Wrestling Legend Ricky Morton Says This Part Of This Business Is A Lost Art

WWE Hall of Famer Ricky Morton of the Rock 'n' Roll Express has long been considered one of pro wrestling's master ring psychologists, known particularly for his dramatic, expressive style of selling. Recently, on "Talk is Jericho," he got into some of the issues he's noticed while attending independent shows of late, as well as how he'd tweak them to make them better.


"Don't get me wrong: I don't have the answers to everything," he explained as a preface to his critique with regards to how he sees selling as a lost art. "I sure don't. But I sit back and I watch, and I see things [where I can say], 'Maybe if you did it this way right here and make the people outside understand," said the legendary tag team star. 

He then critiqued a recent match that he witnessed and explained how it could've been better.

"I watched a match the other night, I forget where I was at, but the bell rang and the guy went off the rope, dropkicked the guy outside, and did a triple [twisting dive] on him. The people popped and it was good. But the people popped more the rest of the match. Why couldn't we tell a story for that [and save it] until the end? I watch these guys give people finishes; 17 million finishes and everyone kicks out [at the count of] one. And then the guy would small package him out of the corner or something, and I'm telling this guy, 'You're the heel, but you made him the strongest guy in the world I've ever seen," said Morton.


Morton explains how easily selling changes a match

Ricky Morton then pivoted to a story from early in his career to expand on his point.

"I wrestled Killer Karl Krupp," he began. "What an a**hole he was, too! Just a belligerent a**hole; he didn't like to work small guys. So he's gotta put me over. So I go to the ring with him and he will not do nothing, because we don't talk. You call it in the ring. I called every finish in the world. I kicked out at one. Then he gives me a turnbuckle, I move, and I schoolboy him [for the win]. And I walk to the back door, and Jerry Jarrett, he says, 'Killer Karl Krupp didn't wanna sell for you, did he?' [...] He says, 'I saw Killer Karl Krupp give you every finish in the world, and [you] kicked out on one. We gotta put the world belt on you! You're the toughest son of a b***h I've ever seen in my life! And smart!' You see what I'm saying?" 


Morton's point was, essentially, that he made those big moves mean nothing to make up for Krupp not selling for him, so constant kick outs of big moves today devalue those moves the same way. 

The WWE Hall of Famer keeps up a regular schedule of independent bookings, often alongside his son, Kerry, the current NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion, who guested on "Talk is Jericho" with him.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Talk is Jericho" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.