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by Dory Funk Jr.  – Coach Funking Conservatory and Trainer of Developmental Talent for WWE – http://www.dory-funk.com

I turned pro in January of 1963 just after finishing a football career at West Texas State University. In my first year I faced Sonny Meyers, Nelson Royal, Verne Gagne, Gene Kiniski, Iron Mike Dibiase and Pat O’Connor on the way to an NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match with Lou Thesz. My father and promoter of the Amarillo Territory Dory Funk Sr. always said, “You will never learn the business unless you have the opportunity to work with the best.” (Classic opportunity to learn the wrestling business)

Ticket prices were raised for the big match with Lou Thesz. Ringside were selling for $15, a big price for Amarillo, Texas in 1963. Prior to the show, I went by the wrestling office and asked my father to arrange for me to have two tickets for my Mother and Father In Law to come to the matches as that would be the first time they would have the opportunity to see me wrestle in person. I got the straight look from Dad as he said, “This is your first opportunity to show that you can draw money in the wrestling business. Promoters from around the country will be judging you by the official gate you draw with Lou Thesz at the Amarillo Sports Arena. Every dollar counts. If you want tickets for your mother and father in law, you will have to buy them yourself.”

In 1963, I shelled out $30 for ringside tickets for my wife’s mother and father. I was upset at the time but thankful now for my father’s wisdom and teaching.

After the match, a one hour time limit draw with the great Lou Thesz, I went upstairs to the wrestling office at the Amarillo Sports Arena. Dad handed Lou Thesz an envelope and said, “Lou, your pay is $750.” Lou looked at Dad and said, “Hey, that is money.”  Dad looked at me and said here you are and handed me an envelope and said, “Dory, your pay is $700.” You have to know I was happy after finishing a football career with a wife and two kids living on $50 a month food allowance with books and tuition paid and working in the off season after school pouring concrete for $2.75 an hour. (Good pay at the time)

Lou and I sold out the Amarillo Sports arena that night and word got around to the promoters of the National Wrestling Alliance. I was asked to wrestle in St. Louis for NWA President Sam Muchnick, The Dallas Territory for Fritz Von Erich, Florida Territory for Eddie Graham, Australia for Jim Barnett and many other NWA Territories. On February 11, 1969 I became NWA World Champion. One of many who backed me for the position was The Great Lou Thesz.

Dory Funk Jr. – Coach Funking Conservatory and Trainer of Developmental Talent for WWE – http://www.dory-funk.com

If you would like to become a professional wrestler and appear on !BANG! TV, Call Now – 352-895-4658

Next !BANG! TV Taping
Saturday November 21st
Support Your Troops 46, “Turkey Shoot.”
3598 SW 74th Avenue Suite A Ocala, Florida
Between Ocala City Sports Complex and Westport High School
Show time is 7:00pm, Doors open at 6:30pm
Tickets $10 in advance $15 at the door
Tickets are Available at Pardee Moving and Self Storage
For Ticket Information, Call 352-895-4658
Advance Tickets are online at http://www.dory-funk.com