Dory Funk Jr. Talks His Wrestling School, Why He Left WWF, Training Kurt Angle, Wrestling Terry
Wrestling Inc.: You've mentioned Jack Brisco as being one of your favorite opponents, I think he had mentioned in an interview since that you were supposed to lose the title to him, but you ended up losing to Harley Race.
Dory: I had a pickup truck wreck accident and there was no way I could have been used to wrestle Jack Brisco. That's the truth. Yeah. I was just unable to [wrestle]. I was in the hospital. I wasn't able to go to Houston and wrestle Jack.
Wrestling Inc.: Yeah. You wrestled a lot in Japan in the 80s with the WWF when it really took off. You saw kind of the style that the business changed. In Japan, did you see the style change as much as it changed over here and continues to change over here?
Dory: In Japan it was my brother and myself, because when I first went there they was lining up Japanese wrestlers against three American wrestlers. The Japanese wrestlers were the good guys and the American wrestlers were the bad guys. Very fortunate for me, I had the opportunity to wrestle a match with Antonio Inoki that lasted one hour and supposedly, one of the most famous matches in the history of Japanese wrestling. What happened was the people accepted my wrestling and his wrestling, and they accepted both of us as a couple of athletes competing with each other. All of a sudden in Japan I wasn't the bad guy, I was the good guy.
The same thing happened with Terry. It was shortly thereafter that the Butcher and the Sheik were in Japan. Terry and I were the ones that battled those two guys in some bloody, violent matches and the people picked our side in Japan. It became a situation where we were considered one of the Japanese. We dressed in the Japanese dressing room. We came out for the ceremonies on their side. Everybody else was in the other dressing room. It was a unique experience and it's still to this day, we were not heels in Japan. We were very well liked and very appreciative of the Japanese fans. They're some of the greatest in the world and they never forget. If you're their favorite one time, you're their favorite forever.
I'm very grateful for, like you said, the two big things in my career was my acceptance in Japan as a professional wrestler and a superstar over there, and came over here and was NWA World Champion. There were other really tremendous highlights too, one of them being going through the WWF with Terry Funk as my partner and given the opportunity to train up in Stamford, Connecticut with WWE, but it was WWF at the time. Given the opportunity right now to run the Funking Conservatory Wrestling School and being able to work with some of these really great kids that are coming up. We've had a lot of stars in the past that have gone to be superstars in the WWE and we've got a lot of future stars that will be coming up. They always say in this business there are no guarantees, but we've got a lot of kids that really have some talent and you will hear from them.
Wrestling Inc.: I want to talk more about your school. I did want to ask you first about your WWF run when you signed. You guys wrestled at Wrestlemania 2. Did you have any idea at the time that it would become this big juggernaut that it has?
Dory: Yeah. Wrestlemania was big. The production of WWE, back then and to the present, is the best that there is in professional wrestling and in just about anything.
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