Joining Goldberg, The Dudleyz, Ivory, Jeff Jarrett and Warrior Award recipient Jarrius ‘J.J.’ Robertson in the WWE Hall of Fame 2018 class is Rock ‘n’ Wrestling era favorite Hillbilly Jim.
Hillbilly Jim (real name James Morris) wrestled in Memphis before arriving in the WWF in 1984. For Vince McMahon’s promotion, he debuted by coming to the aid of Hulk Hogan, helping him to fend off an attack by Ken Patera, Big John Studd and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Impressed by the big country boy from Mudlick, Kentucky (Morris is actually from Louisville), the Hulkster “trained” Jim for the ring.
That seemed to involve teaching him a bearhug submission, but it worked enough to make Hillbilly Jim a popular act. That popularity was enhanced by and rubbed off on his “extended family” - performers like Uncle Elmer, Cousin Junior, Cousin Luke and eventually cousins Henry and Phineas Godwinn, who he managed to tag titles in the 90s.
While he was always an act aimed at younger fans, many kids watching today probably haven’t heard of him. His last WWE appearances came during the gimmick battle royal at WrestleMania X-7 and on WWE Network’s Legends House reality show.
Now he’ll be on stage at WrestleMania 34, two nights after being inducted into the Hall on Friday, April 6 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.
Ever the babyface, Jim credits his entire career to his WWF run and the fans. As the host of “Moonshine Matinee” on Outlaw Country told Bleacher Report in their announcment of his receiving the honor:
“I don’t have my Sirius XM radio show because I’m Jim Morris. I’ve got it because I’m Hillbilly Jim. And this business gave me Hillbilly Jim. This company gave me Hillbilly Jim. In my hometown, most everybody just calls me Hillbilly.
I want the fans to enjoy this [Hall of Fame induction]. I’m a representative of you. That’s exactly what this is all about. This is part of your legacy.”