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Jesse Ventura pays tribute to Terry Funk

“The Body” offers kind words and a personal anecdote about the legend.


Following the passing of wrestling icon Terry Funk, several notable personalities from the wrestling world came together to sing the praises of the former NWA and ECW World Champion. Now, one more voice has joined that chorus.

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who spends his time talking more about politics than he does wrestling, took to Substack to remember his fallen ring brother, calling Funk a consummate professional who always looked out for the business.

“I had all the admiration in the world for him,” said Ventura.

The WWE Hall of Famer then described how Funk carried him to a one-hour draw despite being under the weather. Ventura, who was barely out of his rookie stage when he became the top champion in Portland, fell ill before a match with the then-NWA champ. He insisted that Funk beat him in 25 minutes, but the well-seasoned veteran refused to make the young champ look bad.

“Terry Funk looked at me and said, ‘Oh, no. I’m not gonna harm you here,” Ventura said.

Instead, Funk proposed that they wrestle for a full hour, telling Ventura to trust him to get him through it.

“I did (follow Funk). And Terry Funk made me look like the greatest wrestler in the world. And I did one hour with him with a temperature of 101 or 102.”

Ventura added that he didn’t believe that any other wrestler could have done or would have been willing to do what Funk did for him that night.

Ventura’s account is similar to what many of Funks’ peers had to say following the passing of the 79-year-old Amarillo, TX native, who had been living with several health issues in the years before his death.

“Terry Funk, you wore the championship with pride, you did it with dignity, and as the song goes, nobody does it better,” said Ventura.

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