Follow TV Tropes


Wrestling / Dan Spivey

Go To
As Waylon Mercy

Daniel Eugene Spivey (born October 14, 1952) is a retired American Professional Wrestler from Tampa, Florida who competed in the 1980s and 1990s primarily in Florida, for WWE, the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico, WCW and All Japan Pro Wrestling. He made his PPV debut in the battle royal that was part of the Chicago stage of WrestleMania II. He was an opponent in Bruiser Brody's last match, which was Spivey and Abdullah the Butcher vs. Brody and Carlos Colon, at the WWC's July 15, 1988 show. His last run, in 1995 WWE, saw him compete as Waylon Mercy, a character derived from Robert De Niro's portrayal of Max Cady in the 1991 remake of Cape Fear. He is a former All Japan Pro Wrestling World Tag Team Champion with Stan Hansen.

"Tropes are gonna be in Waylon Mercy's hands. You know what I mean?"

  • Arch-Enemy: The Road Warriors, both in the ring and in Real Life.
  • Bullying a Dragon: An ex-bouncer in Tampa Bay who had also done some professional Arm-Wrestling and bill collecting, most wrestlers knew Dan Spivey was not someone to mess with. Bruce Prichard has stated that he would put Dan Spivey up there with Meng when it came to how terrifying he could be when someone fought him. Three times in particular stand out:
    • Beating the The Road Warriors with a chair in the middle of a match in WCW Clash of the Champions X. More details in Papa Wolf below.
    • For unknown reasons, a jobber decided to no sell his or Sid Vicious offense during a match. The match quickly fadded to black by the time Spivey and Sid were just wailing on him and according to both wrestlers, it got even worse when the jobber went back to the locker room.
    • His match and subsequent locker room brawl against Adrian Adonis in Flint, Michigan. The reason why the whole thing began is a bit murky (Bob Orton Jr. said it was miscommunication during the match, while Honky Tonk Man, Hillbilly Jim, and Hansen himself said it was because Adonis was being stiff even after Spivey had told him to stop), but everyone says the same order of events: Spivey knocked him out cold in the middle of the match in a single punch that was so hard Adonis' cheekbone was showing. Adonis then tried to pull a rear neck hold on Spivey backstage in retaliation but Spivey punched him again. Adrian came back a couple of times, only to be struck by Spivey every time. As Hillbilly Jim puts it, "every hit split something." By the end of it, Adrian's jaw was left hanging by a single bone while Spivey was unscathed. Bob Orton drove Adonis to the hospital, and it took him one whole week to recover.
  • Bash Brothers: With Scott Hall, Mike Rotunda, Sid Vicious, Stan Hansen, Johnny Ace (John Laurinaitis)
  • The Big Guy/The Brute: He was the tallest member of The Varsity Club.
  • Con Man: Commentator Vince McMahon often called Waylon Mercy this for how he would shake everyone's, including the referee's, hands before his matches... and then go and beat the hell out of his opponents.
  • Deep South: Waylon Mercy was billed from Griffin, Georgia, and emphasized the accent.
  • Demoted to Extra: In his first WWE run.
  • Dented Iron: His run as Waylon Mercy was cut short by accumulated injuries.
  • Evil Laugh: As Waylon Mercy.
  • Faceā€“Heel Turn: His 1987-1988 WWF run. During his 1985-early 1987 run, Spivey was a generally genial individual but was never really over with fans, and he and tag-team partner Mike Rotundo were generally placed no higher than the mid-card. In the fall of 1987, when he began to be paired against such fan favorites as Lanny Poffo, Koko B. Ware and S.D. Jones, there seemed to be an attitude change and he adopted a heelish persona. He was still unsuccessful, floundering in these opening-card matches until he left the WWF in early 1988.
  • Finishing Move: Spivey Spike (DDT); Sleeper (as Waylon Mercy).
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: Wore a Hawaiian shirt over his white clothes as Waylon Mercy.
  • I Have Many Names: Danny/Dan Spivey, American Starship Eagle, Waylon Mercy
  • Laughing Mad: Waylon Mercy's finisher was a sleeper. He'd put on a genuinely creepy, wild-eyed and laughing facial expression while applying it.
  • Legacy Character: Bray Wyatt, aka Windham "Husky Harris" Rotunda, has definite elements of Waylon Mercy, though amplified as he is the leader of a Cult, The Wyatt Family. Spivey is a family friend of the Rotunda family, and collaborated with Windham to help create the Wyatt character.
    • There's a clear Shout-Out to the Waylon Mercy character in Bray's new 2019 gimmick as the host of the 'Firefly Fun House', where one of the supporting characters on the show is a puppet buzzard called Mercy, who at one point slipped in a "You know what I mean?" Spivey himself actually provides the voice of the character.
  • Light Is Not Good: Wrestled in all white as Waylon Mercy despite being a heel.
  • Papa Wolf: In a match against the The Road Warriors, both Hawk and Animal began to stiff and No-Sell his Tag Team partner, who was a relative newcomer. Spivey, the veteran of the four, was having absolutely none of it. He broke kayfabe and proceeded to beat the ever loving shit out of both Animal and Hawk with a chair for taking advantage of his partner. That partner was Mean Mark Callous, who would later go on to become The Undertaker. You can watch the incident here.
  • Parts Unknown: (as a member of the Skyscrapers): "Metropolis"
  • Power Stable: Was a member of Kevin Sullivan's The Varsity Club.
  • Punny Name: "Waylon Mercy"
  • Red Baron: "Golden Boy," "Dangerous" and previously, "Starship Eagle."
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Walked out of WCW prior to the WrestleWar 90 PPV, February 25, 1990, where the Skyscrapers (he and "Mean" Mark Callous were scheduled to face The Road Warriors in a "Chicago Street Fight." Callous instead was teamed with, for one night only, "The Masked Skyscraper" ("Mean" Mike Enos). The Warriors won, of course. Spivey was fired for no-showing the March 18, 1990 show.
    • The Bus Came Back: Returned in September. The original Skyscrapers (Spivey and Sid) reunited just once, to Squash the Motor City Madman (Mike Moore, no connection to those other guys) and the Big Cat (Curtis "Mr." Hughes) at Starrcade 90.note 
      • An earlier "Bus Came Back" moment in his career came in the fall of 1987, when he returned to the WWF ... just months after he and Mike Rotunda split up and both left the promotion. Spivey came back with a heelish attitude, but as was the case with much of his earlier US Express run, he never was really over with fans, seldom appeared on television (and never on WWF Superstars or WWF Wrestling Challenge) and soon disappeared in early 1988. (Unlike Spivey, Rotunda's return to the WWF, which came three years after Spivey's departure... was far more successful.)
  • Shout-Out: Waylon Mercy drew a lot of inspiration from Max Cady.
  • Slasher Smile: As Waylon Mercy
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Barry Windham in the American (formerly U.S.) Express.
  • Tag Team: American Starship (as Eagle, with Coyote [Scott Hall]); the American Express (with Mike Rotunda); the Skyscrapers (first with Sid Vicious, then with "Mean" Mark Callous).
  • Wrestling Family: He was married to the daughter of the Destroyer (Dick Beyer). His cousin Andy Leavine was signed to WWE until he was released in April 2012. He went to the WWC, where he has become a 1x WWC Universal Heavyweight Champion and a 1x WWC World Tag Team Champion with Samson Walker.