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RF VIdeo Face-Off Volume 16: Figure-Four and Hardcore (Ric Flair & Terry Funk)

This interview was filmed in June 2013. The runtime is just under two hours long.

The interviewer starts by asking both men how they met. Funk says that he remembers like it was yesterday. In 1972, Flair, along with Dick Murdoch and Dusty Rhodes, pulled up to his place in a pickup truck. Flair said that he was thrilled to meet Funk, as he read about him. Funk said that he knew Flair would be great. They are asked if they had any good stories about Murdoch. Funk says that Murdoch’s dad was tough on him and would take him to the matches and make him get him food but would not let Dick get anything for himself. He also said that Murdoch was adopted and quit high school at age 17 to become a referee. Funk said that Murdoch was such a good athlete that he showed up to West Texas State and told the coach he was a linebacker, a position he never even played in high school, and went on to eventually play for the team.



Flair is asked of his early memories of Verne Gagne. He said that he was legit as could be and puts over how he played in the NFL. They are then both asked about Eddie Graham and Funk tells us that Graham never had any formal education and had gaps in his logic as a result but had a fantastic wrestling mind. Both men agree that he came up with the best finishes in wrestling. They tell a story of how they were both on a plane with Dory that was flown by Graham and he accidentally flew over the airport in Florida as he was drunk and singing along to a country song. They are then asked what Graham would have done if he was around in the 90’s and both men state that he was too old-school to keep up with the times. Funk thinks that he committed suicide because he knew that he was going to lose everything.



When asked about what its like to be the NWA Champion, both state that it was the pinnacle of the business. Funk notes how you had to wrestle an hour, sometimes and hour and a half a night and there was pressure to draw more than the guy who held the belt before you. Funk puts over the NWA committee for doing a great job picking champions. They are then asked if your life changes after winning the belt and they both mumble for a few minutes before Funk says that it meant you were the number one worker in the world.



They are then asked if they wanted to go up to New York in the 1970’s. Flair said no but Funk did want to go, as he was broke. At the time, he bought the Double Cross Ranch and had $40,000 in the bank and thought he could retire off of that but it was just about gone within six months. When asked about Vince McMahon Sr, they both loved him too and Flair notes how Vince Sr. was actually on the NWA Board of Directors, despite being a competitor. This then leads to a discussion about characters with Flair stating how the characters are gone now. He said that he was recently at RAW and he had too much energy for them. They both then mention how the WWF never changed their names with Funk joking how he gained a brother when he went over.



Flair is then asked about Johnny Valentine. Flair said he liked him personally but hated his style of wrestling, noting that he would always sit on his opponent and nearly kill the entire territory with his matches. He also said that Valentine never ran the ropes at all.  When asked about the best when he broke in, Flair said Funk, Race, Murdoch, and Ray Stevens were his favorites. He adds that Stevens was far ahead of his time. Funk said that he liked working with Flair then adds how his wife would know when they wrestled as he would come home with welts on his chest. Flair also says that Wahoo McDaniel was a big influence on his career then jokes how he is two wives behind him. Funk also talks about Wahoo and calls him a gun nut, recalling a story of how Wahoo shot several holes into the car of a fan that was tailgating him on his way to the arena.



Both men then put each other over as being the one of the greatest workers. Funk said Ric had it all, stamina, perseverance, and that he was a great talker. Flair says that together they invented hardcore and bring up how Funk almost broke his neck after he piledrived him through a table that didn’t break. Funk says that “Hardcore” means you give 100% every night to the people every single night you wrestled, no matter how big or small the crowd size. He also says that he was never concerned about a payoff and that the performance is what counted.



The next topic is Dusty Rhodes. Flair says that he loved Dusty so much that he asked him to call him “Rambling” Ricky Rhodes. He said that he had a blast in Minnesota with him and Murdoch, as those two lived in a nice apartment with a mule that lived in the guest bedroom. Both men do not believe that Dusty is a selfish booker. Flair said he argued with him, like the time he wanted Flair to work the Bunkhouse Stampede at the end of the show when he was the World Champion. When asked what made Dusty good, Flair said he had a lot of charisma and could wrestle a broadway while Funk says that he relied on his promos instead of his in-ring work. Funk then says how Dusty was a great athlete and played catcher in the minor leagues. Funk says he helped smarten Dusty to the business while Flair jokes that he still hasn’t smartened up yet.



When comparing the business from the 1980’s up until today, Flair says that the art of wrestling is totally different but he still loves the product. Flair said in one year, he worked 288 hour-long broadways then said that Funk did over 300 in one year.



The guys are asked about Roddy Piper. Thy both agree that he was one of the craziest guys they had ever met. Funk tells a story of how he recently did a shoot the same day as the company did one with Piper and they told him that Piper’s room was a complete fucking disaster.



Up next is their angle that had Funk put a plastic bag over Flair’s head. Funk said he almost got arrested for attempted murder in Florida as a result. He then says that the idea came from Gary Hart and that Jim Barnett lost his mind when it happened. Funk was asked if he was retired at this point and he joked that his horse was sick. It gets confusing when Funk is asked if he was ever considered for the belt and Flair thought he was either passed over or declined while Funk struggles to comprehend the question. Flair said that his own best tool as a wrestler was that he could bump. He then goes on to say how they tore the house down and Funk allowed him to use stiff chops. The interviewer brings up Ronnie Garvin and Flair said that Garvin beat the piss out of him. Funk says how band-aids and Neosporin were your saving grace back then.



Both guys state how Stan Hansen was the stiffest worker. Flair brings up how he tried to blade his forehead once but Hansen clotheslined him in the head and the blade got stuck. Flair then says back then Japan was the stiffest and the guys today couldn’t last there a week, adding how Jumbo Tsuruta used to drop him on his head daily.



The next subject is Bruiser Brody. Flair said he loved him and that he made a lot of money. He then says that he was not stiff, just intimidating, then puts him over for being in good condition. Both also agreed that he wouldn’t have gone to WCW or WWF if he was alive as he was unable to follow any rules. They then tell a story of how he dumped a handicapped kid out of his wheelchair during a TV taping in Atlanta and he was immediately fired afterwards by Jim Barnett.



They then talk about putting guys over and Funk says that both he and Flair always tried to make their opponent look good at the end of the match, even if it was an enhancement guy. Flair said he hates the phrase “job guy” and says they are enhancement talent who busted their ass to make other guys look good.



They are asked if there is pressure being the NWA Champion. Flair said that the only pressure is trying to get to bed. He said that after wrestling daily, usually for an hour, you needed to have a cocktail. He then says how he saw Sheamus backstage on RAW laying on the trainers table with ice packs then jokes that DDP is still in the territory. He then says how DDP would ice himself off and tape himself up, even when he didn’t bump and it drove him crazy. Funk thought it was hilarious that a man would ice themselves when they didn’t bump. Ric then talks about Bret Hart and Bob Orton, saying they were both great on offense but rarely took bumps. He then says that he once wrestled Bret in a dark match and that he asked Flair not to chop him hard because the match wasn’t going to be broadcasted on TV. Flair then brings up the Miz using the figure-four as his finisher and jokes about how no one has won with that hold since Jack Brisco was the champion.



They are then asked about wrestling today and when they were in their prime. Funk said that they are drawing more today than they did so who is to say that they are doing anything wrong. Funk then says that wrestling has involved into a different product that is controlled by the fans. Flair adds that the guys today live off the internet. He says that Vince controls everything backstage and after your segment when you walk through the Gorilla position, he will either give you a thumbs up if the segment went well or pull you aside if the segment went bad. Flair then adds that he loves Vince, as he not only makes money with him but also enjoys the product. He said he will not go to “Cauliflower Alley” as he does not want to hear people bitch about the current state of wrestling. Flair also says that the young guys in both TNA and WWE are very respectful of him and the other wrestlers from his generations.



When asked about which talent has what it takes to become the next star, Funk says that Hennig’s Kid (Curtis Axel) has all the tools. They both put over Dolph Ziggler, who Flair calls the “epitome of respect.” Funk calls both Ziggler and Axel “money drawers.” Flair also puts over CM Punk as being respectful. They are then asked about guys paying their dues today and Funk said that it is harder for guys today to break into the business as they only pick out a few kids out of thousands and there are much fewer places to break in compared to when he first started out. He then jokes that no one has it easy besides the promoter’s kid. Flair adds that he does not want to do a wrestling school because he will be taking someone’s money and not being able to get them any work. He then mentions his daughter, Ashley (Charlotte in NXT) and thought she could make it to the main roster in a few months as she was a great athlete. He brings up her NXT debut, which was filmed a few days before this interview, and how after the match she started to cry in the corner backstage and asked Ric if her deceased brother Reid saw the match. Ric said that he broke down after that as well.



Flair talks about Japan and how he couldn’t wrestle over there due to his blood clot. He was supposed to wrestle with the Great Muta against Tatsumi Fujinami and someone else. He suggested that Reid work in his place and told them that he was an amateur wrestler. They thought Reid wasn’t ready but Ric convinced them to let him take his place. Ric then told his son to take down the other kid and “ride him like he owed him money.” After that, they told Ric that Reid would need a month in the dojo before he could go out but he was able to be on the road in five days. Ric says that Reid was “tougher than shit” and really loved the business. He also said that Reid was witty and brings up a time when he got into trouble and told his dad not to worry as Blackjack wasn’t running the territory anymore.



They are then asked if the other wrestlers treated them differently when they were the champion. Flair said that they kissed their asses at times. Funk said that when they were champs, they refused separate locker rooms and did not bury everyone. He said that they understood the business and doesn’t understand why others would look down at the talent who were enhancement talent as they wouldn’t be where they were if not for those guys.



Both are asked about their least favorite territory. Flair said it was Kansas City and Funk agrees with him. Flair jokingly referred to it as Moscow then jokes how he would only make about $900 a week there as the shows never drew anything and how his bar tab would be that much on his first night. He said that Bob Geigel, the promoter, would have them wrestle at fairs and in parking lots. He recalls how one time during his match, some kid stole his robe then ran out in the middle of the street and started to flip off people. He brings up how Cornette had a saying about these shows that even though you stole the show, it was only petty theft.



Now the guys are asked if they were ever jealous of Hulk Hogan when the WWF expanded in 1984. They both said that they never thought about that. Flair said that Harley used to call Hogan a “plastic champion” back in the NWA. Flair then adds when Hogan got to WCW, he did not want to work with Vader or Rick Rude but Flair would work with him. Flair then states how the worst thing you can give to a wrestler is creative control. Funk put over Hogan for being a huge draw then they both argue over a packet of Skoal.



Speaking of Harley Race, Flair is asked about what would have happened if he took Vince’s offer to not show up at the 1983 Starcade show. For those who do not know, Vince took Harley to dinner the night before the show and tried to persuade him to not show up for a large amount of cash. Flair said that Harley never would have left like that.



They are asked about the best locker room fight they saw. Only Flair answers and says that the most ridiculous fight he saw was only for a few seconds but it was the time Eddie Guerrero tried to take down Kurt Angle. Flair says he didn’t know the reason but thinks it was just a case of someone trying to create animosity. According to Kurt Angle in his shoot interview, the fight was a result of Angle blowing up at Eddie after a few months of matches that Kurt felt he had to completely carry by himself, unaware of his health problems.



The interviewer then asks then about Abdullah the Butcher, specifically about Devon Nicholson’s claims that Abby gave him Hepatitis C. Funk thinks that it is ridiculous and if anyone had contracted Hep C from Abby, it would have been him as he worked with him for years in Japan where they both bled buckets. They are then asked what they think about the ban on blading and Funk says that at one point, accidents will start to happen on purpose. Flair adds that the sponsors the WWE are trying to attract do not want to be associated with that.



When asked about the beginning of the end to the territories, Flair said that Jim Crockett had as much to do with that as anyone due to the fact that he tried to take them over by himself. He then adds how the Crocketts refuse to talk with each other to this day.



Neither man wants to be a booker or work as an agent. Flair said that it is a thankless job. Funk then adds how it consumes your life and brings how up he went up to Stamford in the 1990’s about a position as a booker but after being stuck in traffic and overwhelmed by the area’s congestion, he said that his horse was sick and he went home.



Both men are in favor of the recent attention to concussions with Funk adding how it is absolutely necessary. They then ramble on for a few minutes as Flair rags on Funk for only going out for one night with him when they met up for the first time in four years this past WrestleMania. After that, Flair jokes about the time Jim Herd wanted him to cut off his hair, wear an earring and call him Spartacus.



They ramble on for a few more minutes and I can barely understand them. The are asked about what the tag team name would be if they ever became partners and Flair said “Dumb & Dumber” as each man argues over who is in fact, the dumbest.



Flair talks about is blood clot. He said he was at his doctors the same day before his son passed away. He had no idea it was a blood clot as he felt no pain. He went to RAW and couldn’t wear socks as his legs were swollen. He then got sent home and went to hospital and found out that he had a blockage for months and could have easily died. He says he can no longer wrestle as he is on Coumadin, an anti-coagulant, but he still wants to work and has been told by HHH that he can no longer flop around, even if he is not wrestling.



The interview ends after a few more minutes of rambling by both men.



Final Thoughts: I really didn’t care that much for this to be honest. Flair was fine but Funk dragged things down and added next to nothing and the last twenty minutes should have just been cut, IMO. The interviewer, Rob Feinstein, was much worse than usual and just stuck to his script of questions and could not redirect anything or get the guys to elaborate. A better interviewer could have gotten more out of Flair, who is always willing to talk, unlike the soft-spoken Funk. You can tell that this was filmed very early in the morning as both guys got a coffee delivery a few minutes into the shoot and appeared half-asleep. It is also telling how both guys essentially made fun of DDP for taking care of his body as both men are broken down physically themselves. Both guys seemed nice enough and were agenda-free but that is about it and if you want to see a good shoot interview with Flair, Highspots did a three-disc shoot that is about ten hours long a few years ago. RF Video also did a Flair shoot earlier this year that specifically focuses on 2009-2013. I wouldn’t really recommend this to be honest, unless you are die-hard fans of both.


  1. "The interviewer, Rob Feinstein,"
    That's it I'm outta here.

  2. Never heard of that McMahon/Race dinner in '83 before. Nice bit of info there.

  3. Yeah - Flair mentions it in his book. It was a few days before the Starcade where Flair beat Race for his 2nd world title ( back when being a 2-time world champ was considered a pretty big deal). Race also mentions it in his book.

    Race's story is that he looked at a mirror and asked Vince something like "Can you see me in the mirror? I'll have to every day".

  4. Bret didn't take bumps? Alright Flair.

    Good review though, after listening to Terry on the Austin podcast you can tell his mind is really all over the place.

  5. "It is also telling how both guys essentially made fun of DDP for taking care of his body as both men are broken down physically themselves."

    I was about to say the same thing.

  6. DDP says that his body would be broken down too, but yoga saved him.

  7. Charismatic e-Negro Jef VinsonAugust 22, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    It's also weird that Flair has blood clots. With all the alcohol he's been known to consume his blood should be as thin as his hair now.

  8. Don't blame me, I voted for Honky and Raven.

  9. Sorry

    The Highspots Flair shoot is quite possibly the worst interview on the planet.

  10. I love the stupid machismo of "That fucking pussy DDP took care of himself and didn't just tough it out!" when DDP is now a health guru.

    Also "I hated working this territory because they only paid $900 a week and I spent that at the bar in 1 night" I don't know Ric... maybe NOT drink away your pay check? I mean 900 a week is what like 46k a year? That would be a decent salary for a lot of people even today let alone then and he blames it on the promotion... Flair just seems like a teenager stuck in a 60+ year old body.

  11. "Flair brings up how he tried to
    blade his forehead once but Hansen clotheslined him in the head and the blade
    got stuck."......G. Zus. Christ.....while sometimes some a little color adds to a match, I'll never complain about PG WWE again.

  12. Bruce Hart, Virgil, Arn Anderson, and Scott Hall all have horrendous shoot interviews. As awesome as Mart yJannetty's first shoot was, his second was terrible, do to the fact his speech was a mess. He looked and sounded like a guy in his second day of detox from alcohol.
    I thought the Flair Highspots shoot was decent. Not the greatest but solid enough, better than this, and the length

  13. the first hall interview was good.

    its the second where he was incherent as fuck.

    Arn's is told in KAYFABE...

    I never heard Virgils or Bruce's though

  14. A Kayfabe shoot is the worst kind of shoot

  15. Honky is always entertaining

  16. Listen to Funk on the Austin podcast for a little more color from him.

    Can I also say, there is nothing worse than a wrestler evaluating who they think can be a future talent? They always seem to go for the blandest, most color by numbers vanilla white guy they can. Anyone with no obvious defects, without ever considering strengths. I mean really? Axel? The same way Lance Storm got so excited about Mike Bennett. The same way Michaels thought Lance Cade would be his star pupil. The same way every legend they put Boreton against crowed about how great he was. Weird that wrestlers seem to latch onto the most middle of the road guys as being great. Kinda reminds me of every great band that had a boring soundalike protege project (Zep to Bad Company, for instance).

  17. "Flair just seems like a teenager stuck in a 60+ year old body."
    That is completely true. It really is pathetic to see Flair, a shell of his former self, continuosly drink and try to be the life of the party at his age and especially after the fact that his youngest son just died of a drug overdose.

  18. Bad Company? Are you mad?

  19. I give you Roddy Piper.

  20. That seems ridiculous.

  21. It's pretty widely-accepted that Bad Company are second-rate Zeppelin rip-offs, no?

  22. Wow, I had no idea he still did the interviews. I thought he had disappeared from the wrestling business after the... ahem.... "unpleasantness" almost a decade ago. Can't he just get someone else to ask the questions?

  23. I didn't know they spelled Wolfmother B-A-D-C-O-M-P-A-N-Y.

  24. You don't have to agree with it for it to be "widely-accepted." As for Phrederic, I think after 25 years it's not considered ripping-off anymore.

  25. You misunderstand me. It's not that I disagree that Bad Company are a second rate Led Zeppelin rip-off. It's that it isn't 'widely accepted'. At all.

  26. Clearly we run in different circles and read different critics. Seemed like an odd point to jump all over, especially if you apparently don't disagree.

  27. Jump all over? You said something incorrect, I pointed it out. No muss, no fuss.

  28. I was referring to your initial "are you mad," which wasn't directed to me.

  29. My point exactly, Donald Duck Guy.

  30. Hoo boy, I see now how well-earned your reputation is. I won't make THIS mistake again. Good day, sir.

  31. Bad Company are my mother's favorite band. Paul Rodgers is a great singer. But they were proto-Nickelback.

  32. Wolfmother weren't literal proteges of Zeppelin though. Bad Company were "discovered" by Plant.

  33. You should let your mother post for a while so you can take a sabbatical.

  34. Ma was trolling before the internet existed, she'd break you son. And drink you under the table.

  35. I didn't hear no!

  36. Shit, it is almost a decade ago that sorry business happened. Anyone remember the immensely creepy letter sent to the Observer allegedly sent by a then current WWE wrestler defending Rob and basically accusing everyone who trashed him of being a homophobe?

  37. I just wanted an opportunity to use this.

  38. I remember Benoit saying in a big Edmonton fan meet & greet that Randy Orton would go on to be a great wrestler. I assume he meant big STAR, because his in-ring stuff is... not so great.

  39. Who else is there?

    Gabe split once it happened.
    Doug killed himself in 07.

    I dont know who else is apart of RF Video.

    It just means all the proceeds goto him.


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