AFTON, TN — Ricky Morton spent many years entertaining wrestling fans across the world, part of the legendary Rock n’ Roll Express tag team. His School of Morton is far from the glitz and glamour of the WWE ring, but for many kids, this place is their Wrestlemania.
“Kids come through that door and this is their safe place,” Morton said. “When their parents drop them off here they know what they’re doing.”
KIds of all backgrounds, bullied a school, a student with cerebral palsy, speech and central auditory disease, all have found a home in Chuckey.
“Everybody is equal here and I preach that to them every day,” said Morton. “The parents come to me and tell me that their grades come up in school. It’s the fact that they have more confidence in their self”
“It’s helped me with confidence, self-esteem,” said Elias Terrazas, a wrestler from Erwin. “You know, it’s not just a wrestling school, it’s also helping you build your charisma and just yourself in general.”
For some the school is a chance to live out a lifelong dream of performing in the ring and hope to get a chance at the WWE.
“It’s allowed me to do what I’ve wanted to do since i was a kid,” said Evan Tolley, a U.S. Air Force veteran. At 32 I kind of thought that was going to be a pipe dream and then to come here to be able to wrestle at a high level, who knows where it’s going to take me?”
“It’s an opportunity that you don’t get too often,” said David Warren, who moved from New Jersey to attend the school. “You don’t know if it’s real or not but it’s a very special thing. You’ve got to take advantage of it.”
So come see if you have what it takes, maybe you’ll find yourself in the WWE someday. But remember..
“I always tell them, it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock n’ roll.”