A man whose career lasted longer than even Ric Flair finally retired from professional wrestling in 2009, leaving a impact on the industry that few other legends can claim.
Terry Funk was a legend who wanted to prepare the next generation, not hold onto his top "spot" like so many other legends.
Funk started his career in the 1960s learning the trade under his father; Dory Funk. Along with his brother, Dory Funk Jr., Terry spent the first 10 to 15 years of his career doing battle in the National Wrestling Alliance.
In 1975, he even won the NWA World Championship from Jack Brisco, holding onto the title for over a year.
Funk lived up to his title "The Hardcore Legend" by being a part of the earliest barbed wire match in wrestling history in the 1970s. In the 1980s, Terry continued to dominate in the ring, wrestling in Texas, Florida, as well as with his brother Dory Jr. in Japan.
After a brief stint in the WWF, Funk went to the NWA's former territory Extreme Championship Wrestling, which was being led by Paul Heyman.
During his time in ECW, Funk changed his in ring style from the traditional style to a more hardcore style of wrestling.
During his time in ECW, Funk did what few other established wrestling stars did at the time; he helped put other up-and-coming stars over, taking joy in developing new stars.
Funk "retired" from wrestling and left ECW in 1997 after a four-year run with the company, holding the ECW Championship twice along with the Television title. After just a few short months, Terry Funk returned to wrestling and was signed by the WWF.
Funk wrestled under the name Chainsaw Charlie and formed a tag team with Mick Foley. However, after a few months Foley resumed his solo career and Funk went back into "retirement."
In the next half decade, Funk appeared in ECW, WCW, and spent some time in Ring Of Honor. In 2006 Terry Funk returned to the WWE to wrestle at ECW: One Night Stand with Tommy Dreamer and Beulah McGillicutty, losing to Edge, Foley, and Lita.
Since then, Funk has been taking independent bookings. In 2009, though, he finally got some recognition when he and his brother, Dory Funk Jr., where inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Dusty Rhodes.
Terry Funk deserves much more respect than wrestlers such as Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Randy Savage.
Funk knew when his time was over and spent the last 20 years of his career helping develop new stars. He knew the wrestling business would go on without him and he wanted to prepare the next generation of wrestlers.
While Hogan, Flair, Savage, and other veterans spent their time holding down up-and- coming stars, Terry Funk was helping make the careers of new guys. That is what makes Funk a true legend in my opinion.
He wrestled in the NWA, WCW, ECW, WWE, and ROH during his over 40-year career.
Terry Funk should be one of the most respected men to ever step foot in a wrestling ring.
Not Hogan, and not Flair, but Terry Funk.
He cares more about wrestling then keeping his wallet full like some other so-called "legends" do.
Terry Funk has sweat, bled, and breathed wrestling for nearly 45 years, and for that he will always be the greatest legend of wrestling in my mind. He was one of few who actually cared about the wrestling business and its future.
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