Extreme Sports Legend Passes Away, Aged 79

(NewsReady.com) – Terry Funk was a wrestling legend who pioneered the hardcore fighting style that WWE became known for. Sadly, he has now passed away.

On Wednesday, August 23, WWE announced Funk’s death. He passed away at age 79 in a hospital near Phoenix, Arizona. The wrestler was born in 1944, at the end of World War II. In the 1960s, he began his career in professional wrestling by forming a tag team with his brother, Dory Funk Jr. Eventually, he went off on his own and became well-known when he beat Jack Brisco for the NWA World Championship in 1975.

A decade later, in 1985, he competed in the WWE (then the WWF) for the first time. Again, he was fighting alongside his brother. They appeared at WrestleMania 2 and beat Tio Santana and The Junkyard Dog. Funk moved onto WCW four years later, where he began a rivalry with Ric “The Nature Boy” Flair.

During Funk’s career, he also wrestled in Japan with All Japan Pro Wrestling. He became known for his ability to make anything into a weapon. He used barbed wire bats, chairs, fire, and trash cans on his opponents. Like the legendary Mick Foley, he helped invent hardcore wrestling. In fact, in 1995, the two men battled one another and used many of those weapons in their match.

Funk wasn’t just a wrestling star; he also made appearances in films like “Paradise Alley” and “Roadhouse.” In 2009, he was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame alongside his brother.

Mick Foley mourned the loss of his friend in a message on Instagram. He said he spoke to Funk’s daughter, Brandee, and she told him that his “mentor” and “idol” were gone. He went on to praise his longtime friend as the “greatest wrestler” he’d ever seen.

Ric Flair also mourned the loss, saying he’d never met anyone who was a harder worker. He told his fans that Funk was an incredible entertainer, wrestler, and friend.

Funk is survived by his daughters, Brandee and Stacy.

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