Ricky Morton Says He Turned Down a Singles Push to Save Robert Gibson’s Job

Dec 4, 2018 - by James Walsh

In an interview with The Ring, The Cage, and The Stage (via Wrestlezone), Ricky Morton revealed that he turned down a run with the NWA World Heavyweight title because he learned that the NWA planned to fire Robert Gibson. Here are highlights:

On turning down a solo title run: “I was the new Junior Heavyweight Champion. They wanted me to do a singles career. I started this business out with Robert and I had an opportunity to be the world champion. I beat Ric Flair and I gave it back to them. They were going to give Robert his notice and they were going to fire Robert. A lot of people don’t know this story. They called me in the office and I said I don’t want to be the World Champion. Me and Robert started this together and I’m going to finish it with him. They said you should have turned heel on Robert why didn’t you do that? The only reason I turned heel in Robert is because Robert hurt his knee. He was out. I was not on the contract and I need a job. Robert came back and we had a match and then we packed our bags and headed for Tennessee Mountains- Smoky Mountain Wrestling. We never stopped. He was out for a year with his knee tore up.”

On his time before the Rock n Roll Express: “Robert was partners with his brother Ricky Gibson. They were together from Memphis area. Me, I had a singles run out in Oklahoma, and then I brought Eddie Gilbert in to be my partner. Before I went there I was seventeen in Memphis. We went back there me and Eddie went back and Ken Lucas and me became partners. My first match was against Tojo Yamamoto. Ken Lucas has trained me in the ring. He didn’t train me in a training we you didn’t have that. He trained me in the ring being his partner. I watched him, I studied him. You ask Ricky Morton would say Ken Lucas was the best baby face ever. That was before the times. That way I learned so much from Ken I learned how to sell.”

On who came up with the team name: “it was between Jerry Lawler [and] Jimmy Hart really. There we are Ricky, Robert. It was the R and R express. Hart was there, and Dutch Mantell. Lawler put us together and Hart comes up and goes “why don’t you call it the Rock and Roll Express?” And it stuck it really did.”

On his brief WWF run: “It was just that we were lost. The only reason we were there, we had a great run in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. We were on the independent circuit. In our business the boys take care of the boys. Me and Robert needed a job. Jim Cornette got us a job. We signed a contract with the WWE. We sat at home and worked the independents for six months and got paid. That was just Jimmy Cornette taking care of us. Nothing about WWE, nothing about running with it. They keep me on contract for this check every week. Back In our days we worked angles.”

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