WWE Hall of Fame professional wrestler Terry Funk has passed away, aged 79.
The iconic performer’s death was announced by good friend and fellow legendary wrestler Mick Foley.
Foley, who remained close friends with Funk for much of their lives, took to social media to confirm the news.
He wrote: “Terry Funk is gone. I just talked to Terry’s daughter, Brandee, who gave me the awful news. He was my mentor, my idol, one of the closest friends. He was the greatest wrestler I ever saw.
“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.
“There will never be another like him. May God bless Terry, his friends, family and all who loved him. RIP my dear friend - it was an honour to know you.”
Terry Funk is gone. I just talked to Terry’s daughter, Brandee, who gave me the awful news. He was my mentor, my idol, one of the closest friends. He was the greatest wrestler I ever saw.— Mick Foley (@foleyispod) August 23, 2023
If you get the chance, look up a Terry Funk match or a Terry Funk promo, and give thanks… pic.twitter.com/WwdFLwXqZ0
Funk was known as one of the greatest journeymen of the industry, with a career spanning five decades across multiple promotions.
With a career beginning in the 1960s, the Indiana-born wrestler rose to prominence when competing in Florida and Japan in the 70s.
He became a household name in the United States in the 1980s competing in promotions such as WWE (formerly WWF) and World Championship Wrestling.
Perhaps known best for his work later on in his career, despite being 30 years into his career he transitioned into a ‘hardcore’ style of wrestling.
While competing in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) it wasn’t uncommon for Funk to compete in violence-fuelled matches that often resulted in bloodbaths.
Throughout the late 90s and early 2000s Funk returned for stints in WWE and WCW hile also becoming a mainstay on the independent scene.
A well-respected figure in the industry, if not purely for his longevity, Funk wrestled well into his 70s, often not venturing from the wrestling style that made him a legend.
Beyond wrestling, he appeared in movies such as Road House, Paradise Alley, The Ringer, and Over the Top.
He also choreographed the street fight between Rocky Balboa and Tommy Gun in Rocky V.
He won championships in almost every promotion he worked for, most notably becoming the NWA World Heavyweight Champion.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.