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Jim Cornette Set To Induct The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express Into The WWE Hall Of Fame

WWE released the following today:

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by one of their biggest rivals, Jim Cornette.

The tennis racket-wielding manager may have spent the better part of three decades trying to put an end to Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson, but even he can’t doubt the influence they’ve had on sports-entertainment.

“By any standard, Ricky and Robert belong in the Hall of Fame,” Cornette told WWE.com in an exclusive interview. “And that’s whether its longevity as a team, the attendance records they set, or the great matches that they had, which fans can still see on WWE Network.”

Cornette was a consistent thorn in the Express’ side since they first hit the ring as a team in the early 1980s. He managed against Ricky & Robert during their first week as a team, with the enmity intensifying when Cornette brought The Midnight Express into the squared circle. The team, which consisted of “Loverboy” Dennis Condrey, “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton, and later, “Sweet” Stan Lane, were the perfect dastardly villains for the fresh-faced Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. It didn’t hurt that they had Cornette on the microphone, hurling insults at Ricky & Robert at every opportunity.

“Superman needs Lex Luthor, Batman needs The Joker, and we were the antithesis of everything The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express stood for and their wrestling style. It just clicked,” Cornette said.

“I said these horrible, degrading things about these two, fine, young, upstanding examples of American boyhood,” Cornette continued, “and people, on numerous occasions, tried to kill us.”

Cornette survived the rivalry with The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and turned toward the role of promoter in the 1990s. While on Smoky Mountain Wrestling television, he had the familiar role of manager to Ricky & Robert’s new enemies, The Heavenly Bodies. Cornette was also running the show for SMW, and realized how important The Express was to the company and its fans.

“Fans literally gave them pictures and gifts at the matches,” Cornette said. “They considered them members of the family. I’ve seen inside fans’ houses, and they would have pictures of Jesus on the wall, and next to it would be a picture of The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. That’s no lie.”

When it comes to inducting The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express into the WWE Hall of Fame, there is probably no one better than Cornette. After all, their careers have been intertwined for 34 years.

“Between the ’80s with The Midnight Express and the ’90s with The Heavenly Bodies, and then in the 2000s on the reunions with The Midnights, I think only Bobo Brazil and The Sheik had a longer-running rivalry,” Cornette said.

“And I still haven’t put an end to Rock ‘n’ Roll! I haven’t been able to do it, so I guess I have to roll over and induct them.”

Cornette’s induction speech will surely be one for the ages, as the motormouth has a career’s worth of memories to recall as he enters his biggest rivals into history.

“There’s one story I’ll probably tell at the Hall of Fame,” he said, “where The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express saved my life one night in Louisiana from an angry mob of fans.”

To hear that story — and a lot more — watch Jim Cornette induct The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express into the WWE Hall of Fame when the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony airs live on WWE Network on Friday, March 31 at 8 ET/5 PT!

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express To Be Inducted Into 2017 WWE Hall Of Fame

WWE has announced the following:

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame

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.

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.

Tickets for the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, taking place on Friday, March 31 at the Amway Center in Orlando, are available now. Visit Ticketmaster.com for complete information on how you can see The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express take their place in sports-entertainment history.