Funk in 2008.
|Birth name||Terrence Funk|
June 30, 1944 |
Hammond, Indiana, U.S.
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Chainsaw Charlie
Dr. Know it All
|Billed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Billed weight||247 lb (112 kg)|
|Billed from||The Double Cross Ranch in Amarillo, Texas|
|Trained by||Dory Funk|
Terrence "Terry" Funk (born June 30, 1944) is a semi-retired American professional wrestler and former actor, known chiefly for the hardcore wrestling style he adopted in the latter part of his career that inspired many younger wrestlers, including Mick Foley. He worked for at least 63 promotions around the world over his 50-year career, including all major American and Japanese.
In major promotions, Funk is a two-time World Champion, having held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and ECW World Heavyweight Championship once. He has been inducted into the WWE, WCW, Professional Wrestling, NWA, Hardcore, Wrestling Observer, and St. Louis Wrestling Halls of Fame.
Funk was a primary subject of the documentary film Beyond the Mat, and is often noted for the longevity of his career, which has included multiple "retirement" matches.
- 1 Professional wrestling career
- 1.1 Early career (1960s–1980s)
- 1.2 World Wrestling Federation (1985–1986)
- 1.3 Return to NWA
- 1.4 World Championship Wrestling (1994)
- 1.5 IWA King of the Death Match tournament (1995)
- 1.6 Extreme Championship Wrestling (1993–1997)
- 1.7 Return to WWF (1998)
- 1.8 Return to ECW and WCW (1998–2000)
- 1.9 Third return to WWE and part time appearances (2006–present)
- 1.10 Independent circuit (2002–present)
- 2 Other media
- 3 Personal life
- 4 In wrestling
- 5 Championships and accomplishments
- 6 Filmography
- 7 Footnotes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Professional wrestling career
Early career (1960s–1980s)
Funk started out his career in 1965, working in his father Dory Funk, Sr.'s National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) promotion in Amarillo, Texas. He and his brother, Dory Funk, Jr., quickly rose up the ranks and became big money wrestlers by the end of the decade. In 1975, Terry defeated Jack Brisco for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. He began a fourteen-month title reign which ended in Toronto when he was defeated by "Handsome" Harley Race, who won the title for the second time. Terry took some time off after his world title reign but he and his brother traveled around the country (mostly in Texas, Florida, and Detroit). Terry and Dory, Jr. also made a name for themselves in Japan. He made a name for himself with his over the top mannerisms and sometimes colorful get-ups as well as his brawling ability.
World Wrestling Federation (1985–1986)
Terry Funk made his World Wrestling Federation (WWF) debut in 1985. In his televised debut on Championship Wrestling, he not only beat Aldo Marino, but he also beat up a ring attendant named Mel Phillips who was also, at the time, one of the WWF ring announcers. Funk also had the gimmick at the time of carrying a branding iron with him to ringside and using it to "brand" his fallen opponents. In the mid-1980s, Funk teamed with Dory (calling himself "Hoss" Funk) and Jimmy Jack Funk (Jesse Barr), a storyline "brother." They were managed by Jimmy Hart. At the time, he had 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 WrestleMania 2.
Return to NWA
In 1989, Funk returned to the NWA and joined the J-Tex Corporation. He began feuding with Ric Flair, who had defeated Ricky Steamboat at WrestleWar for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Funk, who was one of three judges for the main event, challenged Flair to a title match. Flair refused, saying that Funk was "spending time in Hollywood" instead of focusing on wrestling. Funk then attacked, piledriving Flair on a ringside table. This put the champion, Flair, out of action until the Great American Bash where he faced Funk. Flair won the match by reversing a small package into one of his own, but shortly after was attacked by Gary Hart and The Great Muta. Sting came to aid Flair and the two brawled with Funk and Muta to close the show. Funk got injured but returned to continue feuding with Ric Flair. The two then had an "I Quit" match at Clash of the Champions, which Funk lost after yelling "Yes, I quit!" after Flair put on the Figure four leglock. This match received a 5-star rating from Dave Meltzer. A notable part of the feud occurred when Funk used an actual plastic shopping bag to suffocate Flair on television after Flair and Sting defeated Muta and Dick Slater at Clash of the Champions. After losing a Clash of Champions match against Flair, he shook Flair's hand, and was attacked by Gary Hart's stable. Soon after he became a color commentator and the host of his own segment Funk's Grill where a tuxedo clad Funk would amiably interview the top stars of WCW, both face and heel. This did not last long and he left soon after.
World Championship Wrestling (1994)
In 1994, Funk reappeared in World Championship Wrestling as part of Colonel Robert Parker's Stud Stable. Along with Bunkhouse Buck, Arn Anderson and Meng, the stable would focus their energies on Dusty and Dustin Rhodes, as well as The Nasty Boys, culminating in a War Games match at Fall Brawl.
IWA King of the Death Match tournament (1995)
On August 20, 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 Mick Foley (as Cactus Jack), in an exploding barbed wire ring match.
Extreme Championship Wrestling (1993–1997)
Later in Funk's career, his style changed from wrestling traditional southern style wrestling matches to the more violent style of hardcore wrestling. In 1993, after a special appearance against Tully Blanchard at World Championship Wrestling (WCW) Slamboree, Funk promised to help the fledgling Eastern Championship Wrestling (later renamed Extreme Championship Wrestling or ECW) by lending his talent and notoriety to the promotion, which had just split from the NWA. On July 16, Terry and Dory Funk lost a barbed wire match against The Public Enemy. Funk maintained a regular schedule of wrestling for ECW in its early days while also competing in Japan. He had many feuds and wrestled programs with wrestlers such as Cactus Jack, "The Franchise" Shane Douglas, The Sandman, Sabu, and Terry's own protege, Tommy Dreamer.
Funk further elevated ECW by headlining their first pay-per-view, Barely Legal on April 13, 1997, winning the ECW Championship from Raven. Earlier in the night, he defeated The Sandman and Stevie Richards in a Triple Threat match, thus earning him the match with Raven. He was later defeated for the title by Sabu in a barbed wire match at Born to Be Wired, in which the ropes of the ring were taken down and replaced with barbed wire. Both men had to be cut out of the wires at the end of the match. Sabu had his biceps visibly torn open by the barbed wire - as a result, the wound was taped up and the match continued. In September of that same year, a show was held in Funk's hometown of Amarillo. It was called "WrestleFest - 50 Years of Funk" and was both his own show and a celebration of the careers of Terry, his father, and his brother. Terry lost to then WWF World Heavyweight Champion Bret Hart in the main event, a non-title match. However, before the match, ECW owner Paul Heyman presented Terry with a belt, paid for through a collection taken up by wrestlers on the ECW roster, that declared him the Lifetime ECW World Heavyweight Champion.
Return to WWF (1998)
Funk's retirement lasted just three months before he started taking independent bookings again. Soon after, he was signed by the WWF and debuted as Chainsaw Charlie, a character loosely based on Leatherface. Funk had a match with Foley on Raw, and the New Age Outlaws came and threw both men in a dumpster, and pushed them off of the stage. This led to a match between The Outlaws and Funk/Foley at WrestleMania XIV, for the WWF Tag Team Championship in a Dumpster match when Funk and Foley beat the New Age Outlaws. The next night The Tag Team Titles , were put on the line in a Steel Cage match unfortunately the wrong dumpsters had been used in the match and The Outlaws regained the title. He then had a Falls Count Anywhere match with Cactus Jack on Raw in 1998, where Jack defeated him. He left the WWF in the summer as Foley resumed his solo career as Mankind in a feud with The Undertaker. Upon leaving the WWF, Funk officially retired again, but only for a short time. His last match in the WWF at that time was in a tag team match at Fully Loaded, where he teamed up with Bradshaw to go against Scorpio and Faarooq.
Return to ECW and WCW (1998–2000)
At ECW November to Remember, Funk was believed to have been a mystery partner against Justin Credible and Jack Victory. However, the mystery partner turned out to be Jake Roberts. An enraged Funk attacked Dreamer at every opportunity in late 1998 and early 1999. Funk, however, came down ill before they could have a match, and Funk "retired" yet again in mid-1999.
Funk wrestled for World Championship Wrestling in 2000, winning the WCW Hardcore Championship three times (which stands as the company's record) and the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship for the second time (the first time was under the NWA banner). He was also the WCW Commissioner at one time and the leader of the short-lived Old Age Outlaws that feuded with the nWo.
Third return to WWE and part time appearances (2006–present)
Funk was set to wrestle at the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view on June 11, 2006. As part of the buildup to the event, Funk appeared on the May 15 episode of Raw, where he confronted Mick Foley over the attack of Tommy Dreamer the previous week. At One Night Stand, Funk, Tommy Dreamer, and Beulah McGillicutty were defeated by the team of Foley, Edge and Lita. Midway through the match, Foley injured Funk's left eye with barbed wire, and Funk was taken backstage. He later returned to the match (with a bloody cloth tied over his eye) to hit Foley with a flaming 2x4 wrapped in barbed wire.
Independent circuit (2002–present)
From 2002 to 2004, Funk was a regular top star for Ring of Honor wrestling and Major League Wrestling (MLW) company based out of New York and Florida. Funk had several battles with the likes of CM Punk, the Extreme Horsemen (Steve Corino, C.W. Anderson, Justin Credible and Simon Diamond) in specialty matches such as an Exploding Barbed Wire Death match, Barbed Wire match, and a 5 on 5 WarGames match. On the last MLW show, Funk was attacked by his former manager Gary Hart and his syndicate. In November 2004, Funk competed in the UK wrestling company FWA's main annual show British Uprising. He teamed with Paul Burchill and Paul Travell to face The Triad in a 6-Man Tag Team match. Funk's team emerged victorious in front of a crowd of 2,000 people in the Coventry Skydome.
In 2005, Funk was offered a contract by World Wrestling Entertainment to appear at the ECW reunion show One Night Stand, but turned it down in favor of working the ECW nostalgia show Hardcore Homecoming that was being put together by Shane Douglas. At Hardcore Homecoming, Funk lost a three-way barbed wire match to Sabu.
After the one-off appearance at ECW One Night Stand, Funk then returned to the independent circuit and made appearances in Japan. He claimed to be semi-retired after wrestling in his last match in September 2006 against Jerry "The King" Lawler in an Extreme Rules match at The Great Plains Coliseum in Lawton, Oklahoma for the promotion Impact Zone Wrestling. Funk was also the special guest referee during the Raven and Johnny Webb vs. Khan Kussion and Homeless Jimmy match at "Cold Day in Hell" on May 24.
On May 23, 2009, Funk made an unannounced appearance at a house show for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. At the show, Terry joined longtime friend, Mick Foley, as special guest enforcers for a match between Scott Steiner and Samoa Joe. On August 8, Terry made a surprise appearance for Insane Clown Posse's Juggalo Championship Wrestling at the 10th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos. He served as special guest referee for a match between Viscera and 2 Tuff Tony.
Funk also appeared at the annual NJPW January 4 Dome Show in 2010, teaming with Manabu Nakanishi, Masahiro Chono and Riki Choshu to defeat Abdullah the Butcher, Takashi Iizuka, Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano.
Funk was scheduled to be the special guest referee in a match between Kevin Nash and Hannibal for a Great North Wrestling event in May 2010. During the press conference to announce his involvement, an altercation involving Funk and Hannibal damaged and possibly broke his eardrum. On September 11, 2010, at Ring of Honor's Glory By Honor IX, Funk worked as the ringside enforcer for the ROH World Championship match between Tyler Black and Roderick Strong.
Funk appeared at the fifth WrestleReunion event at the LAX Hilton in Los Angeles, California from January 28 to 30, 2011. On the second day of the event, he competed in a Legends Battle Royale on the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla show. He lasted until the end where he was eliminated by Roddy Piper.
On July 23, 2005, 67-year old Funk seemed to capture the JCW Heavyweight Championship by defeating Monty Brown. However the pin-fall was not counted by a referee, but by the wrestler Jay Freddie. Funk first thought he had won the championship until JCW management informed him differently.
Funk wrestled Jerry Lawler unsuccessfully in a "No holds barred" for Northeast Wrestling on October 1, 2011.
On October 15, 2011, Funk unsuccessfully faced his long-time friend and protégé Tommy Dreamer at the AWE "Night Of Legends" event. In a shoot interview conducted the next day featuring himself and Dreamer, Funk stated that he believed that would be his last match.
On January 12, 2013, Funk stated that he was officially retired from professional wrestling at age 68, however, it would seem that Funk is once again out of retirement.
On October 27, 2013, Funk returned to All Japan Pro Wrestling, teaming with Dory in a tag team match, where they wrestled Masanobu Fuchi and Osamu Nishimura to a twenty-minute time limit draw. On November 9, 2013, Funk appeared at House of Hardcore 3 as Tommy Dreamer's tag team partner. They defeated Sean Waltman and Lance Storm and the match was promoted as the last time Dreamer and Funk wrestle together. On December 11, 2014, Funk returned to Japan for a Tokyo Gurentai independent event, which saw him, Masakatsu Funaki and Mil Máscaras defeat Kaz Hayashi, Nosawa Rongai and Yoshiaki Fujiwara in a six-man tag team main event.
In 1999, Funk was featured in director Barry Blaustein's wrestling documentary, Beyond the Mat. His legendary toughness was attested to in the wrestling documentary when cameramen followed him to a medical appointment where he was told, by the doctor, that he should not even be able to walk without intense pain. He has also appeared in other movies such as Road House, Paradise Alley, The Ringer, and Over the Top. He released an autobiography, Terry Funk: More Than Just Hardcore, in 2005. On May 11, 2010, Funk appeared on "Right After Wrestling" with Arda Ocal on SIRIUS Satellite Radio to discuss his possible retirement, to which he replied "I never really truly will retire". This was also the interview with the infamous quote, "I dislike Vince (McMahon). I'm jealous of Vince."
In 1985, Terry Funk appeared in the short-lived western "Wildside". Only six episodes were aired.
Terry Funk also had a short lived career in music. The release of the album "Great Texan" in 1984 which was a soft rock AOR oriented album. The album was met with mixed reviews and generally considered a "cult classic" by fans.
Funk married wife Vicki Ann Weaver on August 14, 1965. Their first of two daughters, Stacy, was born on September 10, 1967, followed by Brandee on September 30, 1971. His younger daughter Brandee was married on August 14, 1993 to Larry Paul Backus. They later divorced, with Brandee remarrying Jason M. Dungan (born 1975). Funk's older daughter Stacy was married on June 23, 1997 to Kelly Don Clenney (born 1969). Their wedding was featured briefly on Barry Blaustein's wrestling documentary, Beyond the Mat.
- Signature moves
- Entrance themes
- "Spinning Toe-Hold" by Creation (Japan)
- "Man With a Harmonica" by Ennio Morricone (NWA / ECW / WCW)
- "Fanfare for the Common Man" by Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Japan / ECW)
- "Desperado" by The Eagles (ECW)
- "Armed & Rambunctious" by Jim Johnston (WWF)
- "Hardcore" by Jim Johnston (WWF)
- "Trash Metal" by Jim Johnston (WWF)
- "Fistful (Instrumental Version)" by Cypress Hill (WCW)
- "Like Tejas" by Dale Oliver (TNA)
- "Road To Texas" by Jim Johnston (WWE)
Championships and accomplishments
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- 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
- George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Class of 2010
- Georgia Championship Wrestling
- Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling / World Championship Wrestling
- NWA Hollywood Wrestling
- 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 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 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1991
- PWI ranked him #22 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003
- PWI ranked him #9 of the top 100 tag teams of the "PWI Years" with Dory Funk, Jr. in 2003
- Southwest Championship Wrestling
- St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Class of 2010
- Tokyo Sports
- World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- Paradise Alley (1978, also stunt coordinator)
- Over the Top (1987)
- Timestalkers (1987)
- Road House (1989)
- Mom, Can I Keep Her? (1998)
- Active Stealth (1999)
- Beyond the Mat (1999)
- Friday Night Lights (2004) (Uncredited role)
- The Ringer (2005)
- Holyman Undercover (2010)
- Marriage Retreat (2011)
- Guido (2011)
- Dark Star Hollow (2012)
- Music Discography
- Great Texan (1984)
- "Terry Funk Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
- "The Funks's WWE Hall of Fame Profile". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
- Engler, Craig. "Wrestlers Results Archive: Terry Funk". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
- Beyond the Mat, Barry Blaustein's movie about professional wrestling, 1999
- Powell, John. "WrestleMania 2: Caged Heat". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
- "Stud Stable". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-09-08.
- Powell, John (March 30, 1998). "Austin wins WWF World Title at WrestleMania". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
- Powell, John (July 27, 1998). "Austin and Taker win tag team gold". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
- Elliott, Brian (June 12, 2006). "ECW resurrected at PPV". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
- IZW September Slam Sep. 16th, 2006
- "News". Xtreme Pro Wrestling. May 23, 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
- "NJPW Wrestle Kingdom IV in Tokyo Dome". Internet Wrestling Database. Jan 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
- "Various News: Maria On Celebrity Apprentice Update, Terry Funk Suffers Broken Eardrum, Kurt Angle". 411mania.com. May 17, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- Caldwell, James; Radican, Sean (2010-09-11). "9/11 ROH internet PPV live results: Caldwell & Radican's coverage of "Glory by Honor IX" - ROH Title match, Haas & Benjamin debut". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- "Pro Wrestling Guerrilla - Kurt RussellReunion 2: The Reunioning Results".
- "JCW HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP". JCW fan cast. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
- "Terry Funk Officially Retires". Retrieved 2013-01-12.
- "Anniversary Tour". All Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "東京愚連隊興行12.11後楽園大会 マスカラス＆テリーと船木が合体し、論外＆藤原＆カズと対戦". Battle News (in Japanese). 2014-12-11. Retrieved 2014-12-11.
- Fin Martin and Antohy Evans (August 2003). "Know their Roles". Power Slam Magazine (Lancaster, Lancashire, England: SW Publishing Ltd). pp. 26–31. 109.
- Texas Births, 1926-1995
- Texas Births, 1926-1995
- Taxas Marriages
- Texas Marriages
- "The FUNKS Vs. Harley Race & Dick Slater". All Japan Pro Wrestling. 1983.
- "Jimmy Hart profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- Matt Mackinder (January 17, 2008). "Sir Oliver Humperdink recalls career of yesteryear". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- Furious, Arnold (2007-07-03). "The Furious Flashbacks – Hardcore Homecoming November Reign". Retrieved 2009-02-22.
- "Mick Foley, Terry Funk headline pro hall of fame class at Gable Museum". The Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Award Winners Inspirational Wrestler of the Year". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
- "PWI 500 1991". The Turnbuckle Post. Retrieved 2012-08-28.
- "PWI 500 of the PWI Years". Willy Wrestlefest. Retrieved 2012-08-28.
- "Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame (1948-1990)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- 東京スポーツ プロレス大賞. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-01-20.
- 東京スポーツ プロレス大賞. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-01-20.
- Csonka, Larry (2009-06-09). "NWA Class of 2009". Retrieved 2009-02-22.
- Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Profile
- WWE Hall of Fame Profile
- NWA Hall of Fame Inductees
- Terry Funk at Cagematch.net