Long live, Terry Funk. RIP Terry Funk.

    What can you say about Funk, that hasn’t been said already?… You can’t write something new about him. It’s Terry Funk. One of the best to ever be in the ring and that is not said lightly.

    Funk, 79 last month, will be remembered as an icon in the industry with more championship reigns and awards than you can shake a Chainsaw at; including ECW World Championship, NWA World Heavyweight Championship, Feuds of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Rewards, Matches of the Year, even a WWE Tag Team Championship with Mick Foley alongside Multiple Time Hall of Famer, including a WWE Hall of Fame nod.

    Terry Funk originally made his debut in 1965, in the NWA-affiliated Texas-based promotion Western States Sports — which was, at the time, owned by his father, Dory Funk — in a singles match against the incredibly named Sputnik Taylor. His last match to date was a tag effort alongside The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express in 2017, meaning Funk has wrestled in six decades with a career lasting over 50 years.

    Even though he put on many singles classics with the likes of Ric Flair and various incarnations of Mick Foley, older fans would remember Funk for his tag team work alongside his real-life brother, Dory Funk Jr (renamed “Hoss Funk” in WWE).

    Together, the Funks would end up capturing Tag Team Championships across various NWA affiliate promotions — Texas, Hollywood, Georgia, and Florida — and winning the All-Japan Pro Wrestling tag team tournament World’s Strongest Tag Determination League a notable three times. Also, the Funk Brothers’ 1980 League match against Giant Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta was hailed as Match of the Year by the magazine Tokyo Sports.

    While he was an icon of southern wrestling — a violent scene itself — in previous decades, in the 1990s Terry Funk helped innovate the hardcore deathmatch style of wrestling that would gain popularity in the states thanks to ECW and other promotions. One of his biggest contributions to the genre was his role in IWA Japan’s King of the Deathmatch tournament, the first of its kind, where his brutal final-round match with Cactus Jack in a baseball stadium would live in infamy.

    Terry Funk has held top championships all over the place during his lengthy career, many of which were for the NWA. And not just the regional titles like the Florida Heavyweight Championship, either — in 1975, he defeated Jack Brisco to capture the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and held it for nearly a year and a half.

    The most important thing to know about Terry Funk is the most paradoxical: not only does Funk refuse to stop wrestling, but he also refuses to stop retiring. His first retirement happened in 1983, after a tag match between The Funks and the team of Stan Hansen and Terry Gordy, an effort made infamous by Terry Funk’s incredible and meme-worthy post-match speech. In the decades since, he’s wrestled too many retirement matches to count, only to quickly come out of retirement — also too many times to count…

    Well, Terry, the bell has tolled one last time sir. Happy Retirement.