This is a new series where I’ll be checking in with some fond memories of those wrestlers who got over but never got to the top. A mini-celebration of some favorite midcard babyfaces that we loved, but didn’t get love in the main event. We continue this series with the perplexing Billy Jack Haynes.
How They Got Their Start
Billy Jack Haynes got his start in Stampede Wrestling in Canada and blah, blah, blah. Look it up on Wikipedia. We can’t do the standard Marvel origin story here, because this isn’t your standard midcard babyface.
Is it possible to be a babyface on television and a heel behind the scenes? Yes, yes, we hear about actors who play nice guys on the silver screen and hear whispers about incredibly unprofessional behavior on set. David Lee Roth was a smiling goofball for the cameras and an absolute nightmare to everyone in a 40-mile radius.
Wrestling is different. Or least that is what we are told. The best gimmicks are always just the performer’s natural personality cranked to 11. Entitled Dick Randy Orton? Check. Loudmouth Know-It-All CM Punk? Certainly. Ric Flair Ric Flair? WOOOOOO!
None of that applies to Billy Jack Haynes. He looked like Hercules playing Tom Selleck, but people walked on eggshells around him in the locker room. He was soft-spoken but tough enough to train in the dungeon with Stu Hart. He had the lightest handshake in the business but was rumored to have done time for manslaughter for beating a man to death. I’ll let Jim Cornette tell a fun story about Billy Jack working for the Von Erichs’ territory and his reputation proceeding him.
I mean, think about that story for a minute. Chris Adams was a three-time British national judo champion by the age of 21 and a current top heel in the company, but he fled the city of Dallas because his girlfriend’s ex was coming to town. That’s the babyface? Dude, that’s what you do when you see George Karras punch a horse in the middle of the street, not for Kerry Von Erich’s replacement. That’s Omar Little sh*t right there.