Funk plays big role in wrestling event
by Derik Vanderford Staff Writer
UNION — A crowd of nearly 350 people erupted during Trans-South Wrestling’s main event at Union County Fairgrounds.
Trans-South Wrestling’s guest of honor Saturday was WWE Hall of Famer and former NWA World Champion Terry Funk. Funk — along with TSW’s in-house wrestling legend “Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez — conducted a seminar for wrestlers on Saturday afternoon. Following the seminar, Funk met with TSW fans before the event Saturday night and during intermission.
Then, during the main event match pitting the team of Fernandez and Hunter Thompson with manager Thomas Simpson against TSW Heavyweight Champion Deon Johnson and Pete Kaasa, Funk provided an extra set of eyes for Johnson and Kaasa outside the ring. At one point, Simpson wielded a kendo stick, and Funk snatched it from him and swung it himself, sending Fernandez, Thompson, Simpson and several other wrestlers running back to the locker room. Funk then gave Johnson and Kaasa his stamp of approval by raising their arms following the chaotic bout.
“I can’t really put into words the feeling that went through my bones when Terry Funk came over and grabbed my arm and raised it,” Johnson said. “It might sound corny, but it really was magic. I think Saturday was a night that none of us will soon forget.”
Referee Tracy Rash pointed out that Saturday evening marked his one-year anniversary as a pro referee.
“Terry Funk was just amazing all day long,” Rash said. “You know you’ve got someone special when fans are coming from Columbia, Charleston, and Charlotte to little Union, just to watch a wrestling match. I think that will be a good shot in the arm for TSW.”
Funk said he was pleasantly surprised at the caliber of talent at Saturday’s event.
“None of these guys are beginners,” Funk said. “They all know what they’re doing, and you can tell they all have a lot of passion for what they do. All the matches were good, and the show was run the way wrestling is supposed to be run.”
In other matches on the card, TSW Tag Team Champions Danny Dollar and Brandon Phoenix retained their titles by defeating Craig Huffman and “Mr. Sleaze” Eric Thompson; Kameron Kade defeated Bobby Wohlfert; Jake Lee defeated Cueball Carmichael; Chase “Cauliflower” Brown defeated Baron; Dean Richards defeated Alex Avgerinos; and Josh Powers defeated TK Starwalker.
TSW’s next event will be at 5 p.m. Oct. 19 as part of the Union County Agricultural Fair.
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