Let me first dilute the term "wrestling match" so it can encompass the realm of wrestling entertainment completely. For, as tasteful as a traditional wrestling matches can be, its the rather ruthless, showy, fantasized version in professional wrestling that garners a greater appeal amongst the masses.
So, what is that one match that is etched in your memory forever? What is that match which made you love wrestling entertainment, or respect it even more? What is that one match which still makes you shout—wow, or warrants goosebumps every time you see it?
I have seen some colossal matches, witnessed some unbelievable moments that shaped if not made wrestling entertainment the brand it is today, and above all, have been left amazed at how these wrestlers day in and day out put their bodies on the line and do what they do.
But the one match which summoned more reactions from me than any other, was from the PPV "One Night Stand" of the 2006 edition. "A Hardcore tag team match: Mick Foley and Edge, versus Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer". The Hammerstein Ballroom arena that day stood witness to many a matches, but few I suspect as brutal and fierce as this one.
Leading up to the feud, Mick Foley betrayed ECW, believing that the glory days of ECW are long since gone and there is no use reviving it attacked Tommy Dreamer. Terry Funk made an appearance on RAW the next week, and verbally assaulted Foley and even said—"WWE sucks!"
But Foley found an ally in the ultimate opportunist and one of the most hated figures on the roster at the time—EDGE along with his female companion, Lita. And the stage was set for a bloody, merciless, battle of the legends on the June 11th PPV.
There were doubts about the aging Terry Funk, the fading Tommy Dreamer, the enigma Foley and the upstart Edge, whether this match could deliver at the PPV. Well, on the day it did, and how.
The fans were chanting "You sold out!", referring to Foley. He retorted with "Yeah I did. I sold out Madison Square Garden."
And then he and Edge along with Lita went on to bash the legacy and the fans of the original ECW.
Out came the protagonists—Funk, Dreamer and Beaulah. Funk slapped Foley and all hell broke loose!
Funk and Foley exchanged blows outside the ring while Edge slammed a ladder to Dreamer's face. But Dreamer and Funk used the ladder to corner Edge, and knock him and his partner down hard and bloodied.
The "aging" Funk even climbed the ladder ready to destroy Edge, but Edge pushed over the ladder in time, and when Lita gave a low blow to Dreamer, the fortunes had changed for the ECW originals.
Edge then slammed a piece of barbed wire wood on Tommy Dreamer and its abyssal panache embedded deep into Dreamer's flesh! But before Edge could repeat it, Funk came to his partner's rescue and the two sidelined Edge and hit Foley with the barbed wire wood instead. The screams of Foley drenched in pain, echoed throughout the arena.
The fans by now had already started chanting "ECW, ECW, ECW!"
But then Foley famously wrapped his arm in the barbed wire, and hit Funk right over his eye. Funk was cut open, and the trainer took him backstage. That allowed Edge, Foley and Lita to gang up on Tommy and beat him up badly.
But just then, Funk returned. But he wasn't alone. He had a 2X4, wrapped in barbed wire, set on fire! And he was in a bad bad mood!
He first took out Foley who fell out of the ring through another piece of barbed wire! Terry pursued him outside his ring, as he literally jumped out of the ring upon Foley, and got caught in the barbed wire himself!
In another section of the squared circle, Bealuah took care of the much annoying Lita! And then Tommy hit Lita with his finishing move.
But the ever opportunistic Rated R superstar Edge slammed Dreamer from behind, and then speared Beulah! And then swiftly, in a rather disgraceful fashion pinned her in a compromising position, one-two-three, to finally win the match.
An end the ECW fans hated, but nobody could disagree, the guys had given their everything. Absolutely everything, and more.
Funk especially was the star. He was never a fan of the "evil" Vince, and the feelings were reciprocal. Vince doubted Funk had a good show left in him. Maybe Funk wasn't as "hardcore" anymore, as his younger self.
But the Funker, proved him wrong. He put on a hell of a show. He needed several stitches, and after the match had to be literally "cut out" of the barbed wire with a wire-cutter.
Dreamer, after the fall of ECW was anything but a major performer with the WWE. But he shouldered the match well.
Foley and Hardcore share the same emblem. And Edge surprisingly stood toe to toe with the legends and every bit of hatred he received from the fans for his acts, showed he had done his bit in making this match historic.
I'm sure, not many others will think of this match as the greatest ever, and instead they will term it as just another shallow graphic bloodbath, an entity ECW itself is assumed to be. And maybe rightfully so, there have been spectacular performances by different wrestlers before and after this, which will by far overshadow this war in terms of "wrestling."
But for what it was, and what it meant to the fans at the time, and for Funk, this match was nothing short of an epic.
Just another opinion, from just another wrestling fan. Now the question arises, what is the most memorable match YOU have ever seen?
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