Why WWE Hall Of Famer Mick Foley Puts Terry Funk At The Top Of Wrestling Mt. Rushmore

While he may have opted to showcase a more violent style of wrestling in the latter years of his career, Terry Funk was still cognizant of the other performative elements that blended into wrestling. In the past, WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley has praised Funk for his versatility and keen ability to elevate his opponents, but it was Funk's mastery of suspending disbelief that placed him at the top of Foley's Mount Rushmore of Wrestling.


During a recent appearance on "Busted Open Radio," Foley reminisced some of the cherished memories he shared with his late friend, whom he previously worked with in promotions like ECW, WWE, and IWA. 

Upon Paul Heyman's purchase of ECW in 1995, Foley said Heyman was in need of a talent who was willing and able to build new stars in the company. According to Foley, Terry Funk earned that responsibility.

"[Terry] wasn't going through the motions. He could have. No one would have thought less of him if he had gone through the motions, and he never went through the motions," Foley said. "He always gave you the best match he could. And the reason I explained in the foreword I wrote for his book, why I would put him above anyone else, at the very top of my Mount Rushmore is that he made it so easy to suspend disbelief. It sounds to me, he was a little upset with me after I set him on fire in ECW, but he was working the other time[s]. He was working to try to generate interest and heat and he suspended disbelief."


A Master At Work

To illustrate his point, Mick Foley recalled a memorable moment that occurred during an appearance for Northeast Championship Wrestling

"Not everyone knew who Terry was, and I was going to be in [Jerry] Lawler's corner. He was going to be in Man Scout's Corner, but by the time he got to the ring, even if these younger fans did not know who he was, they knew he was not someone to be messed with. And I was saying to the ring announcer, I go, 'You better get out of the ring.' He goes, 'Why? What do you mean?' I said, 'You better get out of the ring.' And he goes, 'But I'm the ring announcer.' The first thing Terry does, I bail out because I don't want to get hit. Here comes that big left hand, boom! Backstage, the guy's got an ice pack on his head, and he goes, 'I can't believe he hit me.' And I looked at him. I said, 'What part of you better get out of the ring did you not understand?'"


Though Funk was aware he'd be breeding future competition for himself, Foley says Funk was always willing to share his knowledge, successfully put over his opponents, and suspend the disbelief of the audience. For that, Funk has earned himself the top spot on Foley's Mount Rushmore of professional wrestlers.

In the wake of Funk's death yesterday, several wrestlers, including Foley, paid their respects and issued their praise for the hardcore legend.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Busted Open Radio" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.