The wrestling world is grappling with losing one of its most iconic figures, WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk, who passed away on August 23, aged 79. Since his departure, the community has witnessed an outpouring of tributes. Many wrestlers, including his fellow Hall of Famers, have come forward with heartfelt stories detailing their experiences watching, training, and performing alongside this hardcore legend.
In an update from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, respected journalist Dave Meltzer disclosed that a solemn funeral service for Funk occurred in Amarillo, Texas, on September 1. The event saw a significant turnout of wrestlers assembled to remember and honour Terry Funk and support one another during this emotional time.
Funk's Silent Struggle
However, amidst the remembrances and accolades, there emerged a heartbreaking revelation. Those close to Funk revealed that the wrestling veteran had experienced "tremendous pain" during the concluding months of his life.
Having been diagnosed with dementia in 2021, Funk had been residing in an assisted living facility. As his condition deteriorated, he was moved to hospice care. By the time he celebrated his 79th birthday on June 30, it was an open secret among his inner circle that he had limited time.
Respectful of his family's wishes, the gravity of Funk's health was kept out of the limelight. Several younger wrestlers, notably Mick Foley and Tommy Dreamer, acknowledged Funk's profound influence on their careers. They particularly emphasized Funk's pivotal role in reshaping how American wrestlers are perceived in Japan.
But his power wasn't confined to Japan. Funk's illustrious career saw him clinching titles in ECW, NWA, and Championship Wrestling from Florida, among others. One of the memorable highlights of his career was his 1998 WrestleMania stint.
Under the moniker Chainsaw Charlie, he partnered with Cactus Jack (Mick Foley) to clinch victory over The New Age Outlaws, securing the WWF World Tag Team Championship. W WWE inducted Terry into its Hall of Fame in 2009, honouring his unparalleled contributions, alongside his brother, Dory Jr.