Funk’s Corner – The Dory Funk Uppercut Forearm Blow
“People either have to think wrestling is fake or they think wrestlers can’t throw a punch hard enough to break an egg.”
The man doing the talking was Iron Mike Dibiase, father of the “Million Dollar Man,” Ted Dibiase.
It was a Sunday afternoon in the old Amarillo Territory and we were traveling the new Interstate 40 between Amarillo and Albuquerque. Iron Mike was one of my father’s best friends and someone I could trust to talk to about the wrestling business.
That night in Albuquerque Iron Mike was wrestling Ricky Romero who liked to punch a lot, but like me, had a lot of respect for Mike Dibiase. Iron Mike was the leader in the match, the “Ring General.” Mike was a wrestling heel and only threw a punch if there was a good reason for it. That night Iron Mike had so much heat little Ted Dibiase was running back and forth at ringside bawling his eyes out yelling at the fans for booing his father.
In the other main event that night, Terry and I were wrestling Kurt and Karl Von Brauner managed by Saul Weingroff. The “Sly Foreigner” German Team with the Jewish manager had so much heat promoter and ring announcer Mike London’s voice couldn’t be heard over the jeers and boos of the wrestling fans as he tried to introduce them.
The big one and the real German Kurt Von Brauner didn’t even through a punch but rather threw a forearm uppercut blow to the chest.
I noticed the fans reacted much more to his forearm smashes than to the multitude of punches often thrown by inexperienced wrestlers.
After the match I asked Kurt to show me how he throws the European forearm smash. I tried it some and had good fan response, but it was difficult and far from perfect.
As a young wrestler, I tried to work in more wrestling, bumps and highspots rather than fall into the rut of punch, punch and punch until your arm actually blows up that you sometimes may see watching inexperienced wrestlers.
I learned to throw the forearm smash shown to me by Kurt Von Brauner through practice. I practiced on my family, bathroom doors, friends and even brick and concrete walls and I still practice today. Any time I open a door, I give it just a little forearm tap and enter.
In the late sixties, my father, Dory Funk Sr. brought Lord Alfred Hayes to the Amarillo Territory. Dad forever wanted an English Lord as a heel in the territory even to the point of having earlier brought in Pat Patterson giving him the name, Lord Patrick Patterson even though he had a French Canadian accent.
Working with Lord Alfred Hays I had the opportunity to learn even more about the European style of work. They worked from the right as opposed to the left here in America. Europeans were used to a hard surface ring and took more of a rolling fall as opposed to what has been labeled the “Bumping Style” here in America. The European wrestlers did much more wrestling and few at all even knew how to throw a good punch.
It was my observation that a combination of the two styles of work taking the best of each style along with my basic training in amateur wrestling learned from my Father would more fit a style of credibility that I wanted to accomplish in professional wrestling.
To best demonstrate that style, now on !BANG! TV on our website we have a match from Japan between myself and one of the best European wrestlers Horst Hoffman.
Dory Funk Jr. – Coach of the Funking Conservatory – www.dory-funk.com.
For information on our next !BANG! TV Taping coming Monday December 31st and Funking Conservatory training schedules Call 352-895-4658