No Laughing Matter
Within the last few days, Bill DeMott has been a hot topic of conversation for all the wrong reasons. Varying from treatment of trainees to even covering up sexual harassment cases involving female wrestlers, DeMott has been accused of some really bad actions.
So, with his newfound negative popularity, I’ve noticed people asking who Bill DeMott is and what has he even done in professional wrestling to be a head trainer of NXT. That’s a valid question considering he hasn’t been on television in a wrestling role for twelve years.
When it came to national exposure, DeMott got his first taste of spotlight while working for World Championship Wrestling working under the name Hugh Morrus. The gimmick was that of a man who constantly laughed or giggled at nothing. He wore a singlet that had question marks and faces on it. He debuted in November of ’95 and for the first year and half of his career, he worked undercard matches without having any kind of feud with anyone.
One of the most memorable moments of his career came on September 22nd, 1997 when he became the first victim of what would be known as “The Streak.” On that edition of Nitro, Morrus was the first defeat of Goldberg, who would continue to be undefeated until December of 1998.
Following the loss, Morrus continued to mainly work against jobbers and would often lose to featured wrestlers on the B shows for WCW. Morrus returned to a prominent role in 1999 when he briefly joined the First Family stable with Jimmy Hart, Brian Knobs, Barbarian and Jerry Flynn. The group only lasted a few months due to injuries.
With a depleted roster by the spring of 2000, DeMott was pushed to the upper mid card and was the leader of a largely comedy group known as the Misfits In Action. Morrus would have a new name, Hugh G. Rection… take a moment and let that soak in for a minute. Not so shockingly, the name wouldn’t last and Morrus would go by General Rection.
As the leader of the group, Rection would focus on the WCW United States Championship. From July to November, Rection traded the championship with Lance Storm. At the time, they were feuding because Storm was Canadian and anti-USA while Rection was red, white and blue until the day he dies. He was the WCW United States Champion two times and lost the belt to Shane Douglas at WCW Sin on January 14th, 2001.
When WCW was purchased by the World Wrestling Federation in March of 2001, Morrus joined the WWF and was largely used in a undercard role. Morrus often loss matches as part of the Alliance and his airtime was rather limited.
From 2002 to 2004, he worked under his real name and was promoted as a bully. DeMott mainly worked on Velocity and was probably putting on his best work as a heel by defeating smaller wrestlers. However, by 2004 he had to retire due to knee injuries.
DeMott may best be known for his work as a trainer on Tough Enough 4. Following that production he worked as a trainer for Deep South Wrestling and later on FCW/NXT.
During his time as trainer from 2011-2015, several wrestlers claimed misconduct against DeMott. The list of wrestlers include Kevin Matthews, Mike Bucci (Nova), Devon Nicholson, Chad Baxter, Chase Donovan, Judas Devlin, Briley Pierce, Brandon Traven, Derrick Bateman and Terra Calaway. Popular NJPW/ROH/PWG wrestler Kenny Omega asked for his release from a WWE developmental contract in 2007 citing poor treatment from DeMott, as well.
Personally, I enjoyed DeMott’s work as a wrestler. As a big man, he had one of the best looking top rope moonsaults I’ve ever witnessed. His success is largely due to being one of the last options that WCW had to pick from at a time when talent was leaving the sinking ship.
As for the allegations made against DeMott. I tend to believe them due to how many people are claiming it is true. Had it been one or two people saying negative things about DeMott then you can make the argument that its just guys being bitter for not making it. But, when on a daily basis someone else comes out and says the same thing, then you know it’s a problem.
And, when DeMott resigned from his position despite still claiming to be innocent of the accusations, that pretty much seals it for me.
What are your memories of Bill Demott/Hugh Morrus in wrestling? Also, what do you think of his alleged misconduct?
Leave your thoughts below.
Thanks for reading.