(WKBN)- A former WWE pro wrestling legend whose career spanned more than 50 years has died.
The WWE announced that Terry Funk has died at the age of 79.
The WWE made the following announcement on Twitter:
“WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk has passed away at the age of 79. WWE extends its condolences to Funk’s family, friends, and fans.”
Funk rose to fame in Championship Wrestling from Florida in the 1970s. He was the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) world champion and feuded with names that included Dusty Rhodes and Harley Race.
After he had WWE title matches with Hulk Hogan in the mid-1980s, Funk made his way to World Championship Wrestling (WCW) where he had a rivalry with “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Flair tweeted in response to his death on Wednesday:
“In my entire life, I’ve never met a guy who worked harder. Terry Funk was a great wrestler, entertainer, unbelievably fearless, and a great friend! Rest in peace my friend Terry Funk knowing that no one will ever replace you in the world of professional wrestling.”
Terry was a mainstay in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), where he defeated Raven for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship in the company’s first pay-per-view ‘Barely Legal’ in 1997.
In 1998 at WrestleMania 14, Terry won his only piece of WWE gold when he teamed with his real-life friend Mick Foley (then known as Cactus Jack) to defeat the New Age Outlaws for the WWE Tag Team titles.
Terry’s final WWE match was when he and Tommy Dreamer lost to the Edge, Mick Foley, and Lita in a handicap match at ECW One Night Stand 2006.
Terry and his brother Dory Jr. were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.