Terry Funk passed away On August 23rd, 2023. Terry is survived by his daughters Brandee and Stacy and his brother Dory Funk Jr. His wife Vicki Funk passed away in 2019. A pro wrestling icon, Terry Funk was the embodiment of the evolution of professional wrestling. His multigenerational career started in 1965 and spanned over 50 years.
WORLDS HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION
Terry Funk wrestled in over 2500 matches, for over 50 years. Funk was one of the biggest names in the NWA. He and his brother are the only brothers to ever win the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship. A championship that he held for 424 days and defended nearly 200 times. After defeating Jack Brisco in Miami Beach on December 10th, 1975 Brisco would take throughout the US including stops at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis, Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, the Sporatorium in Dallas, The Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, Wrestling at the Chase in St. Louis, and points in between. His contributions to the NWA were legendary and would be inducted into the NWA HOF in 2009. Although he’d eventually be given matches for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, he’d never regain the title. He was still a draw for NWA Promoters around the World.
LIFE OUTSIDE THE NWA
Funk’s contributions to the wrestling world outside of the NWA were just as monumental. Funk became a Hollywood Actor and appeared in Road House, Over The Top, and many TV series. Funk was a legend in Japan. He and Dory were two of the first Gajain baby faces for All Japan Pro Wrestling. But it was Funk’s time competing in FMW and later IWA Japan that really changed the perception of Funk from one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time to one of the greatest death match wrestlers of all time. A style that he would introduce to Extreme Championship Wrestling. Where his involvement lent credibility to the new promotion. This second life of Funk’s would lead to him becoming a two-time ECW World Champion, a WWF Tag Team Champion with Cactus Jack, and later a three-time WCW Hardcore Champion.
Funk’s influence will be long-lasting and he will always be remembered as one of the greatest. Rest in Peace, #TerryFunkForever.