Sports

Wrestler Hardbody Harrison had a Side Hustle That Earned Him a Life Sentence

Hardbody Harrison had a storybook path from Gulf War veteran to professional wrestler. But the final third of that story is where things truly became tragic.

A jobber in World Championship Wrestling, Hardbody Harrison had an impressive wrestling career and looked destined for greatness. His attempt at a non-wrestling job, though, earned him a life sentence in prison.

Hardbody Harrison was a ‘jobber’ in the 1990s

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After Hardbody Harrison — then known by his birth name, Harrison Norris Jr. — graduated high school in Pensacola, Fla., he joined the United States Army. Norris served as a platoon and motor sergeant before he received an honorable discharge in 1995.

Norris saw action in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in Iraq in early 1991.

After the discharge, Norris joined World Championship Wrestling as a jobber. The role of a jobber is to lose, usually to one of the event’s main stars.

Norris continued that role until Vince McMahon and WWE purchased WCW in 2001; the league didn’t pick up Norris’ contract and he retired.

Harrison’s life went down a dark path when his wrestling days ended

Former professional wrestler Hardbody Harrison, or Harrison Norris Jr., is serving a life sentence for his role in a sex trafficking and forced labor ring.
Former professional wrestler Hardbody Harrison, or Harrison Norris Jr., is serving a life sentence for his role in a sex trafficking and forced labor ring. | Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images for Singapore Sports Hub

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When it became clear Hardbody Harrison’s wrestling days had reached their end, he needed other ways to make money. Rather than go legit, Harrison made a choice that will keep him in prison for the rest of his life.

Norris and two co-conspirators, Aimee Allen and Cedric Jackson, moved into sex trafficking. Harrison allegedly used his military and wrestling background to groom women who wanted to become professional wrestlers into sex slaves.

Norris allegedly befriended women by bailing them out of jail and bringing them to his Cartersville, Ga. home. The girls told police and testified that Harrison forced them to work as prostitutes.

The FBI arrested Harrison in October 2005 in a nine-count federal indictment for false imprisonment and trafficking women for commercial sex acts. He’d previously been arrested in August 2004 on three counts of false imprisonment and released on bail, according to UPI.

Hardbody Harrison is serving a life sentence

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In November 2007, a jury reached a verdict on Hardbody Harrison’s future. Harrison was convicted of charges including aggravated sexual abuse, forced labor, sex trafficking, conspiracy and witness tampering.

That earned Harrison a life sentence.

At the time, the jury convicted Harrison of his crimes toward eight women. He was acquitted of all charges involving a ninth women.

Harrison’s co-conspirators also received prison time. Aimee Allen received two years and 10 months in prison, while Cedric Jackson received five years in prison.