Ricky Morton Recalls Jim Herd’s Pitch For The Ding Dongs, When He Knew Kayfabe Died
Ricky Morton remembers how kayfabe died.
Morton was a guest on the Wrestling Perspective Podcast and was asked if he remembers when he realized fans were finally being “smartened up” to the wrestling business. Morton explained that Jim Herd’s arrival after Turner Broadcasting purchased Jim Crockett Promotions signaled the end because he saw how corporate the business was becoming.
Herd, a former Pizza Hut manager and executive, was the Executive Vice President of the (newly-named) World Championship Wrestling promotion from 1988 to 1992. During his tenure, he was criticized for his lack of knowledge of pro wrestling, and Morton said it wasn’t exactly Herd’s fault, but kayfabe died once wrestling became corporate.
“Well really the first time kayfabe died was a long time ago, when the guy from Atlanta smartened everybody up. The blades, all of that, but when it got [really bad], you guys remember Jim Herd, that’s who I was talking about. When he first came out, he came from a pizza place [Pizza Hut] to run the corporate business of wrestling. You know what, it really wasn’t his fault because I didn’t realize then that they were changing wrestling to corporate,” he explained. “They didn’t want wrestlers to be in the office. I don’t know why, but when he’d come up with the tag team—he told me, ‘I’ve got an idea for a tag team. We’re going to call them the Ding Dongs from Bellsville.’ And I just thought to myself, ‘Holy fuck. Just smarten the whole world up!’
Morton joked that the world got smartened up to wrestling when they watched Bobby Eaton work, then said “when the business started turning corporate, that’s when kayfabe was lost.”