Full Case of Tales with Harley Race & Terry Funk

This was filmed in 2005

The interview was conducted by Bill Apter

It runs for one hour and fifty-six minutes long

 

The interview starts off with Terry Funk getting in a dig at Dusty Rhodes, suggesting he has a love affair going on with Vince McMahon. Apter says Dusty was supposed to be here tonight as Funk continues to rag on him. Apter then brings up two guys holding up cue cards with some of the insults he named off to I guess show that the insults are meant in joking fashion. Race then talks about wrestling Dusty in Tampa and how he called him the “whale” and tells a lame joke about people thinking Dusty was a beached whale on the beach. Terry then says Dusty is not here because he’s in New York with Vince McMahon and they have their noses up each other’s butts.

 

Apter then asks both men if they feel that they compromised their careers to go to the WWF and play along with their version of entertainment. Funk said of course he did but that he doesn’t know if it was the wrong choice or not. Funk then talks about wrestling being more visible than ever because of Vince but now since its lessened in popularity that might have been a bad thing for the business overall. Funk then asks the fans if they like the product as no one says anything. One fan even says he does not watch it as Funk points out how the crowd, which is in North Carolina, grew up on the Crockett promotion. Funk also thinks the current WWE product stinks and that’s because its now just extension of what Vince McMahon thinks the business should be. Funk also says Vince will wipe out the Independents because he feels they will infest the fans’ minds and compares him to Walmart and the fact Vince’s product is on TV makes people think he has the best wrestling product and told it is by all  of the glitz and glamour. Funk wants to know if Vince can be successful for the next ten years or else we could be watching “shoot fighting” and that wrestling could slowly disappear.

 

On TNA, Race said that the six-sided ring is not the answer. He thought when they first started believed they could be competition for Vince as they had some names but the ring puts wrestling “deeper into the circus” and that wrestling is at its best when you have good vs. evil and when you scramble that and break it down to guys flip-flopping then they have nothing to get behind as Funk adds that its “half-assed acrobats” and while they are good its not Cirque de Soleil. Funk talks about Race’s school and how he is a no-nonsense guy and made Trevor Murdoch is a good man who will not be using steroids and drugs because he would alienate Race. Okay then.

 

They discuss ECW as Funk says Race and himself were hardcore because they always gave 100% every night and made sure they gave the fans the best entertainment possible each and every night. He talks about getting paid by your position on the card and a percentage of the house and wanted to make sure the other guys down on the card could make a living. He puts over Wahoo McDaniel for making sure the guys on the bottom of the card made money.

 

Apter asks about their worst injury they worked through. Race said his last night in Amarillo, TX he got dumped over the top rope and it broke as he feel on the entrance ramp. He talks about driving to San Francisco after that and was unable to move his foot off of the gas pedal to the brake and luckily got to the side of the road where his wife ended up driving. Race called Roy Shire, the promoter in San Francisco and was referred to a doctor but ended up wrestling because back then, there was someone to take your place so you were pressured to work when hurt. Funk talks about wrestling Lanny Poffo in the WWF and suffered a nerve injury in his back and shoulder but never took a day off.

 

Race talks about you know your doing a good job when the fans boo you as a heel and cheer for you as a face.

 

Funk tells a story about Dusty. They were all drinking and Dusty was really drunk so they took him back to the hotel room. Funk said they had been on the road for a while and Dusty kept wearing the same suit every day and was getting laughed at so Dusty tried to dye the suit. He put the dye in the bathtub where he decided to go in wearing the tub. Dusty then got up and was soaking wet and started doing somersaults on the bed and was rolling around everywhere trying to dry himself off.

 

Fans come up to the podium to ask questions. One fan asks how they feel about the Ring of Honor product. Funk says not to misunderstand them and that they have talent along with TNA but the direction of the product is the problem. Funk puts over Samoa Joe as a great talent. Race puts over RoH for putting on great shows.

 

Race tells a story of Ric Flair. Race said Flair fashioned himself as a guy who could hammer down booze. One night, the waitress handed him the shot that was supposed to be for Flair and he shot it back and it turned out to be water. He then tells a story of Bob Backlund and how he rode is bicycle to the arena in Tampa and while limited in some ways as a wrestler, he was still excellent and just an incredible athlete. Funk adds that Backlund was given the title in the WWWF because he was a legitimate athlete then talks about how its bullshit when people said he did a bad job as champ because he drew a ton of money. Funk then starts cracking all sorts of jokes when Mae Young got brought up as someone Backlund could go an hour with, saying you better wear a rubber as Race bursts out laughing.

 

Another fan asks Race about the quote in Flair’s book about Race meeting with the WWF the night before Starrcade 1983. Race said he did and they talked about having him come into the company with the NWA belt. Race then adds if he could go back in time, he’s not sure what is answer would be as he thought the NWA would show more guts and try to fight against Vince’s expansion. Race said he was offered a lot of money to go up there.

 

Funk talks about getting the NWA World Heavyweight Title and the booking committee was tied 3-3 and Fritz Von Erich made the deciding vote in his favor as he jokes about Race not being the 9-time World Champion as a result.

 

Now, Funk calls out some fat guy for falling asleep in the front row and jokes that if he does it again, he will pants him. He then adds he’ll need help from Race.

 

Funk then talks about Gerry Brisco’s “fat nose” as the alcohol is starting to show its effect. They are then asked about wrestling guys that were unprofessional. Apter brings up the Ultimate Warrior as Funk said he never worked with him while Race says he is only person he’s been in the ring with that was dumber than Hogan. Race says he would tie Warrior’s tassles into the ropes and Warrior kept trying to run free but they were nylon so it would just tighten. Race says he never learned after the first time and he kept doing it to Warrior when they wrestled. Funk then puts over Warrior and Hogan for making more money by doing less and how they are smart in that regard. Race & Funk said they never wanted to be embarrassed in the ring as Funk said they knew the costs their bodies would pay with the way they wrestled but it was their choice as the fans applaud.

 

We now get Funk making fart noises into the microphone as he once again makes fun of Dusty Rhodes. One fan tells both guys how they had pride in their work and presented what they did as real, despite it being a show but today they present it just as a show and do not care what happens as long as they are seen while putting over their instincts. Funk said back then they never smartened up the outside people and that “shoot fighting” is doing that today.

 

The guys are asked for some Bobby Heenan stories. Funk playfully says that Heenan is a “terrible asshole” as he cuts off Race, who was trying to tell a Heenan story but forgot the name of the Japanese wrestler that was with them at the time.

 

Funk then gets serious and talks about something must be done about the amount of deaths that have happened in wrestling over the past five years as Race adds that it must happen internally and not through outside legislation. Race promises that if they do not correct themselves it will only get worse and that kids like Eddie Guerrero and Chris Candido are supposed to outlive guyslike Funk and himself.

 

They are then asked about what made them both get through 30 years of wrestling. Race says they are two of the luckiest people on earth as they did what they loved for their whole lives. Race adds this has been his job since he was 15 and wrestling is either in your blood and if you do not get kids who love wrestling, it will go away because if you flood the business with people who just want contracts, it might end but if you do it with people who love wrestling, it will last forever. Funk then wraps that up nicely as the interview ends.

 

Final Thoughts: It was a mildly entertaining interview. The concept is the guys drink on stage and this was filmed at a fan convention so there was an audience. At least they asked normal questions unlike what we get in “YouShoots” today.

There was some insight and comedy here but it also dragged at times too. Regardless, it breezed by for the most part and I would recommend it to fans of both guys.

You can get the interview on DVD for $19.99 or the digital download for $9.99