Wrestling legend and former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Terry Funk is reportedly suffering from dementia according to a fellow WWE Hall Of Famer.
‘The Magnificent’ Don Muraco first stated on his ‘Magnificent’ podcast that Funk is dealing with dementia and is now staying in an assisted living facility in his hometown of Amarillo, Texas. Mike Johnson of PWInsider has since confirmed the sad news that Funk is living with dementia. Johnson noted that Terry Funk has been dealing with health issues for some time but things have deteriorated since the passing of Funk’s wife Vickie in March 2019.
The 77-year-old began his wrestling career in 1965 with his first match coming against 2018 WWE Hall Of Fame Legacy inductee Sputnik Monroe. Terry Funk soon formed a partnership in the ring with brother Dory Jr. and the two men competed all over the world capturing numerous tag titles in the US and winning the Real World Tag League three times in All Japan Pro Wrestling.
In 1975 while competing in Championship Wrestling From Florida, Terry Funk defeated Jack Brisco for the richest prize in professional wrestling when he won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. For 424 days Terry Funk defended the title all over the US as well as Canada and Japan. He eventually lost the title to Harley Race in 1977 in Toronto, Canada.
The Funk brothers then had a brief stay in the World Wrestling Federation in the mid-eighties where they competed at WrestleMania 2. With Dory Jr. known as Hoss in the WWF, he and Terry defeated Tito Santana and Junkyard Dog in the Los Angeles portion of the landmark event.
Funk joined WCW later in the decade and after being a judge for Ric Flair’s NWA World Championship match with Ricky Steamboat, Funk attacked Flair demanding his own match for The Nature Boy’s title. The two men squared off at The Great American Bash in 1989 but Flair managed to hang onto his title.
Fans of Terry Funk in the nineties and beyond may associate him with his status as The Hardcore Icon. Funk took part in deathmatch tournaments in Japan, most notably competing with Mick Foley in the King Of The Deathmatch tournament in 1995. At ECW’s first ever-pay-per-view in 1997, Terry Funk once again held gold as he won the ECW Championship from Raven.
A return to the WWF happened shortly after with Funk now known as the chainsaw-wielding Chainsaw Charlie. He spent much of that time either feuding with or teaming up with Mick Foley who was going by his Cactus Jack moniker at the time. Together the pair captured the WWF Tag Team Title if but for one night at WrestleMania 14.
Terry Funk and brother Dory Jr. were rewarded for their decades of hard work in the wrestling business when both men were inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2009.