WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk passed away at the age of 79 on August 23. He was an icon in the wrestling world, and he won world titles with NWA and ECW throughout his legendary career.
“I’m always hesitant to try yo encapsulate a life like Terry Funk’s within a soundbyte or even a portion of a program. I didn’t say anything publicly. I haven’t yet. One of the reasons why is because I was aware of the decline in Terry Funk’s health, and I had the extraordinary and pleasure of speaking with him in the last few weeks of his life. I withheld my tributes because I got a chance to tell him while he was alive.”
Paul Heyman Highlights Terry Funk’s Impact In ECW
Paul Heyman went on to describe how Funk had a vital impact in ECW. He noted that the legend helped elevate anyone who shared the ring with him. Heyman also noted that he was touched by Cody Rhodes’ message about Funk on the August 25 episode of WWE SmackDown.
There was no acknowledgment of the greatness of the performers in ECW without them getting into the ring with Terry Funk. Shane Douglas was recognized as a franchise player because of his interaction with Terry Funk. The Public Enemy truly got recognized as a preeminent tag team of their time by being in the ring with Terry Funk and The Funk Brothers. Sabu came out of the gates in ECW making a splash. But his splash was infinitely bigger because by the end of Sabu’s first weekend in ECW, he was in the ring and holding his own and sharing the spotlight with Terry Funk. I don’t know there’s anything that I can say that will match the brilliance of what Cody said. What Cody said the other night moved me. It was profound and so eloquent.
Paul Heyman: Terry Funk Was The Grandfather Of A Revolution
Paul Heyman then stated that Terry Funk was the grandfather of a revolution. He stated that he hoped future generations would see the way that Funk balanced pursuing of greatness while also doing business.
“He was the grandfather of a revolution, of an evolution in the industry, of a movement, of an extreme movement,” Paul Heyman said. “I think what I wish future generations will take from the legacy of Terry Funk is the passionate pursuit of greatness in all moments of a performance, and never losing sight that it’s a business. So many people today, it’s separate. Either you have those who sit there and go “business, business, business,’ or you have those who that go, ‘Creative, pursuit of greatness, I want to do this.
“I envision this,’ with no viewpoint as to how do we exploit this in commerce. At the end of the day, as a business, we are all commerce facilitators. Terry never lost sight of that. Terry was always balancing the pursuit of greatness within a performance [with] how do we make this into business? How do we make this into business? And where’s the greatness involved?”
Paul Heyman: Terry Funk Was A Genius
Heyman then detailed how Funk was special because he was a genius, which often rides the fine line of insanity. He noted that part of Funk’s genius was that he embraced his insanity.
“He always understood that’s the chocolate and the peanut butter that makes the Reese’s peanut butter cup,” Paul Heyman said. “They can’t be separate. They must always journey together, and sometimes, it’s not a comfortable marriage. Sometimes, you have to scale back on the greatness to pursue the business.
“Sometimes, you have to realize that the business needs to pace itself to allow greatness to shine, and then capitalize on it. So it was a remarkable balance that someone who, all times, could truly convince you he was out of his mind. But that’s the line of greatness and insanity joining each other, if genius and insanity always being hand in hand. I think part of his genius was the fact that he accepted himself as being insane.
The full interview is available here:
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