Ron Harris: On the Ropes
By Will Dawson
The 700 Club
Ron Harris and his twin brother Don were known in the wrestling ring as “The Harris Brothers.” A life filled with body slams and “H-Bombs.”
“The H-Bomb, when you’d come off the ropes, we’d literally pick you up in the air over head, drive you down with our other hand, go vertical with you and drive you down into the mat as hard as we can.”
As a young man Ron worked as a police officer in West Palm Beach. His brother Don moved to Nashville. It’s the country music capital of the world but it’s also known as a hotbed training ground for professional wrestling.
So how does one become a professional wrestler? Well, for Ron, it started with a phone call from his brother.
“He said, ‘Hey I wanna wrestle. We’ve always enjoyed it. Would you be willing to try it?’ So I said, ‘Okay, let’s do it!’ And that was it.”
It was a life-changing decision. It was on to stardom the Harris Brothers climbed the wrestling ladder of success winning the WCW tag team titles. Ron relished his new image.
“We looked like bikers. We lived that lifestyle. We loved that lifestyle,” Ron says. “Even our matches progressed into that. I mean we [were] very violent. We were just not the guys that you would come around and mess with.”
And he embraced the rock star lifestyle…
“It truly is like the devil’s workshop or the devil’s playground, because man, you have everything from the success to the money to the groupies to the women to the clothes,” Ron says. “I mean it’s just all there and it’s there in abundance. It’s hard to walk away from.”
Ron had never given his life to Christ but attended church with a friend on the rare occasions he was home. Life on the road began taking its toll…
During his career, Ron had four failed marriages. He came to some tough conclusions.
“I’m the single contributing factor. I have to step up and realize that I’m the one making these mistakes.”
Ron says God began working in his heart through the church he sporadically attended and with the help of a country music legend.
Growing up in Florida Ron became close friends with Mark and Frank Miller and Greg Hubbard otherwise known as Sawyer Brown – hugely popular in mainstream country music -- but very grounded in their Christianity.
“They’ve been in these environments, and they’ve always been very steadfast in their beliefs and in the way they live.”
That friendship made him realize…
“I was given everything so I was rising up over here, but spiritually, man I was just fallen,” Ron recalls.
So after years of wrestling his own demons, Ron decided it was time to walk away from professional wrestling. He stepped out of the ring and into the arms of the Savior.
“I sit back, laugh and go, 'What was I thinking? Why didn’t I do this 30 years ago? Why did I have to do the bars? Why did I have to do this? Why did I have to do that?’ Life now is the way it’s supposed to be.”
He discovered that you don’t have to look like a Christian to please Jesus.
“I’ve been judged my whole life, especially the way I looked,” Ron says. “So the thing I guess that’s the most Christ-like to me is that He accepts us all and loves us all just for who we are.”
While his brother Don still works in wrestling promotions and production, Ron left that life behind and took a job with Beach Street Records, a Christian music label started by Sawyer Brown.
Although Ron’s divorced and raising three daughters, he doesn’t look like Mr. Mom but he plays the role very well.
“I get up every morning at 5:30 and do breakfast with them, make sure I pack their lunches and ship ‘em off to school. Out of everything that I’ve done, the Wrestlemanias, there’s nothing more I enjoy than being a parent now. Man I just love it.”
He wants his girls to understand that a life outside of Christ isn’t much of a life.
“You can try to live that life or try to have control over your life and think that Christianity’s not for you or the church is not for you, but you’ll continuously end up in the wrong place. And you’ll continue to fail.”
Ron wants you to know that no matter what you’ve done, no matter what you look like, Jesus Christ is waiting to embrace you.
“He’s there, and He’s always forgiving. It’s the good things, the little things that stuck out to me and make a difference. It’s the person sitting over there not judging me saying, ‘Hey it’s okay. One day you’ll see that what you’re doing is not right, and when you are, Christ will be there.’”
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