Terry Funk Gave ECW Credibility, Claims Tommy Dreamer

Hamish Woodward

Terry Funk is a legend in the history of ECW, being one of the most important figures in the company’s history.

The legendary wrestler turned up in his 50s to do battle in Paul Heyman’s promotion, in a move that filled everyone with shock and aew.

The Hardcore Icon was a legend at this point, having been a huge star in wrestling since the 1970s.

His battled with Ric Flair over the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship were legendary, as were his hardcore exploits with Atsushi Onita in Japan.

Funk was also infamous for his litany of retirement matches, with his first retirement match actually taking place in 1983.

While he was past his prime by the 1990s, Terry Funk grew a new fanbase by his transition into hardcore brawler when he signed with ECW.

During this time, he brought new eyes to the promotion with his matches, and even won the ECW Championship during an all-time great moment in the company.

Terry Funk headlined ECW’s first pay-per-view, Barely Legal on April 13, 1997, winning the ECW World Heavyweight Championship from Raven.

Earlier that night, he defeated The Sandman and Stevie Richards in a Triple Threat match to earn the bout with Raven, which was well received by the fans.

Funk had a huge impact on ECW, as Tommy Dreamer revealed in a recent interview.

Terry Funk Was Like ECW’s Chris Jericho

Speaking on Busted Open Radio, Tommy Dreamer revealed the impact Terry Funk had on ECW, likening him to Chris Jericho’s impact on AEW during the start of the company.

The former ECW Champion claimed that Funk “gave ECW validity”, and used his star power to drag the company into relevancy during his short, yet memorable run.

“When he came to ECW, he gave ECW validity. Like Chris Jericho did for AEW when he stepped up to that podium [at AEW’s first press conference], here’s the face that every wrestling fan knows, and [saying] ‘This is the company that I’m gonna attach my wagon to and help carry it along.”

“All of his famous death matches that he did in Japan with Mick Foley, his famous retirement in All Japan, all the things he has done.”

If you use any quotes from this article, please give a H/T to Atltifo for the transcription.

Click below to read about the ECW debut and final match of Terry Funk, and let us know what you think about “The Funker” in the comments section below.

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