WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR: If you’ve read PART 1 of the story, you’ll know that Ricky had been accused by his then life Connie of being unfaithful in their marriage, a claim that Ricky flatly denied. He had told Connie on more than one occasion that he had never frolicked outside their bedroom doors and while Connie wanted to believe him, she still had doubts. Along around that time, Connie was thinking about undergoing a religious transformation herself as she wanted to become a Born Again Christian and she wanted young Ricky to join her in turning their lives over to Jesus. Connie was even using Ricky’s old wrestling cohort, Tully Blanchard to help her win Ricky over to God’s side as Tully had just become a Born Again Christian also. So kiddies…gather around the fireplace…old Uncle Dutch is going to tell PART 2 of this story as Ricky and Connie are sitting on their couch awaiting Tully Blanchard’s first appearance on the highly watched The 700 Club as Tully was all prepared to tell the ‘world’ what a sinful life he had led in the wrestling business. That was a claim that Connie knew that Ricky had been drawn into and she wanted to free his ‘soul’ from all the evilness that had surrounded them in the dark and vile world of wrestling.
Find out how this story ends…as I’ve combined the 2nd Part and the 3rd Part of the story as it concludes below. This has been presented as a SAMPLE CHAPTER OF TALES FROM A DIRT ROAD. Enjoy.
As they watched the show together that night, Ricky told me that old Pat Robertson did some preaching and some praying and then it was time for Tully. According to Ricky, Pat Robertson gave Tully Blanchard one of the biggest buildups that he had heard in a long time when he introduced Tully. He started out by naming all the wrestling championships that Tully had won and naming him also as a charter member of the infamous Four Horsemen along with Ric Flair and Arn Anderson. At last, Tully made his appearance. The crowd received him wildly. At this time, there was no NFL football team nor NBA franchise in the Carolinas so the wrestlers were the ‘sports’ stars of the day, even more than NASCAR.
The interview began. Connie squeezed Ricky’s hand as she wanted Tully’s appearance to make Ricky seriously think about changing his life.
Pat Robertson turned the interview over to Tully.
As Tully started talking about his life, Tully blamed the sinful ways of the wrestling profession for making him dance with the Devil. Tully thanked God for helping him. Pat said amen brother. Connie looked at Ricky and said, “That’s the same thing I’ve been telling you honey.”
Tully continued by saying it was the evilness of the wrestling profession that made him do drugs and drink liquor and take pills. Tully thanked God for saving him. Pat said amen brother. Connie looked at Ricky again and told him, in her sweetest voice, “See, I’ve been telling you the same thing baby.”
Tully now got carried away with talking about his life of sin and debauchery and said that he could not count the times he had been out on the road on wrestling trips where he was so drugged up in a motel room, that he didn’t even know where he was and again, he gave God credit for showing him the light of salvation. Pat said amen brother.
Connie told Ricky…”See Ricky…Tully saw the light.”
Tully continued on by saying he couldn’t count the times that the liquor and beer was flowing all night long with cocaine and pills laying on the table. Tully thanked God for leading him out of the darkness. Pat was really into this now as he was amen’ing everything that Tully said.
Connie was now saying ‘amen’ along with Pat Robertson every time Tully would make a point, according to Ricky. Ricky said he watched Tully’s appearance on the 700 Club and told me he believed Tully was lying like a dog. Ricky told me that he didn’t buy for one second Tully’s ‘alleged’ BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN BULLS**T.
According to Ricky, he knew that Tully was nearing the end of his wrestling money days and felt that Tully was just looking for another ‘scam’ to take over the wrestling one that Tully had parlayed into a pretty good income for the last 15 years. Ricky said that he knew Tully well…knew his ways and how he operated and felt that Tully’s newly found CHRISTIAN GIG…was just PRO WRESTLING REVISITED but on a different level. Instead of an arena, Tully now had a church. Instead of ringside seats, Tully now would have pews. Instead of a ring, Tully had a pulpit. But Ricky thought that if this was what it took to get him back in good graces with Connie, then he’d play along with it.
Ricky said that Connie was squeezing his hand and touching him in a way that he had not felt from her in months but he had to admit that even though he really didn’t believe Tully, he believed that this could draw him and Connie closer. Ricky admitted to me that up to this point, this whole ‘come to Jesus’ thing was actually working pretty good so far.
Finally, Ricky said Tully got stronger and stronger in his testimony. Old Pat Robertson was really buying into it, the studio crowd was eating it up and Connie was hanging on every word. Then Ricky said, Tully said the WRONG THING!!! Tully mentioned something that he should have stayed away from. Tully mentioned the word WOMEN. And not only just women…he used the term ‘loose women’.
OH GAWD….Ricky thought….please don’t start talking about the women. Ricky’s brain was spinning in overdrive trying to send a psychic message to Tully to shut the hell up. In Ricky’s head, if Tully had shut the hell up right then, he would have converted instantly to being the most gung ho Born Again Christian of all time but he felt it all slipping away in an instant. He knew Tully and he knew that Tully liked to talk…a lot. Ricky was fine with the alcohol references, the pills and the drugs and even the cocaine. But please, please Tully, Ricky implored silently in his head, don’t start talking about the women that hung around around the matches. In the past, Connie had seen the ‘loose women’ around the matches literally throw themselves at Ricky as she had seen them do with other wrestlers. She had also seen the divorces that the wrestling lifestyle had wrought upon some of her friends who had been married to wrestlers. The females who hung around ‘wrestlers’ were no different than the ones who hung around the rock stars. The rock stars called their followers, ‘groupies’. The wrestlers, however, weren’t so politically correct. The wrestlers called the females that followed them, ring rats or arena rats. Personally, I never called them that..I always simply referred to them under another title….’little ladies of the matches’.
To tell the truth, wrestlers have always suffered a higher percentage of divorce rates than the average American couple. In the civilian sector, first time marriages that ended up in divorce hung around the 40% mark but with wrestlers, it was double that. Wrestlers didn’t stay married to the same woman for years like a lot of regular marriages. It was a combination of traveling, being away from home for long stretches at a time and the temptations that the wrestling lifestyle presented. Connie also knew that Ricky was human and some of these females who were throwing themselves all over Ricky were beautiful young girls. Even though he insisted he was always ‘semper fi’ to her, she knew Ricky too well to think he was a choirboy.
Ricky’s thought processes had suddenly swung 180 degrees back to the right. He had liked Tully up to this point but that Ricky’s opinion of him was rapidly changing with every sentence Tully spoke.
Ricky said he glanced over at Connie and said her eyes changed and her mood changed. Ricky said that up to this point, he hadn’t really thought about praying but now, he started praying that Tully would shut the ‘F’ up and downplay the women angle a little bit seeing as how it was a serious bone of contention between Ricky and his wife.
But, according to Ricky, Tully just couldn’t keep his big fat mouth shut as Tully was bound and determined to go there.
As Connie’s undivided attention was devoted to the screen, Ricky said he was helpless to do anything but he felt something bad coming on. But surely, Ricky thought, Tully would not be so stupid as to actually tell everything that went on. Could he? Would he? Oh God…Ricky thought…don’t start talking about that. Please, Ricky thought…don’t talk about the women.
Ricky told me that as he watched the screen, time stood still as he not only watched in disbelief but in heard it as well as Tully was making a statement about the evilness of the wrestling profession.
Tully was not speaking in a raised voice as if he were already giving a sermon that he could not count the times that there had been DRUGS, LIQUOR AND
OH MY GOD RICKY THOUGHT…DON’T SAY IT YOU STUPID BASTARD…
But Ricky said he must have thought it too late as the words….
“WILD NAKED WOMEN RUNNING AROUND IN HIS ROOM and not only that…RUNNING BACK AND FORTH ALL OVER THE MOTELS BETWEEN HIS ROOM AND RICKY MORTON’S ROOM…doing drugs, drinking and having sex with those loose immoral women all night long. Tully then added, as to make it OK, it was ALL THE WORK OF THE DEVIL.
OH GOD!!! WTF, Ricky thought!!!
Ricky told me when he heard that, time stopped. He told me and these are Ricky’s words, “I fell flat out off the sofa and just stared at the TV like I had been shot. I looked at Connie and she looked at me and her eyes told me everything I needed to know and I knew right then, it was over.”
Ricky said that in less than 30 seconds, his life went from being great to being an absolute horror.
I’ve heard a ton of stories about wrestlers getting busted with other women in different ways…such as a wife driving 300 miles to another city without her husband knowing and getting the key to her husband’s motel room where she actually opened the door and caught her husband in the act, but I’ve never heard a wrestler or anybody for that matter get busted on LIVE TV. And on a religious show. That was a first. Even Jimmy Swaggart didn’t get busted on LIVE TV.
Ricky said that he tried to tell Connie that Tully was lying but Connie would have none of it. She said that Tully had turned his life around and was a man of God now…and he had to reason to lie. Ricky told me that his marriage was over right at that point.
As for me, this story stunned me. I have know Ricky Morton for well over 25 years…and I’ve never heard this tale either from any of the other wrestlers or from Ricky himself. Usually, news like this would travel quickly around the wrestling circles but not this one for some reason.
There was only one thing I wanted to know from Ricky. Was there any truth to what Tully had said on the 700 Club show or did he just get caught up in the story and inadvertently drop Ricky’s name in the mix?
Ricky just looked at me and just rolled his eyes and said, “Brother please…what do you think?”
I asked Ricky did he ever confront Tully on why his name was even brought up on the 700 Club testimonial, and Ricky said that he didn’t see Tully again until five years later. In retrospect, according to Ricky, that was probably a good thing because Ricky claimed that he had visions of killing Tully if he had run across him for ruining his life. Ricky did say that when he did talk to Tully years later, Tully apologized to him but it was five years too late.
Needless to say, Ricky and Connie ended up getting a divorce. Connie took the three kids and went back to Nashville where she was raised and where her family was. Ricky has continued his ways and now is remarried with more kids than he had with Connie and Tully is still preaching I suppose and saving lost souls.
But Ricky said that his marriage had been rocky for some time and if this hadn’t happened when it did, it would have most likely been something else. As Ricky put it, when you take the ‘L’ out of ‘LOVER’….it’s ‘OVER.’ According to Ricky, thanks to Tully Blanchard, that ‘L’ got erased in one interview.
Sometimes I wonder why people do the things they do. Why Tully Blanchard would say something like that amazes me. Even if I was the biggest druggie, drunk, dope addict, liar, cheat, thief in the world, I would never admit it publicly nor would I name anybody else. That’s a private matter. I’m always amazed why a man like Tully Blanchard couldn’t have told the story about his inequities and sinful ways and his discovery with God…without involving others. I’ve written two books and I have yet to say or write one thing that I would not say to a man’s face or had permission to say.
I’ve often had doubts about wrestlers turning to religion but I’ll save that one for the next book. Is this story true? Interesting question. All I can say is Ricky says it is. It’s an interesting theory but one that has a great deal of credibility to it, but that’s another story for another day.
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