MOONEYHAM COLUMN: Pro wrestling legend Rip Hawk’s journey from big city lights to starry Texas nights
Posted by flairwhoooooo on August 12, 2012
To Mid-Atlantic wrestling fans in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Rip Hawk was a cocky, arrogant heel they loved to hate.
The platinum-haired Hawk even dubbed himself “The Profile,” and did all the talking for longtime partner Swede Hanson.
It didn’t come as a surprise when Hawk, 44 years old at the time, took a 25-year-old up-and-comer named Ric Flair under his wing, groomed him as his storyline nephew and helped him win his first major title in 1974.
Who knew then that the slick-talking, hard-drinking, Cadillac-driving wrestler had always wanted to be a cowboy?
But that’s exactly what Hawk is today, and has been for the past three decades.
Hawk, who turned 82 in June, has lived in the Texas Panhandle since he wound down his wrestling career in the late ‘70s. Although he lives inside the city limits of Hereford, better known as the beef capital of the world, he spends much of his time at his daughter and son-in-law’s sprawling ranch 30 miles away that’s home to nearly two thousand high-dollar Black Angus.
“We don’t have to worry about where the beef’s coming from. We have 28 feed yards around here. We will be eating meat,” he says emphatically.
Hawk, who lives about 60 miles from Interstate 40, and about 40 miles from the New Mexico border, jokes that the ample supply of cow manure keeps a lot of outsiders out.
“We run more than a million head of cattle through here a year. That’s a lot of cows. And they can smell … especially on a warm day.”
It doesn’t bother Hawk in the least. The Panhandle, he says, is his slice of heaven on earth.
It’s a place where you actually can watch the deer and the antelope play
August 10, 2007 – (Part 1 and 2 ) Wrestling legends Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson are honored at the 2007 Hall of Heroes Dinner Banquet & Awards Ceremony at the NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest Weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Host Jim Cornette introduces the duo’s former manager – himself a legend, “Playboy” Gary Hart, who presents award plaques to the 77-year-old Rip Hawk and the son and daughter of the late Swede Hanson.
Sadly, Gary Hart passed away less than a year after this awards ceremony, on March 16, 2008.