Piledriver: Pro wrestling world mourns death of legendary Harley Race
, Montgomery Advertiser Published 2:31 p.m. CT Aug. 3, 2019
The pro wrestling industry lost one of the all-time greats this week, when Harley Race died Thursday of lung cancer at the age of 76.
During his 31-year in-ring career (1960-1991), he was an eight-time National Wrestling Alliance world heavyweight champion, a one-time World
Wrestling Association world heavyweight champion, a three-time American Wrestling Association tag team champion with Larry Hennig and was the first NWA United States champion.
During his NWA run from 1970-1984, Race had marquee matches with greats like Dory Funk Jr., Terry Funk, Jack Brisco, Dusty Rhodes, Dick The Bruiser, Pat Patterson, Angelo Poffo, The Sheik, Nick Bockwinkel, Ric Flair, Andre The Giant, “Superstar” Billy Graham and Bob Backlund.
Then Race moved to the WWE in 1986, winning the “King of the Ring” tournament and referred to himself as “King” Harley Race, managed by the legendary Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.
Race had a match against Junkyard Dog at “WrestleMania III” at the Pontiac Silverdome.
Race moved to World Championship Wrestling in 1990 and ended his in-ring career late that year and transitioned to a managerial role.
From 1991 to 1995 in WCW, Race managed wrestlers like Big Van Vader, Super Invader, Vinnie Vegas (Kevin Nash) and The Colossal Kongs.
In 1999, Race started an independent promotion, World League Wrestling, and ran shows in Missouri for the past 10 years.
Race is one of six men to have been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, NWA Hall of Fame, Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.