Jim Morris stood out walking the aisles of the American
Numismatic Association 2014 World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont,
Ill., on Aug 7.
That’s probably because the 6-foot-7,
330-pound former professional wrestler would stand out most
Morris, a staple in the booth of New York
based Champion Stamp Company Inc., during several
major numismatic events each year, was known as "Hillbilly Jim" during his days in the
World Wrestling Federation (now known as World Wrestling
Entertainment) from 1983 to 1993, when the Kentucky native would don a
full beard and overalls, wrestle with a rugged, nontechnical style,
and finish his opponents with his signature bear hug.
“It was easy to pull off,” the southern-accented Morris said of
Hillbilly Jim’s persona. “A hillbilly’s always going to be a friendly,
talkative guy anyway and it’s perfect for me.”
61-year-old certainly shows that "friendly, talkative" side
as he works the Champion booth at the World’s Fair of Money. He became
interested in paper money and coin after starting to work for Champion
owner Arthur Morowitz’s home video business when his wrestling career
ended following neck surgery. While he doesn’t consider himself an
expert, he said he knows enough to chat up show attendees.
Morowitz dryly pokes fun at Morris, saying he can identify any
stadium in the world if he lays on his back and looks up at the
“He’s almost good for nothing, except for
talking to people,” the boss jokes as Morris laughs nearby.
When asked what he would say his title at Champion is, Morris
“They really just call me the chief jackass,” he
said. “I show up and have a good time. I’m the good humor man.”
Morris, who wrestled with WWF superstars including Andre the
Giant, Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Jesse “The Body” Ventura
and Hulk Hogan, and recently appeared on the WWE Network reality TV
show WWE Legends’ House, said he is
recognized at the ANA show more for being a numismatic regular than a
“I know lots of these people here today
because I’ve seen them for years and years,” Morris said.
He collects paper money and some coins himself.
“If you’re collecting, it don't matter if it’s paper or coins as long
as it’s something you have a passion about,” Morris said. “I think the
hobby is just amazing.”
Morris has four children and
seven grandchildren, and lives in Bowling Green, Ky. He hosts a weekly
radio show, Hillbilly Jim’s Moonshine Matinee, on Sirius XM’s
Outlaw Country from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern
Time every Saturday.
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