It’s hard to believe that at 63 years of age, Wayne Farris, better known to us as the Honky Tonk Man, is still listed as an active wrestler. The wrestler with the Elvis sideburns and the awful jump suits was one of the mainstays in the Vince McMahon creation of the WWF, where sports entertainment walked over the bounds his father and bullied professional wrestling with a standing drop kick.
Farris is best known for his first run with WWF, where he held the WWF Intercontinental Championship for a record 64 weeks, and lost it to The Ultimate Warrior at the inaugural SummerSlam. That kind of accomplishment, plus the fact he was a larger than life cartoon figure in the business should have warranted an invitation to the company’s Hall of Fame.
Farris is still waiting. So are a handful of other superstars who well deserve recognition that have not received. It’s hard to pick and choose who gets in and who gets out in a politically charged selection process. And once again, although this year’s class is certainly worthy, Farris waits. Farris was offered an opportunity to join the sacred fraternity. He turned it down because of other obligations.
“They offered the Hall of Fame when they were in Phoenix, but I was contracted to go to Wizard World of Comic Con,” said Farris in a question and answer session read on wrestlingnewspost.com. “I went to Toronto instead, and I don’t think they liked me doing that. But if I had a contract with them, they would want me to honor it, and I had a contract that I honored. Back then, there was also a no-compete clause for 90 days after you were inducted in the Hall of Fame, and I needed to work.”
While Farris was a popular figure in Memphis while working with Lawler, it was up north where he got his feet wet on stardom. He said Vince McMahon was good to him at a time when the locker room was packed with talent.
“I equate Vince to George Steinbrenner and Donald Trump. They control a lot of people, and have to manage a lot of personalities. Vince had to deal with a locker of fifty guys who were aggressive, had egos as big as Andre the Giant, and deal with all kinds of stuff on a nightly basis. I can remember calling the office at 4am to vent, and he answered the phone. Vince and Pat Patterson did it themselves. There was no corporate lineup with junior vice presidents – they did it. It’s amazing what Vince has put together. He has a WrestleMania that is bigger than a Rolling Stones concert.”
Could Farris’ pass on a golden ticket to wrestling immortality have cost him now? Hard to say. There are other wrestlers who have been passed over. Ray Stevens last year in San Francisco. Rick Rude. Ivan Koloff and Vader. With WrestleMania 33 being held in Florida next year, it is possible the likes of Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell, Bruiser Brody and Johnny Weaver could get a call. Oh, and if you were wondering, Sable is from originally from Jacksonville, Fl.
Farris may be waiting for another call from Vince and the boys. Undertaker may call it a career. Daniel Bryan is now on the alumni list. The question for the former champion isn’t necessarily when, but now it’s a question of, “if” he is extended another pass.
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