Ricky Morton, famously one half of the Rock ‘N Roll Express (with Robert Gibson) was on hand to add stories and answer questions about his time in wrestling. He opened by stating, “I am not a Saturday Night Special, this business is what I love.” He is 59 years old, has seven kids, seven grandkids and still wrestles. He said he still doesn’t know he’s old until he sees a recent photo of himself. He wrestles and teaches wrestling because it is all he knows. He said he quit smoking about 2 years ago and gained 35 pounds. Morton has chosen his last match and it will be Ric Flair in February 2016 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The last time he wrestled in Kansas City was 1989 at Memorial Hall and it snowed like hell. The dressing rooms weren’t heated and they had to trudge through deep snow to get to the building. It was Rock N Roll Express vs British Bulldogs. He said he never did get warm that night. He was surprised it wasn’t snowing when he got to Kansas City this time.
On the origin of Rock N Roll express, he was in South West Championship Wrestling with his partner Ken Lucan. He had wrestled in Memphis when Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Lawler were working together. Lawler and Jarrett had a falling out, so Lawler invited him back to Memphis and paired him with Robert Gibson. Lawler bought their wrestling gear at a flea market. The first ring gear bought by Gibson was from Frederick’s of Hollywood. (Now we know how spandex got into wrestling.) Rock N Roll Express were the first to come to the ring to music. Morton and Gibson were partners for 33 years.
Talking of gimmick matches and high-risk moves, Morton contends “It’s just part of the job.” When asked about the chloroform match, Morton stated the Bill Dundee and Bill Watts came up with the idea. He said territories, bookers and other wrestlers depended on each other and the same gimmicks and ideas were used from one territory to the next. 1994 saw one of the best angles in Memphis when Macho Man Randy Savage put him through a table. Morton “…laid there like I couldn’t move, but did not get hurt.” He is still kayfabe. He says he “tries to teach the magic, to make the fans believe.” When asked how many drinks to agree to a scaffold match, Morton said the first time was in Shreveport, Louisiana. He said “There were no drinks involved, we just did it because it was something different. We liked to be innovators.”
When Vince bought out all the territories and bought up all their videos, he started uploading them to the WWE network. No wrestlers in these matches were paid royalties for the matches Vince uploaded. They have uploaded videos of some of the bloodiest matches Morton ever participated in. There is no contract and there are no royalties. Doug Summers sued the WWE for royalties, lost the suit and now has to pay WWEs legal fees.
When Rock N Roll Express were members of the York Foundation at WCW they were scheduled to wrestle in Knoxville, Tennessee. There were no contracts and they were facing Doom. Gibson had been injured at home prior to the match. Morton told him to just get to the ring and stay on the apron. When Gibson tagged in, he fell to the ground and Time Warner paid for everything for a year.
Smokey Mountain Wrestling was owned by Ricky Rubin of Black Crows. It closed because Jim Cornette was leaving to go to WWE. Nash and Bischoff were at WCW and put the company $600 million in the red. Goldberg, Kevin Nash and Bret Hart still had three years on their contracts. They sat and collected the money without ever working.
Upon being asked if he envisioned ever going into the Hall of Fame, he spoke of Rock ‘N Roll Express being brought to WWE by Jim Cornette where they made a mark, especially with Midnight Express but they didn’t stay for long because people weren’t taking care of each other and were getting hurt. He doesn’t think he, or Rock ‘N Roll Express will ever go into the WWE Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t bother him. Morton said “The real hall of fame, The Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame is in Waterloo, Iowa and I was voted in in 2014.”
When asked about Michaels and Janetty stealing their gimmick, Morton said it was a compliment. Michaels patterned himself after Morton. During the time Gibson was injured, Morton and Flair were tearing it up around the country and they wanted to put the belt on Morton. Morton declined because he didn’t want Gibson left behind in the shuffle.
He doesn’t watch wrestling, but as soon as class starts, they catch him up pretty quick.
He was well acquainted for the Von Erichs. He said he knew them all and has a great deal of sadness for Kevin as his mother recently passed away. He said “…they were all into crazy stuff as kids and it just caught up with them.”
Morton told a story about Lawler and his artwork. They were doing a show in a Catholic School when they saw a nun coming toward them. She asked if they knew any artists and he started raving about the talents of Jerry Lawler. The nun took them to the bathroom where they saw artwork on the door. Mickey had Minnie bent over…
When he was in ECW he was wrestling Bam Bam Bigelow and there was a fan calling for spots. Morton turned to the guy and said, “The heel calls the match. Sit down and shut up!”Morton owns the School of Morton in Chuckey, Tennessee. He said, “I gave my life to this business and I’m still out here!”
MWR was thrilled to have Debbie Chmidling share with us this great recap of the meet and greet with Ricky Morton from Metro Pro Wrestling. Be sure to check out Debbie’s great recaps in the upcoming MWR Yearbook that will also feature this one as well as ECW Legend Tommy Dreamer and Jim Cornette.
Metro Pro Wrestling returns to Turner Rec Center in Kansas City, KS, on Saturday, January 30, for our first event of 2016! Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Event starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now!
– Metro Pro Championship Match: Jeremy Wyatt (c) vs. The Beer City Bruiser. As always, if Wyatt loses, he’s fired.
– ECW/SMW/NWA/WWF star Tracy Smothers vs. The Math Magician
– Brass Ring Challenge – The Winner gets a Metro Pro Championship title shot whenever they wish! Jake Dirden vs. Mark Sterling vs. Devin Thomas vs. Kraig Keesaman
– Women’s Tag Team Match: Angelus Layne/D’Arcy Dixon vs. Lucy Mendez/Miss Natural
– Metro Pro Tag Team Title Match: Kobra Kai Dojo vs. The Riegel Twins
– “Yoga Monster” Mike Sydal vs. Jon Webb
– Also in action: Central States Champion Ace Steel, Kansas Champion Redwing, The Commission, The King Brothers, the KC Wolves, Kiyoshi Shizuka and more!
Front Row: SOLD OUT
General Admission: $15
Kids 5-12 (Does not count front row): $10
Under 5: Free
Tickets on sale now!
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Metro Pro Wrestling airs every Saturday night on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel at 11 p.m. The show replays several times during the week! Check local listings for details.
Time Warner Cable SportsChannel is a regional 24-hour sports network, and it is the ONLY place you can see Metro Pro Wrestling! Catch us on:
• Time Warner Cable SportsChannel – Channel 30 & 323
• Time Warner Cable SportsChannel 2 – Channel 324
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Turner Rec Center is located at 831 S. 55th St, Kansas City, KS.
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