Staying true to Hillbilly roots
TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
He hasn't wrestled in years, but Hillbilly Jim is still a man of the people.
A goodwill ambassador of sorts for WWE, Hillbilly Jim, now 55, is in Toronto (actually Vaughan Mills) this weekend for the Wrestlemania Fan Axxess Tour.
Billed as from Mud Lick, Ky., when he got his WWF start in 1984, plucked out of the crowd at a show, he would "train" with Hulk Hogan.
At 6-foot-7, 287 lbs., the former college basketball player (as Jim Morris) was a fan favourite.
"Becoming (Hillbilly Jim) wasn't a big stretch for me," he says. "I was born in Kentucky and I know a lot of those Hillbilly-type characters. It wasn't one of those things where I had to work super hard to get into character.
"It really was a dream come true (to wrestle in the WWF). (Working in other wrestling associations) was like riding a Volkswagen. This was like riding in a limo. Fast forward to 2008 and I'm still able to be part of this. People still recognize me, even now."
He hosts a show on Sirius Satellite Radio, Hillbilly Jim's Moonshine Matinee, each Saturday and Sunday. Along with wrestlers, such musicians as John Fogerty and ZZ Top have been on the show.
"(The radio show) is a place for outcasts, misfits and rebels," he says with a laugh.
And he has his own website, hillbillyjim.com.
AROUND THE RING
John Cena returned to win the Royal Rumble, months ahead of schedule from an injury to his pectoralis major muscle (in the upper front of the chest wall). Cena was the 30th man into the Rumble and eliminated Triple H to earn a WWE title shot. The first two men into the fray were The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. Other results: Ric Flair beat MVP; JBL beat Chris Jericho by DQ; Edge beat Rey Mysterio; and Randy Orton beat Jeff Hardy ... Former TNA star Chris Harris has signed with WWE.
February 2, 2008: Road still home to Hillbilly Jim
March 15, 2007: Hillbilly Jim still offering fans Axxess
To see when the Fan Axxxess Tour is coming to your town, visit www.wwe.com