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From Punk Rock to Honky Tonk:  The Evolution of Wayne Ferris

- Jeff Luce

This is my first installment of Southeastern Championship Wrestling for Kayfabe Memories. I am honored that Vince chose me to write for his Web site. I spent eight years in Pensacola, Fla., and experienced some of the best wrestling action one could find anywhere. When I first arrived on the scene, in June of 1981, Terry Gordy, Ron Fuller, Austin Idol, Mr. Olympia and Bob Armstrong where the heroes of the area. Their main adversaries where The New Zealand Sheepherders, Wayne Ferris, Don Carson and Jos LeDuc, and their feuds were hot. Before this, my only exposure to professional wrestling was Championship Wrestling from Florida, Georgia Championship Wrestling and the World Wide Wrestling Federation. Southeastern was in many ways different from these others I had seen. First, Southeastern gave a feeling of being closer to the action. The wrestlers seemed to be right in your living room. There was something special about the area. I have many memories of this great wrestling organization, so sit back and enjoy.

Let's look back at the transformation of one Wayne Ferris. When Wayne first entered the area, he was fresh off a stint in Memphis where he was part of the famed Blonde Bombers with future Moondog, Larry Latham. Ferris was known as "Punk Rock" in the area. He was not the shell of himself we've seen recently, but he could get heat. The program that led to the transformation was with ultra-popular "Universal Heartthrob" Austin Idol. This made Ferris one of Southeastern's most hated men by virtue of this feud.

Ferris and Idol feuded throughout the territory. Ferris and his manager, Louie Tillet terrorized Idol. The feud was in full swing and to culminate it, they decided to have a match where the loser gets his hair painted black. When Idol beat Ferris in the match, he painted a black streak down Ferris' head. They then went around the loop, with Idol referring to Ferris as "Skunk Rock."

The feud continued, with both men trying to make the other's hair jet black. Tillet left the area during the feud, but that didn't stop the intensity that Idol and Ferris went at each other. The hair seemed more important than the Southeastern Heavyweight Championship, which Idol had a firm grasp of. Eventually, Ferris ended up a head full of jet-black hair, and Idol kept the championship.   More...

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