Grudge Match: Terry Funk vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler - Part 1



Lawler vs. Funk - Empty Arena Match

This feud was pretty insane. Jerry "The King" Lawler, the golden boy of Memphis, Tennessee had met the crazy Texan Terry Funk before. They had a long and bloody feud. There is footage of them from the seventies. But their main feud  took place during the eighties. No matter when they meet Funk and Lawler literally set the town on fire. These two both cut a great promo in their own fashion. Lawler was much more calm and collected. Funk was a mad man. He appeared drunk or at least concussed. Perhaps he was a bit of both.

In 1981 Terry Funk called out Jerry "The King" Lawler. He answered a bounty that was put up by Lawler's old manager, Jimmy Hart. Funk claimed that he was the toughest wrestler around and he wanted Lawler's blood. Lawler scoffed it off first but eventually accepted the match. This match would end up being a pretty bloody No Disqualification match. Funny to think that this whole feud just kicked off as a big pissing contest. 

These two already put on one hell of a match. Funk proved himself many times over but that wasn't enough for that crazy Texan. He challenged Jerry Lawler again. This time to an Empty Arena Match. This time he was really going to prove himself. No fans. Just Funk, The King, The Ring and their hatred for eachother.

The insanity would continue. Funk would go nuts over the next few months. He wore his injuries and screamed and hollered. He felt slighted. He felt that he could still beat Lawler and he wasn't soft about it. Lawler was always cool about it. They continued to meet. They had a tag team Texas Death Match between The Funk Brothers against Jerry Lawler and Plowboy Frazier. They had a Cage Match and they even had a Barbed Wire Ropes match. Both are really hard to find. This part of their feud would eventually end in February of '82 with the CWF in Florida.

The next time these two would meet would be in 1983 as reluctant partners against a few teams. Terry was hired as the meanest man that Lawler's partner could find. In a pretty un-politically correct promo, Terry Funk works with Jerry Lawler on the premise that he wasn't a "sissy". Lawler was cautious as he knew that Terry Funk wasn't one to be trusted.  

CWA - January 30th 1983

Terry Funk and Jerry Lawler may have had a short feud in the early eighties. However, it was a feud that sparked an interest with fans. The character of The King in contrast to Funk's lunacy was great. It made for some really entertaining moments and matches. I wish more of this feud was available. It's hard to find the Cage Match and Barbed Wire Match, those both sound incredibly brutal and fun. What we did get was magical. The followup to this article will start the rekindling of their feud from the nineties. So get your flanel ready. It's going to be radical. 

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