Terry Funk is a second generation star. His father was the legendary Dory Funk Sr., and
his brother, Dory Funk Jr., was also an accomplished wrestler. Both Terry and Dory Jr. were
NWA World Champions, and their father nearly captured the title on several occasions.
During his title reign, Terry was known for having the most 60-minute draws, wrestling to the
limit all over the world. Funk battled a number of top stars during their prime.
Of all of his attributes to the sport, Terry Funk is known throughout the world for his
“hardcore” style in the ring. Not so much of a style, but a way of life. Funk has wrestled that
way his entire career, always willing to take the huge bumps. On the other hand, he was as
scientific as they came. Funk earned the respect from both his peers and his fans. Only the
true followers know Terry’s past. They understand his heart for the game. Terry has
wrestled on cards in every major promotion in America and overseas. Funk has also shined
on the silver screen, both the big and the small.
Terry made his professional debut under the guidance of his father and older brother in
December 1965 at Amarillo, the family’s home city. Dory Funk Sr. was a legend in Texas
already. Dory Jr. was, at the time, building his experience and Terry was the newcomer. He
traveled throughout Texas and ventured out into the waiting NWA. Funk took his youth to
Japan as well. On December 7, 1971 in Sapporo, Japan, Terry and Dory Jr. defeated Shohei
Baba and Antonio Inoki, two legendary Japanese Wrestlers, to win the NWA International Tag
Team Championship. Terry teamed with his father on December 18, 1972 in New York’s
Madison Square Garden. 20,906 fans were in attendance and saw Victor Rivera and El
Olympico win from Terry and Dory Sr.
Funk wrestled Jack Brisco for the NWA World Title on December 13, 1973 in Amarillo at the
Sports Arena. The two went to a 60-minute draw with the final moments almost seeing a
submission victory for Funk. He had reversed a figure-four and was pouring it on when the
bell rang. Brisco had to be carried out. On Tuesday, December 25, 1973, Terry and Dory
Funk Jr. wrestled Killer Karl Kox and Kung Fu Lee to a no contest when the referee stopped
the bout. The brothers retained their NWA International Tag Team Title.
In a match for the NWA Southern Title on April 16, 1975, The Mongolian Stomper defeated
Funk in Miami Beach in front of 2,630 fans. In a one-fall match to a finish, Terry pinned
Harley Race on May 14, 1975 in Miami. In Miami, two-weeks later, Funk wrestled Harley
again in a “Lights Out” Match with Bob Roop handcuffed to the ring post. The May 28th bout
ended with another victory for Terry. He began to rack up belts all over the National
Wrestling Alliance. Funk won the NWA International Title. He also took the vacant NWA U.S.
Heavyweight Title with a tournament win over Paul Jones in Greensboro on November 9,
1975. Later in the month, Funk lost both the U.S. Title to Jones in the Mid-Atlantic Region
and the International Title at Amarillo. The biggest moment of Funk’s wrestling career was
about to take place, unbeknown to many fans. He went to Miami and substituted for his
brother, Dory, in a match against the NWA World Champion, Jack Brisco on December 20,
1975. He beat Brisco and captured the championship. Terry Funk had become the NWA
World Heavyweight Champion, the most prestigious wrestling honor on planet Earth.
At this period in the National Wrestling Alliance, 1975-’76, Terry was looking at a crop of
challengers all across the United States. Dusty Rhodes, Jerry Lawler, Bobo Brazil, Mr.
Wrestling II, Paul Jones, Jose Lothario, The Sheik in the North, Harley Race, Shohei Baba
overseas in Japan, and a host of others. Paul Jones wrestled Funk to a draw in Columbia,
South Carolina on February 3, 1976, 60-minutes at the Carolina Coliseum. Another
challenge was coming from the young Chavo Guerrero in early 1976.
Terry appeared in Toronto on February 6, 1977 at the Gardens for a defense against Harley
Race. He dropped the NWA World Title after submitting to the Indian Deathlock. He began
to appear more and more often in Japan. Funk teamed with his brother to win a tag team
tournament in December 1977. They beat out Shohei Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta. The Funks
were two of the toughest competitors on the All-Japan scene, never letting up whether it was
two-on-two, or one-on-one. Japanese Fans knew that whether it was Dory or Terry in the
ring, they were going to get their money’s worth.
Sylvester Stallone, known for his performance in “Rocky,” wrote and directed a 1978 film
entitled “Paradise Alley.” Funk was the special wrestling choreographer for the movie, as well
as playing the part of “Frankie the Thumper.” Also in the film were his brother Dory, Gene
Kiniski, Dick Murdoch and a host of other grapplers from the Amarillo region. Also in ’78,
Funk appeared on the Mike Douglas Show. Terry teamed with Dory to win the 1982 tag team
tournament from Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen and Baba and Tsuruta. He retired from the
ring in 1983, but it was short lived.
In the early months of 1985, Terry appeared on the ABC television series, Wildside, playing
the part of Prometheus Jones, a veterinarian. He also joined the WWF in 1985 with Dory
Funk, who would be known as Hoss. He received a World Title Shot against Hulk Hogan on
January 4, 1986 in Tampa. The site of the match was the same place Funk had found Hogan
years earlier. It was only fitting that Hogan wrestled Terry that night on an edition of Saturday
Night’s Main Event. Hogan beat Funk. He teamed with brother Dory in Chicago on April 7,
1986 during WrestleMania II. They beat Junkyard Dog and Tito Santana in 13:00 with
assistance from Jimmy Hart. He pinned JYD. Junkyard teamed with Hulk Hogan on May 3rd
in Providence against Terry and Hoss on Saturday Night’s Main Event. Hogan and JYD were
Funk made it to the finals of the vacant WWC Universal Heavyweight Title Tournament in
San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 21, 1986, but lost to regional favorite, Carlos Colon.
On February 2, 1989, Terry teamed with Dory to beat Doug Somers and Gary Young at the
International Bash in Kansas City. Several All-Japan wrestlers attended the event, with a
major Japanese tag title changing hands. He went to Florida and continued his feud with
Dusty Rhodes. In one scene, Dallas Page gave Rhodes a box with Funk inside. Needless to
say, Rhodes did not appreciate it.
Funk appeared at the Music City Showdown, sponsored by the NWA, on May 7, 1989 in
Nashville. He performed commentary for the main event, a World Title Match between
“Nature Boy” Ric Flair and Rick Steamboat. Flair regained the championship he lost several
months before and afterwards, Funk attacked the new titleholder. He piledrove Flair through
a ringside table, putting him out of action until July. He faced Rick Steamboat at Clash of the
Champions VII in Fayetteville and lost by disqualification. On July 23rd, Funk received a
World title shot at the Great American Bash. Flair pinned Terry. Funk teamed with The
Great Muta and lost a “Thunderdome” electric cage match to Ric Flair and Sting on October
28th at Halloween Havoc.
At Clash of the Champions IX in Troy, New York on November 15, 1989, Funk lost an “I Quit
Match” Flair. Funk shook the champ’s hand afterwards, showing a great deal of
sportsmanship. Angry with the loss, manager Gary Hart attacked Funk, and Flair quickly
made the save. In the moments afterwards, a huge brawl ensued in the ring. Left were Flair,
Sting and Funk, all downed by Lex Luger and Hart’s crew. Terry announced his retirement
shortly afterwards and became part of the NWA Commentary Crew.
On November 5, 1990 in Memphis, Funk beat a longtime rival Jerry Lawler for the USWA
Unified World Title. Overseas, he teamed with his brother Dory Jr. in Okayama, Japan
against Johnny Ace and Kenta Kobashi on November 22nd. Terry pinned Ace. Eight days
later, the brothers battled two “Giant’s,” Shohei Baba and Andre the Giant in Obihiro. The
teams wrestled to a double countout in the main event. He lost the USWA Title back to
Lawler on March 11, 1991 in Memphis. Jackie Fargo was the special referee of the bout.
Funk returned to Japan to team with Dory again on April 9th in Tokyo against Dan Kroffat
and Doug Furnas. He suffered serious injuries when he fell from the ring, including nerve,
bone and muscle damage to his lower back. Many thought Terry Funk was done and finally
retired for good. They were all wrong. He returned to television for a May 8, 1991 episode of
Quantum Leap with Jay York. The episode was entitled “Heart of a Champion – July 23,
Funk lost a special chain match to Eddie Gilbert on June 19, 1993 in Philadelphia on an
ECW Card there. He was under the direction of Jim Cornette in Smoky Mountain in
September 1993. Funk pinned SMW Commissioner, Bob Armstrong on September 12th in
Knoxville with the help of Cornette changing the balance of power in the federation. With that
win, Cornette became commissioner. He appeared in Philadelphia at the ECW Arena on
September 18th, and teamed with Stan Hansen. The two defeated Kevin Sullivan and
Abdullah the Butcher by disqualification when Eddie Gilbert and The Dark Patriot interfered.
Funk faced ECW TV Champion, Jimmy Snuka on the first card of NWA Bloodfest ‘93 on
October 1st in Philadelphia. Funk defeated Snuka in a cage match to capture the title.
On the second card, the next day, Funk made his presence felt in several of the matches,
but he did not wrestle. On October 28th, Funk beat Eddie Gilbert on a benefit card in
Amarillo. Also appearing at the Civic Center was Dory Jr., Dick Murdoch, Tito Santana, and
Ted DiBiase. DiBiase defeated Funk by countout after 17:00 at the National Wrestling
Alliance “Bensalem Bash” in Pennsylvania on October 30th. He was pinned by Sabu during a
tag team match on November 13th in Philadelphia and lost the TV Title in the process. Funk
teamed with King Kong Bundy against Sabu and Road Warrior Hawk.
In a special no-disqualification match at Holiday Hell 1993 in Philadelphia on December 26th,
Funk beat Sabu to capture the NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Title. He
successfully defended his ECW Title against Shane Douglas in a taped fist match on March
5, 1994 in Philadelphia. Funk dropped the belt to Douglas later in the month after he was
pinned in a special eight-man tag team cage match. The match occurred on March 26th in
Devon at the Valley Forge Music Fair. He lost to Sabu by pinfall on April 16th in
Philadelphia. Funk teamed with Arn Anderson on May 14th before an estimated 1,000 at the
ECW Arena against Bobby Eaton and Sabu. Men from different territories had converged on
Philadelphia to compete. Funk and his partner lost after Sabu forced the former NWA
Champ to submit in 19:35. He battled Cactus Jack on August 13, 1994 at the ECW Arena in
Philadelphia. There was no winner except maybe the fans who participated in the end as
they tossed their chairs into the ring.
Funk teamed with Bunkhouse Buck of Bucksnort, Tennessee on August 24th in Cedar
Rapids during WCW’s Clash of the Champions against Dustin and Dusty Rhodes. They were
accompanied by Colonel Parker and Meng, but it was Arn Anderson who stopped a pin
attempt by the Rhodes’. The father and son duo won by disqualification. Parker’s Stable
rushed both Dusty and Dustin, leaving them both unable to defend themselves. Funk
participated in War Games at Fall Brawl on September 18th in Roanoke. Funk, Buck,
Anderson and Parker met and lost to Dusty and Dustin Rhodes and the Nasty Boys. He
joined the festivities at position five, giving his team the advantage over Dustin and Jerry
Saggs. At one point during the match, Funk fell in-between the two rings and nearly
disappeared from the human eye. Upon his return, he attempted to bring a weapon with him
in clear Funk-fashion. Col. Parker was forced to submit to a Dusty Rhodes figure-four
leglock. He appeared at Halloween Havoc in Detroit and teamed with Buck against the Nasty
Boys. Funk was pinned by Knobbs before the estimated 14,000 in attendance at the Joe
He returned to ECW in 1995. Funk teamed with The Sandman on March 18th in
Philadelphia to beat Shane Douglas and Cactus Jack. He pinned the latter to win. WCW
inducted Terry Funk into it’s Hall of Fame on May 21, 1995 in St. Petersburg. The honor did
not mean he was going to retire. Funk’s clothing caught on fire during the October 28th
show at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia while in a war with Cactus Jack. Fans began to go
wild after the burning towel Jack tossed onto him went into the audience.
Funk participated in the WWF’s Annual Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View on January 19, 1997 in
San Antonio. He brawled with Mankind, known as Cactus Jack in other circles, and distracted
the referees long enough to effect the outcome of the match. He appeared on two
consecutive IWA Cards in Louisville on the 12th and 13th of March 1997. On the first card,
Funk pinned Tracey Smothers in the main event. The second card was the IWA Eddie
Gilbert Memorial show. Both Terry and Dory Jr. wrestled. Terry lost to Eddie’s brother, Doug
in a Texas chain massacre match. He teamed with Pit Bull II on March 22nd in Revere, MA at
the Wonderland Greyhound Park. Funk and his partner won over former ECW World
Champions, Shane Douglas and Raven.
Funk appeared on the April 13th Barely Legal pay-per-view in Philadelphia and participated
in a three-way dance with the winner receiving a World Title match later in the evening. The
Sandman and Stevie Richards were his opponents in the contest. Richards was beaten first
with a double power bomb by Funk and Sandman. Then two of ECW’s vets faced off alone.
The two fought as everyone thought they would, but when Richards returned to the ring
apron and interjected a “Stevie” kick to Sandman’s jaw, Funk got the pin. The match was
his. A bloody Funk was easy prey for Raven, who capitalized early. Tommy Dreamer, who
was doing commentary for the match, entered the action and DDT’d the champion, rolled
Funk onto Raven and watched a three count. Funk had regained the ECW World Title.
Reggie Bennett had also attacked Funk during the match, much to the liking of Raven.
Nevertheless, there was a 53-year old new champion.
He returned to Philadelphia a month later for a huge defense of his newly won belt. On May
10th at the Arena, Funk met Raven, Richards and Sandman in a four-corners match. Funk
retained after getting a pin on Richards. He later lost the ECW Title to Sabu in a bloody
barbed wire match on August 9, 1997 at the Philadelphia ECW Arena. Funk went south on
95 to Fort Lauderdale. On August 17th at the War Memorial Auditorium, Funk made an
attempt to regain the title during ECW’s Hardcore Heaven pay-per-view show. Sabu was
defending against Funk and Shane Douglas in a three-way dance. Douglas topped both
others and won the belt.
Many thought Funk was on his way towards retiring when a match billed as his last in
Amarillo was held at the Maxor Pharmacy Coliseum on September 11th. Funk faced WWF
World Heavyweight Champion, Bret Hart in a non-title match. Hart got the win over Funk in a
classic match-up. Also on the card, the ECW World Title was defended by Shane Douglas
against Tommy Dreamer and Dory Funk Jr. beat Rob Van Dam. Funk returned to the WWF
and was known as “Chainsaw Charlie.” He formed a tag team with Cactus Jack. The duo
beat Jesse James Armstrong and Billy Gunn on March 29, 1998 at WrestleMania in Boston to
capture the WWF World Tag Team Title. It was his first WWF Title. The match was a special
“dumpster” match. They lost the belts the next night on Monday Night Raw, back to James
and Gunn, in a cage match.
A week later, Cactus Jack announced that he was leaving the ring for awhile, tearing a neck
brace from his neck and leaving to the cheers of the crowd. Jack returned to the name,
“Dude Love,” and Terry announced “Flash Funk,” 2 Cold Scorpio as his new partner. Funk
and Scorpio made it to the finals of a tag team royal rumble on Raw Is War in San Antonio
against Mankind and Kane on June 15, 1998. Terry was eliminated.
Funk returned to World Championship Wrestling in 1999 and became the commissioner. At
Souled Out in January 2000, Funk lost to Kevin Nash in Cincinnati and lost his place as
commish. He formed a union with Dustin Rhodes in February 2000. Funk lost to Ric Flair on
February 20th in San Francisco. He was turned against by Rhodes the next night on Nitro.
Rhodes spoke up on the following Thunder and blasted Funk. It was more then a challenge,
Dustin was trying to break him. Funk was more then ready and willing for a fight. The two
conversed about Dusty and both family’s legacies. He lost to Rhodes in a match at
Uncensored in Miami.
On April 10th, WCW changed forever. There was a new regime and every champion was
stripped of their title. Funk battled Norman Smiley for the vacant WCW World Hardcore Title
on April 16th at the United Center in Chicago. He became the only person not affiliated with
the “New Blood” to capture a belt. He pinned Smiley. Funk became the target of Vince
Russo and Eric Bischoff. He lost the Hardcore Title on June 5th in Atlanta, to Bischoff, a non-
wrestler, but was unable to regain the belt from Big Vito, one-half of the Mamalukes, on June
12th in Richmond. After the bout, Funk shook Vito’s hand and after turning his back, got a
belt to the head. Funk began to train Johnny the Bull for the latter’s match against Vito. On
July 3rd, Terry wrestled the Bull on Nitro. He lost the match to his protégé but Johnny was
severely injured in the contest. The Bull was hospitalized after the show.
Funk captured the WCW United States Heavyweight Title in his hometown of Amarillo on
September 22, 2000 from Lance Storm, who had been claiming the title was known as the
“Canadian Heavyweight Title.” Funk dropped the belt back to Storm the following night in
Lubbock. After the match, he fell out of action. He appeared on the December 12th edition
of Nitro dressed as Santa Claus. Funk interfered in a hardcore match between Ernest Miller
and Meng. He laid out both competitors, along with Paisley, Kwee Wee and the World
Hardcore Champion, Crowbar. He challenged the champ for a match at Starrcade on
Sunday. Crowbar agreed. Funk landed a needed piledriver onto a car hood against
Crowbar at the MCI Center to capture the Hardcore Title on December 18th in Washington
During the Sin pay-per-view on January 14, 2001, Meng beat Funk and Crowbar in a three-
way match for the title. In March 2001, WCW was sold to World Wrestling Federation
Entertainment, Inc. ECW had also gone down to bankruptcy. All told, professional wrestling
in the United States had dramatically changed over a several month period.
In 1999, a film entitled “Beyond the Mat” directed by Barry W. Blaustein documented the
hardships of professional wrestling. Terry Funk was prominently featured. The film received
Terry Funk is a legendary professional wrestler. He is, by definition, hardcore. No one else
in this generation compares.
-A multiple-time NWA Western States Heavyweight Champion
-A multiple-time co-holder of the NWA International Tag Team Title
w/ Dory Funk Jr. (1971) defeated Shohei Baba and Antonio Inoki
-NWA Missouri State Heavyweight Title (1973) defeated Johnny Valentine
-NWA United States Heavyweight Title (1975) defeated Paul Jones, tournament final
-NWA World Heavyweight Title (1975-’77) defeated Jack Brisco
-A two-time co-holder of the WWC World Tag Team Title
w/ Dory Funk Jr. (1979) defeated The Invaders
w/ Dory Funk Jr. (1979-’82) defeated The Invaders
-A three-time winner of the annual AJPW Real World Tag Team Tournament
w/ Dory Funk Jr. (1977)
w/ Dory Funk Jr. (1979)
w/ Dory Funk Jr. (1982)
-NWA Florida Heavyweight Title (1979) defeated Steve Keirn, tournament final
-USWA Unified World Heavyweight Title (1990-’91) defeated Jerry Lawler
-A two-time ECW World Heavyweight Champion
-Defeated Sabu (1993)
-Defeated Raven (1997)
-ECW Television Title (1993) defeated Jimmy Snuka
-Co-holder of the WWF World Tag Team Title (1998) w/ Cactus Jack
-A two-time WCW World Hardcore Champion
-Defeated Norman Smiley (2000)
-Defeated Crowbar (2000)
-WCW United States Heavyweight Title (2000) defeated Lance Storm
-Title of “Hardcore Legend”
Research by Tim Hornbaker
|Terry Funk Wrestling History
|PPV Ring Record TV Ring Record Career Record
Legends of Pro Wrestling