The “old farts” at the NWA were against Terry Funk capturing the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, Bruce Prichard has revealed.
Funk captured the title at an event in December 1975 by defeating Jack Brisco, ending the year-long second title reign of Brisco.
During “Something to Wrestle,” Prichard revealed that many higher-ups within the NWA were against the idea of making Funk the champion. He said,
“When Terry Funk was NWA World Heavyweight Champion, the fundamentalists, the old farts that sat in their office smoking cigars and go ‘Aw this is wrestling,’ they didn’t want Terry Funk as NWA Champion because they thought he was too crazy. They thought Terry was unreliable. They thought Terry did too much off-the-wall stuff. Terry was doing this stuff long before there was a WWE that emphasized it, so Terry wasn’t doing one thing different here.”
Funk’s 424-day reign would end on February 6, 1977 at the hands of Harley Race. Funk’s brother Dory would also have one reign with the title, which he would hold for 1,563 days.
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In the world of professional wrestling, Terry Funk is a name that holds great significance. Known for his wild and unpredictable style, Funk made a lasting impact on the industry. However, it may come as a surprise to learn that not everyone within the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) was in favor of Funk capturing the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
During a recent episode of the podcast “Something to Wrestle,” Bruce Prichard, a former wrestling executive, shed light on the opposition Funk faced from higher-ups within the NWA. Prichard revealed that many of them were against the idea of making Funk the champion due to their perception of him as too crazy and unreliable.
The event that saw Funk capture the NWA World Heavyweight Championship took place in December 1975. He defeated Jack Brisco, who had held the title for a year, bringing an end to Brisco’s second reign as champion. Despite Funk’s impressive victory, there were those within the NWA who doubted his ability to represent the organization as champion.
Prichard explained that these individuals, whom he referred to as “old farts,” held traditional views on wrestling and believed that Funk’s unconventional style was not suitable for a champion. They were concerned about his tendency to engage in off-the-wall antics and felt that he was too unpredictable.
However, Prichard also emphasized that Funk had been pushing boundaries and captivating audiences with his unique brand of wrestling long before it became popularized by organizations like WWE. Funk’s style was a reflection of his genuine personality and passion for the sport.
Funk’s reign as NWA World Heavyweight Champion lasted an impressive 424 days, ending on February 6, 1977, when he was defeated by Harley Race. Funk’s brother, Dory Funk Jr., also had a reign with the title, holding it for a remarkable 1,563 days.
Despite the initial reservations from some within the NWA, Funk’s reign as champion proved to be a memorable and influential period in wrestling history. His unorthodox approach to the sport challenged traditional norms and paved the way for future generations of wrestlers to embrace their individuality and creativity.
In conclusion, Terry Funk’s journey to becoming the NWA World Heavyweight Champion was not without its obstacles. The opposition he faced from certain individuals within the NWA highlights the clash between tradition and innovation in professional wrestling. However, Funk’s reign as champion showcased his unique style and left an indelible mark on the industry. His story serves as a reminder that sometimes, it takes a maverick to push boundaries and change the game.