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Wrestling / Haystacks Calhoun

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William Dee Calhoun (August 3, 1934 – December 7, 1989) was an American professional wrestler, who used the professional name Haystacks Calhoun.

He started in 1955 as Country Boy Calhoun, working various territories. He got the "Haystacks" name after an appearance on Art Linkletter's House Party where he demonstrated his strength by tossing bales of hay into a high loft. He competed for many National Wrestling Alliance territories, for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and for the then-WWWF. He was an early television star and a significant box office draw.

He was a 1x WWE World Tag Team Champion with Tony Garea, a 1x NWA Tri-State (Mid-South) United States Tag Team Champion with Jack Brisco, and a 2x NWA Canadian (Vancouver) Tag Team Champion with Don Leo Jonathan. In 2017, he was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of their Legacy wing.

"Country Boy Tropes"

  • Acrofatic: In a sense. He didn't do moonsaults or cartwheels, but in a time where every big man's gimmick was to basically stand there and let guys run into them, he chose to actually utilize real wrestling moves into his moveset.
  • Belly Flop Crushing: Like most super-heavyweights, used the big splash as his Finishing Move.
  • Big Fun: He became a beloved attraction for his honor and friendliness, as well as for his surprising athleticism considering he was 600lbs.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Played straight with most of his partners, with him being obviously the "big guy". Averted when he teamed with the 600 lbs. Man Mountain Mike.
  • But Now I Must Go: He was an attraction for the athleticism which seemed to clash his enormous girth and was an overall nice guy beloved by fans and other wrestlers alike, except for bullies and trouble makers that he tended to show up to make fools of. But when that was done, he tended to depart, leading his role to be called a "traveling enforcer".
  • Chained by Fashion: He was known for wearing a chain as a necklace, with a horseshoe as a pendant.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: He does have a losing record against a handful of wrestlers, as far as the recovered records show, but for the most part had the immick of a "traveling face enforcer" who'd draw some interest to the territory, win some matches and be on his way.
  • Face: Pretty much always, to the point he made a career as a "traveling enforcer" for various territories.
  • Finishing Move: Big Splash.
  • Fun Personified: Quite possibly the original "traveling enforcer", as he was a show-off but largely non-malicious.
  • The Giant: 640 pounds, even Bruno Sammartino had trouble slamming him. Besides the immovability part of the gimmick though, he was pretty versatile.
  • Legacy Character:
    • He paved the way for both future giants such as André the Giant and future "hillbilly" characters such as Hillbilly Jim and the Godwinns.
    • Martin Ruane, better known as Giant Haystacks/Loch Ness, originally called himself Haystacks Calhoun.
    • There was a late 1990s Florida independent wrestler who called himself Haystacks Calhoun Jr.note 
  • Parts Unknown: Despite actually hailing from McKinney, Texas, he was billed from "Morgan's Corner, Arkansas", a non-existant place.
  • Stout Strength: He was very strong despite his girth, as demonstrated in the TV appearance that gave him the name "Haystacks".
  • Villainous Underdog: Any Heel that went against him became this, as he often dwarfed even the mightiest heels of any given territory, such as Pampero Firpo in Detroit.
  • Walking the Earth: He might be the Trope Maker for pro wrestling, being what would later be known as a "traveling face enforcer", being a gigantic agile attraction, a Big Fun guy who would show up in a territory often to make a fool out of a trouble maker, and then be on his way, with successors including André the Giant.