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Thank You, Terry Funk

I remember where I was when I watched one of the first "great" wrestling matches of my lifetime. It was in my basement and I was watching a videotape from The Great American Bash '89, featuring Ric Flair defending his NWA World Championship against Terry Funk.

I'd of course heard of Terry Funk before this, and even seen in him compete in person while with the WWF. But this Terry Funk was a much more dangerous Terry Funk, someone who could actually be a threat to Flair's world title reign, while also being a throwback to what a heel truly should be. I loved that match; still do to this day.

In fact, there are so many great Terry Funk moments and matches throughout this career. The empty arena match with Jerry Lawler ("Mah eye! Lawler, mah eye!"), his matches with Dory Funk Jr. in Japan, his crazy death matches with Mick Foley, and of course his career-resurrecting run in ECW, where he singlehandedly helped bring credibility to the upstart promotion during its first show on pay-per-view.

As Terry wrote in his autobiography More Than Just Hardcore (which I'd highly recommend, by the way) , The Funker was a larger-than-life character, both in and out of the ring. We saw that in Beyond The Mat, as well, when he contrasted his outrageous ring career with attending the wedding of his daughter.

By all accounts, Funk was one of the good ones who truly cared about his family, his colleagues and his fans. Rest in peace, Terry!



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