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Jim Morris (born July 5, 1952) is a professional wrestler and disc jockey best known to fans as Hillbilly Jim. He was one of the World Wrestling Federation's most popular wrestlers of the mid-to-late 1980s.

Career

Before appearing in the WWF as Hillbilly Jim, Jim Morris wrestled in the Memphismarker area under the name Harley Davidson, a biker gimmick. While there, Morris formed a popular tag team with Roger Smith, who went by the ring name "Dirty Rhodes" because of his resemblance to Dusty Rhodes.

In late-1984, Jim first appeared in the WWF as a wrestling fan who routinely sat in the front row of live events, who eventually decided to try his hand at wrestling himself. A series of vignettes were aired on WWF's TV programming in the early weeks of 1985, showing Hulk Hogan training Jim and providing him with his first set of wrestling boots. This introduced the character of Hillbilly Jim, a simple-minded, shaggy-bearded Appalachian hillbilly clad in bib overalls, and claiming to hail from Mud Lick, Kentuckymarker, a fictional town said to be in the remote Appalachian Mountainsmarker. In reality, Mud Lick is a small town in Monroe County, Kentuckymarker where Morris is originally from.

Hillbilly Jim appeared in a few tag team matches with friend Hulk Hogan, and had his first high-profile singles match at The War to Settle the Score event on February 18, 1985 in which he defeated Rene Goulet. Unfortunately, Jim was sidelined by an injury a few days later. At a show in San Diegomarker, he appeared in Hogan's corner in a match between Hogan and Brutus Beefcake. While chasing Beefcake's manager Johnny V around ringside, Jim slipped on a wet spot and (legitimately) broke his leg. To help fill in the seven months during his recovery, similarly-dressed "family" members Uncle Elmer, Cousin Luke, and Cousin Junior were introduced for Jim to accompany to ringside as a manager.

When his in-ring career resumed, Jim often either tag teamed with his family, or fellow big man André the Giant. He was traditionally matched up against the WWF's monster heels of the era, such as Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy. He also had a short feud with Mr. Fuji, and wrestled him in a series of tuxedo matches in late-1986.

Hillbilly Jim was generally kept as a "fun" character, rarely getting involved in any serious storylines. His only WrestleMania appearance outside of battle royals was a novelty match in WrestleMania III involving King Kong Bundy and midget wrestlers. His theme music was a folksy barn dance tune called "Don't Go Messin' With a Country Boy", which Jim danced along to with his partners (or the ring announcer) while the audience clapped along.

In addition to wrestling, Hillbilly Jim is also credited as creating the puppet named "Mine" for fellow WWF Superstar George "The Animal" Steele.

Hillbilly Jim continued to appear regularly in WWF matches until the summer of 1990. His last high profile match with the WWF was during the April 28th, 1990 (taped April 23, 1990) edition of Saturday Nights Main Event in which he lost to Earthquake in a squash match that lasted just under 2 minutes. He returned in December 1995 as a guest referee and a month later became manager of Henry O. and Phineas I. Godwinn, "cousins" who were pig farmers. Morris later worked as a road agent and participated in the "Gimmick Battle Royal" in 2001 at WrestleMania X-Seven.

He was the official WWE legend host of the highly successful WrestleMania Fan Axxess tour for WrestleMania XX, WrestleMania 21, WrestleMania 22, and WrestleMania 23 in major malls across the US. As part of the WrestleMania 20 Fan Axxess Tour, Jim performed at the "House of Blues" in Los Angelesmarker, Chicagomarker, and New Orleansmarker sponsored by Gibson Guitars.

From 1990 to 2001 Jim traveled worldwide representing WWE for Coliseum Video sales and later with Sony Videos.

In 2005, Sirius Satellite Radio added "Hillbilly Jim's Moonshine Matinee" as a weekly program on its Outlaw Country channel 63. Every Saturday, Morris plays a wide variety of classic country music and Southern rock. Between records, he tells stories of his days with the WWF.

Other media

He has appeared in a number of trade shows, such as Atlanta Super Sports Show, Video Software Dealer's Association, Focus on Video, and many others. Moreover, he has had numerous personal appearances in national retail stores, such as Blockbuster Video, Wal-Martmarker, Kmart, Toys "R" Us, and Kroger.

He has done a national commercial for Chevy trucks and another local TV and radio commercials in Kentuckymarker. He appeared in WWE cartoon series Hulk Hogan's Rock N' Wrestling, D.I.C. Productions.

He performed the song "Don't Go Messing With A Country Boy" for the The Wrestling Album, which was certified gold. Its follow-up album, Piledriver - The Wrestling Album 2, also included a duet by Hillbilly Jim and a female singer credited as Gertrude, entitled "Waking Up Alone".

On August 31, 2009, Hillbilly Jim appeared on ESPN's fantasy football podcast "Fantasy Focus" with Nate Ravitz, PodVader, and irregular host Keith Lipscomb. Matthew Berry, one of the show's regular co-hosts, was absent due to a fantasy football draft in Las Vegas.

Filmography



In wrestling





Championships and accomplishments

*PWI ranked him # 298 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003.


References

External links




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