Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of the ”Greatest Wrestler’s of Yesterday”. Last week I discussed some of the most noticeable moments from Greg ”The Hammer” Valentine and ”Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff throughout their legendary carear’s. This week I will be blogging about two different wrestlers. However, their not wrestler’s like Orndoff or Valentine, there more extreme wrestler’s, after all; they are legends. They are hardcore legends. Extreme wrestler’s aren’t appreciated enough in my opinion. The two I will be making a tribute to are Terry Funk and Mick Foley. The rules they were used to were that there were no rules. It was no holds barred, mass amounts of foreign objects made appearences whenever they wanted. The following wrestlers are ECW legends. Let’s take a look, shall we.
Terry Funk hails from Amarillo, Texas, and is known for being one of the greatest legends in not just hardcore wrestling, but in wrestling as a whole. When you hear the words ”Hardcore Wrestling”, and are asked to name a hardcore legend, 9 out of 10 people will say Terry Funk first time. Funk is known to many in the wrestling business and to the fans as the original hardcore legend. Funk was also a phenomenal singles and tag team competitor. His wrestling carear took off as he defeated Sputnik Munroe, a tough wrestling veteran in his début match. Funk was in many great matches with the likes of Ric Flair, Harley Race, Jack Briscoe, Abdullah the Butcher, The Sheik, Sabu, Mick Foley, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and even his own flesh-and-blood, Dory Funk Junior and at some point he had beaten them all. Funk is a former NWA world champion (Pictured Left) where he was the reigning champion for 14 straight months, that was until he lost to wrestling’s great Nature Boy, Harley Race. Funk also revolutionized hardcore wrestling in the NWA after he piledrove the Nature Boy Ric Flair through an announcer’s table as a challenge for Flair’s NWA title. Funk was also the first wrestler along with Sabu to compete in the first ever tables match! Funk and Jerry ”The King” Lawler had several bloody wars of bouts in Memphis, Tennessee. During one match, Lawler nearly blinded Funk by kicking a sharp spike back into his left eye. Funk had one of the, if not the most illustrious carear in the history of ECW. Funk feuded with numerous of ECW alumni’s including Shane Douglas, Mick Foley and Sabu, and would be involved in the King of the Death Match tournament over in Japan, losing to Foley in the finals. Funk had a short stint in WCW, he won the hardcore title, US title and became WCW commissioner. Funk is indeed a wrestling legend and still wrestles to this day, he does independent circuit wrestling where he has matches with big names such as Jerry Lawler, Abdullas the Butcher, Roddy Piper and more.
Terry Funk Tribute
Mick Foley got his start wrestling the ECW circuit in the late 80s as Cactus Jack, where he spent much of his time being backdropped onto barbed wire boards and face-planting tables. During one match, he suffered severe second-degree burns when he was thrown into some explosives that went off in his face. He won the Tag Team Belt once in ECW and in 1995 defeated Terry Funk to win the title of “King of the Death Match”, which is probably the most badass title you could think of. Foley wasn’t a great wrestler but the factors he put himself through were simply astonishing. No one took a chair shot like Foley, no one hit the ground harder than Foley and no one absorbed a beating quite like Foley. The most genius aspect for me that I see of Foley is that he wasn’t just one performer, he could be three completely different persona’s. Whether it was Mankind, Dude Love or Cactus Jack, there will never be another wrestler like Foley. Perhaps Foley’s greatest moment was when he won the WWF championship from the Rock with the help of Stone Cold, this showed the Ultimate underdog could accomplish a championship with such prestige as the WWF title. This led to other underdog winnings such as Jericho defeating both the Rock and Stone Cold on the same night and Mysterio winning the Royal Rumble from being the second participant. My all time favourite Foley moment came from one of the greatest matches in the history of pro wrestling, he battled the Undertaker at a King of the Ring Pay-Per-View, on top of the 10 foot cage, thrown off it onto the Spanish announce table (which BTW should be inducted into the HOF now). That was some crazy shit! Foley had bruised ribs, a dislocated shoulder, several missing teeth and quite a few stitches in his lip, but it didn’t even slow him down. A few years later he went back and did most of the same stunts AGAIN in his retirement match with Triple H, when he was also Pedigreed onto some painful and spiky thumbtacks. He did this sort of shit all the time, all for the sake of entertainment. During his career, Mick Foley received eight concussions, had part of his ear ripped off, lost most of his teeth and required over three hundred stitches for wrestling-related injuries. The guy sacrificed his body for the sport, and left everything out on the mat. He gave it all and did it with a smile on his face, and that’s the mark of a guy worthy to be in my column of the ”Greatest Wrestler’s of Yesterday”.
Mick Foley Tribute
Thank you for reading and I want to thank you for the tremendous feedback from last week. I want to know your thoughts on wrestling legends Terry Funk and Mick Foley, some of the stuff you like about them like favourite matches, feud, moments etc..