Note: The following article appeared in the Kansas City Star newspaper:
BY SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
A group of aspiring professional wrestlers gather inside an old, chilly warehouse and sit around a poker-turned-dining table, swapping stories. A couple of wrestling rings nearby — one of them from the 1950s — represent two blank canvases of opportunity for this batch of 20- and 30-somethings hoping to make it big.
They talk. They joke. They laugh.
Only a few moments after the noise begins to pick up, it reverses to a complete hush when one of the toughest son-of-a-you-know-whats to ever enter the ring opens the glass front door.
“There’s Harley,” one of them whispers to a visitor. “That’s the king.”
An eight-time National Wrestling Alliance champion, Harley Race glances toward the table of his wrestling academy pupils before limping into his office — a cramped space that doesn’t seem big enough for a burly man who once went by the name “King Harley” while working for Vince McMahon and his up-and-coming pro league, the World Wrestling Federation.