Harley Race

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Check out Harley Race’s WWE Alumni profile here!

Title History

  • AWA World Tag Team titles w/ Larry Hennig defeating Dick the Bruiser and Crusher (January 30, 1965);
  • AWA World Tag Team titles w/ Larry Hennig defeating Vern Gagne and Crusher (August 7, 1965);
  • IWA (Australia) World Tag Team titles w/ Larry Hennig Awarded (June 1966);
  • AWA World Tag Team titles w/ Larry Hennig defeating Dick the Bruiser and Crusher (January 6, 1967);
  • NWA Central States Heavyweight title defeating Sonny Myers (April 5, 1968);
  • NWA Central States Heavyweight title defeating Bob Geigal (1971);
  • NWA Central States Heavyweight title defeating Bob Geigal (June 1971);
  • NWA Central States Heavyweight title defeating The Stomper (July 7, 1972);
  • NWA Missouri Heavyweight title defeating Pak Song [Tournament] (September 16, 1972);
  • NWA (Central States) North American Tag Team titles w/ Roger Kirby defeating Rufus R. Jones and The Stomper (November 2, 1972);
  • NWA World Heavyweight title defeating Dory Funk Jr. (March 24, 1973);
  • NWA Central States Heavyweight title defeating Bob Brown (September 22, 1973);
  • NWA Missouri Heavyweight title defeating Gene Kiniski (October 13, 1973);
  • Stampede North American Heavyweight title defeating Archie Gouldie (Febuary 22, 1974);
  • ESA (Montreal) North American Heavyweight title (May 7, 1974);
  • NWA Central States Heavyweight title defeating Bob Brown (July 11, 1974);
  • NWA Georgia Heavyweight title defeating Mr. Wrestling II (September 13, 1974);
  • NWA (Mid Atlantic) United States Heavyweight title defeating Johnny Weaver [Tournament] (1975);
  • NWA Florida Tag Team titles w/ Roger Kirby (1975);
  • NWA Mid America Heavyweight title (1975);
  • NWA Missouri Heavyweight title defeating Dory Funk Jr. (Febuary 21, 1975);
  • NWA Florida Tag Team titles w/ Roger Kirby defeating Johnny Weaver and Dick Slater (April 16, 1975);
  • NWA Florida Tag Team titles w/ Bob Roop (June 14, 1975);
  • NWA (Florida) Southern Heavyweight title defeating Dusty Rhodes (September 1975);
  • NWA Mid America Heavyweight title defeating Magnificent Zulu (September 9, 1975);
  • NWA Central States Heavyweight title defeating Bob Brown (July 8, 1976);
  • NWA World Heavyweight title defeating Terry Funk (Febuary 6, 1977);
  • NWA World Heavyweight title defeating Dusty Rhodes (August 26, 1979);
  • NWA World Heavyweight title defeating Giant Baba (November 7, 1979);
  • NWA World Heavyweight title defeating Giant Baba (September 9, 1980);
  • NWA World Heavyweight title defeating Tommy Rich (May 1, 1981);
  • WWA (Indianapolis) World Heavyweight title defeating Bobo Brazil (April 24, 1982);
  • NWA (All Japan) United National Heavyweight title defeating Jumbo Tsuruta (August 1, 1982);
  • NWA Missouri Heavyweight title defeating Dick the Bruiser (September 17, 1982);
  • PWF (Japan) Heavyweight title defeating Giant Baba (October 26, 1982);
  • NWA Missouri Heavyweight title defeating Jerry Blackwell (May 13, 1983);
  • NWA Central States Heavyweight title defeating Dewey Robertson (June 2, 1983);
  • NWA World Heavyweight title defeating Ric Flair (June 10, 1983);
  • NWA Missouri Heavyweight title defeating David Von Erich (January 6, 1984);
  • NWA World Heavyweight title defeating Ric Flair (March 21, 1984);
  • NWA Central States Heavyweight title defeating Hacksaw Higgins (October 25, 1984);
  • NWA Missouri Heavyweight title defeating Jerry Blackwell (August 2, 1985);
  • CWA (Mid America) Heavyweight title defeating Koko Ware (October 7, 1985);
  • WWF King of the Ring Tournament Winner defeating Pedro Morales in the Finals (July 14, 1986);
  • WWC (World Wrestling Council) Caribbean Heavyweight title defeating Miguelito Perez (January 6, 1990);
  • OnlineWorldofWrestling.com Hall of Fame Inductee (2002);
  • WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Hall of Fame Inductee (2004);

Harley Race Career Highlights

In the Beginning:

  • Harley Race wrestled as “Jack Long” early in his career teaming with Johnny Long as the Long Brothers.
  • 1963: Harley Race wrestled as “The Great Mortimer” in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Early in Harly Race’s professional wrestling career, tragedy struck when he was involved in a major car accident.
  • ~~~Harley’s injuries were so bad that doctors told him he may never walk and would definitely never wrestle again.

American Wrestling Association:

  • Harley Race teamed with Larry “the Ax” Hennig in the American Wrestling Association.
  • January 30, 1965: Harley Race and Larry Hennig beat Crusher Lisowski and Dick the Bruiser to win the AWA World Tag Team titles.
  • August 7, 1965: Harley Race and Larry Hennig beat Crusher Lisowski and Verne Gagne to win the AWA World Tag Team titles again.

National Wrestling Alliance:

  • May 23, 1973: Harley Race defeated Dory Funk Jr. to win the NWA World title (Lost the title 4 months later to Jack Brisco).
  • February 2, 1977: Harley Race defeated Terry Funk to win the NWA World Heavyweight title (2).
  • August 8,1979: “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes defeated Harley Race for the NWA World Heavyweight title.
  • June 10, 1983: Harley Race defeated Ric Flair to win the NWA World Heavyweight title (7).
  • March 21, 1984: Harley Race defeated Ric Flair in New Zealand to win the NWA World Heavyweight title (8).
  • March 21, 1984: Ric Flair defeated Harley Race to recapture the NWA World title in Singapore.
  • ~~~THIS TITLE CHANGE WAS NEVER RECOGNIZED BY THE National Wrestling Alliance.
  • September 28, 1985 – AWA SuperClash: Jumbo Tsuruta and Giant Baba and Genichiro Tenryu defeated Harley Race and Bill and Scott Irwin.
  • April 20, 1986 – AWA WrestleRock: Rick Martel vs Harley Race fought to a DOUBLE COUNT OUT.
  • Summer 1986: Harley Race was forced to turn over his NWA Missouri Title because he was leaving for the WWF.

World Wrestling Federation:

  • Harley Race signed with the WWF where he was originally known as “Handsome” Harley Race and managed by Bobby Heenan.
  • June 22, 1986: King Tonga vs Harley Race ended in a DOUBLE DISQUALIFICATION.
  • July 14, 1986: Harley Race won the King of the Ring Tournament and officially adopted the “King of Wrestling” moniker.
  • August 28, 1986 – The Big Event: “The King” Harley Race defeated Pedro Morales.
  • November 1986 – MSG: Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper defeated Paul Orndorff and Harly Race w/ Bobby Heenan.
  • January 3, 1987 – SNME: Junk Yard Dog defeated “The King” Harley Race by disqualification.
  • February 1987: Roddy Piper and Junk Yard Dog and Ricky Steamboat beat Adrian Adonis and Harley Race and Randy Savage.
  • March 29, 1987 – WrestleMania III: Harley Race defeated The Junk Yard Dog in a “Loser Must Bow” match.
  • May 9, 1987 – Live Event: Hulk Hogan defeated Harley Race to retain the WWF Heavyweight title.
  • June 1987 – Live Event: Hulk Hogan defeated Harley Race in a Texas Death match to retain the WWF title.
  • November 16, 1987 – Legends Night: Randy “Macho Man” Savage defeated “King” Harley Race.
  • November 26, 1987 – Survivor Series: Savage/Steamboat/Roberts/Duggan/Beefcake beat Honky/Race/Hercules/Davis/Bass.
  • January 24, 1988 – Royal Rumble: Harley Race entered at #6 but was eliminated by Don Muraco.
  • March 12, 1988 – SNME: Hulk Hogan defeated “King” Harley Race.
  • March 27, 1988 – WrestleMania 4: Harley Race participated in a 20 Man Battle Royal, which was won by Bad News Brown.
  • June 21, 1988: There was a coronation ceremony to name Haku the new “King” of the WWF after Harley Race was injured.
  • November 24, 1988 – Survivor Series: Andre/Rude/Perfect/Race/Bravo beat Duggan/Roberts/Santana/Patera/Casey.
  • Harley Race turned on Bobby Heenan and The Heenan Family, feeling betrayed that Heenan would make Haku the “King”.
  • Late 1988: King Haku defeated Harley Race in a serious of WWF Live Events accross the country.
  • January 15, 1989 – Royal Rumble: King Haku w/ Bobby Heenan defeated Harley Race.

World Championship Wrestling:

Hall of Famer:

  • May 22, 1994: Harley Race was inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame.
  • 1994: Harley Race was inducted into the Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame.
  • 1999: Harley Race was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.
  • Harley Race is also a Great Hisa’s Puroesu Hall of Famer.
  • Harly Race says he copied his style from Buddy Austin and Ray Stevens.

Retirement:

  • Harley Race created his own wrestling promotion known as World League Wrestling (WLW).
  • Harley Race was the last person to speak to Owen Hart, saying “Don’t let your rope break.” – Something he regrets to this day.
  • Harley Race is/was possibly the most legendary NWA Champion of all time – with a total of eight reigns as Champion.
  • March 13, 2004 – WWE: Harley Race is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame during a ceremony in New York City!
  • March 14, 2004 – Wrestlemania XX: Harley Race was honored with all the other Hall of Fame inductees during the Pay Per View.
  • April 26, 2004 – RAW: Harley Race attended in the front row and Randy Orton confronted him and SPIT in his face!
  • January 29, 2005 – WrestleReunion: DustyandDustin Rhodes and Mike Graham w/ Harley Race b Kevin Sullivan and Abdullah and CM Punk.
  • April 2, 2005 – World League Wrestling: Trevor Rhodes vs Brandon Bishop ended in a NO CONTEST with Mick Foley as referee.
  • ~~~Trevor Rhodes and Brandon Bishop and Johnny Gold attacked Mick Foley until Terry Funk and Harley Race made the save!
  • October 3, 2005 – WWE Homecoming: Harley Race participated in a Legends Ceremony which included roughly 24 Legends.
  • November 17, 2005 – Carolina Wrestling Association: Ric Converse (managed by Harley Race) defeated Jake Manning.
  • March 27, 2006 – Live Event (SD! crew): Mr. Ken Kennedy confronted WWE Hall of Famer “King” Harley Race in Joplin, Missouri.
  • June 2006: Harley Race was presented the Mike Mazurki Award at the 2006 Cauliflower Alley Club Convention in Las Vegas.
  • February 3, 2007 – Alternative Championship Wrestling: Scotty Matthews w/ Harley Race defeated The Bounty Hunter
  • June 24, 2007 – Vengeance (Night of Champions): Harley Race was honored as an 8-time former World Heavyweight Champion.
  • November 3, 2007 – Ring of Honor: Harley Race presented awards to legendary Japanese referee Joe Higuchi.
  • May 30, 2009 – NECW: “Handsome” Harley Race got a standing ovation and did commentary for the second half of the event.

Dave Meltzer wrote via the Wrestling Observer (On October 9, 2009): B.J. Race, the wife of Harley Race, passed away tonight at Lake Ozark Regional Hospital. We don’t have much in the way of details but she was very well liked in the profession. She was a very important part of his support system and the two of then ran World League Wrestling and his wrestling school in Eldon, MO.