William Dee Calhoun [1934 - 1989]
Born in McKinney, Texas, Haystacks Calhoun weighed in excess of 600 pounds by his early 20s. Entering wrestling in 1955 as "Country Boy" Calhoun, he would change his name to Haystacks Calhoun following a feat of strength on the Art Linkletter show. Overalls, barefeet and a horseshoe around his neck became his gimmick and he would become the premiere draw of his era. Although mostly a special attraction wrestler, Haystacks held several tag team championships including the WWWF Tag Team belts with Tony Garea. Haystack Calhoun led the way for future ring superheavyweights like Andre the Giant, Gorilla Monsoon and King Kong Bundy. He may have inspired future wrestlers like Hillybilly Jim. On Pearl Harbor Day, 1989, Calhoun died of complications from diabetes.
I was 5 when I first saw Haystack on the TV. My grandparents had just gotten their first TV. Mountains of NC. My Uncle and my grandfather took up "wraslin" on TV. Haystack was their favorite.The hoots and howls and yelling was unreal for a 5 year old. But, I remember it all to this day and I am happy for the memory. RIP Haystack, you brought fun and excitement to rural America. GBY.
Rest in peace haystack Calhoun early seventies cow palace Daly City San Francisco Ca.
He was my cousin and loved. Miss him sometimes and wish I could have known him better. H traveled a lot.
Lol haystacks jr is Keith Griffin, no relatin to Haystacks. He also went by The Kentuckian--from parts unknown. Never forget the night cowboy Ron bass dropped him trying to slam him.
Talked to William Dee Calhoun's brother in law today and and Hazel was Haystacks sister in law. Haystack married Hazel's sister Margaret Ronkoski. He signed a paper today saying Haystacks (real name John) not William was his brother in law. Asked him what he wanted me to do with all his FIST magazines from the 70's and 80's and he told me to sell them. His brother in law's name is Jess Riness and in the nursing home here in Prairie du Chien, WI and I have the signed autograph of Haystack to Jess. I find this all so interesting how they change people's names just because they need a stage name. Seen his dealings with the FBI and his Prison records too.
I got to meet Haystacks in Chattanooga in the late 70's. He had a booth at a flea market in north Georgia if i remember right. Really nice man.
I just acquired a picture from his very early yrs that says Haystacks Calhoun Georgia and it's signed To my brother in law Jess Riness By Hay Stack Cal Houn and another name Joh W Jackson. I know Jess Riness, his daughter and knew his wife Hazel very well. I think Hazel was his sister by the looks of it. Their faces are almost identical. Also have every copy of Ring Magazine that Jess collected over many ,many years so this tells me that they were related somehow. I will go to the nursing home and ask him how they were related. Just wanted you all to know that my grandma's cousin was Johann Aasen and was 8'9 1/2 inches tall in the 20's and 30's he was paid 300 bucks a week to be in a side show in Chicago , IL but eventually ended up in silent movies. All this stuff I acquired today from Jess and Hazle Riness's house today , no clue what to do with it all. If anyone has any suggestions what to do with it please email me at peachy3_AT_centurytel.net. Thanks much
I've debated leaving a comment on this particular page for a while now, but I feel I must do so now. Firstly, Haystacks NEVER jumped off the top rope. Even if he could have gotten up there (doubtful), if he had he would have snapped the ropes and killed himself. Second, the clip is of a wrestler who went by the name Haystacks Calhoun Jr. - he's a bit smaller and more mobile that 'Stacks was. To your credit, you do have his hometown correct. He was billed from Morgan's Corner AR but was really from McKinney TX. Thanks for letting me speak my mind.
[Editor's Note: Page has been updated accordingly. Many thanks!]
HES HUGE MAN, HOW BIG IS THAT GUY, AND HOW DID HE DIE?
He wore a horseshoe around his neck on a huge chain.
Look & listen: That's "Haystacks Calhoun -JR-",(Whoever the heck -that- is), not HC. Not NEARLY as big as the real deal's 613 lbs.
Stacks was a friend of mine and we went many miles togather and we had tons of matches against each other. Brother rest in peace, we lost a good one
This is great stuff Thanks for making available Was always A favorite of mine!! as a young boy Thanks again! cates4_AT_comcast.net
Haystacks off the top rope is hilarious!! he he!
Haystacks hailed from Morgans Corner Arkansas. He also never jumped off the top rope.