On August 23rd, the wrestling community was struck with grief upon hearing the news that WWE Hall of Famer and hardcore legend Terry Funk had passed away at 79. Although many took to social media to honor Funk's memory, Paul Heyman, former owner of ECW who had a long association with Funk, remained notably silent. Finally, during an appearance on WWE The Bump, Heyman broke his silence, disclosing that he had spent time with Funk during the final weeks of his life.
“I’m always hesitant to try to encapsulate a life like Terry Funk’s within a soundbite or even a portion of a program. I didn’t say anything publicly. I haven’t yet. And one of the reasons why is because I was aware of the decline in Terry Funk’s health and I had the extraordinary opportunity and pleasure of speaking with him in the last few weeks of his life," Heyman shared.
Choosing to not publicly comment on Funk's passing initially, Heyman explained that he got to express his admiration to Funk in person. He emphasized the crucial role Funk played in ECW and in elevating other talents.
“So I withheld my tributes because I got a chance to tell him while he was alive, I didn’t have to explain my affinity for the man after his passing, I got a chance to let him know there was no pun intended acknowledgment of the greatness of the performers in ECW without them getting into the ring with Terry Funk," Heyman added.
Heyman continued by pondering on Funk’s lasting imprint on the wrestling industry, asserting that Funk ingeniously balanced the quest for greatness in his performance with the practical aspect of the wrestling business.
“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 because many people today, and this is not a criticism of the young guys, the new generation, this was true 20 years ago. This was true 30 years ago. This is true in every generational turnover in this industry, and it is true today. It’s separate," he elaborated.
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