Throwback Thursday – Jerry Lawler vs Terry Funk (empty arena match)

Funk vs Lawler 1When you look back at wrestling history, you probably think Attitude Era. Some older fans will remember the original WrestleMania Era. But the great thing about wrestling is that there have been phenomenal storylines and matches and, yes, PERFORMANCES over the years.

This is, to me, simply one of the greatest in-ring performances I’ve ever seen. This is hardcore wrestling before the term was even invented.

Funk vs Lawler 2To summarize, Terry Funk was in a feud with Jerry Lawler. When they wrestled, Funk always thought that the referees or the fans or the wrestlers were always on Lawler’s side, so he never had a fair chance at actually winning the match.

So he demanded to fight Lawler in an unsanctioned street fight in an empty Mid-South Coliseum. He wanted Lance Russell there with a camera to document.

Funk vs Lawler 3From beginning to end, Terry Funk deserves a goddamn Academy Award for his performance. Lawler didn’t even need to do much because Funk told the entire story himself. He’s riveting in his actions and amazing in his believability.

Lawler has said that this match was actually recorded on an afternoon before a weekly Mid-South show to put on television the following weekend, so Funk actually ended up wrestling later on that evening without any sign of ‘injury’. But you would never know it based on his performance.

Want to know how it’s done, Tough Enough contestants? Check out THIS clip.

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