Terry Funk: former World Champion, hardcore icon, living legend and one hell of a model Texan. You look up the word ‘tough’ in a dictionary you know what’d you see? No, not a picture of Terry Funk, that’d just be silly, you’d see a definition of the word tough which is what Terry Funk is. He was a guy that was 20 years ahead of his time, a so called ‘sports entertainer’ before so called ‘sports entertainment’ was cool and a guy that could get over in any era in any promotion. 1989 rolls around and Funk has been out of wrestling for a while, Ric Flair meanwhile is busy having the best year of his career. He needed that catalyst to kick start his babyface run. Cue the middle aged and crazy Terry Funk and the beginning of what would be one of the greatest feuds in wrestling history. You should know how the feud started by now, if you don’t beg, borrow, steal or all of the above the footage. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a helpful reminder: ‘LOOK AT HIM! LOOK AT THE BANANA NOSED, HORSE TOOTHED JERK!’ Insults were never quite the same after that one. Anyway the segment was Oscar winning stuff from Funk, although Funk at the Academy Awards would look quite out of place. He’d turn up in cowboy boots and jeans, chewing tobacco and stuff and all the Hollywood la de da types would be all ‘I say, who is this ruffian?’, Funk would be all ‘I’ll show you ruffian’ and all hell would break loose. Glenn Close would get a Piledriver, he’d make Robert Redford scream in the Stepover Toehold, he’d punch Bette Midler in the face and make her uglier, champagne and diamonds would be sent flying but then it’d eventually calm down and he’d share a few beers with Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper before having a threesome with Kim Basinger and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Flair puts Funk over by saying he was a great wrestler, could inject humour, says the Piledriver on the table spot had never been seen before (not true), says Funk created his own niche, could take a beating, could dish out a beating and could fall off a building. Some people spot trains, some people collect stamps, some people play football, some people read, some people like long walks on the beach, Terry Funk’s hobby is pain and suffering.
22nd June 1989, the Pizza Man himself, the man who knew as much about wrestling as I do about nuclear fusion, Ric Flair’s bestest friend in the whole wide world, Jim Herd introduces Flair at a press conference. Flair says he isn’t going to retire and asks for a match with Funk at the Great American Bash. Flair would win that match because he’s Ric Flair and you’re not.
Terry Funk looking like the world’s baddest cowboy, like a sexier and less, you know, dead John Wayne is with Jim Ross and promises to shake Flair’s hand if Flair makes him say ‘I Quit’. This town ain’t big enough for the both of them and The Funker wants to rid the NWA of Ric Flair. Somehow I don’t think he gets the job done.
Flair joins Jim Ross and isn’t exactly trusting of Funk considering the last time he shook Funk’s hand he was put out of wrestling for 2 ½ months. He promises to make Funk say those two little words. Only one man would live up to this promise.
Another Flair promo as he puts over the NWA Title (always seemed like he was having a dig at the WWF Title when he talked about the NWA Title). He says people have questioned why he took on a match with the crazy, out of control Terry Funk but again promises to make Funk say those two little words neither man has ever said.
Funk says Flair can stick his gold belt, his family and his money up his rectal passage, all he wants is Flair’s pride. Flair meanwhile puts over the importance of this pride, integrity and guts.
Pre match, Jim Ross is joined in the ring by Terry Funk and Gary Hart. Funk thinks he and Flair have nothing in common besides their love of professional wrestling. He says he isn’t going to quit, uh oh, no way Jose, Terry Funk is NEVER going to give up.
Last pre match promo, Flair is hyped up as usual. He thinks saying ‘I Quit’ is humiliating and disgraceful.
– Clash of the Champions IX
I Quit: Terry Funk vs. Ric Flair
Funk gives Flair the chance to quit before the match starts but Flair is all man and answers it by chopping Funk over the top rope. Funk takes it out on the guard rail much to the amusement of a fan who was later found decapitated in an alley outside the arena. More choppage with chop sauce and extra chops. Funk takes Flair to school on the apron, the School of Hard Knocks and The Funker is the baddest principal of them all. Flair caves his chest in with a chop but Funk takes it like a man because he drives JCBs, chops down trees and builds houses in his spare time. To the outside Funk kicks his ass but Flair fights back. Back in the ring Funk asks Flair if he wants to quit and calls Flair an ‘egg sucking dog’. Terry Funk: Master of the Insult. Banana nosed, horse toothed, satched assed, egg sucking dog. More super intense brawling inside and out as you can cut the hatred with a knife. Funk does his crazy old wino selling. Flair wants Funk to quit but Funk is all ‘Go funking funk your motherfunking self you motherfunking motherfunker’. Funk with the Piledriver as Gordon ‘8 more Jack Daniels please my good man’ Solie uses the legendary: ‘Two words, five letters: I Quit’ line. Six letters if you’re Jim Ross. To the outside, another Piledriver on the floor. Funk beats the crap out of him some more but Flair fights back with stiff chops and slams him head first into a table. Funk takes his awesome sliding bump across the table top before we get some more Flair on Funk manly violence. Terry Funk isn’t even human. Flair starts to take over in ring and works on the legs of Funk. Funk again does his awesome punch drunk sell before fighting off the Figure Four Leglock. Few swings and misses from Funk. Figure Four locked in and Funk quits after some resistance. Gary Hart is less than pleased but Funk being the man he is shakes Flair’s hand.
Ric Flair and Terry Funk beating the crap out of each other in a super intense brawl. THAT is professional wrestling. Learn to love it. Their Great American Bash match was great but I prefer this one. Funk was in his element in matches like this and it’s a different Ric Flair than people were used to prior to his feud with Funk. Pissed off babyface Flair chopping the crap out of some poor son of a gun is just fun and Funk was the perfect guy for it. 20 or so minutes of greatness between two of the greatest of all time.