The WWE Hall of Fame will be welcoming in one of wrestling’s greatest tag teams this year when it inducts Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, collectively known as the Rock & Roll Express.
The Rock & Roll Express started teaming together in 1983 in the Memphis area battling duos such as The Galaxians, Koko Ware and Norvell Austin, and the team of Randy Savage and his brother Lanny Poffo. From there the duo headed to Louisiana and Bill Watt’s Mid-South Wrestling. There they matched up for the first time with the team who would go on to be their biggest rivals in the mat wars, The Midnight Express with their manager Jim Cornette.
After time spent there, Ricky and Robert took another step up in the wrestling game as they moved to Jim Crockett’s Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, and instantly became mega stars, defeating Ivan and Nikita Koloff to win the NWA World Tag Team titles their first night in the promotion in 1985!
The team’s popularity continued to skyrocket, and in 1986 they were greeted and treated like rock stars at every arena in the south. Rock & Roll Express merchandise was everywhere, look alike contests were held in many places, you could join their fan club, and Ricky Morton even recorded and released a song. Their popularity was unrivaled for a while. Check out the video below to get a feel of just how popular they were.
Ricky and Robert spent the next several years wrestling for Crockett’s Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, the NWA, and Ted Turner’s WCW. They battled one legendary tag team after another, as they wrestled The Midnight Express, Ole & Arn Anderson, The Freebirds, Powers of Pain, the Russians, Doom, and many others.
As their days in the national spotlight faded, they made a home in the smaller Tennessee based Smoky Mountain Wrestling promotion, where they continued their years long feud with Jim Cornette, who was now managing The Heavenly Bodies duo of Stan Lane and Tom Prichard. Ricky and Robert had several more good years here battling The Heavenly Bodies, The Moondogs, The Bruise Brothers, The Gangstas, and many others.
In 1996, the duo were brought back to WCW for a short time as they appeared on WCW Monday Nitro to wrestle Ric Flair and Arn Anderson on a couple of occasions.
In 1998, they got another shot with a national company, as they entered the WWE as part of an NWA invasion storyline. The duo got to compete on Monday Night Raw, and participated in a tag team battle royal at Wrestlemania. Since then, it has been mostly independent promotions that the duo has competed for.
As a fan, it was the Rock & Roll Express that got me hooked on professional wrestling. They were the first act I saw, and they instantly became my favorites. I followed along with their battles weekly by watching on television, and kept up with personality stories in the pages of the monthly wrestling magazines. I would also cheer for them so loudly that I would hoarse the day following seeing them at live wrestling events.
I would like to congratulate Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson on finally getting their call to the hall. They are as deserving as anyone else to be inducted to the hall of fame. I have much respect, and much gratitude for them for all the years of entertainment they have provided me and millions of fans all across the world.