Honky Tonk Man (real name Roy Wayne Farris) was a professional wrestler. He's Jerry Lawler's first cousin.
Honky broke into the business in the late seventies, working for various
regional promotions throughout the United States. He first joined the World Wrestling Federation in early 1987 (or possibly late 1986). His first feud of any note was with Jake Roberts, and the two had a fairly memorable match at Wrestlemania III.
A few weeks after that event, he won the WWF Intercontinental Championship
from Ricky Steamboat (who had won it at Wrestlemania III from Randy
Savage at a show in Buffalo). Here's the kicker: He wasn't even supposed to be Steamboat's opponent. Butch Reed was, but he no-showed
the event. Honky just happened to be walking by Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan when they were deciding on a replacement, and he was given the shot. There was apparently some unhappiness in the locker room over this, since Honky had been in the WWF for a relatively short time and others felt they deserved the chance more.
Nevertheless, the Honky Tonk Man would go on to win the IC title from
Steamboat that night in Buffalo. It would be the start of a fifteen
month title reign. Perhaps the most amazing thing about the reign is that (to the best of my knowledge) he never won a single match aside from the initial match against Steamboat. The formula was predictable, but highly successful--after wrestling for a while, Honky would be on the verge of losing when his manager, Jimmy Hart, would come in and hit his opponent with Honky's guitar. This caused a disqualification, so Honky lost the match but retained his
Fans hated the Honky Tonk Man. I mean, they really really HATED
him. He consistently sold out arenas throughout the country that were filled with fans hoping that maybe, just maybe, someone would be able to defeat him that night.
He was supposed to drop the title in February 1988 at a Saturday Night's
Main Event taping to Randy Savage. In his own words, Honky felt that he "was not treated properly leading up to that decision," and so he threatened to jump to another company while still the Intercontinental Champion unless he was allowed to retain the title. The WWF blinked first, allowing Honky to retain the title. Because Savage got screwed, Vince McMahon promised him something even bigger in return: The WWF Championship itself at Wrestlemania IV. It had previously been promised to Ted DiBiase.
The end of his reign would finally come in August of 1988 at SummerSlam '88. His scheduled opponent, Brutus Beefcake, had been laid out the previous week by Ron Bass, so Honky made the silly mistake of asking for anyone to come out from the back and challenge him. And who should come running out but the Ultimate Warrior, who was just about to hit the height of his popularity. The Warrior squashed Honky from pillar to post, defeating him in thirteen seconds to become the new WWF Intercontinental Champion. To say that the crowd goes absolutely APESHIT after finally seeing the cowardly, whining, cheating, sniveling Honky Tonk Man put out of his misery would be a gross understatement.
Honky would go on to be a real man and job without complaining to every single wrestler he had screwed over during his 15 month reign, making them look like heroes in the process by finally getting their revenge on Honky. He floundered in the WWF for another year or two, but as more and more wrestlers utterly destroyed him his credibility as a threat diminished and he eventually left the federation on amicable terms.
He wrestled briefly in World Championship Wrestling and elsewhere (he still wrestles often on the independent circuit) but never regained the popularity he knew in his prime. He also returned to the WWF as a manager in 1996 for several months.
He was most recently seen on TV as one of the participants in the 2001 Royal
Rumble--the WWF likes to have one "old timer" as a surprise participant, and Honky filled that spot several times in the past few years.