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 - Ashley Parrish

In my first article, I stated one thing that made Amarillo unique was the hardcore gimmick matches which were used to settle or enhance feuds. The Funks routinely participated in these types of matches, especially Texas Death matches. However, the Russian Chain match was also popular in Amarillo and Terry Funk probably participated in them as much as anyone. You rarely see a Russian Chain match anymore, but back in the day, it was as hardcore as it got. A chain match basically guaranteed a blood bath. That Terry would frequently engage in such a match is hardly surprising. This month we'll go back in time and look at some of Terry's more memorable chain matches in Amarillo. Where appropriate, I'll try to fill in some details surrounding the match and what lead to its booking.

October 30,1969
Terry Funk vs. Harley Race

The two future NWA world title holders hooked up in a chain match just before Halloween, 1969.  Harley had been wrestling in the region since the early 60's and was a well established heel. Terry had been wrestling for a little over two years. The two began feuding in March, after Race won a disputed decision over Dory, Sr. Harley and Terry battled in a series of singles and tag bouts leading up to this match. Two weeks before this match, Terry had defeated Race in a two out three fall match at the Sports Arena. Race would have to wait to gain his revenge. Terry won this match in 12:41 after referee Ken Farber stopped the bout due to Race's profusely bleeding forehead.

December 18, 1969
Terry Funk vs. Dusty Rhodes

While this feud achieved its greatest publicity in the Sunshine State in the mid-70's, it actually began in Amarillo. Dusty had started out as a heel in the area earlier in the year. In November, Dusty injured Dory, Sr. on TV causing him to forfeit the Western States Title to Tex McKenzie.

Terry put up a $500 challenge to Rhodes on November 20 at the Sports Arena to induce Dusty to meet him in "his kind of match". Dusty accepted the challenge. Terry prevailed in this encounter by dragging Rhodes around the ring and touching all four turnbuckles at the 12:03 mark.  More...

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