Trans-South Wrestling’s June 2 card will feature a double main event.
One half of the double main event will pit TSW champion Deon Johnson against the 400-plus-pound Congolese Nightmare, who will be managed by “The Illustrious” Perry James.
The other half of the double main event will feature a match that will take people back to the 1980s, an era in which pro wrestling saw a peak in popularity.
TSW’s in-house wrestling legend “Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez will face one of his longtime rivals — Ricky Morton — who is best known for being one half of the legendary Rock and Roll Express tag team.
Morton started wrestling as a teenager in 1978, and Fernandez started in 1979. The two first ran into each other while wrestling in San Antonio, TX in 1980. Fernandez recalled his first memory of Morton.
“We were wrestling in San Antonio, and it was about 90 degrees,” Fernandez said. “We had to fly out that night to Odessa, and I told him (Morton) he better pack some warm clothes. He had shorts and a t-shirt on.”
“I didn’t really know about Texas back then,” Morton said. “I didn’t realize how different the climate could be from one part to another. I just thought Texas was Texas.”
Being a native of Texas, Fernandez well knew about the weather.
“When we got off that airplane in Odessa, it was about 20 degrees and snowing like crazy,” Fernandez laughed, remembering the lesson Morton learned about Texas weather.
Both wrestlers went their separate ways after leaving the Texas area, with Fernandez going to Florida and Morton going back to his home state of Tennessee. While wrestling in Memphis in 1983, Morton joined forces with Robert Gibson to become the Rock and Roll Express — a tag team which is known worldwide. Together, Gibson and Morton won the NWA World Tag Team Championship on four separate occasions.
Many Union County residents recall a day in the 1980s when Morton and Gibson flew into the Union County Airport and were greeted by more than 1,000 wrestling fans. Morton revealed an amusing story about that event.
“The funny thing is that Ronnie Garvin (another wrestler who is also a pilot) was flying the plane,” Morton said. “He just asked us if we wanted to fly with him, and we said we did. In the meantime, I guess he set up an appearance he didn’t tell us about. We were surprised to see all those people when we flew into Union!”
On Dec. 6, 1986, the fan-favorite Rock and Roll Express lost their titles to a villain team of “Ravishing” Rick Rude and — of course — “Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez.
Ever since, Fernandez and Morton have feuded with each other throughout the country, and their rivalry continues to grow.
Morton was invited to Trans-South Wrestling to face Fernandez after several rookies had been injured in matches with Fernandez.
“I’m not worried about collecting belts anymore,” Fernandez said. “Now I’m collecting body parts. I’ve been beating Ricky Morton up for years, and I don’t mind doing it again on June 2.”
“If that’s what he said, then he’s going to get a lot more than he bargained for,” Morton said. “Because rock and roll is here to stay, and so is Ricky Morton.”
The event is scheduled for June 2 at the Union County Fairgrounds. Bell time is 7:30 p.m.
The concession stand will be run by the B.P.O. DOES, with all proceeds benefiting S.O.S. (Support Our Shriners) — a group which raises funds for the Shriners Hospitals for Children. TSW will also make a donation from the gate toward the SOS cause.
Advance tickets for the event are available at Buffalo Pawn & Gun and Union Karate Center.