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Honky Tonk Man cool, cocky, good
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun


The Honky Tonk Man earlier this month in Cochrane, AB. Photo by Jason Clevett

For years, fans despised the guy who boastfully referred to himself as the greatest intercontinental champion of all time!"

The WWF's longest-reigning intercontinental champ at a shade under 15 months, Roy Wayne Ferris got fans' blood boiling when he pranced to the ring as The Honky Tonk Man, looking every bit the Elvis impersonator. Truth is, he wasn't really a big Elvis fan.

"I was a Beatles and Rolling Stones kind of guy," admits the 58-year-old, who will wrestle in Ottawa, at the Earl Armstrong Arena, on Aug. 8 (for details, check wrestlingsupershow.com).

Vince McMahon saw The Honky Tonk Man as being a fan favourite from the get-go, but the guy with the guitar -- the man who became cool, cocky and bad -- didn't see it that way.

"I developed the character as a bad guy and I knew how to make it work, but Vince didn't see it that way. He said, 'I can see kids in jumpsuits, buying scarves ... '

"To see someone, especially in wrestling, do a knockoff of Elvis, (the fans) were going to boo that."

Fate made him the intercontinental champ in 1987 when he pinned Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat.

"They were trying to figure out what to do with the belt. We were standing around and Hulk Hogan happened to walk by and said to McMahon, 'What about him?' "

Honky Tonk Man lost the belt to The Ultimate Warrior in 13 seconds.

Explains Honky Tonk Man: "Anything longer than a five-minute match would have exposed The Ultimate Warrior for not being very talented in the ring and it would have exposed me for not being able to carry him. And if it exposed us both, that would do nothing for the company."

Does he like being a fan favourite now?

"It's ironic," he says. "People come up and say, 'I always wanted to kill you.' "

Ouellet vs. Haas

Carl Ouellet got a WWE tryout against Charlie Haas Monday.

RELATED LINKS

  • The Honky Tonk Man story archive