Before the death of kayfabe, those of us in our youth who stumbled across the fascinating characters and antics of the professional mat world on television knew something wasn’t always quite on the up and up about the whole deal. However, there were times when the things we saw looked more real than at other times and the people doing those things more legitimate than some of their conspiring colleagues.

Pro wrestling lost one of its most legitimate legends this past week with the passing of eight-time NWA world heavyweight champion and WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race at the age of 76 due to complications from lung cancer. Race, one of the toughest, most respected and successful grapplers of his era, died this past Thursday afternoon at home in Missouri after being hospitalized in July in Nashville after being stricken ill while on his way to a fan convention. He was still heavily involved in wrestling at the time of his death as a promoter of a small indy group related to a wrestling school he ran in suburban St. Louis.

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