Thursday, June 10, 2010

Blink and you'll Miss it: The Honky Tonk Man in WCW

In the first of a undetermined part series, The Canon Review takes a look at short-lived runs by pro wrestlers in various promotions. Up first is the Honky Tonk Man, who lasted about five months in WCW in 1994 before leaving just before Starrcade 1994, where he was scheduled to wrestle Johnny B. Badd for the WCW Television Title. In his book, Eric Bischoff said that his favorite firing was the Honky Tonk Man, which I guess is some sort of honor. Like many others, The Honky Tonk Man was brought in along with other ex-WWF stars after the signing of Hulk Hogan. Like some of the others, the Honky Tonk Man used a ripoff of his WCW theme as his entrance theme that was just awful.

That really got me excited to watch Honky Tonk Man matches, so let us begin, shall we.

Match 1: Honky Tonk Man vs. Kenny Kendall, WCW Main Event, 10-9-94

The Honky Tonk Man comes out to face young Kenny Kendall. The match is over before it gets going, as HTM uses a knee lift and a punch to the top of the head to slow his opponent down. HTM sets up Kendall, and hits the Shake, Rattle, and Roll neckbreaker to get the pin in 48 seconds. Afterwards, Honky Tonk Man serenades the crowd with a verse from his theme song, and gets interviewed by Gene Okerlund about his upcoming match with Johnny B Badd. HTM calls Badd a Jerry Lee Lewis impersonator and refers to Badd as a "bad man, a bad champion, bad for wrestling, and bad for everything". That may be a little strong, but I do agree with his overall point. HTM promises to become the new TV Champion at Halloween Havoc in a battle between an Elvis impersonator and a Little Richard impersonator. So, it's as close as we'll ever see to Elvis and Little Richard in a fight. I'd rather watch the real thing. Match was what it was, I'll give it a 1 out of 5.

Match 2: Honky Tonk Man vs. Johnny B. Badd, Halloween Havoc, October 23, 1994, Television Title Match

The video starts out with dueling promos, as Honky Tonk tells the world that he needs a belt for his girlfriends because they're "really into leather". The two come out, and Badd has not one, but two Badd blasters with him tonight. He also came out wearing fangs that make him look more "flamboyant" than usual. Match starts, and Honky does a lot of stalling, bailing either towards the ropes or outside the ring whenever Badd has the advantage. The match is, well, pretty boring, as Honky Tonk Man is either unable or unwilling to keep up with Badd, and Badd isn't good enough to adjust his style to the Honky Tonk Man's. Eventually, the match ends due to a time limit draw, and what was really frustrating was that no one attempted a cover even though the ring announcer kept announcing the time left. Afterwards, HTM tries a sneak attack, but Badd no-sells an atomic drop and goes for the big left hook, but Honky ducks out of the ring. Quite an unenergetic match, I'll give it a 1.45 out of 5.

Match 3: Honky Tonk Man vs. Scott Studd, WCW Worldwide, November 12, 1994

Honky Tonk Man comes out to face the future master of the Clap, Scotty Anton, competing as Scott Studd in this match. The match starts with Studd actually getting some offense on HTM, with a couple of hammerlocks. That ends after a kick to the gut, but wait, Studd counters Honky Tonk's arm work with a hammerlock of his own. Studd whips HTM in, but ends up eating a back elbow for his efforts. HTM decides to slow things down with a chin lock. Studd tries to come back by using his speed advantage, but eventually the veteran HTM is able to counter a monkeyflip by holding on to the ropes. With his opponent down, Honky Tonk sets up the Shake, Rattle, and Roll, and connects, getting the three count. Afterward, the audience is treated to the Honky Tonk Man singing his entrance theme. All right. This task is becoming rather hard to undertake, as this was another boring match. 1.38 out of 5.

Match 4: Honky Tonk Man vs. Johnny B. Badd, Clash of the Champions XXIX, November 16, 1994, Television Title Match

Honky Tonk comes out first. Tonight he's not even bothering to sing and instead just lip-syncs his song. Out comes Badd, and the long anticipated rematch from Halloween Havoc is on. Bobby Heenan tries to tell some jokes, but Tony Schiavone wants none of it. No wonder Heenan stopped caring two years later, as Schiavone acts as if Heenan is somehow below him the whole time, and I don't think it was an act. Oh wait, where was I? The match starts out an awful lot like the Halloween Havoc match, which sucked then and sucks now. Finally we get some action as Badd uses a right to knock HTM down and out of the ring. Honky Tonk finally shows some life and pulls the straps down in anger. He squares up to box Badd, and remarkably gets in a good shot, mainly because the ref was trying to break the two up and HTM got in a cheap shot. Honky Tonk does what he does best and slllloooooooooowowwwwwwwwssssssss the match down. Badd gets out of a chinlock, but is punted in the face right afterwards. Uh oh, Honky's setting up the Shake, Rattle, and Roll, but Badd counters by backdropping him. Badd then bounces his opponents head off the turnbuckle 10 times, follows with a ten-count corner punch, and then finishes it up with a high knee lift. Cover, but Honky gets out just in the nic of time. The two get up, and HTM shoves Badd into referee Nick Patrick, knocking him out. Honky Tonk Man gets his guitar, and blasts the Badd Man with it, but the ref sees it so HTM is disqualified. The best match of the four, although that's like saying Kate Gosselin's more likable than Jon. 1.730 out of 5.

Honky Tonk Man and Johnny B. Badd were supposed to finish their trilogy at Starrcade, but Honky Tonk didn't want to job to Mr. Badd, so he left the company instead. Considering he was just phoning it in during his whole WCW run, I would say that Honky Tonk Man wasn't exactly missed. To be honest, I'm not a huge Honky Tonk Man fan, but he was much better in the WWF than he was here. This was, without a doubt, one of the hardest posts I've ever had to write on here, as there was little to no redeemable qualities from any of these matches.

Well, thanks for reading, and I would recommend that you skip these matches profiled all together and watch South Park or something. If you have any ideas for future posts, than let me know about them either by e-mailing me at or by leaving a blog comment.

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