Wrestling legend Terry Funk dead at 79


Legendary professional wrestler Terry Funk, whose influence was felt across multiple generations, has died at the age of 79. News broke of Funk's death on Wednesday afternoon.


During his career, which spanned more than 50 years, there was almost no meaningful wrestling promotion in which Funk did not have an impact. After starting his career in 1965 for Western States Sports, a promotion ran by his father, Dory Funk, Terry Funk often wrestled alongside his brother, Dory Funk Jr.
His death was confirmed by his longtime close friend — an alternating in-ring rival and partner — Mick Foley.

“I just talked to Terry’s daughter, Brandee, who gave me the awful news,” Foley tweeted Wednesday.

“He was my mentor, my idol, one of the closest friends. He was the greatest wrestler I ever saw. If you get the chance, look up a Terry Funk match or a Terry Funk promo, and give thanks…”

Funk exploded to the top of wrestling in 1975, defeating Jack Brisco to win the NWA world heavyweight championship. He held the title for more than 420 days before dropping the title to Harley Race. Race was also the man who ended Dory Jr.'s title reign in 1973.

Funk earned a reputation as a rough and rugged brawler through various rivalries, including a feud with Jerry Lawler that led to a now-iconic empty-arena match and a lengthy rivalry with Ric Flair that included a shocking moment for the time that saw Funk piledrive Flair onto a ringside table.

After stints in Japan, NWA, WWF and WCW, Funk's career found a second wind when he joined Eastern Championship Wrestling, later Extreme Championship Wrestling. Funk had appeared in Japan as a "hardcore" wrestler, participating in brutal and violent contests.

Funk utilized that hardcore style as a cornerstone of ECW, eventually winning the promotion's top title in the main event of their first-ever pay-per-view event, Barely Legal on April 13, 1997. He would go on to have more stints in WWE, WCW and ECW throughout his career, as well as time in TNA and on the independent circuit.

During that time, Funk would routinely retire, only to return to the ring again and again. He would have his final match in September 2017, finally hanging up his boots for good.

“In My Entire Life, I’ve Never Met A Guy Who Worked Harder,” tweeted Ric Flair, who feuded with Funk and had a famous “I Quit” match with him at WCW Clash of Champions IX in 1989. “Terry Funk Was A Great Wrestler, Entertainer, Unbelievably Fearless, And A Great Friend! Rest In Peace My Friend Terry Funk Knowing That No One Will Ever Replace You In The World Of Professional Wrestling!”

Funk also appeared in a number of movies, including “Road House,” “Paradise Alley,” “The Ringer” and “Over the Top.”

Funk was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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