Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Boo: Have Mercy

Waylon Mercy (from WWE)
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

It seems like the mid 1990's was a good time for silly gimmicks.  Doink, Mantaur, and the Goon were just a few.  So was Waylon Mercy.  But I wonder if from the start this character, played by "Golden Boy" Danny Spivey was supposed to be as bad as it ended up being.

Danny Spivey
Spivey had a long history in the business before turning up in the WWF in 1995 as Mercy.  I remember him early in his career when he and Scott Hall teamed up in the NWA as American Starship.  He was "Eagle" to Hall's "Coyote".  Spivey then came to the WWF in the mid 1980's and replaced Barry Windham in the U.S. Express.  He and Mike Rotunda just didn't have that same chemistry that Windham and Rotunda had and basically Spivey became a jobber.  In WCW he was a member of the Varsity Club and then part of the tag team called the Skyscrapers.  Although he was big and fearless, he never really impressed me much.  I think the stain of being that Hulk Hogan/Barry Windham look a like soured me.  I should also point out though that Spivey had an impressive record overseas in Japan as well as in Puerto Rico.

Check out those eyes.
Anyway, fast forward to 1995 and the creepy character of Waylon Mercy.  He was based off of the character played by Robert DeNiro in the film Cape Fear.  I never saw the move, so the character went over my head quite honestly.  Spivey was a nice guy, shook hands with the fans and his opponents, but then turned into a monster in the ring.  Mercy used the sleeper hold as a finisher and always had a creepy look on his face. His promos were smooth, yet psychotic.  And gone was the long blond hair and yellow tights.  Instead, his hair was dyed black.  He had fake tattoos, including a dagger on his forehead, and he wore a Hawaiian shirt to the ring.  Check out this clip, it's Mercy's Monday Night Raw debut against Jeff Hardy.  Wow.

Early on the character found a lot of success in the ring.  He was going over the midcard talent like Doink, 1-2-3 Kid, and Bob Holly.  Then when it came to competing against Diesel, Razor Ramon, and Bret Hart, well, let's just say they showed Waylon no mercy.  Something I didn't know, but I have read (so take it for what it's worth) Spivey retired the same year he returned to the WWF after suffering a severe back injury.  His last match was reportedly against Diesel and he had taken a couple of jackknife power bombs during the contest.  So there's no telling where the character may have gone had he not been injured and forced to retire.  My guess is Waylon Mercy would have remained in the midcard and eventually disappeared like the other silly gimmicks floating around the WWF back then.

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