Jim Ross has revealed the hardcore icon he holds responsible for introducing the mighty table as a weapon of choice in the world of professional wrestling.
JR was on the call at ringside when Terry Funk had a famous brawl with the legendary sixteen-time champion of the world Ric Flair after one of Flair’s legendary title defences against Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat. Entering the ring to interrupt Flair after the match, Funk respectfully requested an NWA World Title shot but was politely rebuffed by Flair. This caused Funk to snap as he attacked The Nature Boy. In one of wrestling’s early table spots, Funk gave Flair a piledriver onto a ringside table that did not break under the impact of both men.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross credited Terry Funk with being an innovator in using a table in the realms of a wrestling brawl and touches on how ever more elaborate spots from one little table did grow.
Jim Ross stated:
“I was surprised it even happened. I knew they were gonna do something post-match and generally for me, my work would be better if I didn’t know every little detail. What happens is you pre-condition yourself of what you’re told will happen then something comes up that you gotta call an audible and if you’re so conditioned to what’s going on now you’re processing ‘Oh this screwed up.’ I didn’t want to have that issue in my mind. I wanted to call what I saw in a real way and as authentic as I could.”
“So I didn’t have anything to do with that and I’m sure it was Ric and Terry, and I don’t know how plugged in Ric was on the piledriver spot on the table. I will say it looks like once again Terry was a trendsetter, look at tables now. My friends The Dudley Boyz, they made a living off of tables, ‘D’Von get the tables.’ Then you got all these other guys doing spots, I’ve seen tables stacked up and I always think of Terry. Well, Terry started this whole damn thing. One table now look where it’s evolved to. So again, trendsetter, visionary, so many little things that were perceived to be little things have become a part of our culture in pro wrestling.”
During his discussion on the career of Terry Funk, Jim Ross also talked about feeling shortchanged by the amount of time Terry and brother Dory were given for their WWE Hall Of Fame induction in 2009.