Hillbilly Jim was a fan favorite as soon as he burst on to the scene in extraordinary fashion. His first appearance came in 1984 by jumping the barrier and helping out “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan. Hogan was being attacked by Big John Studd, Ken Patera, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Hogan saw something special in the massive back country boy and decided to help train him to make it as a WWE Superstar.
Hillbilly Jim took the reigns from there. He used his incredible size to his advantage and would squeeze the life out of his opponents. Although injured early on, Hillbilly Jim made another splash in the WWE by bringing his family into the mix: Uncle Elmer, Cousin Junior, and Cousin Luke. This created a face stable similar to that of the Wyatt Family, except not dark and creepy. Hillbilly Jim was able to use this to his advantage upon his return to the ring, competing in a six-man tag match against King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo, and Lord Littlebrook on the grandest stage of them all: WrestleMania III.
Although he held no titles during his career, Jim made an incredible impact in the WWE simply by how beloved he was by the fans. He was the kind of character that didn’t need a title to be enjoyed. His career spanned well over 30 years despite his wrestling ending in the 90s. Hillbilly Jim continued his career by co-hosting Prime Time Wrestling. He also was the manager for his other cousins Henry and Phineas Godwinn, who won the tag team titles. The last work that Hillbilly Jim did for the WWE was on the 2014 WWE Network television show “Legend’s House.” The WWE will now pay back Hillbilly Jim’s work by honoring his storied career with a Hall of Fame induction.