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Dan Spivey: Part 2
After spending the better part of a decade competing in All Japan Pro Wrestling and WCW, Dan Spivey returned to World Wrestling Entertainment in 1995 — but this time things were a little different.
Clad in a loud Hawaiian shirt with his trademark blonde mullet now dyed black and slicked back, Spivey was Waylon Mercy, a psychotic Southerner with a wild eye and a slow drawl. (PHOTOS)
"That persona was inspired by the Robert De Niro movie Cape Fear," Spivey admitted. "I had the idea of bringing the southern way of being polite and nice, yet also very devious. It was easy for me to do."
During a period where many of the personas in WWE were cartoonish and over-the-top, Waylon Mercy was threatening and mean with an air of menace uncommon amongst Superstars of the time. The WWE Universe was immediately attracted to this unique and dangerous competitor.
"I had a Raw match against Doink the Clown and the people were yelling, ‘Kill the clown!'" Spivey said with a smile. "He's supposed to be the good guy, but everyone's cheering for Waylon Mercy."
The sadistic Southerner's unnerving interview style also drew attention. While other scary Superstars would shout at the audience in an attempt to strike fear, Mercy would simply speak quietly with his rich Florida twang.
"I don't want someone yelling at me," Spivey said. "I'm not going to listen to you. I'll turn you off. But if you talk slowly and deliberately, people listen."
Unfortunately, Spivey's career came to an end less than a year after adopting the Mercy persona. While it has been rumored that a particularly brutal Jackknife Powerbomb from Diesel was responsible for his retirement, the truth is that the veteran's lengthy athletic career had finally taken its toll on his body.
"I couldn't do it anymore," Spivey admitted. "My football days and my wrestling days added up and I wore out."
As it is for many performers, leaving the spotlight was difficult for Spivey — especially with all the untapped potential of his latest persona.
"Waylon Mercy just wasn't around long enough," he said. "I hate that."
Fourteen years later, Spivey still misses WWE, but he has succeeded equally as well in a different line of work. Today, he is the Vice President of Operations for Spivey Utility Construction Company, Inc., a family business based out of Odessa, Fla.
"It's run by my mom, my dad, my three brothers, my sister and my brother-in-law," Spivey said. "We do underground construction for Verizon down in Tampa. We also do the same type of work for TECO Electric."
With 180 employees working under him, the former FCW Heavyweight Champion is often busy with work, but he still enjoys the perks of living in a warm climate.
"I do a lot of boating and jet skiing," he said. "And I still work out in the gym a lot."
The big man also keeps up with WWE television and enjoys watching third-generation competitors like Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase, but one particular Superstar has caught his attention.
"I think Sheamus has a lot of talent," Spivey said. "He's really young and he's already the champion."
As for the friends and enemies Spivey competed against during his twenty year career, he revealed he doesn't speak with many of them.
"I talk to Randy Savage every once in a while, but I just lost contact with everybody," he said. "I'd like to reunite the alumni and find out where everybody is."
Although he's lost touch with his old opponents and partners, Spivey, now 57, is grateful for the unique experiences his career granted him.
"Wrestling was my passion," Spivey said. "After 14 years, I still miss it."
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