Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Thursday, June 02, 2016

IWA Mid-South Interlude: Funk vs. Dougie and a Chain

Chain Match: Terry Funk vs. Doug Gilbert IWA-MS 3/13/97


ER: They already uploaded the fun Doug/Mantel vs. Gordy/Severn tag from the next year's Eddie memorial, and this was another one I wanted to see, from the original memorial show. Doug Gilbert is an odd wrestler; very likely an odd human being. I have seen many Doug matches where he looked like a terrible pro wrestler. He kind of looked like a terrible wrestler through parts of this. But Dougie brings something to the table that most guys can't even touch, and that is that he almost always looks angry, wild-eyed, and borderline unprofessional. He has an aura where you think something off the books could happen at any moment. It often doesn't, but there's always that chance, that look. He's a guy I'd rather know almost nothing about, outside of what is presented within the ring. I feel like if I found out Doug is a happily married father of three who owns a semi-successful Pep Boys franchise with two other guys, I would forever not care about another old Doug Gilbert match again. But I know next to nothing about Doug, other than what I've seen in the ring, and he almost always comes off as unhinged. So when he rushes Funk with the swinging chain to start the match, it is expected, and awesome. Funk really looks like he's desperately scrambling to get away from Doug as Doug chases him through the crowd. They toss chairs, fight outside, fight underneath a shaking roll-up door (and Funk is the best at taking half visible bumps into the roll-up door and then doing a Funk wobble as the door wobbles). We get some punches wrapped in a chain and - I don't know about any of you - but punches wrapped in a chain are some of my favorite things in wrestling. Funk takes a couple rough spills and comes off looking older than normal, strange since we all know how far away he was from being truly retired, strange seeing as he'd be on actual TV and PPV around this time. But he crawls around in a way that is uncomfortable to see an old man crawling around and Doug pounces, and the ending is confusing and kinda stinks.


But thennnnnn Tommy fucking Gilbert runs out and starts beating the shit out of Dory while Dory wears his stupid sweat shorts. Doug just wanders off and leaves Tommy to fight with Terry around the building, back to the merch, and then toss chairs at each other right next to Tommy's wife. Human perception is a funny thing. It's fascinating to think of how other humans view you, both physically and as a person. At this point in your life you're bored with your own looks. You see yourself every day, presumably know your best and worst features. But there are other people out there who view you in ways that you don't view yourself. Some positive, some negative. You may see yourself as a nice guy, someone you know may view you as a real jerk. And so I sat there wondering what Tommy Gilbert's wife thought of him, as he stood there not 5 feet from her, wearing small red trunks, holding a chair in defense as Terry Funk yelled at him that his son had no guts. There's her husband of over two decades, in his underwear, brandishing a chair, fighting another man in his 50s. "That's my guy. That's my Tommy." Later, she would raffle off a dead son's ring jacket.

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