Where Are They Now? Hillbilly Jim: Part 2
By 1990, Hillbilly Jim had slowed in the ring, but his mind was as sharp as ever. Knowing he had a limitless supply of natural charisma to offer, the Superstar contacted colleagues from WWE's former home video distributor, Coliseum, and offered up his talents in a unique way.
"I went to them and said, 'Would it not be different if someone from WWE came in to see some of your distributors all around the country and was their sales rep?" Jim told WWE.com. "Don't you think that might have some oomph?"
The big man's creative idea worked and he was immediately brought on as a salesman for the company. By the end of his 11 year run, the country boy was the Director of Sales for North America.
"Great deal," the Kentucky native said proudly. "I loved it."
In the meantime, Hillbilly continued to make regular appearances for WWE, most memorably as the cornerman for a pair of Arkansas hog farmers known as The Godwinns in 1996. (PHOTOS)
"To come back and manage Henry and Phineas, I had so much fun."
Hillbilly Jim also made a brief return to ring action at WrestleMania X-Seven when he participated in the memorable Gimmick Battle Royal alongside old rivals like Kamala and The Iron Sheik. He admitted that the match was a blast, but has no interest in stepping into the squared circle again.
"When's the last time Willie Mays went to the plate and took some swings for the San Francisco Giants?" the former Superstar said. "You can't bring back 25 years ago."
In truth, Jim has no reason to try and relive his glory days. Now 58, the WWE Legend is enjoying his time as a father of four and a grandfather of six. He is also still putting his southern charm and gift of gab to good use as the host of his own show on Sirius XM Radio. Called "Hillbilly Jim's Moonshine Matinee," the program is a mix of Jim's favorite country and rock music, old stories from his WWE days and anything else that comes to mind.
"I'm from the old school," he said proudly. "If you give me a microphone, I just start talking."
Broadcast on the Outlaw Country channel, the show has been on the air every Saturday and Sunday afternoon for the past six years and has welcomed guests like legendary rockers ZZ Top and WWE Hall of Famer Greg "The Hammer" Valentine.
"I love being a part of that," Jim admitted. "And I could've never done that had it not been for my wrestling background. That's why I'm so grateful."
The radio show has also been the perfect platform for the former Superstar to promote his latest business venture - Hillbilly Jim's Beef Jerky. Recently started up by Jim and a friend, the snack is made with top quality meat and comes in a variety of Hillbilly-approved flavors, including Old Kentucky Special Recipe and Butt Kickin' Teriyaki.
"It tastes like steak," Jim said. "You can eat it all where you don't chew and break your teeth. It's really good stuff."
Although not currently available in stores, the snack can be purchased by calling 877-451-4017.
"Not everybody has their own line of beef and turkey jerky - I don't know that everyone would want to," Jim laughed. "But it sounds like something a hillbilly would just love to do."
With a mind for marketing like that, it's a wonder that Western Kentucky University didn't contact the WWE Legend sooner.
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