Terry Funk vs. Stan Hansen
June 23, 1990
WWA Rumble on the River 

Reviewed by Lee Malone (VOW Author Page / Days of Thunder / @WCWThunderPod)

Gifted by Kevin Hare (VOW Author Page / TheWrestling101.com)

I was so excited when I received my Secret Santa gift. I mean, there’s no way that in 1990 Terry Funk and Stan Hansen could have a bad singles match, right? RIGHT?? 

This match took place in a field by a river bank in New Jersey, hence the Rumble by the River show name, on a World Wrestling Association show. The WWA was owned and run by Larry Sharpe and Dennis Coralluzzo, which might explain why Hansen and Funk agreed to work in this field. Researching this event, I found a matchcard of just 4 matches with only 5 out of 10 other workers on the show listed, and these included quality workers SD Jones, Miles Savoldi, and The Tahitian Savage, aka the future L.A. Smooth. 

The video begins with Funk already in the ring and he bails out as Hansen makes his entrance. This seems to be just for Terry to kill some time at ringside and throw some chairs into the ring and it really set the tone for what this match would be. Funk and Hansen had what I can only describe as a lazy AF brawl both in and around the ring where neither man did a single thing of note. At this point, I should also mention that the event is being shot on what I would generously describe as a budget camcorder, so even if a wrestling match actually broke out at some point, we may not have noticed such is the poor video quality. 

We hear some brief “Terry, Terry” chants but I really don’t know why. The lads then proceed to “brawl” to the river side. The show now resembles an after-school fight as the crowd has formed a semicircle around Hansen and Funk as they go through the motions. Funk attempts put the patented Spinning Toe Hold on Hansen but fails as Hansen kicks him off and Terry takes a disgusting plunge into whatever river it is that runs through Pennsauken, New Jersey. As Funk emerges from his unwanted pollution dip, Hansen is on the spot to scoop slam him right back into the disgusting water. This proves to be too much for the referee as Hansen is dq’ed for utilizing the river as a weapon I guess. As the crowd make their way back to their seats Hansen and Funk continue to brawl at or in the ring but we can’t tell as the cameraman is the last person to make it back to the ringside area from the riverbank. More brawling ensues as they make their way back to their portacabin dressing rooms, and Hansen attempts to break into Funk’s cabin with his bull rope. 

This match stunk, and honestly, looking at the show in hindsight, I can’t blame them for giving such minimal effort. I’ll give Funk credit for taking the disgusting river bumps but man I was so disappointed by this. When I saw Terry Funk vs Stan Hansen in 1990, I expected so much more. Oh well there’s always next year I guess. As for my Secret Santa, I think this is a Joe Gagne selection.