The Viewing List
NWA Champ (misc)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Gene Kiniski (2/11/69) [wins title]
Dory Funk Jr vs. Jack Brisco (01/01/71) [St. Louis]
Dory Funk Jr. vs Antonio Inoki (02/12/69)
Dory Funk Jr. vs Antonio Inoki (08/02/70)
Dory Funk Jr. vs Seiji Sakaguchi (12/09/71)
Dory Funk Jr. and Dick Murdoch vs Seiji Sakaguchi and Michiaki Yoshimura (12/12/71)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs Giant Baba and Seiji Sakaguchi (05/19/72)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Giant Baba and Tomomi Tsuruta (10/09/73)
Dory Funk Jr. vs Jack Brisco (01/27/74)
Dory Funk Jr. vs Jumbo Tsuruta (08/29/74) Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Giant Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta (03/13/75)
Dory Funk Jr. vs Baron von Raschke (09/12/75)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Abdullah The Butcher (12/06/75)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Horst Hoffman (12/15/75)
Dory Funk Jr. vs Jumbo Tsuruta (12/18/75) Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Genichiro Tenryu and Rocky Hata (2/12/77) Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Billy Robinson and Horst Hoffman (12/06/77)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Giant Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta (12/14/77)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. The Sheik and Abdullah the Butcher (12/15/77) Dory Funk Jr. vs. The Shiek (12/01/78) Terry Funk and Dory Funk Jr vs. The Sheik and Abdullah the Butcher (9/19/78)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Nick Bockwinkel and Blackjack Lanza (09/21/78)
Dory Funk Jr vs. Blackjack Lanza (12/13/78) Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Giant Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta (12/15/78) Dory Funk Jr. vs. Mil Mascaras (1/30/79)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Mil Mascaras and Dos Caras (12/7/79)
Dory Funk Jr and Masanori Toguchi vs. Abdullah The Butcher and Roger Kirby (7/26/79)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. The Shiek and Abdullah the Butcher (2/3 falls match, 07/15/79)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Giant Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta (11/30/79) Dory Funk Jr. vs. The Sheik (12/1/79)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Mr. Wrestling (12/03/79)
Dory Funk Jr vs. Abdullah the Butcher (6/29/80)
Dory and Terry Funk vs Great Mephisto & The Sheik (11/28/80)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Abdullah the Butcher and Tor Kamata (12/5/80)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Nick Bockwinkel and Jim Brunzell (12/9/80)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Billy Robinson and Les Thornton (12/03/80) Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Giant Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta (12/11/80) Dory Funk Jr and Terry Funk vs. Wahoo McDaniel and Ivan Putski (1/23/81) Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Jack Brisco and Killer Tim Brooks (4/23/81)
Dory Funk Jr vs. Abdullah the Butcher (4/27/81)
Dory Funk Jr. vs Terry Funk (4/30/81)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Umanoseke Ueda & Buck Robley (10/6/81) Dory Funk Jr. vs. Bruiser Brody (10/9/81) Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Bruiser Brody and Alexis Smirnoff (10/24/81)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Tiger Jeet Singh and Umanosuke Ueda (11/27/81)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Giant Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta (12/8/81)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Harley Race and Larry Hennig (12/9/81)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Bruiser Brody and Jimmy Snuka (12/13/81)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Butch Reed (2/3/82) Dory Funk Jr. vs. Billy Robinson (03/07/82) Dory Funk Jr. vs. Bruiser Brody (4/21/82) Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Stan Hansen and Jimmy Snuka (4/16/82)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Bruiser Brody and Jimmy Snuka (4/22/82)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood (12/2/82) Dory Funk Jr vs. Bruiser Brody (10/26/82)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Harley Race and Dick Slater (12/9/82)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen (12/13/82)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Super Destroyer (12/07/1982)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen (4/20/83) Dory Funk Jr. And Terry Funk vs. Harley Race and Genichiro Tenryu (4/28/83) Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy (8/31/83)
Dory Funk Jr. and Giant Baba vs. Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen (04/25/84)
Dory Funk Jr. and Giant Baba vs. Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen (08/26/84)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Tiger Jeet Singh and Mike Shaw (11/25/84)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Jumbo Tsuruta and Genichiro Tenryu (11/28/84)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Giant Baba and Rusher Kimura (12/4/84)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen (12/08/84) [given 5-star Meltzer rating, left off 80s AJPW set)] Dory Funk Jr. And Terry Funk vs. Nick Bockwinkel and Harley Race (12/12/84)
Dory Funk Jr., Giant Baba and Genichiro Tenryu vs. Marty Jannetty, Killer Tim Brooks and Tim Horner (08/24/85)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Stan Hansen and Ted DiBiase (08/31/85) Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk and Tiger Mask vs. Terry Gordy, Chavo Guerrero and Billy Robinson (10/21/85)
Dory Funk Jr., Giant Baba and Motoshi Okuma vs. Rusher Kimura, Ashura Hara and Masa Fuchi (12/07/85)
Dory Funk Jr and Giant Baba vs. Jumbo Tsuruta and Genichiro Tenryu (12/14/85)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Riki Choshu and Yoshiaki Yatsu (08/31/86) Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. The Road Warriors (10/20/86)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Rick Martel and Tom Zenk (11/29/86)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Stan Hansen and Ted DiBiase (12/06/86)
Dory Funk Jr. and Horishi Wajimia vs. Stan Hansen and Ted DiBiase (08/31/85)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Bruiser Brody and Jimmy Snuka (2/12/87)
Dory Funk Jr., Giant Baba and Andre the Giant vs. Toshiaki Kawada, Kenta Kobashi and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (2/29/92)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Jack Brisco (??/??/69 )[non-title]
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Jack Brisco (12/01/71) [non-title]
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Jack Brisco (08/02/72)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Jerry Brisco - (01/07/75)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Jack and Jerry Brisco (??/??/77)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. David Sierra (09/17/81)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Steve Keirn (05/08/81)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Mike Graham (08/13/81)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Jack and Jerry Brisco (01/07/82)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Eric Embry (01/14/82)
Dory Funk Jr. and David Von Erich vs. Eric Embry and Ron Rithie (01/21/82)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. B. Brain Blair (06/06/82)
Dory Funk Jr. and David Von Erich vs. Jack and Jerry Brisco (03/07/82)
Dory Funk Jr. and David Von Erich vs. Cyclone Negro and El Gran Apollo (??/??/82)
Dory Funk Jr. and Kendo Nagasaki vs. Butch Reed and Sweet Brown Suger (06/09/82)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. David Von Erich (06/15/82)
Dory Funk Jr. and Jesse Barr vs Harley Race and Mike Graham (9/26/84)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Kevin Sullivan (08/09/87)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Mike Rotunda (05/21/87)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Barry Windham (??/??/87)
Dory Funk Jr. Johnny Weaver (01/26/73) [Cornette Garbage Tape]
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Jay Youngblood (10/13/82)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Jack Brisco (01/30/83)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Ricky Morton (02/16/83) - MISSING [can't find any MACW from 1983 at all]
Dory Funk Jr vs. Tully Blanchard (sometime in 1980?)
Dory Funk Jr vs. Dick Slater (1981?)
Dory Funk Jr and Terry Funk vs. Scott Casey and Relampico Leon (1981?)
Dory Funk Jr vs. Carlos Rodriguez (1980?)
Dory Funk Jr and Manny Fernandez vs. Tank Patton and Moon Mulligan (late 1981? / early 82?)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Tommy Rogers and El Gran Apollo (01/02/82)
Jerry Lawler vs. Dory Funk Jr. (3/30/81)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Super Medico (10/01/86)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Armando Salgado and Carlos Ocasio (??/??/86)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Angelo Gomez (??/??/86)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk and Ron Starr vs. The Invaders and Mil Mascaras (12/17/86)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Invader #1 (02/28/87)
Dory Funk Jr. and Marti Funk vs. Carlos Colon and Fabulous Moolah (??/??/87)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Super Medico II (??/??/87)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. The Road Warriors (20/09/1987)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Bruiser Brody (02/27/88)
Dory Funk Jr. and The Sheik vs. Stan Stasiak and Don Kent (07/09/78)
Dory Funk Jr. and Pierre Lefevre vs. Don Kent and Kurt Von Hess (07/09/78)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Denny Albert (??/??/78)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Hulk Hogan and JYD (3/8/86)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Andre the Giant and JYD (3/23/86)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. JYD and Tito Santana (4/7/86)
Dory Funk Jr., Jimmy Hart, Jimmy Jack Funk vs. Ricky Steamboat, JYD and The Haiti Kid (4/26/86)
Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Hulk Hogan and JYD (5/3/86)
Dory Funk Jr. vs. George Welles (6/14/86)
Dory Funk Jr. and Jimmy Jack Funk vs. The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff (7/26/86)
Dory Funk Jr. and Jimmy Jack Funk vs. The British Bulldogs (8/26/86)
Dory Funk Jr. and Jimmy Jack Funk vs. The Killer Bees (8/28/86)
Dory Funk Jr. and Jimmy Jack Funk vs. JYD and George Steele (9/14/86)
On PWO and elsewhre in recent years, few wrestlers have suffered such a decline in reputation as workers as Dory Funk Jr. The phrase "boring Dory" has become a by-wood for uninteresting and overlong headlocks. Dory is thought of as lacking the charisma, energy and emotion required to create compelling matches.
However, among wrestlers, Dory's reputation remains undiminished. His brother, Terry, still cites him as the greatest NWA champion ever. Ted DiBiase says that Dory is the best wrestler he worked with. Many others have said that Dory Funk Jr is among the finest wrestlers ever to walk into the ring. In terms of respect behind the scenes, very few workers in history can hold a candle to Dory. The disparity between reputation and how we think of him in our corner of the internet could not be greater.
So in this thread, I'm putting Dory under the microscope. I want to give him as fair a shake as possible, and try to overturn my own prejudices against him. He's a worker I've always felt I should like more. He's a guy who had a magnificent career, who worked in many different places against a very wide variety of different opponents. While the bulk of what I'm going to watch if from Japan, he also had notable matches in, among many other places, Florida, St. Louis, Detroit, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and New York. I want to take as many of them in as possible. This is a sister-project to my ongoing Harley Race watching.
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Horst Hoffman (12/15/75)
I'll start with this because someone here told me it's Dory's least boring ever performance in a match and I'm intrigued.
This is from All Japan. Horst Hoffman is someone I know nothing about. He has a good moustache and looks vaguely German. Can someone look German? I think so. Dory is sporting the mutton lamb-chop 70s sideburns, it's a good look for him.
Arm-bar to start from Dory. Hoffman reverses it. Dory counters. Hoffman tries to bridge out of it. Break. Elbow and collar tie-up. Fireman carry takeover by Dory and back into the arm-bar. Hoffman is struggling like a maniac the whole time. Snapmare from Hoffman. Side-headlock applied. Snapmare. Kneedrop. Side-headlock. Dory grabs Hoffman's leg as a counter to the headlock. SHINBREAKER. That's one way out of a headlock.
Dory goes for a snapmare but Hoffman is having none of it. He goes up for a suplex but Dory counters and comes down for a rolling snapmare anyway. That's cool, you seldom see something as simple as a snapmare worked with that much struggle. Very cool sequence now as Hoffman tries to slam Dory but he keeps hold of the headlock during the slam and then almost tries to Stone Cold stunner Hoffman several times. Snapmare into a headlock. This has been one of those matches where every little thing counts for something.
Armdrag by Hoffman, Dory bridges up out of the pin attempt into a snapmare. The smoothness of this counter-wrestling is quite striking. Backbreaker by Hoffman. Big European uppercut. Hoffman with a little period on top here. I want to pause at this juncture to say that Dory's level of struggle in this match reminds me quite a lot of ... Bob Backlund. Even though Hoffman is hitting fairly high impact offense, Dory is not really giving him much and keeps coming back with an answer to everything. I don't intend that as a criticism so much as a comparison point. Something I'm going to be keeping my eye on as I watch more.
Dory starts busting out his own European uppercuts now. And they trade uppercuts. Clean break gets a round of applause from this almost-stereotypically respectful 70s AJPW crowd. Dory reverses a leglock to go back to the armbar. Side Russian legsweep. Gutwrench suplex by Hoffman! Body scissors by Dory now. Dory's reaction to that was like "you are daring to fucking gutwrench me?!" Hoffman gives Dory a punch straight to the face while still in the body scissors. Oooh, Dory's not happy. Headlock by him now. Hoffman struggles out but eats an elbow. Uppercuts and strikes by Dory now, goes for the patented delayed double underhook suplex. No. Hoffman is not letting that happen! Inside cradle sequence now with Hoffman rolling over the cradle and Dory then bridging out, Hoffman tries to use his weight on Dory, but Dory counters with a bodyscissors, epic struggle here. Clean break gets another round of applause.
Hoffman hits a back suplex. Dory goes for a Boston crab. Hoffman twists himself out of it. Dory goes for it again. Syncs it in. Hoffman powers out into a pin attempt. Big butterfly suplex by Hoffman now. Full nelson and for some minutes. Dory manages to power out of it and steals the win after an interesting pinning sequence. Hoffman and Dory shake hands after the battle.
This was an interesting battle of attrition. I'm not sure if it's the "least boring" Dory's ever been because he was working in his 70s technical style and this wouldn't be a match to show to someone resistant to that style. His matches with Bruiser Brody and Jerry Lawler are brawls, and they show Dory more fired up and working with more brutality than he does here. However, this might be a match that might get someone more into this style of work because the struggle was pretty great at times and I got the impression that Hoffman was pushing and teasing Dory throughout. But this was more "simmering tension" than the outright hatred we see against Brody. One of the things that came out of this match for me was the smoothness of Dory's transitions and counters. It's almost exhibition stuff, but it worked here because everything counted. Neither man wanted to give an inch so the elaborate counters were necessary to gain the upper hand. My main criticism would be that Dory seemed like he wanted to hit more of his high spots but Hoffman didn't let that happen on several occasions, whereas Hoffman was allowed to hit several of his big bombs. I got the impression that Dory's failure to hit his bombs was a result of non-cooperation. This hurts the match overall because when Hoffman does hit his bombs, Dory very quickly goes into something else each time rather than selling them -- which somewhat diminishes their impact. At times it seemed more like a battle of who was prepared to give who what. Hoffman didn't seem to want to give Dory the bombs, but came out second best in the mat war; Dory was prepared to give Hoffman the bombs but not to sell them. All of which, for me, prevents this going much above the 4 stars.
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Kevin Sullivan (08/09/87) [?]
This was in Florida. From what I can tell, the only singled match between this to was on the date I've provided in Orlando. Sullivan certainly looks like 87 Sullivan to me. Dory never changes, although his sideburns are gone. No commentary, arena footage.
Action goes outside early and Sullivan plants Dory on the railings. Rolls him back in. There are two rings here, presumably for some big battle royal. Sullivan slams Dory into the bell. Back in and Dory bails. Oliver Humperdink is ringside wearing an oriental robe. Sullivan chases him, so he's managing Dory? Dory uses the distraction to get back on top. Action is still outside the ring. Sullivan has colour now and is bleeding quite a lot. He comes back with a blatant nut shot and Dory sells it by falling backwards grabbing his crotch.
Back in the ring after a break in the tape, and Sullivan goes after Dory who now has colour himself. Sullivan steals the win with his legs on the ropes but Dory piledrives him for his efforts and goes for his diving kneedrop, but Humperdink like an idiot throws in a foreign object which Sullivan then uses to nail Dory. Humperdink attacks Sullivan with ineffectual shots and Sullivan takes him out to the delight of the fans. Dory attacks him again and they continue to brawl into the stadium. Humperdink is still hanging around and gets a fist in the face for his troubles. He also has colour now.
Fairly effective juice brawl, but it lacked real energy and the heat seemed to be on Humperdink rather than on Dory, who was "just there". Both men seemed to start bleeding out of nowhere and the spots leading to that didn't really seem violent enough to warrant the blood. The most over I've ever seen Humperdink though, but yeah he still sucks ass.
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Abdullah The Butcher (12/06/75)
Let's go back to All Japan in 1975. This seems as good a match-up as any to test my theory that, contrary to his rep as the supreme technician, Dory was arguably more engaging working brawls.
Abby attacks Dory from the get go, in the crowd. They brawl in the crowd, but Dory is keen to get to the ring. Abby bails and Dory pursues him and then posts him. Headbutt by Abdullah and some punches. Dory has his dukes up and is ready for a fight. Elbow and collar tieup, Abby hits a running shoulder tackle, no effect. They lock up again. European uppercuts by Dory, five or six in a row and now some big reverse knife edges. Stiff. Abby comes back with headbutts and punches. He bites Dory on the nose. Dory comes back with several stiff blocking forearms. Kneedrop on Abby's head. Forearm smash. Action goes outside. Dory grabs a chair and nails Abby with it. Shades of Denucci with that. More punches and forearms from Dory. He lays in effective looking punches, he is a Funk after all! Elbows now from Dory on Abby's head. Stiff chops send Abdullah crashing from the apron. He grabs a chair but Dory stays on top. Grabs a leg and drives an elbow into it. Another elbow drop on the leg. Spinning toe hold! Abby is bleeding profusely as you'd expect after 6 minutes.
Abdullah comes back a bit now. Bodyslam. Big elbow drop. Gets two. Dory goes for his delayed double underhook suplex, no cigar. He goes for a vertical suplex instead and it hits. Cover gets two. Irish whip into an elbow smash. Elbow drop. Dory's back is covered in Abdullah's blood. Action goes outside again. Abby with the headbutts. Grabs a chair and throws it into the ring. But Dory hits a big forearm and now smashes Abdullah on the head with the chair. Now he accidentally whacks the ref with the chair, didn't look that accidental! Abby throws Dory outside and they brawl into the crowd. Abby runs into the crowd and the young boys hold Dory back. Abdullah comes back to the ring as the bell goes and gets his arm raised. I'm guessing for a DQ after Dory blatantly A. used a chair and B. knocked the ref out. Abby goes wild and starts punching young boys. Dory comes back and they brawl some more.
Fairly standard Abdullah brawl, that seemed to lack real intensity or heat. In fairness to Dory he was laying in his strikes and punches with venom, but this one struggled to get out of 3rd gear and boil over.
Now, as a basis of comparison, I want to see what Terry Funk did against Abby a couple of years later ...
Terry Funk vs. Abdullah the Butcher (12/01/78)
This is from AJPW Classics #11 by the way, which I'm basically going to watch in its entirety because apart from this, it's all Dory matches. Some excellent promo music to start which reminds me of the boxers' theme music from Super Punchout!! for the SNES. I'm assuming the Japanese voice over is telling us "we're gonna be watching a lot of the Funk brothers in action on this tape". Oh yes, can't wait.
As this starts, I'm greatly amused because the commentator keeps saying "spinning toehold-ah" over and over again in that characteristic Japanese manner that makes me happy. The spinning toehold was pretty over as a finisher in 70s AJPW.
Terry has short cropped hair here and gets a good ovation. He keeps his eyes absolutely fixed on Abdullah when he comes out and the two of them are ready. Abby throws Terry out of the ring to start and he comes right back in. He's already shown a lot more emotion that Dory in the last match, just with the urgency he showed in getting back in the ring.
Abby does his blinking thing, which I've never quite got. Series of collar and elbow tie-ups. I have to say that by this point in the last match, they'd got a lot more done, this has had much more tentative stalling. Abby has his foreign object though and nails Terry with it sending him out of the ring. Abby tortures Terry with the object some more ... and there's our PWI shot! For the next 15 years.
Terry bleeding. From the ear??! This looks nasty. Dory is here in a tracksuit. He's unshaven, and looking as cool as Dory has EVER looked. He's also monumentally pissed off. He tries to get into the ring as Abby batters Terry's injured ear. The ref stops Dory getting in the ring. Terry starts to come back. Holy shit, his ear!! Abby gives him another sly shot in the ear with the object. The Sheik of Araby in his full regalia is here now and he starts brawling with Dory. Abby runs out into the crowd as Terry stalks him. The bell goes and it looks like we're straight into the next match ...
Despite the incredible visual of Terry bleeding from the ear, I honestly thought the Dory match with Abby from 75 had more going on during it. This match seemed to grind to a halt as soon as the ear injury happened and came off more like an angle than a match, which it effectively is. I did enjoy Dory being all pissed off and protective as Terry's concerned older brother though.
Dory Funk Jr. vs. The Sheik (12/01/78)
No time wasted, Dory takes his tracksuit off and is all business. He is ready for The Sheik whose hair has gone white, he looks like he was getting on -- he was, Sheik was born in 1924, Dory not until 1941. So at this point Dory was about 37, Sheik was about 54. And to think he had another 20 years in him! In fairness to him, apart from having white hair, Sheik's body didn't look too bad here -- better than old man Flair's body at a comparable age, for example.
Terry has come back out holding a bloody hand to his ear. He's not happy about something The Sheik did before. He wants the ref to check his ear and is blaming The Sheik for the injury. No, I think what's happening is that he wants the ref to check The Sheik for any Abby-style foreign objects that may be in his tights or elsewhere. Terry won't let the match start until the ref checks him. Sheik does his pre-match prayers. Terry is telling Dory: "look, in his trunks, or down his boot". His acting here is great, he has genuine concern that his brother is going to suffer the same sort of injury as him. He's pleaded with the ref and now he's making sure Dory knows all the places a foreign object might be. It's simple, but very good storytelling.
Match starts finally and Dory lays in a forearm, crowd cheers. Terry lays one in, crowd cheers. Sheik bails. He grabs a camera cable. Dory goes after him and throws a little table into the ring. It looks like a work bench or something. Smashes Sheiks head into it. Big European uppercut and Dory is fucking pissed here and pumped up. Four, five, six, seven uppercuts. Abby is back out and .. he's slipped Sheik the foreign object! Terry hits the ring and grabs that object from him. Terrific storytelling during this match.
All four men brawl now. Bell goes because the ref has lost all semblance of control. Dory lays in some more shots on The Sheik and Terry does. Not sure where Abby has gone. Terry raises the foreign object high above his head and the fans cheer. As they go to get back in the ring, Sheik and Abby run in for one last sneak attack. More brawling now. Abby goes for the ear but Dory chases him off.
The Funks get back in the ring and Terry starts a big chant going. Is it "butcher"? I think they are calling "Butcher" for Abby to come back out and face the music. Dory joins in the chant too. It's not hard to see why The Funk Brothers were so goddamn over in All Japan around this time.
For such a short match, this was great. Again more like an angle than a match, but the storytelling and the way it built on the last match was truly great. Dory was as fired up as I've ever seen him too, a very good performance. Although Terry would have to be the MVP despite not officially being part of the match.
Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. The Sheik & Abdullah the Butcher (2/3 falls match, 07/15/79)
We are treated to footage from the locker room as The Funk brothers prepare themselves. They are wearing yellow tracksuit tops with red sleeves. Giant Baba is sitting in the background with *I think* a very young Tenryu, or it's Jumbo with his slightly curlier hair at this point. Dory has a patch on his head. They walk to the arena like a pair of bad asses. Come out to a loud pop. The commentator lapses into his "THE FUNKS ... spinning toehold-ah" business, which I can't get enough of. Sheik and Abby walk through the crowd to the ring with a procession following them. This has a really big match feel to it, crowd are clearly psyched too. I am as well, to be honest.
Someone throws a bottle at Sheik's head as they get into the ring, ouch looked painful. He no sells it. There is a guy in the crowd or someone injured on the floor. There did seem to be a lot of trash being thrown. Sheik is wiry and wily and is ready for a fight. Its him and Terry to start. Sheik points to the ceiling to distract the ref as he slips a foreign object into his boot. He's got the classic upturned toe boots on, as has Abdullah tonight. Sheik hides another foreign object in the back of his tights and then lingers by Abdullah for him to pluck it out and conceal in his hand. Baron Mikel Scicluna eat your heart out, this is how you do foreign object business.
Abby now, with the object, takes on Dory who he gets the better of using the weapon. Remember that Dory's head his bandaged up and this is Abby's focus of attack. The plaster is removed and he's bleeding there. Sheik fairly blatantly with the object now lays in shots on Dory. Terry is trying to break it up but is sent back by the ref. Dory starts to fight back and manages to get his hand on the spike, he lays in a shot with it because throwing it up into the air. Terry finds himself in the wrong part of town and exchanges headbutts with Abby. Sheik still the legal man though. Dory back in. European uppercut. Abby in. I think Dory let Sheik tag a bit too cheaply there, considering the fact he's still bleeding from the head. Dory chops Abby down like a tree and goes for the spinning toehold but Sheik breaks it. Terry in and it's a slugfest. Abby sends him out of the ring. Back and forth brawling outside of the ring. Dory is there now and Sheik has a chair. All sorts of chaos. Dory gets back in the ring and hits a dropkick of sorts on Sheik and steals the pin for the first fall. Meanwhile Terry has been busted open by Abby.
That first fall was very good. There was some masterful stuff around the foreign object with Sheik and Abby in this. Yes, we've seen a lot of that stuff before, but that doesn't mean it isn't smart and effective work, and it is. Dory was spirited again and he's more than proven he can be effective in brawls at this point. He's also working quite smart, he knows he can't be trading suplexes and snapmares against limited opponents like these and so has to switch up.
Second fall then, and Dory and Sheik start out. Abby and Terry brawl outside. All pretense of this being a regular match have gone out of the window by this point, chaos reigns. Sheik has a rope and is choking Dory with it who sells it like he's being strangled to death. It's an effective visual with him bleeding from the forehead too. Abby comes in and hits a big elbow drop for two. Crowd are wild and so into this. Dory gets the hot tag to Terry and he's ready with the Texas style punching now, jabbing and weaving. Ends up eating a big backdrop from Abby out to the floor where Sheik is waiting. Big elbow drop by Abby on Terry gets two. Sheik is in the ring too while the ref is distracted with Dory. Terry is thrown out of the ring and Dory goes over to check on him. Both men must have lost quite a lot of blood at this point and all four men are bleeding. The bell goes for the second fall, which is apparently a count out. Terry is out cold outside the ring. I think that's wise booking not to have either Funk pinned incidentally for the second fall. Terry is selling his injury like it's a seizure, he's grabbing his throat and shaking. Dory drags him across the floor back to their corner. Meanwhile Sheik is pointing to the sky looking a bit deranged while Abby blinks. What a pair! Wouldn't want to see those two down a dark alley on the wrong night.
Terry is still groggy so Dory tags himself in and hits some stiff chops. He suplexes Abby and grabs a chair. Nails Sheik and then hits THREE big elbow drops on Abby. Covers and Sheik pulls him off. Knee drop gets two. Sheik pulls Dory off him. Another vertical suplex by Dory gets two, Sheik breaks. Terry is still out cold. I must have missed what Abby did to him before. Dory gets a sleeper on Abby now. Ref checks the arm. Terry is in the crowd grabbing his head and ear. This is effectively Dory vs. Abby and Sheik in a 2 vs 1 handicap right now. Bodyslam by Dory and an elbow drop gets two. Sheik interferes again and he has the rope! What a low-down cheating bastard! He has a 2 on 1 advantage and he's STILL using the rope. Terry now tries to roll back in but he's out on the apron. Abby is biting Dory and the Sheik sticking in rabbit punches all the while still choking Dory out with the rope. Fans are throwing trash. The sheer level of the heels cheating here is off the scale. Terry now musters the strength to come back with some judo chops. But Abby hits him in the face to send him staggering back. Dory has the rope now. The bell is ringing violently and incessantly. Have we got a decision? It's still chaos in the ring, but The Funks are on top stomping these two villainous bastards. Sheik bails but Abby is still there taking stomps. We wait for the decision. Terry is a wild man, he wants to KILL Abby. Sheik is here trying to get Terry from him, he's choking Abby with the rope. Wild shrieking from someone now. Dory and Sheik keep brawling. The bell has been ringing incessantly for the past 2 or 3 minutes. All the young boys and Jumbo and Giant Baba hit the ring to try to get Terry from Abby. They do so and hold him back, but him and Abby are still at each others' throats. Meanwhile Dory and Sheik are STILL slugging it out. Tenryu intervenes and lays in some shots on Sheik. Jumbo and Onita intervene to get Abby from Terry. We still don't have a decision here. I think The Funks must have won because of outrageous cheating, but am not sure because we don't get a call or any arms raised.
Well this was fucking wild. Match for the ages, which I'd imagine is legendary in Japan, and rightly so. Real hatred and passion from The Funks who both give as good as it gets in terms of fire. Terry's stuff around the injury shows what a great sympathetic babyface he was in AJPW, but my focus is on Dory here and he showed tremendous fire here and ... stoicism. That's an unheralded quality, but Dory had it in spades here, especially in that third fall which he basically carried during about a 10-minute stretch when it was 2 on 1. I have to pause for a word on Abby and Sheik here too, say what you want about them, they knew how to work their gimmicks, and around their limitations. You'll seldom see VILLAINY on the scale that those two take it in this match. The first fall is a masterpiece in storytelling around the foreign object, but it's the way they build up the layers of evil as the match progresses. By the time they've injured Terry so he's effectively out of the match and have Dory isolated 2 on 1, they STILL go to the lengths of using the rope to choke him out while double-teaming him and using the object. It's a study in evil. This has everything: great performances, storytelling, blood, chaos, the crowd, and a bell that rings forever!
Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta (11/30/79)
Dory's stubble has become a beard by this point. Maybe they didn't stock the razor blades he likes in Japan. It's probably the best look for him.
Funks work over Jumbo to start. As the match settles down Dory applies a headlock. A few strikes and uppercuts and he tags out. Test of strength spot between Terry and Jumbo now, and Jumbo powers Terry down into a headlock but Terry counters with a back suplex and tags out. Dory with uppercuts now and back into the headlock. Doesn't stay in it long though before a vertical suplex which he hits and tags out. Terry now with a snapmare and a cover, for two. The Funks have cut the ring in two here. Quick tags in and out. Dory's back in and goes back to the headlock. Now in fairness to him, he hasn't once during this match so far or, indeed, in almost 3 hours of watching Dory matches now, just sat in such a headlock. He really hasn't. In this match he's been quick to trade up to high spots, in the others he's barely done any headlocks. Thus far, much more interesting in this regards than, let's say, Bob Backlund. He goes for his double underhook suplex but Jumbo counters. He tags out but the Japanese have the advantage now and Baba tags in and works over Terry. Flair flip in the corner. Watching this, it's occurred to me that one aspect of Dory that people don't talk about much is his selling ... and in particular his bumping -- he doesn't do a lot of it. Terry is a much more dramatic and dynamic seller and bumper, closer to Race or Flair. Dory is not like that and I'd put him closer to a Backlund. You're not going to see Dory pinballing around the ring for an opponent, it's not his style, but it is one reason, I think, why fans of a later generation don't take to him as well. We're used to seeing great workers be big bumpers, so when a guy like Dory isn't, perhaps subconsciously it registers that there's something he's not doing. He's good at selling a hold or being choked, or a punch, but is much less inclined to give you a lot when he's taking a high spot, and certainly we don't see him doing Flair flips in the turnbuckle as Terry has just done in this match.
Baba applies an abdominal stretch on Terry. Jumbo in with uppercuts now. And now he gets the abdominal stretch on. Terry's arm is like a limp noodle. Jumbo goes into a front chinlock now and turns it into a camel clutch. They haven't sat in any hold longer than about 20 seconds in this match. It's zipping along at a lively pace. As I say that, Jumbo does sit in this camel clutch for a while! Sod's law. Terry tries to get to his corner by crawling and walking Jumbo's feet like a doll. Quite comical. Eventually he gets a headbutt in but Jumbo stays on top and lays in some stiff chops. Baba back in with the abdominal stretch. Terry hits a punch but Baba has cut the ring off here. Back to the abdominal stretch. Baba hits a big boot and tags in Jumbo. Single leg takedown by Terry and SPINNING TOEHOLD-AH, SPINNING TOEHOLD-AH! Dory tags in. Was that the first fall? I'm not sure, but Terry and Jumbo shake hands nonetheless.
Hiptoss by Jumbo, backslide by Dory gets two. Some neat counter-hold stuff going on now involving the arm. Clean break. Headlock takeover by Dory. Headscissors by Jumbo. Dory bridges out up and over. Jumbo gets a backslide. This is exhibition-type stuff but supremely smooth -- you don't see many guys in the 80s, especially from the US who can do that stuff in their sleep like Dory can. Baba tags in. Twiglet-arm headlock on Dory, who powers out of it with a back suplex. He covers, Jumbo sneaks in to break the cover which pisses Terry off. Snapmare by Dory. Elbow drop and he tags out. Terry with the swivel-boot on the face. Legdrop. Dory back in. Bodyslam. Elbowdrop. Two count. Headlock takeover. Up to a vertical base. Baba hits a dropkick! Rick Rude neckbreaker. Two count. Jumbo in. The big jumping knee. Gets two. Abdominal stretch by Jumbo now. Dory hip-tosses out of it and tags in Terry. Action goes outside, but they get back in soon enough.
Vertical suplex from the apron by Terry, some delay on that too. "Brainbaster! Brainbaster!" Big atomic drop on the outside by Terry on Jumbo. He seems hurt and Baba goes over to check on him. Terry bobs and weaves in the ring. Rights and lefts now on Jumbo. Tags in Dory. And NOW the delayed double-underarm suplex. What a beautiful move that is! Crowd pops. Piledriver by Dory now. Cover gets two. European uppercut, but Jumbo comes back with chops and whips Dory into Baba's knee. Tags out. Double big boot on Dory. This is some hot action right here.
Terry in and a collision with Baba sends him wobbly legged over the top rope. Big boot by Baba. Side Russian legsweep. Piledriver. Terry is swinging wildly now, but Baba holds him at bay and sends him down. Jumbo in. Piledriver. That's two Terry has taken now. He's got his leg on the rope so it's two. Piledriver?!! No. Terry prevents it and starts with the Texas punches. Misses a big left and Jumbo goes for a Boston crab. Synches it in but Terry gets out, flipped over into a pin attempt for two. Big chop by Terry, and again. Slugfest now. Jumbo goes for the butterfly, but Terry tags in Junior. Dory goes to the headlock and hits a shoulderblock. Rope running now and Dory suckers Jumbo into attempting a big dropkick. He misses it because Dory holds onto the rope and ... SPINNING TOEHOLD-AH, SPINNING TOEHOLD-AH! Baba is forced to come in and boot Dory to the face, but the damage has been done. Dory snaps on the tendon and tags Terry in. SPINNING TOEHOLD-AH, SPINNING TOEHOLD-AH! Jumbo must be in agony. Baba comes in to break the hold again. Dory comes in now. SPINNING TOEHOLD-AH, SPINNING TOEHOLD-AH! Baba with the boot. Jumbo's leg is done here. Baba is in though and tries to cover Dory, only two. Slugfest now. But single leg takeover by Dory. SPINNING TOEHOLD-AH, SPINNING TOEHOLD-AH! Jumbo gets on the top rope to hit an elbow but the bell goes. Did Baba submit? The ref calls for a time out. And they shake hands again. What happened?
Either The Funks won in two straight falls both times with the spinning toehold, or it was just one fall and Babba tapped to Dory. Either way ...
This was a great match with some terrific action worked at a fine pace. Perhaps a little bit too "your turn, my turn" in places, it was at its best when Dory and Terry were on top working a classic US-style heat/FIP sequence. They were superb tagging in and out and Dory was particularly excellent when controlling and hitting his bombs. I think it's fair to say that as a tagteam, they are at their best either when Terry is selling, or when Dory is on top. Great match by anyone's standards though.
Terry Funk vs. Killer Tor Kamata (12/03/79)
With Kamata being such a Titans of Wrestling legend, I couldn't NOT watch this now could I. NO CHANCE MR WHALEN. I can justify watching Terry matches in this thread because he's a perennial basis of comparison. Kamata comes back with some chops. Terry hits a few armdrags and Kamata goes over for a monkey flip. Quite good agility for such a big and old man. Tentative now. Terry gives Kamata a cheeky slap to the face. Fans chuckle. Kamata misses a big chop and Terry slaps him again. He's bobbing and weaving now and tags Kamata with a few jabs. He's getting really frustrated now but SPINNING TOEHOLD-AH. Kamata bails. He's getting out-wrestled here. Kamata comes back and sends Terry over the top rope. Goes after him. Slam on the table outside the ring. The table is dented. Rolls Terry in. Knees to the back from Kamata now. He's a surprisingly effective worker. Cover for two.
Headlock by Kamata now. Goes for a bodyslam but Terry reverses into a small package for two. Abdominal stretch by Terry now. Kamata powers out of it with a fireman carry take over. Kamata hits a big kick which Terry sells like he's been fired out of a cannonball. Kamata produces a chain from his trunk, but Terry comes back with lefts and rights and rabbit punches. Kamata still has that chain and is now slyly choking out Terry with it. Ref spots it and rings for a DQ. Terry gets hold of the chain and nails Kamata with it for a lot of blood. He's covered by the end.
Not bad at all and Kamata is a decent worker doing what he does, I'm sure if we had more of him on tape he'd have a bigger rep. This at least as good as the earlier Terry-Abby match without the bloody ear to carry it.
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Mr. Wrestling (12/03/79)
I didn't know Tim Woods worked in Japan. It is him though, all in white. Dory has the beard still, it's a bit fuller now. Mr Wrestling looks like he's getting on in years.
Headlock by Wrestling to start. Your standard counter wrestling spots around pinning predicaments while keeping the headlock on. Dory gets on top and works on Mr. Wrestling's back. Back slide struggle now in the classic Greek Olympic wrestling pose. I don't like Mr. Wrestling's mask, it looks cheap.
Side headlock by Wrestling. This has been boring as hell so far, in exhibition territory. Kneelift by Wrestling and a headlock takeover. Still with this headlock struggle crap. I can never get into that stuff because it's ALWAYS the same. Anyway, Dory powers out with a back suplex. European uppercut. Hammerlock. Drives the knee into Wrestling's arm. I have to say, the match just picked up a hell of a lot when Dory got on top. But Mr. Wrestling manages to get the headlock back on, drops it down to be a chinlock. "It's legal" says Wrestling. Irish whip and a backdrop. Kneelift, goes for the cover. Two only. Dory with the double underarm suplex?? No, Wrestling powers down. Back to the headlock by Mr. Wrestling. Hiptoss by Wrestling. Backslide wins it for Dory. Oh dear oh dear.
This was not an interesting match and Mr. Wrestling was really tedious and dull during this. Dory, in his defense, kept things interesting when he was on top, but whenever Mr. Wrestling controlled, which was for the majority of the match, nothing much was happening and it was watching paint dry. Still, I think four and a half hours of Dory is enough for one night.