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#41 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 09:25 AM

For what it's worth, I do agree that there are times when "goofiness" by Funk can undercut the seriousness of a match. I find the same thing with Dick Murdoch.

#42 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 09:17 PM

I think Funk's case is really being enhanced with this extra footage. Seeing him in so many situations on the AJ tours, and he is never less than great.

#43 JazeUSA

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 06:59 PM

I think Funk's case is really being enhanced with this extra footage. Seeing him in so many situations on the AJ tours, and he is never less than great.

I just watched the Funk/Bockwinkle match that was uploaded yesterday on the youtube feed you mentioned on the wherethebigboysplay podcast, I enjoyed it, I think Terry Funk is lock for my top 10, I watched roughly 300+ matches of him easily



#44 El-P

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 07:40 AM

#3



#45 shoe

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 06:25 PM

They just dropped a Funk vs Lewin match on nwaclassics.com that I gave 4 3/4* stars to. It's a match from 78-80. Even without the NWA belt it shows him work NWA touring champ in a way.

#46 InYourCase

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 03:57 PM

Christ, I've watched so much Funk over the past three days. Memphis, All Japan, WWF, and a little WCW. I'm not really a Memphis fan (I won't be ranking Lawler), but I really dug his work with Lawler. Not a Hogan fan either, but I really liked his Saturday Night's Main Event match with Hogan and The Funks vs. JYD/Hogan. I watched his WCW stuff at the beginning of the project, or at least the highlights, so it was nice to see the Flair and Steamboat matches again. 

 

The All Japan run, holy shit. I'm not done with it yet. I still have plenty of stuff on Ditch's site that I need to get through, but nearly everything I've seen has been amazing. 4/13/83 vs. Hansen was a clean finish away from being one of my favorite matches ever. Both the '77 and '79 Tag League Finals are amazing and I didn't care for their opponents at all. Funk is putting in good stuff against Brody, young Jumbo, Baba, and of course Hansen. 

 

I'm getting to the Eddie Gilbert stuff and his brief MLW run in a few days. Very excited to see the Gilbert stuff. 

 

Top 10 guy for me. Right now, he's above Flair. Don't see him cracking my Top 5 but if the Choshu stuff in All Japan wows me then there is a chance. 



#47 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 03:37 AM

Curiously much less discussed than the other #1 candidates.

In Your Case, if you are still watching, his match against Rick Martel in Puerto Rico is a must watch just because of its sheer outrageousness. Flair feud also, which you didn't mention, probably his career best feud (thoughts on this anyone?).

Using the Biglav system he is the only one who has come within touching distance of Flair so far, which would not have been what I predicted before designing it.

On a personal note, Terry Funk is a wrestler I really love. Not just as a worker, but I love his intelligence and passion for the business and its history. He's also much more forward looking than a lot of the other voices of his generation. His book is one of the best wrestling books I've read. He's never less than compelling on shoots. To me he's like the beating heart and soul of wrestling. And is maybe the wrestler I feel "closest" to, in the same way some people might feel close to Mick Foley or Bret or whoever. One of my true wrestling heroes.

#48 Cross Face Chicken Wing

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 09:23 AM

Curiously much less discussed than the other #1 candidates.
 

 

I could be totally off base, but I don't get the sense that a lot of people truly feel Funk is a No. 1 candidate. I think there are a lot of people who (rightfully) consider him a top 10 lock. But when it comes to putting Funk on top of the ballot, I don't think many people are going to pull the trigger and actually rank him No. 1. I feel like when it comes time to lock in ratings, people will look at Funk and say, "Man, I love Terry Funk. He's an all-time great. But I can't rank him No. 1 above (insert name of more "serious" worker)."

 

Then again, when you're virtually a lock for the top 10, that automatically makes you a No. 1 candidate in a project like this.



#49 Jimmy Redman

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 05:45 PM

I tend to agree in that Funk feels like a Top 10 guy without being a real #1 contender. Everyone is really super high on him, and throws out "Top 10" or "Top 5", but nobody has really gone to bat for him as #1.

 

It was Dylan who argued for Funk in that triangle GOAT podcast right? I'd be interested to hear his thoughts on how strongly he sees Funk as a #1 candidate today.



#50 Dylan Waco

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 04:32 AM

People see me as the Terry Funk guy in these GOAT debates in part because of that podcast (and others), and in part because I've affixed that moniker to him in other settings many times in the past.  For that reason I think a lot of people who view my next statement with some suspicion, but I'm going to make it anyway.

 

I do still consider Terry Funk a strong GOATC, but I am by no means sure that he will be number one on my ballot, and he's only one of over ten people I am considering for that spot at the moment.

 

Like all of the top candidates there are arguments against Funk.  I think in his case probably the strongest two are an arguable lack of all time classics relative to some of the other contenders, and the fact that he didn't have the sort of sustained run any place outside of AJPW that people often look for.  The spaghetti leg thing hurts him with some, but I actually think it's overplayed and less persuasive criticism in part because I think Funk turned up and turned down that aspect depending on setting and opponent.  

 

Addressing the other criticisms, I actually think Funk's best work is sort of lost because of the fact that he didn't have much of a sustained run anywhere.  His best work in AJPW is from an era that proceeds the "Kings Road" style.  But the latest dump of AJPW stuff on YouTube reveals that he had a shit load of very good to great matches there both as a singles wrestler and a tag wrestler, even if it was before AJPW sort of became smart fan nirvana.  The feuds with Lawler and Flair are great, random matches on the early indies I think are really great too, et. I think there is actually a lot of great Funk out their, but because the matches were spread out both in terms of timeline and promotions he looks like he has less volume than he does.  

 

I wrote this about him a couple of years ago in the microscope and I stick to it other than the fact that I wouldn't definitively argue for him as the best ever as I do at the very beginning here. 

 

Okay, everyone knows Funk is my favorite wrestler ever. I also think he's the GOAT. I can see an argument for several others and I don't want to shit on anyone else or minimize them in an attempt to point to the things I like about Funk, so instead I'll try and talk about why I think he's so great.

For starters - and this is huge to me - I think you can make a case that Terry is a top five all time working face and a top five all time working heel. In fact if we are talking peak v. peak I don't think it's really arguable. 

I'd go so far as to say that Terry at his peak as a babyface in Japan is the single best sympathetic babyface I've ever seen. Not only can he take a beating and sell, but he was incredible at timing hope spots and comebacks. His little strut around punch comeback was great shit particularly when it was nothing more than a flurry on the front wave of a storm. The man could bleed, but during that period especially he really knew how to make a blade job mean something. He'd give you some massive splat bumps and they would always mean something too. He could sell a body part, whether or not it was being stabbed or actually worked over in a traditional fashion. Just little looks and body movement could trigger the crowd to go fucking nuts. When he finally fired all the way back it was always after things had been milked to the absolute peak moment - timing wise there really aren't many you could even put in the discussion with Funk. He was a guy with a Hulk Hogan level entrance, who could work underneath like Ricky Morton, but when he made his comeback he was teeing off like a guy who you believed could legit kill any heel on Earth. I love Morton, Rey, Steamboat, et. as babyfaces but Funk in AJPW is the best I've ever seen at that role.

I'd also go so far as to say that Terry at his peak as a heel in 89 was very possibly the best heel I've ever seen. He was certainly the most interesting. I've said this many times, but it was Flair v. Funk feud that made me a fan for life. Funk was a guy that got over jealous, craze, psychotic, who's sense of pride actually made him the most dangerous guy in the world - even though he was just an off the radar, semi-retired guy, with no credibility with that audience until WrestleWar. I love, love, love Funk in 89 in every respect, as he was a guy who was having awesome sprints with Eddie Guerrero trying to get him a job on tv, wild squashes v. bums like Cougar Jay and of course the awesome Flair matches which are among my favorites ever. Every match was a perfect representation of his character and he would switch gears mid-match to reflect that so easily. 

As versatility goes I think the conversation is sort of odd. You've got NintendoLogic talking about how his work as a technician has been overblown but who the fuck talks about Terry as a technician? Now I happen to believe that he was very sharp working holds, very good at building them to a climax, very surprising in the offense he could bust out (I really like the Terry/Dory v. Caras/Mascaras tag as an example of Terry being ahead of his time/versatile in ways you might not expect years before "crazy man" schtick took over), et. But I don't know that Terry is a guy talked up as great in that regard by very many people. No clue who is hyping that aspect of his work to the point where it would be "overblown." My view is that Terry was very good in that respect, at times great, but it's not the defining trait of his career. If we had more 70's footage? I suspect things might be different.

One thing I really love about Terry that doesn't get talked about that much is the range of his characters even within the realm of what is commonly thought of as his "crazy old man" period. We know Terry worked different as a babyface at points - sometimes he was a top dog level technician, some times he was Ricky Morton with more credibility, late in his career he was the hardcore legend (sometimes as a enforcer threat, sometimes as a desperate old man fighting for honor and glory). But he had really incredibly range as a heel. If you look at how he worked during the WWF run it's different than how he worked in Puerto Rico which is different from how he worked in WCW in 89 which is different from how he worked as traveling lunatic working every promotion on Earth in 94 and so on. I don't think this is me imagining things either. If you watch something like the Martel match from Puerto Rico, Terry is really over the top on level that is almost entirely comedic. v. Hogan the comedic aspects were there, but he was a guy tailoring things around shortcuts to feed the inevitable Hogan comebacks. The Flair matches were obviously different and I already covered them. In 94 he was a hired hand traveling the wrestling landscape as the last outlaw called in to kill off annoying old challengers to the Southern wrestling family throne. You could keep going.

Another thing about Funk is I am not sure I have ever seen him have a boring match. I'm sure someone could point to one I wouldn't disagree with, but I can't recall it offhand. I seem to recall Will once telling me that the Terry Set is one of the only set's he's ever done where he wasn't sick of watching the same guy by the time it was over. He always works hard and makes things at least entertaining. When his body broke down too much to really bump or cut a pace, he just turned on the schtick and chaos. He and Lawler had several really good matches after 2000 which is fucking amazing if you think about it. Even in horrible 2000 WCW his matches didn'tsuck and everything sucked during that period. A byproduct of never having boring matches is that we are still finding awesome Funkmatches. There are really good Funk matches/performances from SMW and ECW I find while watching for those sets that didn't even make Will's mammoth Funk Set. There are WWF matches of his I've discovered in the last six months that didn't make that set that are very good. We'll likely be finding good Terry stuff for years, including really impressive shit like his back to back matches in 97 v. Sabu and Douglas in title defenses where he actually flipped and worked heel v. Douglas because they were in Pittsburgh. 

As far as great matches? If someone wants to say Funk's best matches aren't as good as the best matches from some of the other GOATC's I would listen to it. If someone wanted to say he doesn't have the depth of great matches that Flair has I'd almost certainly agree. If someone said Terry only had one or two or even a handful of great matches? I'm not buying that, but then this may just end up with another debate about "good v. great" and I'm not sure I really want the thread to go down that road. What I would say is thatFunk v. Hansen, Funk v. Lawler and Funk v. Flair GAB 89 are in my absolute top tier of singles matches. I think Terry was a tremendously great tag worker at his peak and there are several tags of his I would rate very, very highly. I thought he was incredible in Wargames 94 which is a match I love. On first watch I thought his random match with Tony St. Clair in 93 was great though I haven't gone back to watch it again. I think Terry/Jumbo is a great match and it's probably not even a top 25 Funk match IMO. I don't really think Terry is hurting for great matches. 

Al mentioned the fact that Funk didn't stay around any place very line as a sort of theoretically weakness. To me that was a real world strength. OJ is the one who coined this, but Terry is the ultimate loser leaves town wrestler. He was in somewhere for a while, got over huge, made you believe in him 100 percent, had his big match/feud/rivalry and was gone before he got stale. He always, always, always left you wanting more. There are a lot of guys I think are absolutely great wrestlers, but who hung around somewhere too long, or were involved in something that was run in the ground, or got lazy because they were comfortable or whatever. That NEVER happened with Terry Funk

I'll admit I'm biased toward Funk. My dad loves him and grew up watching his dad's promotion. He is the guy who made me a fan for life, when I watched him up close in 89 killing himself on house shows and tying bags on Flair's head. But Terry Funk is a guy that has always made me care about his matches and believe in what he was selling. I'm not saying he's the only one who I can say that about, but the list is short. 
 
 
Adding to that older post I would note that I think his ability to have great matches with a wide variety of people and within a wide variety of styles is impressive.  I think Funk is among the most versatile wrestlers ever when it comes to both inputs and outputs, particularly as it pertains to effectively portraying a character and delivering good matches within the logic of that character portrayal.  There are AJPW tag matches with him doing dives to the floor in the late 70s, matches where he is doing luchaesque matwork, obviously massive brawls, matches built around Funk selling, matches built around Funk the crazy aggressor, et., et., et.  
 
I put a lot of value in range, versatility, variety and adaptability.  That will be reflected in where I ultimately place Funk.


#51 MoS

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 04:57 AM

I know Funk's most recognised heel run is in 1989 vs Flair, but his empty arena match against Lawler is his single best heel performance I have ever seen. I do not know if it is a controversial opinion, but I genuinely believe it.

#52 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 11:31 PM

Everyone stop what they are doing and watch Terry Funk vs Bob Orton from May 26, 1983 Southwest World Championship Tournament. I am not even going to spoil any awesomeness. I gave it ****3/4. Incredible narrative building. One of the most logically progressive matches ever!



#53 Jimmy Redman

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 12:16 AM

Everyone stop what they are doing and watch Terry Funk vs Bob Orton from May 26, 1983 Southwest World Championship Tournament. I am not even going to spoil any awesomeness. I gave it ****3/4. Incredible narrative building. One of the most logically progressive matches ever!

 

Having just taken your advice, I 100% endorse this.



#54 fxnj

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 10:04 AM

Everyone stop what they are doing and watch Terry Funk vs Bob Orton from May 26, 1983 Southwest World Championship Tournament. I am not even going to spoil any awesomeness. I gave it ****3/4. Incredible narrative building. One of the most logically progressive matches ever!

Hell of a match. Actually thought it was more of a great Orton performance, though, with how vicious he went after Funk in the first half and then selling the leg for Funk's comeback in the 2nd half. It makes me think Orton deserves more pimping as he's someone who's so smooth and natural looking in everything he does you don't even notice how good he is.

#55 Jmare007

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 10:09 AM

That match was awesome! Can't believe it's been on youtube since last year and hadn't read anything about it.



#56 Matt D

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 10:21 AM

I started to watch it a few weeks ago when I was finishing up my list and had to place Orton but caught up in other stuff. I'll catch it in full later. 



#57 Loss

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 12:51 PM

I just checked it out. Too tired to really elaborate at the moment, but that was an awesome match that I'm glad I saw. 4.5-ish.



#58 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 01:08 PM

I know I saw the date of the match and that it had like 8.5k views and was shocked that no one was talking about it. I tweeted Charles, Pete and Dylan and was totally prepared for them to tell me they had seen it like five years ago. The only reason I believe it has not been talked about was because it was from Southwest and that's pretty unexplored. I found it by accident trying to see if Terry Funk vs Tully Blanchard existed from Southwest.

 

Orton's performance was great, I should have went more into detail about his punches and his selling! His selling was phenomenal heel selling.

 

Loss, I can totally see 4.5 given it was 20 minutes and a draw. I don't see anything lower than that. I got 4.75 just because how well connected everything was.



#59 Jmare007

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 01:59 PM

Yeah, the way Orton stood up after Terry worked on his leg was glorious. That's selling right there.



#60 WingedEagle

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 03:51 PM

My thoughts on the match from the MDA --

 

 

Wow!  Talk about a match that came out of nowhere.  No need for a detailed review as Sleeze hit the nail on the head, but this match was a textbook example of escalation and progression.  The clean start with contested lockups and attempts for control.  The handshakes that soon became slaps.  The wristlock and arm twists that became vicious elbows to the back of the neck by Funk or big bombs from Orton as Funk was draped over the apron.  After delivering the scientific start and the brawling, they deliver the limb work as well with Funk's Spinning Toehold weakening the leg and playing a factor down the stretch.  Like near falls?  I do.  We had a great one here on the Orton Piledriver, but they weren't overdone.  It was a big moment in the match rather than part of any finisher spam that might take some out of the moment. 

 

This was a real treat and one hell of a find as I'd never heard about this from even the most ardent Funk fans.  I can't go quite as high as my man Sleeze given the finish, as those kind of snowflakes usually require a hot and convincing conclusion that builds upon the match, but we're splitting hairs here and this just below.

 

****1/2

 

Wanted to add that here as well, as this match is *exactly* what I love and want from Terry Funk.  In this setting, working this style he is right there with those I consider the best wrestlers ever.  The wobbly selling and punch drunk route his selling often goes doesn't have as much mileage for me as does his work against Orton here.  Or against Jumbo in '76, Flair '89, other babyface in Japan.  I want more of this!  Its gross to think about how much outrageously fantastic Funk material from the 70s we don't have on tape.  Where are more matches like this one??  Hit me up.






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