Harley Race Talks Confronting Hulk Hogan, His Last Conversation With Owen Hart
The following are highlights of a new WGD Weekly interview with WWE Hall Of Famer Harley Race:
The incident at Starrcade ’83, where it was in question as to whether he would show up for his match with Ric Flair: “The thing on me not being there, it was all just a big rib to start with. I just wanted everyone there to think that I wasn’t going to be there, because at that point in time, there was a board of directors, and the board had thought it was time to make a rotation with the title, and I just wanted everyone there to believe that maybe I wasn’t going to be there…truthfully, I don’t know if I told Ric or not, you can ask him. I’m sure have at some point in time, I couldn’t let that little lie rest still after all these years.”
Confronting Hulk Hogan backstage at an event as the WWF made the move “across territory lines” in the mid 1980’s: “In confronting the Hulkster, he was the type of guy, that he was being paid to do what he did, and that is how he looked at it. He didn’t look at it as though he was running roughshod over everyone else out there. I confronted him about all that garbage. There was no push come to shove or anything. We never got into anything that far into it. Talent wise, he was as good as there was out there in that era…I was a wrestling style champion, and the Hulkster was a talking style. That was the two sides of it.”
Going to work for Vince McMahon and the WWF and how the “King” gimmick came about: “When it first came up, I thought the easiest way out of this was just for me to come up with an idea that was so far out in one direction or the other that Vince and his group wouldn’t go along with it. So, I said, I want to be the King, I want to come in and win a big tournament, and I want the crown, and then that’s how it turned, with that, how could you not go on with it.”
Owen Hart’s passing, and a conversation he had with him while he was working backstage at that event: “Who the god knew it would be my last conversation with Owen. With him it was always about talking about his father and what they did up there in the Winnipeg area and me coming in and out of there. The Hart Family is as good of a family as there ever was on the face of the earth and they’ve got a lot of kids that were involved in the wrestling part of it. It is just a horrible, horrible thing when stuff like that happens… He didn’t mention (being uncomfortable), that was the amazing part of it. It could’ve been me, it could’ve been anyone else. No one knows when the man up above wants to call your name.”
Becoming a manager in WCW: “I had been as high or higher than almost anyone I think, even still today. It sounds like I’m blowing smoke, you know where, but I had done everything feasibly possible to do in wrestling and to be able to take another guy like Vader or Luger or whoever and be able to help move them up to that top position, it just continued the Harley race version of wrestling. It kept it alive, it kept me alive.”
Check out the complete interview below.