– Discussing the life and legacy of Harley Race on the latest Grilling JR, Jim Ross recalled the time when Race delivered a vertical suplex to Andre the Giant. Race and Andre worked together in the NWA in the late 1970s, and at one point Race bodyslammed Andre years before Hulk Hogan eventually would at WrestleMania III in one of wrestling’s most iconic moments. Ross recalled that Race not only suplexed Andre, he held him in the position for a while before doing so.
JR also weighed in on the relationship between the two men and how Andre’s respect for Race meant that when they were around each other, “Race was the boss.” Highlights are below:
On Race delivering a vertical suplex to Andre the Giant: “Yeah, that was in Greensboro. And that’s when Naitch went back in the locker room after it was over, and he said, ‘You tell Andre what you’re gonna do?’ [Race said], ‘I told him, suplex. And watch the body slam.’ So Andre — you know, big eyes, bushy hair. So Harley vertical suplexed Andre.”
On Race’s strength: “Andre [was] way over 400 pounds. He was in leaner years, you know, high three [hundred], low fours. And Harley held him in that post position. And a lot of people don’t realize how strong he was. The guy that you’re suplexing will help you a little bit. But bottom line, man, you got one arm around that big bastard, you gotta figure out how you’re gonna hold him up there a while. So notwithstanding the fact that then he got bodyslammed.”
On the dynamic between Race and Andre: “But Harley didn’t ask for permission from the giant. Harley was the Godfather, Andre was the capo. Andre wasn’t the boss, even though everybody called him the boss. When Andre was around Harley, Harley Race was the boss. That’s the respect he had with the boys to the journey he was on, the pioneering man, the dues he paid.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.