Revisiting Terry Funk & Ric Flair’s Brutal ‘I Quit’ Match from Troy, NY
The wrestling world lost one of its toughest and craziest performers when Terry Funk died on August 23rd at the age of 79.
One of Funk's most memorable matches took place at the Houston Field House in Troy, New York on November 14th, 1989. The intense and brutal "I Quit" match was one of the featured contests at WCW's Clash of the Champions IX: New York Knockout.
Funk's opponent was none other than "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, one of the biggest names in wrestling history. This particular encounter from Troy is often cited as one of the best matches in either of their careers.
The feud between Terry Funk and Ric Flair had been building for several months leading up to the Troy showdown. Funk, known for his wild and unpredictable personality, had become increasingly obsessed with defeating Flair and winning the World Heavyweight Championship.
To win an "I Quit" match, a wrestler must make their opponent say the words "I quit" into a microphone. There are no pins or submissions, and anything goes. Funk and Flair used a variety of weapons, including steel chairs, microphone cables and tables (then uncommon) and brawled outside of the ring.
"He damn near broke my neck because the table didn't break." -Ric Flair
The finish came when Flair managed to trap Funk in the Figure-Four Leglock, tormenting Funk's "injured" leg. Funk finally uttered the words "I quit", giving Flair the victory in a contest that lasted nearly 20 minutes.
The "I Quit" match continues to be brought up as one of the more brutal wrestling encounters, especially for the time. Regarding Funk's passing, WWE Chief Content Officer Paul "Triple H" Levesque said,
Every night in cities all over the world, Terry Funk left it all in the ring for our business and for the fans. An icon of our industry.