SLAM! Sports has posted a new interview with Terry Funk and the following are some highlights:
"I don’t want to die in the ring," says the 65-year-old Funk, who has pulled up stakes in Amarillo, Texas. "I want to die on my back porch, drinking beer.
"It gets tougher and tougher in the morning. Hell, I used to jump out of bed, then I rolled out, now I crawl out. I know why I did it, but when I saw the end result, I’d get up the next morning and I couldn’t walk, sometimes it was, ‘What the hell am I doing?’ I’ve got a tremendous amount of pride in what I do.
"I’ll go up to Thunder Bay and when that bell rings, it does something to me. That thrill is back."
Over the years, there have been plenty of obstacles thrown his way.
"All the things I’ve done in my life, I have no regrets," he says. "My knees have been operated on four times. I don’t know how many stitches. I had a broken sacrum (lower back) where I couldn’t sit down. On the airplane, I had to get on my knees and kneel down in my seat, leaning over the back side of it. But I just kept wrestling.
"It’s the dressing room, the trip, that moment … It’s an addiction.
"I don’t need any enhancing drugs. Wrestling is my drug. It’s what I love. I grew up in the backseat of a car. I didn’t want to be a cowboy. I wanted to wrestle. I went to college and played football. I was with the Kansas City Chiefs. But I had an opportunity to wrestle. And it’s been the love of my life.
"Many times in ECW or over in Japan, you’re doing things in the ring that you know are going to take their toll … but you do them anyway.
"You’d see a guy like Dynamite Kid wrestle and he’d come back to the dressing room with a bump the size of a grapefruit on his back. He’s just been out there killing himself in a match. In that goofy British accent of his, he’d ask, ‘How was my match?’
"I’d say, ‘It was great.’
"You watch The Undertaker or Shawn Michaels walk into the ring. They’re physically hurt, but they do it. It’s the rush you get. It’s the same for a lot of guys in the business. They’re the true wrestlers. It’s in their hearts. For a guy like Hulk Hogan, I think it’s the money for him. It’s about the bucks."