The Rock ’n’ Roll Express, one of the greatest tag teams in sports-entertainment history, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2017 during WrestleMania Week. The news was first reported by CBSSports.com.
Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson first joined forces in 1983, in fellow Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler’s Memphis-based territory, and immediately skyrocketed into superstardom. With long, flowing hair and bandanas adorning their flashy ring gear, The Rock ’n’ Roll Express were true rock stars stepping into battle inside the squared circle. The teen idol tag team squared off with the likes of “Macho Man” Randy Savage and his brother Lanny Poffo in Memphis, Tenn., but it wouldn’t be long before they began their worldwide journey to the top.
With music videos heralding their arrival from coast to coast, Ricky and Robert were greeted by high-pitched screams and booming chants of “Rock ’n’ Roll!” as they made their way through throngs of crazed fans. The heartthrobs’ next stop was Mid-South Wrestling, where they met their greatest rivals, The Midnight Express. Comprised at the time of “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and “Loverboy” Dennis Condrey, along with loudmouth manager Jim Cornette, the dastardly Midnight Express were the perfect foils for Ricky and Robert. The Rock ’n’ Roll Express and The Midnight Express brought down houses around the horn for Mid-South. By the time they left the territory in 1985, Morton and Gibson had captured the Mid-South Tag Team Titles on three occasions.
Ricky and Robert would soon take the Express further north, to Jim Crockett Promotions and the National Wrestling Alliance. They made an immediate impact, capturing the NWA World Tag Team Titles from Ivan Koloff & Krusher Khruschev. With Crockett’s television airing across the country in the early days of cable television, The Rock ’n’ Roll Express were one of the top acts in a promotion that expanded from a regional territory to a nationwide sensation.
Fresh off their arrival in the Mid-Atlantic region, Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson challenge Soviet menaces Ivan Koloff & Krusher Khrushchev for the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
Ricky and Robert were in featured bouts at three early editions of Starrcade, challenging for or defending the NWA World Tag Team Titles. They brought their rivalry with The Midnight Express to a worldwide audience, including an unbelievable Skywalkers Match at Starrcade 1987, where both teams battled on top of a scaffold high above the ring. The Rock ’n’ Roll Express captured the NWA World Tag Team Titles on four occasions, battling the likes of The Midnights, The Four Horsemen, and The Russian Team.
The Express kept on rolling down the track and into Smoky Mountain Wrestling in the early 1990s, where they captured the promotion’s tag team titles on 10 different occasions while engaging in a bitter rivalry with Cornette’s Heavenly Bodies. That bad blood spilled over into WWE, where the two teams battled on pay-per-view at Survivor Series 1993. Ricky and Robert returned to WWE briefly in 1998 in a surprising role, joining up with longtime rival Cornette’s NWA faction. They competed in their first and only WrestleMania that year, taking part in a 15-team battle royal at the 14th edition of The Show of Shows.
They still compete on the independent scene to this day, showing that rock ’n’ roll is here to stay. Making their argument even stronger is their latest accolade: entering the WWE Hall of Fame.