Guest Author - Vance R. Rowe
The Texas Death Match
The Texas Death match is another dangerous match in my series of specialty matches. This match originated in the Amarillo, Texas area and the very first one saw Dory Funk, Sr. battle “Iron” Mike DiBiase for four and a half hours. The match never saw a clear victor as the match had to be called because of the town’s curfew. The two men went to the hospital after the match and while it is unclear how many stitches Mike DiBiase received, but, Dory Funk, Sr. received around thirty-two of them.
Terry Funk kept the tradition alive and battled “Handsome” Harley Race in many Texas Death Matches. One match between the two lasted for just over two hours and both men went to the hospital after the match and the doctors told Terry that he had cracked vertebrae.
The rules for a Texas Death Match are simple. There are no disqualifications and pin falls count anywhere. After a pin fall, the person pinned has a ten count to get up or back to the ring. If he fails to do so, he loses the match.
Although it is a very dangerous match, it has survived in the wrestling world, just as other dangerous matches have survived and are still used today. The Last Man Standing match is the closest thing to the rules of the Texas Death Match where a person, who is knocked out, like in boxing, has a ten count to get to his feet but does not have to be pinned first. If he can not get to his feet within the count of ten, that wrestler loses the match.
There are also other matches that have the word “deathmatch” attached to them. There is the Blindfold Death Match, where both wrestlers are blindfolded and attempt to fight each other and there is the “Lights Out Deathmatch” where the arena lights are turned out and the two grapplers have to challenge each other in the dark.
The Texas Deathmatch is not the most dangerous match in professional wrestling anymore but it ranks right up there and it is still a dangerous specialty match nonetheless. However, just stepping into the ring in a normal rules match is dangerous as far as that as is concerned and they are done by trained professionals so, as always:
KIDS, PLEASE DO NOT TRY THESE MATCHES AT HOME!