February 2, 2010
Friends remember Brisco both in and outside the ring
By CHRIS SCHRAMM - SLAM! Wrestling
Known as a World champion in the ring, Jack Brisco's friends and fellow wrestlers remember him for being down to earth and respectful of everyone he came across.
"Jack Brisco was the most enjoyable wrestler to work with," Dory Funk Jr., Brisco's most famous opponent, told SLAM! Wrestling. "He gave the most credibility to professional wrestling and presented the strongest challenge to the NWA World Championship."
"He was a good, down to earth guy," Sir Oliver Humperdink told SLAM! Wrestling. "It came across in the ring, and that is what made him stand out."
Humperdink worked with Brisco early in his career in Florida, where Brisco was based out of. Humperdink remembered him for his interaction with the fans. "He was able to connect with the fans on their level."
William Murdock, who co-wrote Brisco: The Life and Times of National Collegiate and World Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco with Brisco in 2004, remembered his time spent with Brisco.
"It was hard to finish the book because I didn't want to finish," Murdock told SLAM! Wrestling. "He was my hero growing up and I felt like a kid in a candy story."
Brisco was always known for his in-ring ability, but Funk Jr. remembered what made Brisco stand above the rest. "Jack's competitive spirit. He was always ready to give his best as a competitor for the wrestling fans."
"He has a great understanding of the business. He didn't stab anyone in the back but protected himself when he needed to. Everyone respected him. Everyone trusted him," Murdock said.
Jim Ross, who along with Brisco came from Oklahoma, remembered Brisco in his blog describing him as "silky smooth, highly skilled, legitimately tough, easy going man have some of the greatest matches that ANY NWA Champion ever had."
Humperdink believes that young wrestlers today can learn a lot from a guy like Brisco. "Get all the Jack Brisco tapes that you can. In his time there was no one better than him and his matches with Dory Funk Jr. and Harley Race."
Ross agreed. "They created mat magic."
Funk Jr. runs a wrestling school in Florida and uses skills that Brisco had in his trainings. "Jack Brisco performed the best arm drag in professional wrestling. During training sessions with younger wrestler we teach the 'Brisco Style Arm Drag.'"
Brisco walked away from wrestling in 1984 and never looked back. When writing the book with Brisco, Murdock believed that Brisco never regretted his decision in quitting the business. "He'd wake up in a hotel every morning and have to look at his airplane ticket to see what town he was in. It was mentally draining for him."
"I feel so blessed that I got to know Jack Brisco on a personal level and I loved him like family," Ross wrote. "Jack Brisco was revered within our business but he was always just a poor kid from Oklahoma, raised without a father who always wanted to be a pro wrestler, and through hard work and dedication became one of the most famous men to ever wrestle for a living."
"I'd like to give my sincere coincidences to his family," Humperdink said. "I was looking forward to seeing him at this year's Cauliflower Alley Club because every time I saw him, he would bring a smile to my face."
Chris Schramm has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 1997. You can reach him at email@example.com.