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Wrestling / Honky Tonk Man

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The greatest Intercontinental champion there ever was!
"I got long sideburns and my hair slicked back
I'm coming to your town in my pink Cadillac
I'm just a Honky Tonk Man (He's just a Honky Tonk Man)
I'm just a Honky Tonk Man (He's just a Honky Tonk Man)
I'm just a Honky Tonk Man, I'm cool, I'm cocky, I'm bad"

Roy Wayne Farris (born January 25, 1953), better known by his stage name The Honky Tonk Man, is an American professional wrestler, best known for his run in the then-WWF playing the character of a cocky Elvis Presley's impersonator.

Having wrestled in various independent leagues since 1978, The Honky Tonk Man made his debut in the WWF in 1986. Originally planned to be a fan-favorite face, the initial negative reaction to the character caused its reinvention as a smarmy heel, managed by Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart note . His first major feud would be against Jake "The Snake" Roberts.

In 1987, Honky Tonk Man would defeat Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat for the WWF Intercontinental title. He would remain Intercontinental Champ for the next year and three months, fending off challenges from wrestlers such as "Macho Man" Randy Savage, George "The Animal" Steele, and Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake (By cheating... quite often).

Honky Tonk Man was originally scheduled to take on Beefcake at the 1988 SummerSlam Pay-Per-View event. However, right before the event, Beefcake was written into a feud against "Outlaw" Ron Bass, and was to be replaced in the match by a mystery opponent. That mystery opponent would end up being the then-red-hot Ultimate Warrior, who defeated Honky Tonk Man for the belt in a Squash Match that only lasted 31 seconds.

Throughout 1989 and 1990, Honky Tonk Man would make appearances as a mid-card wrestler and teaming up with Greg Valentine as the "Rhythm & Blues" tag team. He would also on occasion serve as a heel color-commentator, until leaving the company in January 1991. Farris would bounce around various other promotions, including a short stint in WCW, before returning to WWF as a color commentator and manager in 1997. From that point on, Farris would make sporadic appearance on WWF programmings, including at the 1998 and 2001 Royal Rumble as a Joke Character entry, as well as numerous appearances at independent promotions . He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019.

And do not confuse him with that Clint Eastwood's flick, Johnny Horton's tune or the Steve Young's album... the names are similar, though.

"These tropes here... ♫♪"they're cool, they're cocky, they're b-b-b-b-b-b-baaaaad!♪♫"

  • Arch-Enemy:
  • Berserk Button: He did NOT like people messing with his hair. This apparently applies to other peoples hair as well, as he freaked out after Brutus Beefcake snipped off a few locks from Jimmy Hart after their Wrestlemania 4 match, and Honky spent the post-match interview desperatly trying to hide his manager underneath his jacket.
  • The Cameo: He made a brief but startling cameo appearance in the opener for the 3rd season of Lucha Underground as the prison officer who returned Dario Cueto's possessions to him when he was released.
  • Captain Ersatz/Elvis Impersonator: Noooo!!!! Really???
  • Catchphrase/Take That, Audience!: "Thank you very much. You've been a lovely audience!" Right after a match.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Like Elvis, Wayne's natural hair is blond.
  • Crowd Chant: "Here we go, Honky!"
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: His record-breaking 64 weeks IC reign was ended in 31 seconds by The Ultimate Warrior, Honky didn't even have time to finish getting out of his leisure suit.
  • Dance Battler: Honky used to perform "The Pelvis" that came with the gimmick to taunt his opponents, enraging the audience in the process. This turned out to be on his own benefit as he showed in ''Cyber Sunday '08'' to the then IC Champ Santino Marella just how it should be done.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: With Lord Zoltan, after he declared his manager, Mayor Mystery, a failure for costing him a victory to Honky Tonk Man at KSWA's 2014 Fan fest/Toy drive.
  • Dirty Coward: This man made a whole career out of of being a cowardly, smuggy and cheating heel.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: "Cool, cocky and bad." It is catchy as hell!
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: His run as a member of the Blonde Bombers in Memphis, since he had blond hair and looked nothing like he did later. He also had a thin handlebar mustache at this time, which was really bizarre looking on him.
    • His early days in the WWE, when he was originally being pitched as a Face, including a completely different theme song: "That's Alright". This theme can be heard in some of his earliest matches as a Heel too, most notably in his Wrestlemania 3 fight against Jake Roberts, though it's difficult to make out over the noise from the crowd.
  • Extremity Extremist: He tended to use his fists more than anything, trading as less locks, holds and throws as possible. Incidentally, his more well known Signature Moves were a series of Jabs, a Running Straight, multiples punches to his opponent's face from a Side Headlock and a Top-rope Fist Drop.
  • Face–Heel Turn: One of the more interesting turns of the 80s. Despite no less than Hulk Hogan endorsing Honky, fans just didn't buy Nice Guy Honky one bit. Eventually, this led to a promo where Honky, being interviewed by Jesse Ventura, thought he'd ask the fans for a "vote of confidence." Fans responded by mail with an overwhelming "nay," ...Jesse (being Jesse), rubbed it in. Honky later responded with a bitter promo promising " more kissing babies and shaking hands.", adopting Jimmy Hart, the Mouth Of The South himself, as his new manager. And the rest is history.
  • Fingore: In a "Ultimate Champion Wrestling" event, an accident at a photo-op nearly severed Farris' right index finger.
  • Finishing Move:
    • "Shake, Rattle, & Roll", a Swinging Neckbreaker (after doing a little dance).
    • "El Kabong", after the famous Quick Draw McGraw's attack.
  • Genre Savvy/Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught:
    • He won the IC championship in his match against "The Dragon" by shadily using the bottom ropes for extra leverage on his pin, and that was just one of his many... MANY tricks.
    • He also kept the strap for so long by losing some matches, either by disqualification or count-out, whereupon the belt would not switch hands.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Don't you EVER say, "I DON'T CARE WHO IT IS!" when shouting for someone to fight you for the championship title like Honky did, otherwise you'll be on the receiving end of a 31 second Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Irony:
    • It is not him, but his also famous cousin who bares "The King" moniker due the fact the latter has been the only performer who outsold Elvis himself at the Mid-South Colliseum... IN MEMPHIS, TN!!!
    • He's second to the most famous Elvis Impersonator... and his name is also Wayne.
  • Legacy Character: Tried to mold Billy Gunn into this as "Rockabilly", which ended up bombing, and Billy turned against his mentor at the same time that The Roadie did the same to Jeff Jarrett. Together, they instead formed the New Age Outlaws, completely abandoning their mentors gimmicks.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Became this after he smashed Jake over the head with a real guitar (although by accident), and then won the IC Title later.
  • Long Runner: Held the IC title for 454 days (June 2, 1987 - August 29, 1988), which still stands to this day (January 15, 2022) as the longest IC title reign in WWE history.
    • On September 4, 2023, his record was finally broken by Gunther, but it took over 35 years for the record to be broken, an impressive length of time for any record to stand in professional wrestling.
  • Merchandise-Driven: His original WWE Face debut was intended for this, according to the man himself. The Honkey Tonk Man had already been a successfull Heel character in Memphis and Stampede when Hulk Hogan got him in contact with Vince Mcmahon, who thought he'd be able to make Honky Tonk Man a hero and sell toy guitars or t-shirt leisure suits the same way they'd monetized Hogan. This flopped badly, as the character did not lend itself to Face work, and the wrestler himself was a natural Heel.
  • Motor Mouth:
    • Both as the Honky Tonk Man as well as out of character doing shoot interviews for RF or Kayfabe Commentaries. When he does shoot interviews, he hardly stops talking to take a breath.
    • In his one man stage show, which is different from a shoot interview and more like a standup comedy set, he usually goes well beyond the one hour limit that most clubs set for their acts.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: People tended to forget that Honky was a well seasoned Garbage Wrestler due to his most famous gimmick's comical nature and tendency to be outmatched by the top Faces. This guy can put up a hell of a fight if he wants to.
  • Oh, Crap!: Upon hearing the Ultimate Warrior's music at the infamous Summerslam 88 match, his cheery demeanor immediately ceases as Honky Tonk just realizes how screwed he is.
  • Overly-Long Gag: To the point all commentators began to call his manager "Colonel".
  • Perky Female Minion: "Peggy Sue". "The Mach" would be having a Suspiciously Similar Substitute of her later on.
  • Power Stable:
  • Ring Oldies: You can see him popping out here and there at times for a match, counting on the man's pushing 70.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: His usual means of retaining his title, he'd get himself counted out.
    • A non-kayfabe version was at his Halloween Havoc match with Johnny B. Badd where after the match ended in a draw, he walked out of the ring and never appeared in WCW again. He was scheduled to appear at the next pay-per-view, but he refused to lose to Johnny B. Badd without a contract. When he was denied a contract, he left and never came back.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The concept behind Honky's character, being an Elvis Impersonator who is not only convinced that he's a far better musician than Elvis himself was (and often pretended Elvis ripped him off), he also sees himself as a world-class fighter, while in reality he was a bullying Dirty Coward who ran from any fight he couldn't breeze through.
  • Something Person: "The Honky Tonk Man."
  • Squash Match: On the receiving end of one by The Ultimate Warrior lasting 30 seconds. This is what happens when you carelessly shout "I DON'T CARE WHO IT IS!" when demanding someone to fight you for the championship that you currently have, so he kinda had it coming to him.
  • Tag Team:
    • (in Memphis and Nashville, as "Dynamyte" Wayne):
    • (In Florida):
    • (in Stampede, as The Honky Tonk Man):
      • "The Memphis Mafia" w/Kerry Brown.
      • w/The Cuban Assasin here and in indies.
    • (in Mid-South):
    • (in WWF):
      • "Rhythm & Blues" w/Valentine.
  • Theatrics of Pain: He'd sell anything, to outright comical degrees at times.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The aforementioned Summerslam '88 incident. "GIMME SOMEBODY OUT HERE TO WRESTLE; I DON'T CARE WHO IT IS!" Yeah, uh..... that was a very bad idea, Honky!
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: His leisure suits, he had one for each occasion.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Accidentally hitting Jake Roberts with a real guitar instead of a fake one and injuring him would later lead to Roberts abusing painkillers and kick starting his drug problem. Jake Roberts has said on interviews however that he doesn't blame him Honky Tonk for the botch and that both are on good terms.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Pushed Elizabeth down right before he smashed Randy over the head with a guitar, at a time when WWE guys NEVER hit women, and ESPECIALLY not Liz.
  • Wrestling Family: He's Jerry Lawler's cousin.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Honky Tonk Man


Warrior vs. Honky Tonk Man

The Ultimate Warrior wins the Intercontinental Belt in 30 seconds!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / SquashMatch

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