***Bob Ryder reports that NWA champ Dan Severn and wrestling legend
Dory Funk Jr. were recently involved
in a legitimate fight stemming from an argument between their wives.***
My response to "The Ring Chronicle"
Please print this correction to your report
of a fight between Dan Severn and myself. The initial problem was
between my wife, Marti and Dan Severn. She threw water on him after his match. (Big F---ing deal) They had words and I approached Severn.
My comment to Severn was if you want to fight
with someone, why not pick on a man. I can fight back and she
cannot. Police who were still on hand after the show interceded and we were very close to making a trip to the Gainesville jail-house. I tried to shake hands with Severn and he refused so we took it to the ring.
I will tell you this Severn is a damn good wrestler but when push came to shove he was the one who backed down and left the ring, again complaining about the actions of my wife. (Graceful way out for Severn)
Incidentally, Severn's wife wasn't there.
Dory Funk Jr.
Text of Howard Brody (Gainesville Promoter) in letter to Rob Ryder
I wanted to send you an explanation of what happened in Gainesville last night, before it gets blown out of proportion or twisted on-line.
I've been promoting small shows since 1990 and this is only the second dressing room incident that I can ever remember. The first being in 1990 when Bambi, Peggy Lee Leather and Malia Hosaka missed their plane from an LPWA TV taping in Las Vegas and missed our LMLW show in Key West. Booker Luna Vachon went crazy back stage and started throwing things, threatening to never book them again. The following night, we switched the card around and Bambi dropped the strap to Luna, who was a little stiff with her.
But, that was nothing compared to what happened in Gainesville last night. It was just, let's say for the lack of a better word, bizarre.
Everything was fine with Dan and Dory at the show, except the two of them avoided each other all night. Dory refused to dress in the same room as Dan and periodically kept saying sarcastic things like "do I have to get dressed in the same room as 'the great' Dan Severn?" At first it appeared as just some old fashioned ribbing, but the two really didn't interact at all. Dan made it real clear that he wasn't happy with Dory's attitide, and asked me to just keep Dory out of his face. After Dory won his match, which we made sure was the last one before intermission as we switched the order of the matches, just so there wouldn't be any chance of a confrontation with Dory coming out of the ring and Dan going in, Dory got showered and dressed, but waited around as his wife Marti was still shooting photos for the Japanese press. So, like a true veteran, he stayed in the back and watched the last two matches, Adrian Street versus Firecat (Brady Boone) and Severn versus Typhoon (who subbed for Greg Valentine, as Greg's mom took ill Thursday night according to his wife Julie).
After Dan's match (he won with an arm bar submission), he stopped to sign some autographs as the majority of the people left the building. Marti Funk, who had downed a couple beers during the night, packed her camera equipment away after the matches and was now drinking a bottled water and talking to some friends of hers who came to the show from Ocala (the Funk's hometown about 50 miles away). Anyway, Marti being Marti, was kidding around and splashed me with water. I pretended to get hot and she said something like "don't you have a sense of humor?" I told her it wasn't the time or place, pretty much just playing to the hand full of people.
At this point, here comes Severn walking back towards the dressing
room, and so, Marti being Marti, does the same to him, and his reaction
was the same as mine. So she says the same "don't you have a sense of humor?"
and at first Dan just continued on. But then she did it again, and so Dan
turned around and said something to her (I was out of range and didn't
hear what it was) that was enough to prompt Dory to grab Dan by the arm
and ask what was wrong. By this time, I made my way to them and Dan said
he didn't appreciate being splashed with water. Marti said it was a joke
and Dan was just hot and it festered to words between Dory and Dan. I pulled
the two of them aside and at this point there were about 35-50 people (wrestlers
included) who were standing around gawking, including John Alexander who
there from Wade Keller's Torch. Dan was hot that people were looking and
asked to go to the side, which we did, but people followed. Well the next
thing I know is Dory starts riding Dan about how he thinks he above the
business and Marti calls him a bum and stuff like that and Dory challenges
Dan to get in the ring. Dan said he respected Dory, but they had nothing
to prove, and then he jumps down my throat saying it was just like what
happened in New Jersey with Dennis (Corralluzzo), which I thought was way
out of line in front of
everyone. So, Dory keeps saying "I want to see what you got" let's get in the ring. This went on about 15 minutes and Dan finally got pissed enough that the two of them went into the ring, as it was being taken down.
I was really nervous because what happened if G-d forbid, something happened? I didn't want to be responsible. It wasn't like a street fight, or a UFC fight, but more like what the boys used to do who had reputations when they wanted to test each other. The two of them got in the ring and "wrestled." Well, again, I didn't care what they wanted to do so I ordered the ring people to take it apart whether these guys were in there or not, which they did. By the time the ring was stripped down to the wood, Dan finally rolled out of the ring and said he didn't have anything more to prove. He was so ticked off, he didn't even bother to shower and caught a ride to his hotel. I had to go to the hotel to settle with him (his payoff) which is a whole other story in and of itself, and not appropriate for this venue.
Now, while all this was going on, the Alachua County Sheriff's Department shows up with about 6-8 officers wanting to know what was going on. They were all prepared to go into the ring and break the thing up and had pepper gas ready to spray. One officer asked me if the argument was real and I didn't know what to say. I was afraid if I said yes, which it was, that perhaps they would arrest Dan and Dory and that I would be responsible for bailing them out of jail, because I was the promoter of record. So instead, I said no, and they turned around and wanted to lock me up for attempting to intice a riot. Believe me, I had to do some fancy dancing to avoid spending the night in the Alachua County lockup.
By the end of the evening, Marti Funk apologized to me for splashing me with water, but didn't apologize for anything else. Dory didn't say anything except that while Dan may be a great shooter, he wasn't worthy of being an "NWA World Champion" and that we (the NWA) should think about what direction we want to take. Dan, on the other hand, while pissed off big time at the Funks and Corralluzzo, realized it wasn't my fault what happened last night and agreed to continue working with us. (NWA)
I hope that clears up a few things.
My response to Brody, Severn and who ever else may give a damn.
I didn't marry Marti to spend the rest of my life sitting in an easy chair being served tea and crumpets while watching TV. We travel through this life together taking on challenges and speaking our minds. The only thing that comes out of her mouth is a reflection of how we feel. If she upset Dan Severn, then maybe he can't take the truth and a little splash of water was only his excuse to badmouth a woman who can't fight back. Incidentally, Marti was working that night and was not drinking anything but water.
I have had no problem with Dan Severn in the past except maybe he can't handle his own insecurities because of the position he is in. Dan Severn is NWA World Champion. The strength and power of the NWA is not what it used to be, however some very intelligent and farsighted promoters have preserved the corporation. The name and mystic of the NWA is there. Ultimately, the strength of the NWA will depend on the strength of the champion. I have no problem with Dan Severn as NWA champion. He is a great wrestler, I do not question that, however we have crossed paths many times. Every time I see him, I shake his hand and wonder, "How good is he?"
In Gainesville last Friday night I tried him out. He is good, even great on take-downs. After a few skirmishes, I took him off his feet. It was then that he found a shameful excuse. (again blaming my wife for her comments) With that he took the opportunity to exit.
Until we meet again,
Dory Funk Jr.
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