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Professional wrestling career
McCord graduated from Robinson High School in Tampa, Florida. He started wrestling as Austin Idol, a superheavyweight powerlifter in 1972, and became a star in a number of southeast promotions, holding many titles in the United States Wrestling Association (Memphis), Georgia, Birmingham, Texas All Star & Mid Atlantic territories. McCord was the passenger on a small airplane, along with Gary Hart, and flown by Buddy Colt, which crashed in 1975 into Tampa Bay, Florida, killing fellow wrestler and good friend Bobby Shane.
After a period of inactivity healing from two broken ankles, he emerged with bleach-blonde hair, over 100lbs lighter, and the new ring name "Universal Heartthrob" Austin Idol in 1978. Idol challenged for the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Championship several times versus Harley Race (1980) and Ric Flair (1981–84). He also competed in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) throughout the 1980s.
Idol is well known for a long-running feud with the popular Jerry "The King" Lawler in the CWA and AWA territories. In a 1981 angle, Idol dressed up as a masked Mexican wrestler, presenting the "Top Rated Wrestler in Mexico" award to Lawler on TV before sucker-punching him. Afterward, he delivered an interview where he promised to clean up Memphis rid it of Lawler. On April 27, 1987, Idol defeated Lawler in a steel cage match with the assistance of "Wildfire" Tommy Rich, who hid underneath the ring for the entirety of the event, winning the AWA Southern Heavyweight championship and causing Lawler to lose his hair.
Idol semi-retired in 1990, wrestling only every few years until the mid-1990s. In addition, he promoted his own promotion in Alabama in 1993. After appearing on Memphis Power Pro Wrestling's first television show in 1998, he officially retired.
He has a son, Josh McCord, works at TakoSushi, and lives in Pensacola, Florida with his wife and his son. In 1975, he survived a plane crash when fellow wrestler Gary Hart pulled him from the plane.
After retiring from professional wrestling, McCord worked as a real estate buyer and investor. In July 2009, McCord announced his intentions to run for mayor of Tampa in the 2011 elections.
- Finishing moves
- Las Vegas Leglock (Figure four leglock)
- Signature moves
- Elbow smash
- Knee drop
Championships and accomplishments
- PWF World Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Stan Hansen
- AWA Southern Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
- AWA Southern Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Jerry Lawler
- CWA International Heavyweight Championship (4 times)
- CWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- CWA World Tag Team Championship (3 times) - with Dutch Mantel (2) and Jerry Lawler (1)
- NWA Georgia Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Masked Superstar
- NWA Georgia Television Championship (2 times)
- NWA National Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year (1975)
- PWI ranked him # 193 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the PWI Years in 2003.
- NWA Alabama Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Championship (Northern Division) (3 times)
- NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Championship (Southern Division) (1 time)
- TAS Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA Austra-Asian Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Jimmy Golden
- Feud of the Year (1987) with Tommy Rich vs. Jerry Lawler