The WWE Hall of Fame received an influx of Southern charm on Monday when the Rock 'n' Roll Express was announced as the second members of the 2017 class, to be inducted on March 31 at WrestleMania 33 weekend in Orlando, Florida.
First reported by CBSSports.com, Rock 'n' Roll Express members Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson will join four-time WWE champion Kurt Angle in this year's class. Known for their quick tags, continuity and unrivaled ability to sell as red-hot babyfaces, the Rock 'n' Roll Express built a reputation as one of the greatest tag teams in pro wrestling history despite performing outside of WWE for the majority of their career.
Morton, 60, and Gibson, 58, who both still wrestle on the independent circuit, first joined forces as a tag team in Memphis in 1983. They went on to take part in legendary feuds throughout the 1980s in Mid-South Wrestling and the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions against the likes of the Midnight Express and the Four Horsemen.
The Rock 'n' Roll Express grew to become certified heartthrobs and were adored by fans for their flashy clothes, long hair and double dropkicks. In the process, they became one of the biggest draws in the NWA, defending multiple versions of the tag team championships throughout the Mid-Atlantic.
The duo competed high atop the card at back-to-back Starrcade events for Jim Crockett Promotions at the peak of their popularity, defeating Ivan and Nikita Koloff in a steel cage for the NWA world tag team championships in 1985 before defending them the following year against Arn and Ole Anderson, also in a steel cage. At Starrcade 1987, Morton and Gibson defeated the Midnight Express in a memorable Skywalkers match on top of a scaffold high above the ring.
Morton and Gibson remained active as a tag team for various promotions throughout the 1990s, including a brief run in WWE in 1998 as part of Jim Cornette's NWA invasion angle. The duo made an appearance at WrestleMania XIV in a tag team battle royal match.
Stars in the wrestling world also tweeted out their approval to the news:
- Scott Dawson (@ScottDawsonWWE) February 6, 2017
- Ted DiBiase (@MDMTedDiBiase) February 6, 2017