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Terry Funk, Legendary Wrestler of the Hardcore Hall of Fame, Passes Away at 79Terry Funk, Legendary Wrestler of the Hardcore Hall of Fame, Passes Away at 79

Terry Funk, Legendary Wrestler of the Hardcore Hall of Fame, Passes Away at 79

Publish – 24 aug , 2023

Terry Funk, the iconic professional wrestler enshrined in the Hall of Fame, whose unyielding hardcore combat style within the ring ignited countless decades of intense and captivating matches, has passed away. He was 79 years old.

World Wrestling Entertainment, the organization that witnessed the meteoric rise of Mr. Funk’s career, confirmed his demise on Wednesday. Although no specific cause of death was disclosed, immediate family members were not reachable for comment as of Wednesday evening.

Commencing his wrestling journey in the mid-1960s, Terry Funk’s remarkable career spanned an impressive four decades, taking him across the nation and the globe. From electrifying sold-out audiences under the W.W.E. banner to enthralling fans within Japan’s burgeoning wrestling scene through All Japan, he swiftly gained a reputation as an indomitable wrestler who wielded a variety of impromptu weapons against his adversaries. Chairs and ladders, barbed wire and bats, trash cans and even fire became extensions of his combat prowess.

This unbridled intensity in his matches elevated Mr. Funk to one of the most lauded wrestlers of his era, standing out in a sport where athletes embodied larger-than-life personas and fictionalized versions of themselves. Many of his standout moments on the canvas depict a blood-splattered visage, his lengthy damp hair slicked back, his countenance marked by the aftermath of a punch, a kick, or a chair strike. His physical form may not have adhered to the typical chiseled, six-pack image associated with professional wrestlers, yet his robust physique, precise grappling techniques, and savage ingenuity within the ring garnered him profound admiration from his fellow competitors.

Terry Funk, Legendary Wrestler of the Hardcore Hall of Fame, Passes Away at 79
credit – getty

Terry Funk, Legendary Wrestler of the Hardcore Hall of Fame, Passes Away at 79

Ric Flair, the retired professional wrestler renowned for his flamboyant attire and extravagant lifestyle, conveyed his admiration on Wednesday via X, formerly known as Twitter, stating that he had never encountered an individual who exerted more diligence than Mr. Funk. Mick Foley, a fellow professional wrestler who engaged in matches with Mr. Funk, took to Facebook to proclaim that Mr. Funk stood as the finest wrestler he had ever collaborated with.

Terry Funk entered the world on June 30, 1944, in Hammond, Indiana. The wrestling lineage continued through his father, Dory Funk Sr., who also held the mantle of a wrestler, as documented in the book “Pro Wrestling FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the World’s Most Entertaining Spectacle.”

Following his father’s service in the South Pacific during World War II, the Funk family relocated to Texas, where Dory Funk Sr. elevated his status as both a prominent wrestler and promoter. It was within the Texan landscape that Terry Funk’s passion for and familiarity with the sport deepened. In 1965, he stepped into the ring for his father’s wrestling company, marking his debut.

By 1985, Terry Funk had ascended to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). The pinnacle of his WWF journey occurred at WrestleMania 2 in 1986, when he, alongside his brother Dory Funk Jr., a fellow Hall of Fame wrestler, emerged victorious against Tito Santana & the Junkyard Dog.

In 1989, Terry Funk transitioned to World Championship Wrestling (WCW), a period that witnessed one of the most celebrated bouts of his career against Mr. Flair.

The 20-minute bout unfolded as an “I Quit” match, a relentless confrontation where both contenders clashed until one submitted. Revered as a timeless spectacle, the match epitomized the unforgiving authenticity that drew wrestling enthusiasts, even though the victor was predetermined.

In the ring, the clash was a symphony of chest-slapping strikes by Mr. Flair and Mr. Funk’s headlocks, punctuated by forceful tosses beyond the ropes. Sideline wrangling, hair yanks, and a chorus of echoing taunts—”Ready to concede?”—filled the air from both combatants.

As the climax approached, Mr. Flair skillfully ensnared Mr. Funk in a figure-four leg lock. With Mr. Funk’s face twisted in agony, the pivotal words spilled forth, and the match’s bell resonated: “I quit.”

Reemerging in 2000, when he was in his mid-50s, Mr. Funk made a triumphant return to W.C.W., claiming the United States Championship and the W.C.W. Hardcore Title belts. His swansong in the W.W.E. arena transpired in 2006.

In 2009, the W.W.E. bestowed upon him the esteemed honor of entering the Hall of Fame.

Mr. Funk’s commanding presence extended to Hollywood as well. In 1989, he assumed the role of a bouncer in the movie “Road House,” starring Patrick Swayze. Earlier, in the 1978 wrestling drama film “Paradise Alley,” where he shared the screen with Sylvester Stallone, he portrayed the formidable character Frankie the Thumper.

Details about the complete list of survivors were not readily available as of Wednesday.

In his autobiography titled “Terry Funk: More Than Just Hardcore,” Mr. Funk recounted fond recollections of absorbing his father’s tales of wrestling. He described how his father’s prideful expressions about the tough and audacious figures in the profession would light up his eyes. Reflecting on his journey, he shared, “As I grew up, I had the fortune to live the life of a wrestler—a life that bestowed upon me stories akin to the ones I had absorbed as a young boy.” He asserted, “Pirates, millionaires, kings, and adventurers pale in comparison to me! I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone.

By admin

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