It is with immense sadness that the world mourns the loss of Terry Funk.
Perhaps the greatest icon in the history of the business, Funk was simply legendary.
A bridge between the relic of the wrassling world and the modern commercialised era, Funk has competed in more or less every major promotion of his lifetime. He has been a southern grappler, a mad-eyed loose cannon, and a hardcore icon – but to every fan, he is Terry Funk.
With such an accomplished and treasured resume, it seems suitable to look back upon the career of wrestling’s greatest all-around entertainer in terms of his feats and figures.
1: Only one person has wrestled in the AWA, WCW, WWE, AJPW, NJPW, ECW, ROH, and TNA. That person is Terry Funk.
2: Terry Funk has attained two Dave Meltzer five-star ratings. These were a tag match pitting Funk with brother Dory Funk Jr. against Stan Hansen and Bruiser Brody in All Japan Pro Wrestling in 1984 and the famous “I Quit” match at Clash of the Champions IX versus Ric Flair.
3: Three seems a prevalent number in the career of “The Funker”. Terry Funk has won both the AJPW World’s Strongest Tag Determination League – with brother Dory in 1977, 1979, and 1982 – and WCW Hardcore titles three times.
He has also thrice main evented ECW’s flagship show November To Remember. Also in ECW, he competed in the first mainstream three-way dance in wrestling history.
Funk wrestled Ric Flair three times on a televised occasion during their 1989 rivalry, including in the tag ThunderDome Cage match and the “I Quit” match as well as memorable spots such as the table piledriver and attempted kayfabe murder via plastic bag.
Funk was also the third-ever United States champion, winning the belt in a tournament final by beating Paul Jones.
5: Terry Funk had a large hand in the choreography of the final fight scene of Rocky V. 6: Terry Funk won many tag team titles across his career, with six unique partners. The majority were with Dory, but he also won with Wahoo McDaniel, Dan Miller, The Lawman, Ricky Romero, and Cactus Jack. Funk also competed across six decades during his in-ring career, spanning from the 1960s to the 2010s.
7: Terry Funk is thought to have had, at least, seven retirement matches.
11: Terry Funk is one of just 11 wrestlers to win a title in (the original) ECW, WCW, and WWF/E. The other 10 are: Shane Douglas, Chris Jericho, Mick Foley, Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Candido, Chris Benoit, Raven, and Lance Storm.
Plus, Funk’s 1997 retirement lasted just 11 days.
28: The approximate runtime, in minutes, of Terry Funk’s 1984 cult classic album “Great Texan”.
52: Years of experience Funk has in-ring, debuting in 1965 and wrestling for the last time in 2017.
53: Terry Funk’s age when he won the WWF World Tag Team titles at WrestleMania XIV in 1998. At this age, he became the oldest-ever champion and the first wrestler over 50 to win a championship in the promotion.
73: The age at which Funk had his last ever match.
79: The age at which Funk sadly passed away on August 23rd.
170: How many matches Terry Funk reportedly had against Harley Race, against whom he had the most.
424: How many days Terry Funk spent as the NWA champion. After beating Jack Brisco, Funk held the belt from December 1975 through to February 1977, a grand total of 424 days.
1971: The year Funk had his first WWF run, prior to his more memorable run in the mid-1980s. In his first match, he went Broadway when teaming with father Dory against The Fabulous Kangaroos.
1983: The first time Terry Funk retired. He did so on August 31st after a match against Terry Gordy and Stan Hansen. A bloodied-face Funk famously yelled “Forever!” numerous times in one of his most memorable moments.
1997: Terry Funk won the ECW World title. After winning a three-way against Stevie Richards and The Sandman, he was able to pin Raven to win the title belt. Having been on the first television programme in 1993, he was vitally important to the company, as evidenced by the famous pre-show rally cry by Paul Heyman at Barely Legal. Terry Funk also had his designated retirement show WrestleFest in 1997, facing WWF champion Bret Hart in the main event.
2009: Terry, alongside Dory, is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Already in the Hardcore, WCW, and NWA Hall of Fames, he was now in the most prestigious – inducted by iconic opponent Dusty Rhodes (who apparently “sucks eggs.”)
2017: Funk’s final match. This was on a Big Time Wrestling card when he teamed with The Rock’n’Roll Express to beat Brian Christopher, Doug Gilbert, and long-time rival Jerry Lawler. 18,000,000: How much an ECW fan was asking for over damages from the infamous 1995 ECW Arena fire. In the situation, the fan was burned whilst trying to help a burning Terry Funk. Funk, who suffered second-degree burns, was able to beat the charges, even if the fan was scarred for life.
What is truly incalculable however is Funk’s legacy; the memories that this icon of the industry has left – ones that fans will cherish forever. THANK YOU, TERRY FUNK.