Kerry Morton On 'Family Business,' Storytelling Wrestling, Communication With WWE, Tyrus As Champion & More - Exclusive

Kerry Morton has a lot to prove in pro wrestling and it doesn't just stop within the ropes. Being the son of the legendary Ricky Morton, Kerry has a lot of legacy to carry on his back; he recently started to etch his own legacy in the National Wrestling Alliance as the new Junior Heavyweight Champion, a title he just secured at the Hard Times 3 PPV. Morton has tagged with his father countless times in the ring, but Hard Times began a path for the 21-year-old to showcase his ability as a singles star. 

Despite a budding career on the canvas, Morton still continues to attend college at King University — pursuing a degree in business law and corporate finance — and plans to apply that education when it comes to finding his place in pro wrestling. He just recently started a new series on that's aptly named "Family Business."

In a new interview with Dominic DeAngelo of Wrestling Inc., Kerry Morton talks about the controversy surrounding Hard Times 3 including his thoughts on Tyrus as the promotion's new Worlds Heavyweight Champion. He also empathizes with Dominik Mysterio's work so far in WWE, reveals if he has had any communication with Triple H and Tony Khan about performing for their promotions, and discusses what the future holds for him as a generational talent trying to carve his own identity in the business.

Kerry Morton takes on Brian Pillman Jr. this Sunday as part of Big Time Wrestling: Return Of The Dragon, streaming on FITE. We will release our full interview with Pillman Jr. tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving!

All About Family Business

Dominic DeAngelo: So, let's start off with this. You do the show on AdFreeShows, "Family Business," and it's such a fascinating, new concept, and I think you're a good, fresh face to be the host of it, the perfect one for it. And, your first episode involved Brock Anderson, and then, you have an upcoming one here with Miranda Gordy. Talk about what the show's all about.

Kerry Morton: "Family Business" is a podcast based on the unique perspective of second, third, and fourth-generation professional wrestlers. Hearing their side of wrestling out, along from, not necessarily following their father or their mother's footsteps, but following the career of their own: why they wanted to get into the business, why they wanted to try wrestling. I mean, who in their right mind wants to get the hell beat out of them? So, there's got to be something other than just wanting to fulfill the legacy, and continue a family business. So, that's why I was grateful when opportunity came to host this podcast. And, so far, it's been nothing but a blast hearing the stories of these generation wrestlers.

I know The Rock praised NWA a little bit ago, there's, obviously, like Bret Hart's still been in the mix on the independent scene, in certain ways. Has there been any generational talent that's given you some good advice (besides your dad, of course)?

There has been, actually, a ton of generational wrestlers that's given me great advice. One that comes to mind recently was Scott Armstrong. Scott Armstrong went out of his way to just endorse me. He watched my match that night that took place in Rome, Georgia, and he really just gave me his two cents, and he is like, "Kerry, yeah, I really like what you're doing. I like your foundation. You're different. You're not necessarily a guy that goes out there, and does all these crazy high spots. You're storytelling, and you know your basics really well, and you're fond of your basics." And, it was really nice to hear Scott Armstrong appreciate a 21-year-old's work of art, and really went out of his way to say, "Dude, I really like what you're doing right now. Keep up the work."

Other generational wrestlers that really stick out to me too, are just people I get to share the ring with. Getting to share the ring with [Gerry Brisco's] son, Wes, and kind of hearing from them too. Those guys have been really finding my work. And, which is grateful. It makes hard work pay off, at the end of the day, and that's something I'm trying just to continue to build upon, is being different, being unique, not necessarily being a wrestler that you're opposed to watching every other match, do the same kind of high spots and routines, and try to be different. And, that's where, I think, it's starting to take notice of other wrestlers, and other wrestling fans. They're starting to think, man, this guy is different.

Assessing Hard Times 3 & Tyrus As World Champion

The legacy of the NWA has been carved throughout wrestling history. And, that's, kind of, been a hot topic of buzz lately, what the NWA has done with Hard Times, and everything like that. Let's start with that. How did you think Hard Times panned out as a show overall for you guys?

Hard Times 3 was, pound for pound, I think, one of the top pay-per-views NWA's put on recently. And, I'm not just trying to be cliche because I won the World Junior Heavyweight Championship. I sat in the stands, and I watched a lot of matches. I watched these guys go out there, and gals, I should quote too, and those in between, go out there and bust their ass to give that Chalmette, Louisiana crowd their money's worth, and give the pay-per-view buyers their money's worth. There's a lot of opinions online, especially about the main event of that night, having Tyrus win the NWA World Championship. But, at the end of the day, I thought it was cool. That you don't see... You don't see it often. 400-pound, close to 400-pound men go out there and win a world championship.

People quote on Tyrus' work, because they don't recall one of their favorite matchups being Tyrus. But, I think that man has a lot to prove. If he hasn't already proved it himself, not necessarily staying away from his business side of life, but in the ring. I think he has a lot to prove, and especially with the doubters online saying, "Hey, this guy is not my favorite wrestler and therefore I don't want to support the product." I think having him win the Championship, he has a lot to prove, and he's going to prove it. And, I think it's just a matter of time before we see Tyrus show off more, and show, "You know what, I'm the World Heavyweight Champion, and there's a reason why I'm the World Heavyweight Champion." But, going on to Hard Times 3, as well. I mean that roster, especially some of the matches that stick out to me. Colby Corino versus the Major League Wrestling Champion, Davey Richards.

Davey Richards, yeah.

Yeah. And, I mean, that's crazy to have a champion of another known promotion wrestle on NWA Hard Times, and defend his belt against one of NWA's own, and win. I thought that's something to be noted about. Especially with the tie-in between Nick Aldis not necessarily being in there, people casting their opinions upon that. But, you got to think Thomas Latimer, EC3, tore it up. The tag team match between La Rebelión and Hawk Aerie. I mean, that match was freaking incredible, especially just sitting in the audience and watching the match at the end of the room, and hearing the environment, hearing the crowd go wild. I mean, that's worth a pay-per-view buy alone. That night stood out to me, especially winning the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship. Overall, I really, really am pleased with the National Wrestling Alliance product, and I hope we continue to grow from here, even more. Let's see, this is year three or year four of the Lightning One era, under Billy Corgan's ownership.

Billy Corgan & Dominik Mysterio Finding His 'Why'

How has that been for you so far, working with Billy Corgan? What do you think stands out for him, as a promoter?

Backstage. Interviews, that's something that really sticks out to me, because Billy doesn't give you a script. He doesn't give you a word-to-word follow. He doesn't even give you a rundown of the promo. He's like, "Hey, here's the idea of the promo, I want you to be you, or I want you to be the character that you want to portray on this wrestling show." And, that's neat. That's really neat to think that this boss gives us enough trust that he believes in us to go on there, in a live audio room, with this camera on top of us, and on top of other cameras, and we get to speak our opinion, we get to speak our own mind and talk about what we want to do in the National Wrestling Alliance.

And, that's something a lot of bosses, I don't think, can do in professional wrestling, is give their talent a lot of freedom to go out there and explore. And, if things don't go right, then he'll critique it, but if things go right, in his opinion, and then, the others, the wrestling fans, especially, then he wants just to carry on of that stuff. And that's something I'm very pleased to say, that Billy Corgan put a lot of trust in me, allowing me to represent the National Wrestling Alliance, and the junior heavyweight division, not necessarily across the United States, but across the world, which is some extreme opportunities that are coming up here soon. And, I'm proud to represent that division and him.

Somebody that's got a really big spotlight, being in WWE, is Dominik Mysterio. What have you been thinking of his work, so far?

I watch his work from time to time, and I like what he's trying to do right now, going into the heel aspect and trying to figure out. And, this is something I think, personally, is I think Dominik Mysterio doesn't know who Dominik Mysterio is right now. And, I don't know if that's cliche, or if that's just rude to say, but I think he's just trying to find himself in this mix of — mind you, you're wrestling for the world's biggest wrestling promotion in the world. You're on national television almost on a weekly basis. Your debut was pretty much in a huge arena with millions and millions watching you. SummerSlam, if not mistaken, versus Seth Rollins.


So, I mean, he has a lot of pressure on him, and people got to give him the shadow of the doubt that he's handling his pressure really well. And so, I give him kudos to that, but, I think, at the end of the day, Dominik Mysterio needs to find out who Dominik Mysterio is. What's your "why"? What's your "why" of why you wanted to be in this business, other than "I'm a Mysterio," or other than "Rey's my father"? What's your "why"? Why do you want to get in that ring? Why do you want to have people beat the living hell out of you for this career, for this job pass? Is it the money or is the fans? Is it the passion? I feel like once you find your "why," things become easier necessarily of exploring yourself in the wrestling ring, exploring yourself in life generally, is finding your "why." And, that's what I hope he comes to find here soon.

Has WWE Reached Out To Him?

How about you? Has WWE ever reached out, or have you interacted with Triple H? Have they ever shown any interest in you yet, so far?

Yes. I've received a few emails. And, I've been fortunate and very blessed to have received those e-mails. And, obviously, it is the last name, but I think tides have, kind of, turned. When they see my work in the wrestling ring, and they see how successful I'm doing on the independents, right now, and I think things are starting to catch more glimpse of, "Oh, this guy, he can work. He has talent, he has ability and let alone, he's betting on himself." And so, that's something I think Hunter is starting to take more caution into — not only in myself, but, in the aspect of independent wrestling, and when he is scouting — is people that stand out, people that stand out for a particular reason. So, I have shared a few emails, and some opportunities came, but, right now, I'm focused on just getting my education, right now, in college. And, once I graduate college, then if the opportunity's still there, then I would love to excel and, possibly, work in that company one day.

That's a great balance of life, too. And, it's a good forward-thinking mindset that a lot of wrestlers – that's immediately what they do want to do, is immediately just go into wrestling, and dive into it. But, you've got the balance of like, "Hey, I want to prepare for the future, overall," and keep your options open in a lot of ways.

That's exactly right, and I thank you for acknowledging that, too. This wrestling business is so unprecedented. You never know what could happen one day. I can be on top of the world, as I feel right now. I feel fantastic, and I'm so fortunate to get wrestling fans' attention here recently, and people are starting to take notice of me. But, this wrestling business can always change. Some for the best, some for the worst. So, what I'm just trying to execute is just taking care of myself in the future, having an education. Because, one day, possibly when I can't wrestle anymore, I would love to be in public relations for a certain company, or would love to be a writer of some sort, or doing media for this company. So, never say never. Wrestling's been my "why." I absolutely adore the industry of professional wrestling, but it's not necessarily just participating in the ring. I love the aspect outside of the ring.

His Assessment of AEW, Admiration For FTR & The Art Of Selling

How about AEW? What do you think of their product so far, and has Tony Khan connected with you, as well?

I absolutely love the idea of AEW. I love the concept of Tony Khan going out of his way to offer an alternative professional wrestling, and I think it's beautiful. And, what he's done with the company is tremendous, and I really, really love what they're doing. And so, unfortunately, I haven't really had a lot of communication with those guys here recently, although, I would never say never. Like I said, in this business is always up and down to change, and if they would like me to be a part of their product, then if that's the opportunity comes, then I would love to. But, as of now, I really love AEW. I think it's awesome. A lot of my friends wrestle there, and are on contract there, and I couldn't be happier for them. So, I like that AEW, and, something with related to NWA, is they offer a little bit of everything. 

You have high flying, you have technical, you have ground and pound, you have big guys, you have heavyweights. In AEW, in All Elite Wrestling, you offer it all. And, I take pride in southern professional wrestling, old school mentality, similar to FTR. So, that's something I really take pride in, and that's something I hope they start the value more at AEW is old school mentality, storytelling wrestling. Because, I think that art is beautiful, and when it's done correctly, it is so appealing to a national audience. So, hopefully, never say never. If the opportunity comes, as of right now, I'm not under contract anywhere, but who's to say I'm not going to be? So, if something comes up, and they want a southern professional wrestler that loves this craft, and is willing to do a lot to excel in this business, then by all means.

You've mentioned previously in an interview you'd like to carve your own stone in the business. What kind of legacy aspects from your father, would you like to keep to continue on in your own persona and identity in wrestling?

Yeah, you know that's an awesome question. First and foremost that comes to mind is the art of selling. Selling is something that my dad is notoriously known for, and excels [at]. Apart from being one of the greatest tag teams of all time — and that's not necessarily my opinion, that's coming from others. And, I'm putting that into consideration, is the art of working together as a tag team, which is so, so beautiful. And, I get to talk to my dad about this on a weekly basis, and on a daily basis, and that's all we, our conversations really revolve around wrestling now, which is great. But, I love the idea of selling, and I don't think the art of selling is dead. I just think people don't know how to do it right. When it comes down to it, when it boils down to it, they didn't have the proper training, they didn't have someone to take their time with me, as someone took their time, as my dad took his time with me, kind of, polishing me up for the wrestling career.

Where Does He See Himself In A Year?

So, I would love to bring that atmosphere of a big guy whooping my ass, and me selling, and making that fiery comeback, and not necessarily doing these fiery comebacks where I slam someone a hundred times, or I got to go off the top rope and do a 450. No, being smart about my comeback. Being legitimate, the realism, that's something that I really, really take into consideration every time I put a match together, or every time I'm trying to put a wrestling match together is, the realism of, "I want that fan to believe." I know this is entertainment, but at the end of the day, I want those fans to believe that, damn, that guy is getting his ass whooped. So, that's something I'm trying to play into every day.

Where do you see yourself in wrestling a year from now?

A year from now, in professional wrestling? Well, hopefully, I have moved up the rank. Not necessarily, I don't want to paint myself in a picture of just being a Junior Heavyweight Champion. Although I'm a champion, and I think I'm championship material, I want to want let the audience of professional wrestling know that I stand with them. I'm not... I don't ever try to be someone I'm not, which is... First and foremost, I know my roots. I know I'm a boy that comes from a "small town USA" that I just want to be relatable. I want the fans to understand when they see me in the wrestling ring, that he's one of us. He's not someone of his own nature. He's one of us that goes to the grocery store, that goes and works, and pay his bills, that busts his every day to get where he is right now. And, I think, that's something that really stands to me, in my core, of being a valued professional wrestler. But, I would love to be traveling the world wrestling, not necessarily just the United States, but going to Canada, going to Japan, going to Mexico, and putting on these matches over there, and just, people respecting the craft of what I'm trying to do in professional wrestling.

And that's bring back the southern style. It's not necessarily high flying for me. It's not necessarily just technical wrestling or grappling wrestling. It's a little bit of it all. And, that's bringing the pillar back of storytelling professional wrestling. So, hopefully, in a year from now, I'm not necessarily just standing with the Junior Heavyweight Championship on my waist, but I'm in the picture for the 10 pounds of gold, or I'm in the picture for, if something were to come up again, I'm in the picture for another major company championship. And also, just hoping to be with my dad. This time right now with my dad is so precious, and I'm so fortunate to be able to share the ring with him. And, we have so much fun, and that's my best friend. So, I really, really am just thankful for... First and foremost, I'm thankful, and I'm blessed to be able to share the wrestling ring with my dad. We still have fun, and we still put on a hell of a good wrestling matches, and learning every day, honing my craft, hoping to one day I get to be considered upon. That guy busted his ass, and maybe he's noticed as a great one day. But, that's a long road ahead. Right now is just honing the craft and being known as relatable.

A Dream Of A Guest For 'Family Business'

Sharing that time with your dad is going to be invaluable to you, not just from the educational standpoint, but just from the family standpoint too, where you're getting to spend the time with him in one of a kind, kind of, thing that you'll definitely look back, and really cherish those moments, too. And, I'm sure you're doing that right now too, man. So, it's just really fun to see. Family Business: how often does it air on AdFreeShows?

So, we're hoping to air it every... Once every two weeks, or maybe once every week, if it starts becoming more successful. As of right now, it has been really successful with the premier launch with Brock Anderson. I believe next is Garrett Bischoff. Next is Miranda Gordy, and then, we're kind of falling into some other big names. Hopefully, I would love to get some names that are with major companies if the opportunity comes. Such as, someone that really comes to mind, that I would love to interview, and I think would make really relatable, is, hopefully, one day having Cody Rhodes on the air.

Oh wow. That'd be great.

So, PR is a little tough with WWE, but if that opportunity comes, and Conrad [Thompson] pulls a few strings, then maybe we can make it a reality. So, just hoping to grow this as much as I can, hoping to sign on board officially with AdFreeShows, and maybe jumping into some other things if opportunities come along.