Some people say he’s a loudmouth, and some say he’s obnoxious. If you ask him, he’ll tell you, “I’m cool, I’m cocky and I’m bad.” But, regardless of whether you like him or not, it’s widely agreed that he’s the “greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time.” For close to a decade, he was one of WWE’s most hated villains. His name is the Honky Tonk Man.
While Ricky Steamboat seemed to be on top of the world as Intercontinental Champion, Honky Tonk Man was rapidly moving up the ranks. Honky Tonk Man was coming off an impressive win over Jake "The Snake" Roberts at WrestleMania III and earned himself a shot at Steamboat’s championship. After being in WWE for only a few months, Honky Tonk Man was able to Shake, Rattle & Roll his way past "The Dragon" and capture the Intercontinental Championship.
Honky Tonk Man not only became a star, but also a champion. The greasy-haired Elvis impersonator is the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion in WWE history, holding the title for more than 14 months while defeating challenger after challenger all over the globe. His days as a champion however, came to a sudden end at SummerSlam ’88, when a jam-packed Madison Square Garden crowd saw him torn apart by the Ultimate Warrior in less than a minute.
“I was Champion for 15 months, and lost the title in 13 seconds,” remembers HTM. “The roof absolutely came off the Garden that night. I had headlined the Garden six times before and heard some explosive crowds, but nothing compared to the crowd on that night.”
HTM has faced all the greats of the squared circle including Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts, Ricky Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, the Ultimate Warrior, the Legion of Doom, George "The Animal" Steele and Bruno Sammartino. He is regarded as one of the greatest WWE Legends of all time.
Did you know The Honky Tonk Man is the real life cousin of Jerry "The King" Lawler?