As a revered figure in the world of professional wrestling, Rob Van Dam (RVD) shares a special memory that stands out when he thinks of the legendary Terry Funk, who sadly passed away at the age of 79 last week. A veteran of the Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) scene during the late '90s, RVD had the privilege of crossing paths with Funk, particularly during the time when Funk clinched the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.
During a recent edition of "1 Of A Kind," RVD reminisced about a memorable encounter he had with Funk. Recalling their visit to Amarillo for Funk's retirement match, which was famously documented in the film "Beyond the Mat," RVD expressed his enthusiasm about the visit to Funk's farm.
"We all got to go out and visit his farm, which was really cool, good experience. Pretty private, going to the dude's house, but besides that, I don't have much that comes to mind other than RIP, Hardcore legend," RVD shared.
Terry Funk Global Impact and Unrecognized Legacy
When the conversation shifted towards Funk's lasting legacy in the wrestling industry, RVD offered his insightful perspective. He acknowledged that while Funk's impact on the global wrestling stage was profound, he might not have received the recognition he truly deserved from American wrestling enthusiasts.
RVD touched upon the notion that Funk's contributions often extended beyond the awareness of mainstream American fans, making him less recognizable to them. "Personally, I feel like, overall, his contributions to the industry were huge, but a lot of it wasn't to the American crowd," RVD explained.
He acknowledged that although some fans might recall Funk's tenure in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) alongside his brother Dory, where they briefly adopted the personas of Jimmy Jack Funk, his broader influence might not have been fully appreciated by those who didn't delve into Japanese wrestling or ECW.
RVD emphasized the significance of these lesser-known aspects of Funk's career that contributed to his legendary status in the wrestling world. In reflecting on Funk's undeniable impact, RVD summarized, "But overall, obviously, as big of a legend as can be." As the wrestling community mourns the loss of Terry Funk, Rob Van Dam's words serve as a poignant reminder of the profound influence Funk had on the industry, leaving a legacy that transcends borders and time.