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Grimmas

Flair vs Funk: Who is the greatest?

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The Terry Funk case has always made a lot of sense to me, and I think it's a strong one. If you watch a show that has him on it, you're guaranteed to have gotten something worth watching. It doesn't matter the time or the place. He doesn't waste your time. Ever. And it's hard to dispute that.

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I may have had a slight recency bias for Terry because of all of the "Our Friend In Japan" matches that popped up during the course of the bias. For 90s work, it's dumb but i really kind of love the NWF we have with him.

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I think Funk. He was more versatile to me than Flair and better at those different roles.

 

It was a tough decision when trying to decide over these two. It was basically Funks early 80 AJPW years that gave him the nod. He kind of had a Rocky type of vibe during that period. I love Flair and had him at 2, I just never really liked him as a face. His character was made to be a heel not the other way around. Where Funk could be anything and you believed it.

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I tweeted this just now but should also say it in the thread.

 

I apologize for laying on the Positivity Police thing a little too thick. I'm doing it about 1/10th as much as I want to, believe me. I just want this whole thing to feel like a celebration of wrestling and a project of love. But I've made that point and will stop helicoptering.

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I tweeted this just now but should also say it in the thread.

 

I apologize for laying on the Positivity Police thing a little too thick. I'm doing it about 1/10th as much as I want to, believe me. I just want this whole thing to feel like a celebration of wrestling and a project of love. But I've made that point and will stop helicoptering.

It would be better if we weren't celebrating WRESTLING which is objectively bad.

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I tweeted this just now but should also say it in the thread.

 

I apologize for laying on the Positivity Police thing a little too thick. I'm doing it about 1/10th as much as I want to, believe me. I just want this whole thing to feel like a celebration of wrestling and a project of love. But I've made that point and will stop helicoptering.

It would be better if we weren't celebrating WRESTLING which is objectively bad.

 

Truly. How could anyone enjoy something that celebrates violence as the only solution to problems?

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I consider this project a total victory for the fact the Funk has a solid shot at number one and is at worst number 2 to Flair. Flair will be the guy that people would most likely default to whereas Funk most likely earned his top 10 votes from people. Had I done this list in 06 just off thought alone Flair would've killed Funk. After being on this board for 5 years and being exposed to a lot more wrestling, I have to see them as neck and neck. I rated Funk higher but can see Flair winning

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I would go with Flair as #1 - but over 40 years of wrestling, taking into account how many workers there have been, to be considered in the top 100, let alone #1 or #2 is pretty special.

 

Funk will always have a very special place with me, but Flair had it all. But if Funk comes out on top, I wont be able to argue, because the man is so damn good and such a legend...Im just glad we got to see both.

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I'm beating a dead horse but I feel like Funk was so much more entertaining than Flair and that's actually a compliment to Flair. To me there's no one in the history of wrestling as memorable as Terry Funk regardless of what era you've seen of him. I love Flair for his peak, because it is safe to say Flair's peak is the greatest in the history of wrestling but there's just so much garbage from old Flair that it taints my view on him quite a bit. Whereas in the Funk case, even his most recent stuff makes me smile and sometimes even mark the fuck out. To me it is simple: name me someone that evolved as well as Funk did through the years? To me that is his biggest positive.

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Unless my math is off, I think there are 54 #1 votes still up for grabs between Flair and Funk. Lowest case scenario for each would be 27 #1 votes. That is still 16 more than Misawa and Hansen received.

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I'm at work, and will write more later. But I think the watchability/failure to disappoint/always entertaining aspect of Funk's career that Loss spoke to is a huge positive for him. However I don't think it's his biggest positive.

 

I would argue that Funk's single biggest positive is that if you held a gun to my head and said "who is the greatest babyface of all time?" I would say Terry Funk. And if you held a gun to my head and said "who is the greatest heel of all time?" I would say Terry Funk. The only other two wrestlers who I think you could conceivably say that about are Flair and Lawler, but there are reasons that I would rate Funk above them both in each respective category.

 

I also think the uniqueness of Funk as a babyface in All Japan (which came about largely as a result of his effectiveness selling), and the fact that he is probably as responsible for the existence of what is now indie wrestling as any single person in history are positives that rival the significance of what Loss mentioned.

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As much as I love Terry Funk and am thrilled to see him get a top 5 ranking, he doesn't come close to matching Flair in my eyes. When I think of my favorite Funk matches, the first two that come to mind are Bash 1989 and Clash New York Knockout versus Flair. Both of them are all-time classics and neither of them are my favorite Flair match. Needless to say, on that fact alone (and more), I'd have to pick Flair.

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The Terry Funk case has always made a lot of sense to me, and I think it's a strong one. If you watch a show that has him on it, you're guaranteed to have gotten something worth watching. It doesn't matter the time or the place. He doesn't waste your time. Ever. And it's hard to dispute that.

 

Absolutely this. That's why I had Funk at 2, even to this day if I find footage of him I end up being entertained.

 

I had Flair at 3 so it's not like I think there's a big difference between them but in 2016 I just value Funk's versatility a little bit more.

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Re: Childs' question about how the 90s fit into a Funk vote for #1: I can say that it helped his case for me. He has some great showings in USWA, Dustin-Stud Stable, SMW, and even ECW/WWF/WCW. But perhaps even more importantly than his 90s matches was his incredible capacity to stay relevant and stay really over in an array of environments. Working with guys like DX, Foley, the Gangstas, Dustin, Sabu, Bret, even Raven: you see him in there a lot of different major young players of the 90s, and it does a lot to preserve his own youthful spirit. I don't say this to deal in hypotheticals, but if we'd gotten the AAA run that ended up going to Jake Roberts (Konnan claims to have pitched Funk, but says Pena had never heard of him), he would be even more versatile in the 90s. If he'd just become Kevin Sullivan or Abdullah around 1990, working local indies and becoming a nostalgia act, he would still have a #1 case in the ballpark of Hansen and Flair. The 90s (and even his sporadic moments of genius on the indies in the 2000s with Lawler) put him over the top.

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June 6, 1999. Terry Funk vs. Sabu, in one of the scuzziest strip joints you're ever likely to see. In front of 300 people at most. The same summer he fought Abdullah The Butch at an Applebee's in Toronto, which I had to miss, sadly. But this was one of the happiest days of my life, because I got to see Terry Funk wrestle live, and shake his hand. (And I also got to flee in terror when Sabu flew into my row and would have landed on me had I not hauled ass.)

 

I love Terry Funk because as somebody else said, he is everything right about Pro Wrestling. He was my #2 vote (behind Misawa) and that took a lot of soul searching, for a long time he was #1. I've never seen a Terry Funk show or match when I came away feeling bad about it, because he was always so much damn fun.

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I had Funk #1 and Flair #2.

As for the 90s, here is my arguement for Funk for that decade.

I felt like Funk spent the decade giving back to the business, creating new stars, while Flair spent the decade trying to hold onto the success he had achieved. Both were successful in doing so. But if you look at what Funk achieved in the 90s. How many young guys had the best feud/match of their young careers against Funk in the 90s? A lot of those guys went on to have successful careers thanks to Funk. Funk practically made every single guy in ECW. All of them all a large part of their success to working with Funk. I'll try and list everybody whose career was directly benefited from working with Funk in the 90s- Foley, Dustin Rhodes, Masato Tanaka, Hayabusa, Onita, Raven, Shane Douglas, Sabu, Billy Gunn, Road Dogg, Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, Stevie Richards. That is a lot of very good careers launched or benefited in some way thanks to one guy.

What Funk did as a draw in Japan, drawing 40,000 vs Onita, then 35,000 the next year in the Deathmatch Tournament, and 33,000 the next year against Hayabusa and Tanaka rivals what Flair drew while he was the touring champion in the 80s. Flair wasn't selling out baseball stadiums in the 90s but Funk was, and he was doing it in fringe outlaw promotions while making guys like Foley a draw for the next decade. What was Flair drawing in the 90s? Nothing much. Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't the reason the main event for WM8 changed because nobody was showing up to see Flair at the house shows? Also look at the guys in the 90s whose careers were hurt by working with Flair. First that comes to mind would be Scott Steiner and that match you could say Flair intentionally made sure was bad enough to ensure Steiner was never a threat for Flair's spot. Then there was Bret Hart who Flair refused to lose to on TV.

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I think these two fellas being the final fray is pretty indicative of what a success this project has been. I think the chasm between Funk & Flair and the rest of the list is quite dramatic. I had Funk first, but am filled with regret with every Flair testimonial I read, and am certain I would feel the same if the roles were reversed.

 

The two greatest there's ever been, who happened to produce the most important feud in my wrestling fandom. Salud!

 

Yours,

JHHBjr

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I also had Funk #1 and Flair #2. Funk got the edge for me because of his versatility and willingness to adapt his style throughout his career. You can also check the box for Funk as being a great tag worker, which we never really saw from Flair.

 

I can understand how someone could rate Flair higher, but I just enjoy Funk's work more and went with my heart on this one.

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I also had Funk #1 and Flair #2. Funk got the edge for me because of his versatility and willingness to adapt his style throughout his career. You can also check the box for Funk as being a great tag worker, which we never really saw from Flair.

 

I can understand how someone could rate Flair higher, but I just enjoy Funk's work more and went with my heart on this one.

 

Flair worked tags when he came to Crockett from Gagne. Had to be in the house when Flair was working tags in the mid-late 70's. There's footage of Flair working tags but obviously not to the extent of Terry Funk. Those who were there know how great Flair was in a tag-team environment.

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