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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 08:13 AM
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Re: The legacy25: Terry Funk

G.O.A.T in so much as he's right there in the discussion for who is the all time best. When it comes to best American Wrestlers he has just as good an argument as Flair, Lawler, Windham, Murdoch, Hansen, Steamboat, Arn Anderson, Eaton, Morton etc. Then when you factor in puro and Lucha he once again seems comfortable alongside Tenryu, Kawada, Misawa, El Hijo Del Santo, El Satanico, Hashimoto, Ishikawa, Fujiwara etc.

Arguably the most naturally talented wrestler of all time, in so far as I don't think anybody ever 'got' pro wrestling and all the varying intagibles quite like Terry Funk. His ability to develop from a technician in the NWA days, to touring Japan as the scientifically gifted yet fiery and aggressive passionate babyface turned brawler, to his stint in the formation of ECW as an aging veteran who slowly altered into a bumping lunatic in a hardcore environment, to his days feuding with Lawler in Memphis and Flair in the NWA/WCW as the deranged psycho lunatic. He was as talented as they come in playing a multitude of characters and roles in any given setting in front of a hometown/foreign crowd and continually making it work and succeeding in each environment.

Perhaps the most expressive wrestler of all time. Watch his performance in the late 70s and early 80s as part of the Funk brothers team in All Japan. His battles with Sheik & Abdullah the Butcher as well as his later struggles against Stan Hansen demonstrate how charismatic and sensational he was as a plucky and resilient babyface fighting all the odds. In many ways he's the precursor to what made Ricky Morton a southern tag wrestling legend, bumping big, timing his offence to precision, having one of the most expressive and captivating comebacks in all of wrestling etc. The fact he was arguably as over as the most beloved Japanese homegrown talent during his All Japan days points to how utterly fabulous the man was, no gaijin has ever come close to having the Japanese embrace him as one of their own quite like the Funker did. Watch the 8/31/83 retirement tag against Hansen and Gordy, listen to the crowd whenever Funk enters the ring and then watch the post match promo: pure emotion and he receives the sort of heart tingling reaction many would be lucky to receive in front of a hometown US crowd let alone in a foreign promotion.

Sensational brawler, sound technician, terrific babyface, astute heel whether he was working comedy comeuppance spots or sheer lunatic pyschopath bloodbaths. He was the sort of crazed heel Jimmy Jacobs would later adopt on the Independent scene, and from Memphis to Philly to WCW he was able to get heat like it was the easiest thing in the world. Forget your Shawn Michaels' of the wrestling world, Terry Funk was the true 'showstopper' in terms of putting on a captivating, maticulate yet thoroughly riveting and entertaining performance. The man was simply a true genius in his work and could be trusted to work any given match style, opening match, undercard, uppercard or the main event and whether it was the Kings Road formula in Japan, the brawling and storytelling formula that drove Memphis or the NWA style he could excel and make it work and get the best out of whoever he worked.

You can never talk too much about Terry Funk. He has the catalogue of classic matches to be in the discussion when it comes to best wrestlers of all time, but he crucially has that ability to always look a cut above whoever he's working on any given night in any promotion and continually look like the best wrestler to grace the planet. I mean christ he managed to have an outstanding match against Lawler back in 2011 on a low level Independent show with both men past the age of 60, that is how good and how timeless Funk's approach and creativity is. The man knows no bounds in how to control a crowd and structure a match in spite of his ageing body and deteriorating physique and athleticism.

Last edited by WOOLCOCK; 10-09-2012 at 08:15 AM.
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