Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Vince Fahey
Harley Race is something of an enigma to me. He's got this huge reputation and legend in wrestling, yet the majority of that rep is pre-WWF King stuff, and outside of his match from Starrcade '83, that's all I've seen. I feel as if I've missed something. It's at times like this that the lack of tape footage seems all the more obvious. After reading Harley's book, I'd really like to see some of his earlier work in the mid-late 70s, or to see what he was like as a team with Larry Hennig. Unfortunately, all that is lost to time and lack of foresight and those matches reside only in the minds of the fans lucky enough to have watched them when they were happening.
In any case, I enjoyed Harley's book. Because I know so little about his career, much of the info is fresh and new to me. His work in Amarillo with the Funk family was quite interesting as I didn't realize he had such a large role there. The photo gallery is a nice addition. Looking over the pictures, I realized how many looks Harley has had over the years. Again, I'm most familiar with the King "phase" but from bleached blond short to mutton chops and permed Afro, Harley changed looks almost as many times as he held the NWA Championship.
Honestly, while overall, I enjoyed the book, I did feel that so much more detail could have been included. More detail regarding his ownership of the Central States region, more detail from his time in the AWA, more detail, more detail... Harley covers a lot of topics, but it's more of a glossing over than anything else. For me, this certainly doesn't detract from the book. The inclusion of detail would have only made it better.
I'm very pleased to see Sports Publishing turn an eye towards the wrestling industry. It's going to be the smaller publishers like this who will be bringing us biographies from workers who DO NOT work for the WWE. That's not a slam on those books at all. I've enjoyed all of the bios from old school stars that have come from the WWE and Simon and Schuster. However, S&S simply won't be doing bios on someone not working for the WWE. We need smaller publishers like Sports Publishing to bring us other bios by equally important workers such as the recently released Terry Funk and Dusty Rhodes books.
with pretty much everything I've reviewed form KM, I would definitely
recommend this book. Whether you're a fan of Harley's or
not, you're going to learn some things you didn't know and you'll get a
glimpse of the man who some have called one of the truly toughest SOBs
to enter the squared circle.