Cactus Jack vs. Terry Funk: The Barbed Wire Collection

Mick Foley and Terry Funk destroy one another’s bodies in the name of respect, admiration and blood lust!

From Amazon Prime

The preview blurb indicates this will at be at least 2 of their matches from Japan’s IWA.

Promo: Cactus Jack. Jack is wearing a Bruiser Brody shirt. He says Brody and Terry Funk are the 2 true hardcore legends, but Jack needs to beat Funk to join them. Funk is a friend and mentor, but tonight the barbed wire is his friend. Jack says he is a physical wreck, so Funk can’t do anything to him he hasn’t already experienced.  He finishes by challenging Atsushi Onita to come out of retirement and fight him. Great promo as usual from Foley.

Promo Terry Funk: Funk is concerned that he is facing someone who actually likes pain.  He thinks he and Jack are both going to leave the ring in tatters.

Cactus Jack vs. Terry Funk

They are in a gym in front of a shockingly small amount of fans.  It’s actually sad to see so few people here for what should have been a “dream” match. The ring ropes are gone and barbed wire has taken their place. Jack brings out a large board wrapped in barbed wire for good measure.

Jack starts to grab the ample empty seats and tosses them at Funk. Jack stops to “bang bang” at the crowd, so Funk chucks a chair at his skull. Funk wails on Jack with a few chair shots before the match resets in the ring.

The men bypass the barbed wire and fight on the floor. Jack finally grinds Funk’s forehead into the wire. Funk fights back, but fails to lock in his patented spinning toe hold. Jack uses the wire to choke Funk, giving us a close up of Funk’s head gash. Jack wraps Funk’s arm in the wire and releases some primal squeals.

Funk is trapped in the wire, so Jack finds a chair he has wrapped in cloth, then sets it ablaze and smacks Funk across the back. They fight out in the stands, with Funk taking the flaming chair and dumping Jack on it. The fire moves on to the ring, where Funk eats another fiery shot. He responds by picking Jack up and dropping him gut first on the wire.

Jack teases doing his “hangman” spot with the wires, which would have been INSANE. Funk wraps Jack’s head in the wire as the fight returns to the floor.  Jack crawls at Funk screaming “Terry!”  Funk produces a flaming bring iron, which he jams in Jack’s chest and back.  There is a great visual as Funk tries sticking the flames in Jack’s face as Foley fends him off with a mask of blood covering his face.

The men fight into the crowd again, wiping out dozens of innocent chairs. The battle returns to the ring, where the men lay head to head, blood oozing from various spots on their bodies, Funk’s grey shirt is soaked in crimson. They fight to their feet, trading blowing with increasing desperation.

Funk turns a spinebuster attempt from Jack into a DDT and that is barely enough to earn the three count. Both men lay on the mat, having expelled every bit of fighting spirit they had.

Funk attacks the ref and a camera man.  The warriors end up on the cement, crawling toward one another. They grasp hands to a nice round of applause. Then Jack turns on Funk and piledrives him onto the cement.  He cusses Funk out, as Funk moans “I love you” or something.

Even without commentary, you could follow the emotion and story the men told as their respect for one another could only be outdone by their desire to be the better man.

Post match promo: Funk is laying on the gym floor, covering in drying blood. He compares Jack to the Sheik and promises if Jack wants to fight with fire he will bring the fire.

Post match promo: Jack, his face soaked in blood, rolls in a pool of his own blood on the floor. He can be beaten, but he cannot be stopped.

King of the Deathmatch Finals: Cactus Jack vs. Terry Funk

Both men have already fought twice this evening.  Jack most notable battled Terry Gordy in a match where Gordy was not terribly willing to bump around on the hardcore weaponry. Funk fought infamous New Japan heel Tiger Jeet Singh.

The ropes have once again been replaced by wire, but now the added bonus is several boards with large piles of wire are laying around the ring. Oh and some of the boards are rigged with explosives!

The men trade blows and avoid each other’s attempts to send the other into the wire. Jack tries a suplex, which Funk blocks, then shoves Foley into the wire. Funk’s previous wounds have reopened on his head. Funk is slugged onto one of the beds of barbed wire and it explodes!

Funk fights back with a double underhook suplex, softening Jack up enough to drop him on an explosive bed of wire as well!  He downs Jack with a piledriver, then delivers another one onto a wire board. Funk launches Jack into another wire board that has been propped up in the corner. Jack tries to find refuge on the floor, so Funk tosses a wire board on him!

Funk tosses Jack into the crowd, then back in the ring. Funk locks on the spinning toe hold, but then Tiger Jeet Singh runs in and attacks Funk with his (covered) sword. Singh and Jack toss Funk into an explosive board, but Funk refuses to stay down!  Singh leaves. Funk is DDT’d as a countdown begins. The ring is rigged to explode, so Jack bails out. The ring then fails to explode when the timer goes off…. Funk looks around as the crowd buzzes, more than likely in disappointment. Jack returns to the ring, only to be suplexed onto an explosive wire board.

Jack produces a ladder, striking Funk in the face with it, then suplexing it onto Funk’s prone body. Jack scales the ladder to deliver an elbow that nearly ends the match. Jack climbs the ladder again, but this time Funk dumps him over on the wire!!!! FUCKING OUCH! I try not to swear in these reviews, but sometimes a moment can only be properly described in language fit for a sailor.

Jack has a big, bloody gash on his arm. Despite taking the bump, Jack crawls over and pins Funk?!?!  WTF was that ending. The crowd sort of dies from that bizzare finish. Jack leaves a huge pool of blood on the mat where his face was pressed up against.

Jack is given a trophy. He tries to shake Funk’s hand, but Funk is wandering around ringside selling an arm injury.

This was a crazy spectacle, but I have to wonder if that finish was botched.  While both men laid in the ring after the pin, you could see Funk and the ref clearly jabbering back and forth.

Post match promo:  Jack says for the past 3 years he has been called the “American Onita”, tonight was not about the money, it was about vanquishing Funk, who stood in his way as the true hardcore American star.

We then see Funk “celebrating” with fans outside the arena, before hopping in an ambulance for help.  Awesome!

Incredibly, Foley states in his book that he was paid only 500 dollars for working 3 violent “death” matches in one afternoon.

Terry Funk and Keisuke Yamada vs. Cactus Jack and Tiger Jeet Singh

A large swath of fans FLEE from Tiger as he makes his entrance baring his sword. I believe I have Funk’s partner correct, but there is no commentary and the chyrons are in Japanese.  Yamada is downed by the heels right away. Funk comes in from….somewhere and saves his partner.  Singh, who was well past his prime, looking chubby and old, puts his sword in his mouth and harasses the fans.  Funk scares off Jack as he aids Yamada.

Singh wanders off, leaving Funk to believe his partner is safe, so he heads to the ring to fight Jack. Singh returns to Yamada and unleashes sword strikes.  Funk slugs Jack to the floor and piledrives him on to the cement. Funk looks to move in for the kill, but Singh attacks him with the sword handle.

Singh slices Funk’s pants open with his sword, and proceeds to jab the end into Funk’s leg!?!?! Yamada finally stops selling his early attack and joins Funk in the battle. Yamada is much smaller than the others. He uses flying attacks on Jack, before delivering a nice back suplex. He gets caught with a DDT and is pinned abruptly. What a useless friend Yamada proved to be.  A bloody Funk and Singh continue to throw down at ringside. A slew of underneath talent try to clear the ring.

The best part of this one for me was the opening seconds where the fans ran in fear of the crazed villains.

Final thoughts:  The lack of commentary actually sort of helped give this a gritty, grindhouse, almost bootleg feel, which actually added something to the violence unfolding.


Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.