The ‘ECW Barely Legal 25’ WWE Network Special celebrates some of ECW’s craziest matches… apparently! I just happened to put it on after seeing that they had Cactus Jack vs Terry Funk! Two of the craziest wrestlers in history, willing to put their bodies through extreme pain, engaging in Barbed Wire Deaths matches in Japan…what would they get up to in ECW? The answer: not a lot!
The two give promos before the match, and to be honest I wasn’t interested in them. I just wanted to see them fight! But what followed was a subpar brawl that is mostly obscured by the crowd. Yes, unbelievably when they venture into the crowd no cameraman follows them. Instead, the hard camera pans slightly to the left so you can barely see the top of their heads!!! And even when you can see the action, it is lifeless.
I was even more deflated when Public Enemy ran in and battered Funk…then battered Cactus Jack when he wouldn’t pin Funk. I really began to wonder why this match was included in this Special. It lasted under ten minutes, you couldn’t see what was happening half the time AND a it had a silly interference-laden ending. Many other worthy ECW matches could have replaced it (indeed, the following match is the classic Malenko vs Guerrero match at Hostile Coty Showdown).
Then it became clear why this match was included. Funk and Jack joined forces to take down Public Enemy. To aid them in their assault, the pair asked the crowd to throw them chairs. What followed is an iconic moment in ECW history, a spontaneous movement of the crowd in unison as they hurled chairs into the ring until Public Enemy, and most of the mat, were covered in chairs. An ringside official helplessly pleas to the crowd for the chair throwing to stop!
Yes, an iconic moment in ECW history (when the E stood for Eastern and not Extreme!), one that prefigured the crazy, unpredictable environment ECW would soon become. But why not just show that moment? The preamble is awful, featuring a boring brawl between two wrestling legends that should have been far more extreme. And this was the main event of the show!!! Watch other Jack vs Funk matches. Avoid this one.
Hammy’s Rating: ** (out of 5)
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