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Book Review: Terry Funk's More Than Just Hardcore

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Terry Funk: More than Just Hardcore is one of the best pro wrestling autobiographies I've ever read. I'd go so far as to say it's one of the best entertainment autobiographies I've ever read.

I don't have to explain that Terry Funk is more than just a pro wrestling legend, he IS everything great about pro wrestling. The over the top commitment to getting the job done and putting on a show for the folks. The relentless drive to make whatever sacrifices are called for in the ring. 

This review from Amazon says it better than I can:

Terry's memoirs, written with Scott Williams (who earns a real tip of the hat for his contributions) seem as if we are sitting down in a comfortable room with Terry and listening to his life story. The book literally comes alive in the reader's hands and imagination, which cannot be said of many other books on the subject.

To say that Terry led an interesting life is an understatement. A member of what could rightfully be called, "the first family of wrestling," both Terry and brother Dory, Jr. have held the NWA World Title along with so many regional titles that it would take a couple of days to research. Father Dory, Sr. was a legend in the business himself, a man who, like Lou Thesz and Bruno Sammartino, replied on no other gimmick than his own ability, of which he had plenty.

Traveling with Terry, we discover how he got into wrestling, how it was decided to make his brother Dory, Jr., champion, and how it was decided to make Terry himself champion. He also discusses the effect wrestling had on his marriage and family, the lost art of selling (making one's opponent look like a world beater), the decline and fall of the NWA, WCW and ECW, and how the WWE almost became extinct at the hands of WCW (and how WCW blew that chance), and the state of the art today. Plus he paints hilarious portraits of quite a few of his co-workers over the years, including, Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race, Jerry Lawler, Dick Slater and Mick Foley.

This is not just a book for put in your wrestling library - this is a book to READ and place in your wrestling library. But keep it in a handy place, because you'll want to refer to time and again.

I grew up in the Texas Panhandle near Funk's home town of Canyon, TX and the man is every bit a local legend. Along with his father Dory Funk and brother Dory Funk, Junior, Terry Funk is one of the few true sports legends to come out of our neck of the woods. This book tells his story well.

It's also a window to multiple eras of wrestling -- the old school regional 60's and 70s. The NWA and WWE era of the 80s. The innovative and bloody 90s in Japan. The monday night wars. Funk saw it all and in this one he tells the tale.

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