Terry Funk – Old School Profile

In today’s old school profile we will take a look at the 5 decade long career of this legend of professional wrestling. Terry has wrestled in almost every organization in the world. He has been apart of NWA, AWA, WWF/E, WCW, ECW, USWA, ROH, and TNA. The former NWA World Heavyweight Champion held the title for 14 months when he defeated the legendary Jack Brisco in 1975. He also won ECW World Heavyweight Championship twice. Funk is the only wrestler to have been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, the WCW Hall of Fame, the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, the NWA Hall of Fame, the Hardcore Hall of Fame, and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame. What Terry is probably most known for by modern wrestling fans is as one of the main innovators of hardcore wrestling. Which was the inspiration to stars such as Mick Foley and Sabu.

Wrestling is In The Blood

Terry was born into a wrestling family in Amarillo, TX. He is the son of Dory Funk Sr and brother of Dory Funk Jr. Terry began his career in pro wrestling after graduating from West Texas State University, where he had excelled at football. He and his brother Dory began wrestling for his father’s wrestling promotion in the 1960’s. He and Dory Jr are the only set of brothers to have both ever held the NWA World Heavyweight Title. Terry’s wild and unpredictable style in the ring excited crowds in Texas and all over the world. At the end of 1975 the NWA Board of Directors made the decision to let Terry have a run with the title. Funk defended his championship against a plethora of top opponents (including major feuds against the likes of Dusty Rhodes, Dick the Bruiser, Harley Race, Jerry Lawler, Giant Baba and many others) in territories across the world. When his 14 month NWA title reign ended with a loss to Harley Race in Toronto, Funk too some time off from the sport. Then he and Dory Jr began travel all over the country and Japan as the 70’s winded down.

In the 1980’s Funk brought his talents to the WWF. Funk had the gimmick of carrying a branding iron with him to ringside and using it to “brand” his fallen opponents. In the mid 1980s, Terry teamed with Dory (calling himself “Hoss” Funk) and Jimmy Jack Funk (Jesse Barr), a fake Funk. They were managed by Mouth of the South Jimmy Hart. They began a heated rivalry with the Junkyard Dog which led to a match between Terry Funk and Hoss Funk and the team of Tito Santana and Junkyard Dog at the 2nd WrestleMania. At the end of the decade Funk went back to the NWA and began a feud with then World Champ Ric Flair.

Terry Funk Goes Extreme

In the 1990’s Funk change his wrestling style and image. The style changed from wrestling traditional southern style wrestling matches to the more violent style of hardcore wrestling. He was very instrumental in launching the revolution that we now know was ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling). His matches with Sabu are stuff of hardcore legend.
1995, IWA Japan held a King of the Death Match tournament in Kawasaki, Japan. In this tournament, Funk endured three extreme-style matches involving ladders, thumbtacks, and barbed wire. In the final match of the tournament, he lost to Cactus Jack, in an exploding ring, C4 explosive, barbed wire match. In 1997 Funk helped take ECW to the next level on their first pay per view Barely Legal and winning their World Title from Raven. After that Funk started appearing in the WWF as Chainsaw Charlie the partner of Cactus Jack as they feuded with the New Aged Outlaws. Which led to a dumpster match for the tag team titles at Wrestlemania XIV. Although they lost to the Outlaws, Funk showed that he could perform at a high level on the grandest stage still.

Funk wrestled for WCW in 2000, winning the WCW Hardcore Championship 3 times and the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship. He was also the WCW Commissioner at one time and the leader of the short-lived Old Age Outlaws that feuded with the nWo. Since then Funk has wrestled for various organizations around the country. He has had a few very brief retirements but Terry always seems to find his way be to wrestling ring.

Career Accomplishments

All Japan Pro Wrestling
World’s Strongest Tag Team League (1977, 1979, 1982) – with Dory Funk, Jr.

Cauliflower Alley Club
Iron Mike Mazurki Award (2005)

Championship Wrestling from Florida
NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
NWA Florida Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Dory Funk, Jr.
NWA Florida Television Championship (1 time)
NWA North American Tag Team Championship (Florida version) (1 time) – with Dory Funk, Jr.
NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship (Florida version) (2 times)
NWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

Eastern Championship Wrestling / Extreme Championship Wrestling
ECW Television Championship (1 time)
ECW World Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
Hardcore Hall of Fame (2005)
United States Wrestling Association
USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

Georgia Championship Wrestling
NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Dory Funk, Jr.
NWA Georgia Television Championship (1 time)

International Wrestling Association of Japan
IWA World Heavyweight Championship (2 times)

Juggalo Championship Wrestling
JCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling / World Championship Wrestling
WCW Hardcore Championship (2 times)
NWA (Mid-Atlantic)/WCW United States Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
WCW Hall of Fame (Class of 1995)

NWA Hollywood Wrestling
NWA Americas Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
NWA International Tag Team Championship (3 times) – with Dory Funk, Jr.
NWA World Tag Team Championship (Los Angeles version) (1 time) – with Dory Funk, Jr.

NWA Western States Sports
NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Amarillo version) (2 times)
NWA International Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Dory Funk, Jr.
NWA Western States Heavyweight Championship (7 times)
NWA Western States Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Ricky Romero
NWA World Tag Team Championship (Texas version) (2 times) – with Dory Funk, Jr.

Pro-Pain Pro Wrestling
3PW World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

United States Wrestling Association
USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment
WWF Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Cactus Jack

Pro Wrestling Illustrated
PWI Feud of the Year (1989) vs. Ric Flair
PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year (1997)
PWI Wrestler of the Year (1976)
PWI ranked him #22 in the PWI Years in 2003

George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
Class of 2010

Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum
Class of 2004

Southwest Championship Wrestling
SCW Southwest Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
SCW World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Dory Funk, Jr.

St. Louis Wrestling Club
NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

Stampede Wrestling
Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame

World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment
WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2009)

National Wrestling Alliance
NWA Hall of Fame (Class of 2009)

4 comments for “Terry Funk – Old School Profile

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