WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk passes away
WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk has passed away at the age of 79.
Revered by fans and peers across the globe for his tenacity, heart and longevity, Funk will be remembered as one of the toughest competitors to ever step inside the squared circle. From WWE to All Japan, from WCW to ECW, Funk proved he could go toe-to-toe with the best and pushed the limits of what was possible inside the squared circle.
The son of Dory Funk, Sr., Terry began wrestling in the 1960s, forming a successful tag team with his brother and fellow WWE Hall of Famer, Dory Funk, Jr., before breaking out as a singles star. In December 1975, Funk broke through when he defeated Jack Brisco to capture the NWA World Championship in Miami.
Funk first competed for WWE in 1985 during the height of the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling era alongside his brother. The Funks appeared on The Grandest Stage of Them All at WrestleMania 2, defeating the team of Tito Santana & The Junkyard Dog.
His next stop was WCW in 1989, where he engaged in a legendary rivalry with “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, which culminated in an “I Quit” Match that is still regarded as an all-time classic to this day.
Funk had an impact all around the world during his career, particularly in Japan where he became one of the most beloved legends of the All Japan Pro Wrestling promotion alongside brother Dory. Later, he was an innovator of hardcore wrestling alongside WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley. The two brought the infamous style to a worldwide audience through a 1995 tournament where they battled in the finals, brawling through tables, chairs, barbed wire and more.
Funk was also an instrumental figure in the growth of Extreme Championship Wrestling. Although he was in his 50s at the time, Funk proved himself against the younger hardcore competitors of the renegade promotion. When ECW presented its first pay-per-view, Barely Legal in April 1997, it was Funk who headlined the show, defeating Raven to win the ECW Championship.
Funk returned to WWE in 1998 as Chainsaw Charlie, the deranged partner of Cactus Jack, and played a key role in the iconic Hell in a Cell Match between The Undertaker and Mankind.
At nearly 60 years of age in his return to WCW in 2000, Funk was far from finished in the title picture, capturing the United States Championship and WCW Hardcore Title. The last match of Funk’s WWE career came at ECW One Night Stand in 2006 where he teamed with Tommy Dreamer and Beulah McGillicutty against Mick Foley, Edge and Lita.
Funk left his imprints on Hollywood as well with a number of appearances on the big screen including roles in “Roadhouse,” “Paradise Alley” and “Over the Top”.
In recognition of nearly 50 years in sports-entertainment, Terry was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame alongside his brother in 2009 by the late Dusty Rhodes.
WWE extends its condolences to Funk’s family, friends and fans.