He’s cool, cocky and bad. He’s the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion and now he’s the newest member of the WWE Hall of Fame. Wayne Ferris debuted in 1977 and worked in the Memphis Territory until he got the call to go to the WWE. Before there was Jeff Jarrett, Road Dogg, or Elias, there the Elvis impersonator who liked to Shake, Rattle N Roll. Some of his best feuds in WWE were with Jake the Snake Roberts, Ricky the Dragon Steamboat, and Macho Man Randy Savage. When he became Intercontinental Champion he primarily feuded with Brutus the Barber Beefcake and they had some very entertaining matches along the way. Honky Tonk was such an over the top villain that it only made sense his 454 day title reign ended in thirty seconds to the Ultimate Warrior. Once HTM lost the Intercontinental Championship he started teaming with Greg Valentine as the duo known as Rhythm N Blues. I firmly believe they should have been WWE Tag Team Champions but it was not to be. Honky Tonk Man left the WWE in 1991, but that was not the last we heard of him.
One thing I will say about Honky Tonk is that he didn’t need to be in the spotlight on a consistent basis. He worked in WCW for a brief period of time in 1994, which was a shame because he had such a good feud with Johnny B. Badd over the WCW Television Championship. He then went on to make sporadic appearances in WWE in 1997 through 2001, which always kept his character fresh. In terms of longevity, Ferris had the right idea for strategy. He didn’t stay around for long periods of time to a point where fans would sour on him or his character. So many times in this business there are performers who wear out there welcome and they get to a point where fans are no longer interested in them. I was always interested in what The Honky Tonk Man was doing because it was always so unexpected. Whether it was entering the Royal Rumble, managing Rockabilly or taking on Santino Marella I was always entertained by what he was doing.
The Honky Tonk Man’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame is long overdue and well deserved. He was given a character, excelled in that character and lived the character. Some performers can be given a character and it’s not believable. Wayne Ferris made The Honky Tonk Man very believable and very entertaining to watch. In recent years, The Fabulous Freebirds and Jeff Jarrett have sung their theme songs during their inductions. I really hope The Honky Tonk Man breaks out the guitar one more time and sings Cool, Cocky, Bad. Congratulations to Wayne Ferris, The Honky Tonk Man on his well deserved Hall of Fame induction.