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Texas wrestling legend Terry Funk dies at 79

Funk, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, made his name across Texas, including wrestling the Von Erichs throughout the 70s.
Credit: DRasa - stock.adobe.com

AMARILLO, Texas — Terry Funk, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time who performed across Texas, the country and the world, has died at 79. 

Mick Foley, wrestler and longtime friend of Funk, confirmed the news in a tweet that he had heard of the death from Funk's daughter. 

"If you get the chance, look up a Terry Funk match or a Terry Funk promo, and give thanks that this incredible man gave so much, for so long, to so many," Foley wrote on Twitter. "There will never be another like him."

Billed from "The Double Cross Ranch in Amarillo," Funk was Texas' most iconic wrestler throughout the '70s and '80s, holding the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and helping run his family's wrestling promotion in Amarillo. He also wrestled throughout the '70s and briefly in the '80s for World Class Championship Wrestling, the Dallas-based wrestling promotion run by Fritz Von Erich. 

Funk's history with Fritz Von Erich dates back to the mid-'60s, when he and his brother, Dory Funk Jr., wrestled throughout the country in cities like Amarillo, St. Louis, Dallas and Fort Worth. Perhaps the most famous match between the two wrestlers took place on June 5, 1976, at Texas Stadium in front of 17,000 people. 

Fritz Von Erich's sons, Kevin and David Von Erich, also worked frequently with Funk and his brother, and even beat the Funks for the NWA American Tag Team Titles on Oct. 15, 1978, at the Dallas Sportatorium. 

Funk was famous across the world, having not just worked across North America, but also across Japan for decades as well as Europe. He worked for virtually every major wrestling promotion across the U.S., including WWF, WCW and ECW in the '90s. His last match took place in 2017. With his first match taking place in 1965, his career spanned across six different decades. 

Wrestling legend Ric Flair wrote in a tweet that he never met anyone who worked harder than Funk. 

"Terry Funk Was A Great Wrestler, Entertainer, Unbelievably Fearless, And A Great Friend!" Flair wrote. "Rest In Peace My Friend Terry Funk Knowing That No One Will Ever Replace You In The World Of Professional Wrestling!"

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