wrestling / News

CM Punk On His Favorite Harley Race Story, Memorializing Race in a Tattoo

October 29, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
CM Punk Harley Race

– CM Punk spoke with Sportsnet for a new interview discussing a host of topics, and touched on his memories of Harley Race. You can see the full video below, as well as some highlights:

On his sports-related tattoos: “The Harley Race tattoo is in motion … For sure [there are] two [sports tattoos]. I’ve got the cup for the [Chiago Black]hawks, and I have a little goat after the Cubs won the World Series. I guess the Misawa boot would be number three. I don’t know if I have any other wrestling related tattoos. Definitely going to get the Harley one memorialized, me and two other people who were close with Harley are going to get that.”

On the importance of getting the Harley Race tattoo: “That’s just the way it works now. Tattoos are, to me, it’s like a receipt and a road map to where you’ve been in life. And a lot of them tell stories. So I will get them to memorialize people, or events such as the Stanley Cup run in the summer, you know, my summer vacation … I think Harley was a big piece of my career, whether people realize it or not. And he’s just somebody who deserves to be memorialized, I feel.”

On Race being one of the first guys Andre the Giant let bodyslam him: “Andre was supposedly afraid of Harley. There’s two guys that Andre supposedly — because obviously, I never met Andre, just hear the stories — it was Harley and it was Haku. Those were the two that Andre — and people would tell me, ‘Oh, he’s afraid of them.’ I don’t know if he was afraid of them but he knew not to mess with them, right?. I think that speaks volumes. People always talk about how tough Harley was, and he was, you know? He could be a tough, mean, son of a bitch.”

On his stories of how tough Race was: “Harley had exceptional grip strength, and I wish there was a way I could vocalize it so people truly understood this. But you just can’t understand it unless he’s grabbed ahold of you … I’ve shaken hands with Harley, and Harley’s grabbed me by the back of the neck before. And it’s just — it’s otherworldly. I think when Brock picked me up, I think I kind of felt just a little bit of that, a little bit of that Harley strength. Which is to say something. Brock in the prime of his life, the prime of his career. When I knew Harley, he was a quote-unquote ‘old man’ by that point. But he still, I mean, his hands were just unbelievably strong.”

On his favorite Race story: “My favorite Harley story – this isn’t necessarily a tough Harley story. I feel like everybody’s got those tough Harley stories, and I was in a bar fight with Harley … but my favorite Harley story. It was his birthday, and we were in the bar, and we’re celebrating Harley’s birthday. And then all of a sudden, the waitress comes up and she’s got a tray of shots. She puts the tray down, and she’s putting shots in front of everybody. There must have been, I don’t know, 20 or 22 of us in the bar. It’s Harley and all the wrestlers, you know? We just did a show in Eldon, Missouri and we’re in the bar hanging out, eating afterwards, and it’s his birthday. So Harley got everybody shots. And the waitress puts one down in front of me and I said, ‘Oh, can you get me a shot of whatever you have, like soda? I don’t care, Coke, Pepsi, if you’ve got cranberry juice, whatever. And she was like, ‘Honey, Harley Race got you that shot. You’ve got to drink it.’

“Now, obviously she doesn’t know me. And I say, ‘I don’t drink’, and she’s like, ‘Honey, Harley Race got you that shot.’ And I say, ‘I understand that.’ I said, ‘But I don’t drink.’ And she’s like, ‘Do you know who Harley Race is?’ And I said, ‘Do you know who I am? I just worked for Harley Race. I know who Harley Race is. I appreciate the sentiment; I guess I’ll just sip my water if we’re making a toast.’ She’s just going on, and on, and on, and making a big deal about all this stuff. And finally, Harley comes over and explains to her, ‘Oh, he doesn’t drink.’ And that was the end of it, like she didn’t say anything else. She went, ‘Oh okay, I didn’t know’, even though I had already told her a thousand times. It’s supposed to be like this big slight, like, ‘I’m not going to drink a shot’ … In a second, he didn’t care. He was just like, ‘That’s Punk, he doesn’t drink.’ That’s it, that was it. So like, that’s kind of the moment where I was like, ‘Holy s**t, this guy respects me. How cool is that? I’ve made it; I don’t need anything else – not money, not fame, not belts. Like, this guy was the closest thing to a living hero.

“So then I of course had to push the envelope. I felt a little bit left out that I didn’t get a shot, everyone else did, Harley toasted, and it’s his birthday. So, I walk up to the bar, I belly up, and I go, ‘Do you guys have milk?’ The bartender looks at me and she’s like, ‘Yeah, we’ve got milk.’ And I go, ‘1-2-3-4’ and I count everybody out and I go, ‘I need 20 shots of milk.’ And she was just like, [sighs] ‘Okay…’ Gives me the twenty shots of milk, here I come with a big platter. I put it down, everybody gets a shot of milk. And I remember Harley looking at the milk, looking at me, looking at the milk. And he just goes, ‘Is that milk?’ And I went, ‘It sure is, Harley Race. Happy f**king birthday!’ And nobody wanted to touch their milk until Harley picked it up and raised his glass. And everyone raised their glass, made cheers with Harley Race, shot of milk.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Sportsnet with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.

article topics :

CM Punk, Harley Race, Jeremy Thomas