing the toughness and their livers. Ok that’s creative. Brother Love wants to pray before we start. Naturally it’s just a massive fight with no rhyme or reason to it. The Easter Bunny is drinking bears and getting punched. This is wrong.

O’Haire beats the APA up with pool cues. This is idiotic. Brother Love beats up Shannon Moore. I’d think that sums up why no one buys him. The Easter Bunny goes through a window. A bunny watching this would be traumatized for life. Hardy can’t break a table which is kind of funny.

There’s nothing of any kind of logic going on here at all. Funaki passes out from beer. Bradshaw beats up Brother Love and I guess that gives him the win. He’s the last man standing even though Farroorq is standing next to him.

Rating: N/A. This was a waste of about 5 minutes. Moving on.

We’re going to jump a good bit ahead for a glorified thank you at Armageddon 2004.

Cruiserweight Title: Funaki vs. Spike Dudley

Funaki won a battle royal on Thursday to set this up. Spike is heel here. Technical stuff to start with Funaki working on the arm a bit. Funaki gets him to the floor and hits a baseball slide for two. Funaki slams him off the top and gets a low dropkick for two. Spike goes up and is caught rather quickly with Funaki trying to suplex him down to the floor. That of course fails so Spike lifts him up and drops him down off the top and onto the floor.

That and a running knee strike get two. With Funaki on his knees Spike throws on an abdominal stretch. Fireman’s carry into a gutbuster gets two for Spike and now to the stretch again. The fans flat out do not care. Funaki makes a comeback and gets Spike in the Tree of Woe and gets a double stomp off the top in the same move, actually waking the crowd up a bit.

Funaki makes his comeback, hitting a bulldog and a shoulder-ziguri for two. Spike misses a charge in the corner and Funaki goes up and still no one cares. Top rope cross body gets two. Tornado DDT is reversed and Spike gets a headbutt to the ribs to take him down. They totally butcher a pinfall reversal sequence and Funaki gets down in time for the pin and the title.

Rating: D+. Just boring beyond belief here with no one caring in the slightest. Weak match overall as no one wanted to see this match, let alone in the second biggest spot of the entire card. Really didn’t like this, although it did manage to make me doze off for a bit which is a good thing indeed.

Time to put someone over on Smackdown, August 25, 2005.

Mr. Kennedy vs. Funaki

This is Kennedy’s Smackdown debut. Kennedy grabs the mic before the match and doesn’t buy Funaki as Smackdown’s #1 announcer in a cute line. Kennedy shoves him into the corner to start but walks into a right hand and gets armdragged down into an armbar. Funaki misses a cross body though and goes crashing out to the floor. Mr. misses a kind of running stomp but counters a tornado DDT by crotching Funaki on the top rope. The rolling fireman’s carry from the middle rope is enough for the pin.

Rating: C-. Decent debut here but the fireman’s carry looked like something that was setting up a bigger move. That’s the problem with Kennedy’s early days: it took him a long time to pick a finisher until he settled on the Mic Check and it made him seem like he didn’t know how to end a match.

Funaki would be put into the Cruiserweight Title hunt again, starting at Royal Rumble 2006.

Cruiserweight Title: Gregory Helms vs. Kid Kash vs. Funaki vs. Jamie Noble vs. Nunzio vs. Paul London

Kid Kash is champion coming in and this is Texas Tornado rules and one fall to a finish. Helms is from Raw but is here because it’s an open invitational. It’s a big brawl to start and everyone gangs up on Helms. I don’t know if there was a delay of some sort or just a really bad sign, but there are dozens if not hundreds of empty seats visible in the lower arena, most of them opposite the hard camera.

Helms gets beaten into the corner but Kash pulls some other people off for no apparent reason. Nunzio slams Kash onto the mat for one Noble gets two on Nunzio off a powerslam as London hits a dropsalt for two on Noble and Nunzio. Wait apparently those red seats are stairs. Those are rather distracting and the seating structure is odd as there’s a group of about eight seats per row then another set of stairs as opposed to most arenas where there are about twice that many in a row. At least the place isn’t as empty as it seemed.

Nunzio hits a slingshot to send Noble into the corner and Funaki adds a bulldog for two. We finally get to the dives with Nunzio diving on a pair of guys, allowing Noble to get two on Kash via a leg lariat. Noble dives on Helms and Nunzio on the floor and Funaki is knocked off the top onto Nunzio and Noble. London kicks Kash to the floor as well and dives on everyone not named Helms with a shooting star off the top.

Back in and London loads up a shooting star press onto Kash but Helms goes up top at the same time and hooks a swinging neckbreaker to bring London down for two. A brainbuster from Kash kills London again but two guys come in for the save. All six guys are back in the ring now and Kash gets two off a Backstabber on Nunzio. Funaki can’t hit a tornado DDT on Noble and gets caught in a gutbuster for trying. Noble gets sent to the floor by Helms and Gregory hits a Shining Wizard out of nowhere for the pin on Funaki and the title.

Rating: C+. What are you expecting to find here? It’s six guys in the ring all at once and going nuts on each other with spots. There isn’t supposed to be any sort of story or flow to it and there certainly wasn’t here. It was the right choice for an opener and the match worked well enough for its purpose. Fine but nothing memorable at all. Helms would hold the title for over a year.

And again at Great American Bash 2007.

Cruiserweight Title: Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Shannon Moore vs. Jamie Noble vs. Funaki

It’s a five man match but remember that this is a Cruiserweight Open, as in anyone can get in on this. Chavo is champion coming in. This is the dying days of the title as this was thrown on the card yesterday with no story. They did these kind of matches for probably a year. Hornswoggle is on the floor and hides under the ring. Chavo tries to run but gets thrown outside instead. This is one fall to a finish.

This is one of those matches where you can’t really keep up with anything so the whole thing is pretty all over the place. Chavo comes back in and Cole talks about his Latina wife. Shannon gets two on Chavo but Funaki hits a cross body onto both of them for a combined two. Powerslam gets two for Noble but Chavo breaks it up again. Chavo hooks some freaky rollup on Yang and transitions into a half crab but it gets broken up by Funaki.

Moore slams Funaki into the buckle HARD. Noble vs. Moore now. Make that Noble vs. Funaki. See what I mean about how there’s no point in trying to call this? Funaki gets an enziguri for two on Moore. Gory Bomb to Funaki gets two for the champ. Almost everyone goes to the floor so Yang sets for a dive. Chavo stops it and it’s Tower of Doom time. Noble is down and here’s Horny to come off the top with a Tadpole Splash to win the title.

Rating: C-. Like I said there’s only so much you can do in these. The ending is totally legal when you think about it: he’s certainly small enough and it was an Open so anyone can enter at any time right? This wasn’t anything great but it was very clear that the title was done. And no it wasn’t Horny that killed it. The belt was long since dead.

Here’s one of his less competitive matches on Smackdown, March 21, 2008.

Kung Fu Naki vs. Edge

Edge is World Heavyweight Champion but this is of course non-title. Feeling out process to start with Edge quickly snapmaring him down and smirking. Edge gets bored with the easy stuff and kicks Funaki’s head off to put him into the corner. A swinging neckbreaker drops Funaki again and Edge slowly punches him around the ring. The spear connects out of nowhere but Edge pulls him up at two. Instead he tombstones Funaki to send a message to the Undertaker before this Sunday’s Wrestlemania.

Rating: D. This was more story development than a match and there’s nothing wrong with that. Edge beating up Funaki is fine and doesn’t hurt anyone so why not do something like this? The wrestling didn’t need to mean anything and Funaki was treated like the jobbiest jobber who ever jobbed. In other words, he made the champ look good like he was supposed to.

We’ll wrap up Funaki’s WWE run with this match on Smackdown, January 30, 2009. Funaki is now Kung Fu Naki, who had one of the most awesome theme songs ever.

Umaga vs. Kung Fu Naki

Funaki walks into a superkick, gets crushed with the hips in the corner, and Samoan Spiked for the pin.

One more match at TNA One Night Only: World Cup of Wrestling with Funaki being brought in as a member of Team International.

Doc/Knux (Aces and 8’s) vs. Funaki/Petey Williams (International)

Funaki gets thrown into the corner and stomped down during the entrances to give the bikers an early advantage. Doc gets things going against Funaki and the dominance begins quickly. Funaki is dragged into the heel corner and it’s off to Knux for some clubbing forearms and more double stomping. Some right hands have no effect on Knux but Funaki keeps swinging and actually staggers Doc. The bikers easily break up the tag attempt though with Doc taking Funkai down to the mat in a leg lock.

The slow beating continues and there’s not much to talk about here. It’s the same power offense over and over again on Funaki as we’re over five minutes into this. Funaki’s sunset flip is easily blocked but Knux sits on the mat instead of Funaki’s chest. The hot tag is broken up again though as the beatdown continues. Knux puts on a front facelock and we get the unseen tag for old times’ sake. Funaki stops a charging Doc with a boot in the corner but his tornado DDT is broken up.

An enziguri is FINALLY enough for the hot tag to Williams as things speed up. Petey headscissors Knux into 619 position and dropkicks him in the back as everything breaks down. A running DDT gets two on Knux and Petey low bridges Doc to the floor. Funaki gets two on Doc off a cross body but Knux comes back in with a hammer shot to Funaki for the pin.

Rating: D. This was REALLY boring as it ran nearly fifteen minutes with about twelve of those being spent on a long Funaki heat segment. It doesn’t help that the small guys have never teamed together that I know of and are facing a regular team. Nothing to see here and WAY too long on top of that.

Funaki is a guy that was never going to be considered anything serious and there’s nothing wrong with that. You knew he was going to job 95% of the time but it was really nice to see a title reign as kind of a thank you. He was watchable in the ring and had some funny bits at times, so what more can you ask for? Funaki was a decent guy indeed.

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