In Funk's Corner

"It All Began With Fire"

 

The match began with aggressive wrestling by the Sheik. I fought back and he went for a foreign object in his Arabian boot. (Toes turned up on the tips for walking in the desert sands.) The fans were ready to riot. They wanted to kill The Sheik. I got the foreign object from The Sheik and busted him with it. He bled profusely. With the crowd in a frenzy,
I knocked him to the mat and picked up his right leg for the spinning toe hold. I turned once, twice, and three times. With the Sheik flat on his back and the fans absolutely sure he was going to give up, from out of his hands came a ball of fire. It engulfed my face. I could see orange through my closed eyelids and feel the heat as it singed my hair. I could smell the stench of burning all around me.

Referee, Jack Cain immediately called for the bell disqualifying The Sheik. The match was over, but I was writhing in pain on the floor. Referee, Jack Cain called for help. Ricky Romero came to the ring with water and towels and they helped me to the dressing room.  The wrestling fans in Lubbock were infuriated by the Sheik.

Ricky Romero and Referee Jack Cain Helping Dory Funk Jr.
Lubbock, Texas, Fairpark Coliseum 1965

I did not wrestle for weeks. My father, Dory Funk Sr. on television live in 1965 said, "When I get in the ring with him, I will Kill the Son of a B----." Ricky Romero spoke to his fans in Spanish, swearing that he would get even with the Sheik for what he did to his best friend. The Sheik was hot. (No pun intended)

This was only the beginning.

Weeks later I returned to Lubbock, Texas to wrestle The Sheik in an Arabian Death Match. (Texas Death Match rules with six feet of sand around the ring) In 1965 Lubbock, Texas was the number one town in the state for wrestling attendance according to figures supplied by the State Athletic Commission for Boxing and Wrestling. The heel most responsible for the success of Nick Roberts and his promotion in Lubbock was the mysterious Sheik.

"It all began with fire."


 

Terry Funk vs The Sheik

Sabu was trained by The Sheik. He is as violent and unpredictable as his Uncle, The Sheik.

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