Five Reasons Why I Like: Terry Funk
Last go around when we did "Five Reasons Why I Like" we celebrated, "WHOOOO!", The Nature Boy, Ric Flair. Well I think it's time to celebrate his 1989 Great American Bash dance partner...
Terry Funk. Go on, I dare you to let that theme play as you continue to read below. Both Funk and Flair are polar opposites in several ways, but both have some eerie similarities which made them perfect rivals for one another. Feel free to peruse the other wrestlers I covered below with the same type of pomp & circumstance (Dig it!)
5. He Wrestled For Almost Every Major U.S. Promotion
From the early days of the NWA, to the tag matches and death matches overseas in Japan, to the extreme intersection of Swanson & Ritner at the ECW Arena (more on that later) Terry Funk wrestled anywhere and everywhere. He has his cowboy boot print on almost every major U.S. promotion from the 1960s to the 2000s. If you started watching wrestling anytime before 2006 then you mostly likely had a taste of the Funker.
4. He Is Special On The Mic
If anybody could rival (and compliment) Ric Flair on the mic, it's Terry Funk. Not only is his cadence and tone so different from Flair's, but rather than talking about alligator shoes and Rolex watches, he manically talked about jackasses on his daddy's farm.
And listen to the heat he gets talking about his pet jackass getting MDK'ed by his father (the crowd goes absolutely nuts). Also, him wildly slapping the wall at the beginning is a real nice touch:
See? Who wants to hear about a donkey getting it's brains blown out? I even hate that crazy bastard right now. Just poetic, bad guy, insanity that builds up a feud. The dude is one of the best to get on the stick.
He's wrested since 1965, everyone, that's 52 years of in-ring competition if you're God awful at math. I'm lucky if I can commit to a workout for 52 minutes. He's also retired and un-retired more than the Big Show has had heel/face turns, which, if we're speaking in layman's terms, is quite a bit.
2. He's Changed With The Times (And He Helped Wrestling Do The Same)
When the business changed from blue trunks and white boots to barbed wire and heavy metal, Terry Funk adapted like some sort of pro wrestling chameleon. Too many ring veterans can tend to wallow in the glory of their hey day, but Terry is one of the very few that saw the landscape changing and took the leap from 80's wrestling heel with a heart punch to 90's hardcore legend with a moonsault.
His notoriety and presence is what put rebel promotions like ECW on the map. If Funk wasn't there, ECW may have been dead in the water, which wouldn't have lead to the late 90s wrestling boom, that brought upon WWF's "Attitude Era". That's a topic that is always debatable, but there's no arguing Funk was one of the major proponents.
1. He Has Wrestled With Almost Everyone From Every Era
I'll see what I can list off the top of my head (along with a little Google help & some YouTube links to a few)
- Jack Brisco
- Bruiser Brody
- Stan Hansen
- Giant Baba
- The Sheik
- Harley Race
- Ric Flair
- Dusty Rhodes
- Jerry Lawler
- Hulk Hogan
- Roddy Piper
- Cactus Jack
- Scott Hall
- Eddie Guerrero
- Bret Hart
- Steve Austin
- The Rock
- The Undertaker
- The New Age Outlaws
- Tommy Dreamer
- C.M. Punk
But I'll close this out with my favorite matches of his: the "I Quit" classic between him and Flair at Clash Of The Champions IX.