Tommy Dreamer worked closely with Terry Funk over the course of his career, with the latter training the ECW legend and current Impact Wrestling star.
Speaking on a recent edition of the “Under the Ring” podcast, the Innovator of Violence commented on first seeing Terry Funk on television, the advice he received from Funk, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On first seeing Funk on TV: “First time I saw Terry Funk was on my television and I hated Terry Funk. I hated, hated, hated Terry Funk growing up. Why? Because he did his job so well. Because he beat up my hero ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes. I never realized how great he was until I got into the wrestling industry because, again, he broke Dusty Rhodes’ arm, and I was the biggest Dusty Rhodes guy. He was my hero and the reason I got into wrestling.”
On meeting Funk in ECW: “When I first met him in original ECW, I wanna say ’92, and he just took a liking to me. He really helped me and then he became my real mentor, took me under his wing, and I was struggling trying to learn how to get over. And struggling to cut my teeth in this industry and trying so, so hard. He just sat me down and gave me so much great advice. Then when I was at his funeral and wake, it was that same thing that he saw in me, he saw in so many other people.”
On the advice he got from Funk: “In the sense of how he helped me, he literally gave me non-stop advice of how to be true to yourself and your character will become exactly who you are in that sense.”
On Funk’s impact on perception of American wrestlers in Japan: “If you think about Terry Funk — and I told him this — back in the day, the Americans were always the bad guy in Japan. Why? Because we dropped a bomb on their country. The United States wrestlers were always the bad guys until Terry Funk. He changed the culture of people. I told him this, and he just didn’t really think about what he did. But you think about now all the Americans that are cheered there. Who’s the first that they were like, ‘Oh, wait, we actually love this person.’ Because he broke down barriers. That’s a cultural statement.”