Daniel Eugene "Dan" Spivey (born October 14, 1952) is an American retired professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances with World Championship Wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation, and All Japan Pro Wrestling in the 1980s and 1990s.[1][5]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Spivey was born in Tampa, Florida.[4] He attended the University of Georgia, where he played football for the Georgia Bulldogs for three seasons as a defensive end and was named an All-American football player in his sophomore year.[2][3][5] Spivey aimed to play football professionally and was drafted by the New York Jets, but was forced to change his plans after suffering a severe knee injury in his junior year.[5] Spivey spent several years working in a number of jobs in Tampa before meeting professional wrestler Dusty Rhodes, who offered to train him to wrestle.[5]

Professional wrestling career[edit | edit source]

Championship Wrestling from Florida (1983–1984)[edit | edit source]

Spivey was trained as a wrestler by Dusty Rhodes, the then-booker for Championship Wrestling from Florida (CWF), and made his debut in 1983. Spivey and Scott Hall formed a tag team in CWF called "American Starship". Spivey adopted the ring name "Eagle" and Hall the ring name "Coyote". The men wore furry boots, bright masks and silver pants and boots.[1][5]

Jim Crockett Promotions (1984–1985)[edit | edit source]

In 1984, Rhodes moved from Championship Wrestling from Florida to the Charlotte, North Carolina-based Jim Crockett Promotions, bringing Spivey and Hall with him.[5] Initially, American Starship worked only sporadically. At first they were booked so sparingly that the two were given a job for the Charlotte Orioles (which Jim Crockett owned at the time) as part of the ground crew. When the two men did get into the ring it was with little success, the highlight of their stay in Jim Crockett Promotions was being defeated by Arn and Ole Anderson when the rookies challenged for the NWA National Tag Team Championship.

After working in MACW the duo joined Bob Geigel's NWA Central States territory based in Kansas City in 1985. The duo had a shot at the NWA Central States Tag Team Champions Marty Jannetty and "Bulldog" Bob Brown but did not manage to win the titles. Spivey’s stay in the Central States territory was short-lived, according to Scott Hall Spivey did not like Kansas City. Spivey returned to the Carolinas where he worked as "American Starship" Eagle.

World Wrestling Federation (1985–1988)[edit | edit source]

Template:Also In the fall of 1985, Spivey signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and started working without a mask and under his real name. Spivey was brought in to team with Mike Rotunda as The U.S. Express after Barry Windham left the federation.[9]

The team had their first match together on November 1, 1985[10] less than a month after Spivey joined the WWF. The team was sometimes billed as "The American Express", but most people referred to them as the U.S. Express II since the patriotic gimmick of the original U.S. Express was recycled with Spivey taking Barry Windham's place.[9] The team continued the U.S. Express' feud with the Dream Team, but once they were proven unsuccessful, the two did not team from January to May as Rotundo briefly left the WWF. During this time Spivey took part in the WrestleMania 2 "Wrestlers and Football players" Battle Royal. Spivey was eliminated by The Iron Sheik without much fanfare.[11] Once the American Express reunited, they feuded with The Moondogs,[12] The Hart Foundation,[13] and The Islanders, whom the team faced in their last match together on February 9, 1987.[14]

Not long before Rotundo left the WWF, Spivey began to be billed as "Golden Boy" Danny Spivey which continued for his singles run after Rotundo left. His in-ring appearance at the time led to many fans labelling him a Hulk Hogan clone. As the "Golden Boy", Spivey wrestled in yellow trunks and boots which added to his height, build and blonde hair saw him heavily resemble the then WWF Champion. Spivey took part in the 1986 King of the Ring tournament, losing to Nikolai Volkoff in the first round.[15] He also tried a new tag team partner. In March 1987 Spivey teamed with Tito Santana to unsuccessfully challenge the Hart Foundation for the tag team titles. Spivey was also part of the 1987 King of the Ring, this time he lost to Rick Martel in the first round.[16] Spivey stayed with the WWF until the spring of 1988, becoming a heel and competing mainly against such low carders as Lanny Poffo[17] and Outback Jack.[18]

In 1991, Spivey testified that Dr George Zaharian had illegally supplied him with anabolic steroids in the late 1980s. Zaharian was ultimately found guilty.[19][20]

All Japan Pro Wrestling (1988–1995)[edit | edit source]

After working exclusively in the U.S. since his debut, Spivey started to tour with All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) in the summer of 1988 and kept touring with the company every year until 1995, when he signed with the WWF. In his first tour, Spivey gained ring experience by competing with Japanese wrestling legend Genichiro Tenryu.[21] Spivey also teamed with Johnny Ace,[22] a man he would team with many times during his Japanese tours.

Jim Crockett Promotions/World Championship Wrestling (1989–1992)[edit | edit source]

In early 1989, Spivey returned to the NWA and Jim Crockett. Spivey was made a member of The Varsity Club as a replacement for Rick Steiner, who left the group. Spivey's background as a football player at the University of Georgia was touched upon to lend credibility to his inclusion in the group. While in the Varsity Club, Spivey feuded with Rick Steiner and the Road Warriors, acting more as back-up while former tag team partner Mike Rotunda and Steve Williams were pushed as the stars of the group. When the Varsity Club disbanded, Spivey came under the management of ex-referee Teddy Long and started teaming with newcomer Sid Vicious under the name of The Skyscrapers. The Skyscrapers' (so named due to their height with Spivey at 6'8" and Vicious at 6'9") first taste of success came at the Great American Bash pay-per-view, where they first co-won a Two-Ring King of the Hill Battle Royal with Sid being the survivor in one ring and Spivey surviving in the other. The rules called for the two to fight each other but manager Teddy Long convinced them to shake hands and share the prize money.[23] Later in the night, the Skyscrapers defeated The Dynamic Dudes due to their overwhelming size and power.[23]

The Skyscrapers quickly became involved in a feud with the Road Warriors, sparked by Teddy Long's actions while he was still a referee. The two teams were very evenly matched in power and intensity, creating a series of matches that did not favor one team over the other. Spivey and Vicious were disqualified against the Road Warriors at Halloween Havoc.[24] Shortly after Halloween Havoc, the Skyscrapers faced the Steiner Brothers at Clash of the Champions IX in a hard hitting match.[25] Sid Vicious suffered a punctured lung due to a broken rib. With Vicious out of action, Teddy Long brought in another tall newcomer in the same mold as Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey and dubbed him "Mean" Mark Callous.[26] The New Skyscrapers immediately picked up the feud with the Road Warriors and kept on having inconclusive matches with them. At Clash of the Champions X the Skyscrapers finally got the better of the Road Warriors, not in the match, but afterwards when they beat the Road Warriors down.[27] At this point in time, no one had ever been able to physically dominate the Road Warriors, something that pointed that big things had been planned for the Skyscrapers. However, in the days before the scheduled Chicago Street Fight at WrestleWar 1990,[28] Dan Spivey suddenly left WCW, leaving the bookers to scramble for a replacement. Spivey stated in a shoot interview that he left the company over money issues, as well as his dislike of the Road Warriors themselves for taking what he perceived as liberties with his tag-team partner "Mean" Mark Callous.

While working for the NWA as one of the Skyscrapers, Spivey also competed in his homestate of Florida, winning the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship[29] in late 1989. However, this title win was not referred to on NWA Television. Spivey would go on to hold the title until July 1992, when he lost it to Lou Perez.[29] Spivey also kept on touring with AJPW while working for the NWA, mainly teaming with Stan Hansen. Spivey and Hansen formed a very popular Gaijin team that almost won AJPW's "World's Strongest Tag Determination League" in 1990.[30] By the end of 1990, Spivey returned to WCW television. The Skyscrapers briefly reunited at Starrcade (1990) as he and Sid Vicious defeated The Big Cat and The Motor City Madman.[31]

With Sid Vicious being part of the Four Horsemen, the Skyscraper reunion was short-lived. Instead, Spivey started to focus on his singles career in WCW, challenging WCW U.S. Champion "The Total Package" Lex Luger at the February 24, 1991 PPV WrestleWar.[32] Spivey did not win the title, and he did not get another high-profile title opportunity while with the company. On April 18, 1991 Dan Spivey and Stan Hansen captured the World Tag Team Championship from Terry Gordy and Steve Williams in Tokyo, Japan.[29] Spivey and Hansen even brought their successful tag team to WCW during this time. On June 22, 1991, Spivey and Hansen were booked to face Rick Steiner and Tom Zenk and Spivey was told to lose the match to Zenk. Spivey refused since the duo were the World Tag Team Champions. After further discussions, Dan Spivey once again left WCW.[33]

Spivey and Hansen would lose the tag-team titles back to Gordy and Williams.[29] After the title loss, Spivey started to team with other wrestlers, mainly with Johnny Ace, but also linked up with Jim Brunzell,[34] Kendall Windham[35] and Jim Steele.[36] Spivey managed to mend fences with WCW enough to work with them once more during the summer of 1992. His biggest match during this time was his appearance at Starrcade where he teamed with Van Hammer to defeat Johnny B. Badd and Cactus Jack to advance in the "Lethal Lottery". Spivey was eliminated from the main event battle royal by eventual winner The Great Muta.[37]

Universal Wrestling Federation (1990–1995)[edit | edit source]

Between 1990 and 1995, Spivey made regular American appearances for Herb Abrams' Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF). He defeated Johnny Ace at UWF's Blackjack Brawl to become the only UWF Americas Champion.[29]

World Wrestling Federation (1995)[edit | edit source]

Spivey rejoined the WWF in June 1995, adopting the name "Waylon Mercy" in a character based on Robert De Niro's portrayal of Max Cady in the 1991 remake of Cape Fear. Like Cady, he had jet black hair, wore white attire with a Hawaiian shirt, and sported several strange tattoos, including one of a dagger on his forehead (Spivey's were temporary). The character was introduced through a series of vignettes that always had Spivey speaking in a calm yet sinister manner, finishing with the phrase "Lives are gonna be in Waylon Mercy's hands. You know what I mean?"

Spivey portrayed a heel despite his character acting as a peaceful southern gentleman outside the ring. Waylon would shake the hands of the fans, his opponent, and even the referee before his matches. However, once the bell rang, he became vicious, insincerely apologizing for actions such as kicking or choking a downed opponent. Mercy's finishing move saw him apply a sleeper hold as he revealed a wide-eyed, insane expression. Once the bell rang, he would return to his "peaceful southern gentleman" act.[38]

Mercy was pushed upon his debut with victories over numerous enhancement talents (including a young Jeff Hardy), as well as established stars such as Bob Holly,[39] The 1-2-3 Kid,[40] and Doink The Clown.[41] Soon after, he competed in matches with the top faces of the WWF at the time, such as Bret Hart,[42] Razor Ramon,[43] and WWF World Heavyweight Champion Diesel.[44] Spivey's only pay-per-view appearance as Waylon Mercy came at In Your House 3, where he lost to Savio Vega.[45] Spivey defeated Diesel by countout in his last televised match.[46]

Retirement (1995–present)[edit | edit source]

Spivey retired in 1995 due to the injuries.[5] After retiring, Spivey briefly attempted to forge a career as a fashion model.[47] He went on to work for Spivey Underground Utility Construction Company,[48] a construction company owned by his family.[5] In 2014, Windham Rotunda revealed[49] that his character of Bray Wyatt was given to him by Spivey who was attending the WWE Performance Center at the time, and shares a number of similarities with the Waylon Mercy character.

One August 1, 2015, Spivey, at age 62, who hadn't wrestled since 1995 due to injuries, returned to the ring for Dory Funk Jr.'s !BANG! promotion. Spivey and Funk worked a 10-man Japanese Bonsai match. Spivey was also awarded the "Fighting Heart Award."

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Spivey was arrested on July 14, 2007 for driving under the influence in Odessa, Florida. He was released on $500 bond.[6] He became sober in April 2009. He now owns his own company, Spivey's Sober Companions, in Odessa and Stamford, Connecticut.[6] Spivey is also the Ambassador for the breakfast restaurant chain, The Breakfast Station in Florida.

In wrestling[edit | edit source]

  • Finishing moves
  • Signature moves
  • Managers
    • Skandor Akbar
    • Lou Albano
    • Gary Hart
    • Teddy Long[52]
  • Nicknames
  • Entrance themes
    • "Bloody Killer" by Koji Makaino (AJPW, 1988–1994)
    • "China White" by Scorpions (NWA/WCW, 1989–1990)
    • "You Could Be Mine" by Guns N' Roses (AJPW, 1994–1995)

Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]

  • All Japan Pro Wrestling
  • Championship Wrestling from Florida
    • FCW Heavyweight Championship (2 times)[55]
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him #43 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the year in the PWI 500 in 1992[56]
    • PWI ranked him #244 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003
  • Universal Wrestling Federation
    • UWF Americas Championship (1 time)[57]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Harris M. Lentz III (2003). Biographical Dictionary of Professional Wrestling, 2d ed.. McFarland, 328. ISBN 978-1-4766-0505-0. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 (1 September 2005) Dooley: My 40 Years at Georgia. Triumph Books, 1882. ISBN 978-1-61749-049-1. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 (2006) Terry Funk: More Than Just Hardcore. Sports Publishing LLC, 136. ISBN 978-1-59670-159-5. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hulk Hogan (6 December 2002). Hollywood Hulk Hogan. Simon and Schuster, 132. ISBN 978-0-7434-7556-3. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Ryan Murphy 2010-01-11. Where are they now? Dan Spivey . WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved on 2016-11-20.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office 2007-07-24. Dan Spivey Charge Report . Retrieved on 2007-07-24.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Cagematch profile .
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Online World of Wrestling profile .
  9. 9.0 9.1 Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55022-683-6. 
  10. Graham Cawthon. WWF Show Results 1986 . Retrieved on 2007-04-16. “(November 1, 1985) Mike Rotundo, Dan Spivey, & Capt. Lou Albano vs. Johnny V & WWF Tag Team Champions Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake”
  11. prowrestlinghistory.com. WWF WrestleMania Results (II) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  12. Graham Cawthon. WWF Show Results 1986 . Retrieved on 2007-04-16. “(June 14, 1986) Mike Rotundo & Dan Spivey defeated the Moondogs at 11:37 when Rotundo pinned Rex following an airplane spin”
  13. Graham Cawthon. WWF Show Results 1986 . Retrieved on 2007-04-16. “(July 11, 1986) Mike Rotundo & Dan Spivey defeated Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart when Spivey pinned Bret”
  14. Graham Cawthon. WWF Show Results 1987 . Retrieved on 2007-02-12. “Mike Rotundo & Danny Spivey fought the Islanders to a double disqualification”
  15. prowrestlinghistory.com. WWF King of the Ring (non-PPV) Results (1986) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  16. prowrestlinghistory.com. WWF King of the Ring (non-PPV) Results (1987) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  17. Graham Cawthon. WWF Show Results 1988 . Retrieved on 2007-04-16. “(February 8, 1988) Dan Spivey pinned Lanny Poffo”
  18. Graham Cawthon. WWF Show Results 1988 . Retrieved on 2007-04-16. “(February 15, 1988) Danny Spivey pinned Outback Jack”
  19. Daniel M. Rosen (30 June 2008). Dope: A History of Performance Enhancement in Sports from the Nineteenth Century to Today: A History of Performance Enhancement in Sports from the Nineteenth Century to Today. ABC-CLIO, 81. ISBN 978-0-313-34521-0. 
  20. (2 September 2003) Chokehold: Pro Wrestling's Real Mayhem Outside the Ring. Xlibris Corporation, 402. ISBN 978-1-4628-1172-4. 
  21. prowrestlinghistory.com. AJPW Budokan Hall Results 1985–1989 (6/88) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  22. prowrestlinghistory.com. AJPW Budokan Hall Results 1985–1989 (12/88) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  23. 23.0 23.1 prowrestlinghistory.com. NWA Great American Bash Results (1989) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  24. prowrestlinghistory.com. NWA Halloween Havoc Results (1989) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  25. prowrestlinghistory.com. NWA Clash of the Champions Results (IX) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Jennifer Bringle (December 2011). The Undertaker: Master of Pain. The Rosen Publishing Group, 9. ISBN 978-1-4488-5536-0. 
  27. prowrestlinghistory.com. NWA Clash of the Champions Results (X) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  28. prowrestlinghistory.com. NWA WrestleWar Results (1990) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 29.4 Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). Wrestling Title Histories, 4th, Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  30. Shining Road. AJPW Real World Tag League History . Archived from the original on 2007-02-24. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  31. prowrestlinghistory.com. WCW Starrcade Results (1990) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  32. prowrestlinghistory.com. WCW WrestleWar Results (1991) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  33. Graham Cawthon 2007-03-10. WCW Ring Results 1991 . Retrieved on 2007-03-17.
  34. prowrestlinghistory.com. AJPW Budokan Hall Results 1991–1995 (9/91) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  35. prowrestlinghistory.com. AJPW Budokan Hall Results 1991–1995 (12/92) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  36. prowrestlinghistory.com. AJPW Budokan Hall Results 1991–1995 (12/94) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  37. prowrestlinghistory.com. WCW Starrcade Results (1992) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  38. (31 August 2014) Titan Sinking: The decline of the WWF in 1995. Lulu.com, 156. ISBN 978-1-291-99637-1. 
  39. Graham Cawthon. WWF Show Results 1995 . Retrieved on 2007-04-16. “(June 6, 1995) Waylon Mercy defeated Bob Holly”
  40. Graham Cawthon. WWF Show Results 1995 . Retrieved on 2007-04-16. “(July 28, 1995) Waylon Mercy defeated the 1-2-3 Kid”
  41. Graham Cawthon. WWF Show Results 1995 . Retrieved on 2007-04-16. “(August 14, 1995) Waylon Mercy defeated Doink the Clown via submission with the sleeper at 3:11”
  42. Graham Cawthon. WWF Show Results 1995 . Retrieved on 2007-04-16. “(August 15, 1995) Bret Hart defeated Waylon Mercy via disqualification at around 6:20 when Jean Pierre Laffiette, wearing Hart's jacket, interfered; after the bout, Hart fought off a double team attack from Mercy and Laffiette”
  43. Graham Cawthon. WWF Show Results 1995 . Retrieved on 2007-04-16. “(August 30, 1995) Razor Ramon fought Waylon Mercy to a double disqualification”
  44. Graham Cawthon. WWF Show Results 1995 . Retrieved on 2007-04-16. “(September 17, 1995) WWF World Champion Diesel pinned Waylon Mercy” Waylen Mercey would actually score an upset countout victory over Diesel, which led to him being jackknived power bomned two times after the match was over
  45. prowrestlinghistory.com. WWF In Your House Results (3) . Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  46. Graham Cawthon. WWF Show Results 1995 . Retrieved on 2007-04-16. “(September 26, 1995) Waylon Mercy defeated WWF World Champion Diesel via count-out in a non-title match after Davey Boy Smith came ringside and brawled with the champion; after the bout, Diesel hit the powerbomb on Mercy”
  47. R. D. Reynolds (16 November 2010). The Wrestlecrap Book of Lists!. ECW Press, 150. ISBN 978-1-55490-287-3. 
  48. Inside Wrestling, February 1998 issue, p.18.
  49. The Steve Austin Show - EP171 - WWE Superstar Bray Wyatt Pt 1 .
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 50.3 50.4 50.5 50.6 50.7 - Wrestlingdata.com - Dan Spivey
  51. 51.0 51.1 Graham Cawthon. WWF Show Results 1995 . Retrieved on 2009-06-08.
  52. EPUB 2-3 (6 September 2013). The Undertaker. Infobase Learning, 10. ISBN 978-1-4381-4655-3. 
  53. (2012) The Complete WWF Video Guide Volume I. Lulu.com, 82. ISBN 978-1-291-10089-1. 
  54. AJPW Unified World Tag Team Championship history .
  55. NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship history .
  56. http://www.cagematch.net/?id=2&nr=312&page=12
  57. UWF Americas Championship history .
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