Nearly three decades have passed since the last professional wrestling match in Braselton. But perhaps this will make up for lost time.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, a WWE Hall of Fame tag team, will headline a June 15 wrestling event at the Historic Braselton Gym. Proceeds will benefit the Jackson County Parks and Recreation (JCPR) scholarship fund.
“These guys are legends, and they’re coming to Braselton for a little small-town show,” said JCPR director Ricky Sanders. “So, we hope to pack the gym out.”
Doors open at 6 p.m. for a meet-and-greet with wrestling beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, made up of Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, has been active since the early 1980s. They held the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) world tag team championship eight times.
The duo was inducted into the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Hall of Fame in 2017.
“We really wanted the Rock and Roll Express because they’re WWE Hall of Famers, they’ve wrestled all over the world,” Sanders said.
Sanders, who grew up watching wrestling, remembers the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express being tag-team pioneers.
“Before them it was more ground-and-pound, more grind-it-out,” Sanders said. “They really started the high-fly stuff, the drop kicks coming off the top rope, the real acrobatic stuff … They were the ultimate good guys.”
The event will also feature wrestlers from the Tennessee-based School of Morton, which Morton operates. This is the first time the group has ventured this far South, according to Sanders. If the event goes well, the School of Morton may return for a winter show, Sanders said.
Wrestling has drawn well in Braselton before.
Professional matches at the Braselton gym were popular attractions in the 1970s and 1980s, which was a selling point in landing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. Sanders rattled off a number of notable wrestlers from yesteryear — Mr. Wrestling II, Dusty Rhodes, Dick Slater, Ole Anderson and Ernie “The Big Cat” Ladd — that headlined cards at the Braselton gym.
“I told them about the history of wrestling in Braselton and that it had been a big part of the building there,” Sanders said.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express has never wrestled at the Braselton gym, but the tandem has performed several times in nearby Gainesville.
Sanders said both Morton and Gibson, both in their 60s, “are still pretty active” and still wrestle all over the country. This event will allow local wrestling fans a chance to watch one of the most notable duos up close.
“They are, from what someone told me, they are the world’s most decorated tag team,” Sanders said.
Space is limited with only 150 ringside seats and 240 general admission seats available. Tickets are available through Jackson County Parks and Recreation.
“It’s a good event to have for the community, but it’s also for a good cause,” Sanders said. “The main thing is it’s going to be a lot of fun.”