Wrestling legend Terry Funk has died at the age of 79, it’s been confirmed.
News of the WWE Hall of Famer’s death was shared by legendary wrestler Ric Flair, who paid tribute to his former colleague for being “unbelievably fearless”.
“In my entire life, I’ve never met a guy who worked harder. Terry Funk was a great wrestler, entertainer, unbelievably fearless, and a great friend!” Flair wrote. “Rest in peace my friend Terry Funk knowing that no one will ever replace you in the world of professional wrestling!”
In My Entire Life, I’ve Never Met A Guy Who Worked Harder. Terry Funk Was A Great Wrestler, Entertainer, Unbelievably Fearless, And A Great Friend! Rest In Peace My Friend Terry Funk Knowing That No One Will Ever Replace You In The World Of Professional Wrestling! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/EYMAKOzxnx
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) August 23, 2023
Funk has been described as a pioneer of the hardcore wrestling style, with a career spanning several decades from 1965 to his final match in 2017.
During his career, Funk held the likes of the ECW and NWA World Heavyweight Championships, as well the ECW World Television title and WWE World Tag Team title with Cactus Jack (Mick Foley).
In a Twitter post, Foley admitted he was “struggling to process” the death of his long-time “dear friend”, and that he would be “writing much more about Terry in the next few days”.
He wrote: “I just talked to Terry’s daughter, Brandee, who gave me the awful news. He was my mentor, my idol, and one of my 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 honor to know you. #RIPTerryFunk”
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… pic.twitter.com/WwdFLwXqZ0
— Mick Foley (@foleyispod) August 23, 2023
Former WWE superstar Goldust (real name Dustin Rhodes) also paid tribute to Funk, describing him as an incredible mentor and friend.
He tweeted: “Just heard that Terry Funk is gone. Truly heartbroken over this. He has known me since I was a child. He was an incredible mentor and friend. Love him so much and sad to see him go. I know he is no longer in pain and has probably rekindled his war with Pops in heaven. Rest easy TF #RestInPeaceTerryFunk”
Meanwhile, IMPACT Wrestling star Sami Callihan, who took inspiration from Funk’s hardcore style, tweeted: “Absolutely devastated hearing the news. He was one of the BEST to ever do it, one of my biggest influences, and my all time favorite. Absolute LEGEND. RIP Terry Funk.”