Spivey was born in Tampa, Florida. He played football at the University of Georgia.
Spivey and his workout buddy Scott Hall were trained in Florida, mainly by Dusty Rhodes, but they also received training from Rick Martel and Barry Windham. When it was time for the team's debut, Rhodes made a deal with Jim Crockett for the two to work in Crockett's territory based out of Charlotte, North Carolina.
National Wrestling Alliance (1984–1985)
Spivey and Hall made their debut as a masked tag-team called American Starship with Spivey being called Eagle and Hall being dubbed Coyote. With their furry boots, massive stature, bright masks and Hulk Hogan-esque T-shirt ripping routine the two men were easy to spot on any card. Initially, American Starship worked only sporadically. At first they were booked so sparingly that the two were given a job for the Charlotte Orioles (which Jim Crockett owned at the time) as part of the ground crew. When the two men did get into the ring it was with little success, the highlight of their stay in Crockett's Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling was being defeated by Arn and Ole Anderson when the rookies challenged for the NWA National Tag Team Championship.
After working in MACW the duo joined Bob Geigel's NWA Central States territory based in Kansas City in 1985. The duo had a shot at the NWA Central States Tag Team Champions Marty Jannetty and "Bulldog" Bob Brown but did not manage to win the titles. Spivey's stay in the Central States territory was short lived, according to Scott Hall Spivey did not like Kansas City. Spivey returned to the Carolinas and the recently redubbed "Jim Crockett Promotions" where he worked as "American Starship" Eagle.
World Wrestling Federation (1985–1988)
In the fall of 1985, Spivey signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and started working without a mask and under his real name. Spivey was brought in to team with Mike Rotunda as the US Express after Barry Windham left the federation.
The team had their first match together on November 1, 1985 less than a month after Spivey joined the WWF. The team was sometimes billed as The American Express, but most people referred to them as the U.S. Express II since the patriotic gimmick of the original U.S. Express was recycled with Spivey taking Barry Windham's place. The team continued the U.S. Express' feud with the Dream Team, but once they were proven unsuccessful, the two did not team from January to May as Rotundo briefly left the WWF. During this time Spivey took part in the WrestleMania 2 "Wrestlers and Football players" Battle royal. Spivey was eliminated by the Iron Sheik without much fanfare. Once the American Express reunited, they feuded with The Moondogs, The Hart Foundation, and The Islanders, whom the team faced in their last match together on February 9, 1987.
After Rotundo left the WWF, Spivey was repackaged as "Golden Boy" Dan Spivey for a singles run. Spivey took part in the 1986 King of the Ring tournament, losing to Nikolai Volkoff in the first round. He also tried a new tag team partner. In March 1987 Spivey teamed with Tito Santana to unsuccessfully challenge the Hart Foundation for the tag team titles. Spivey was also part of the 1987 King of the Ring, this time he lost to Rick Martel in the first round. Spivey stayed with the WWF until the spring of 1988, becoming a heel and competing mainly against such low carders as Lanny Poffo and Outback Jack.
All Japan Pro Wrestling (1988–1995)
After working exclusively in the U.S. since his debut, Spivey started to tour with All Japan Pro Wrestling in the summer of 1988 and kept touring with the company every year until 1995, when he signed with the WWF. In his first tour, Spivey gained ring experience by competing with Japanese wrestling legend Genichiro Tenryu. Spivey also teamed with Johnny Ace, a man he would team with many times during his Japanese tours. One night, he was to go up against Bruiser Brody but Brody was murdered backstage and the match was cancelled.
National Wrestling Alliance / World Championship Wrestling (1989–1992)
In early 1989, Spivey returned to the National Wrestling Alliance and Jim Crockett. Spivey was made a member of The Varsity Club as a replacement for Rick Steiner, who left the group. Spivey's background as a football player at the University of Georgia was touched upon to lend credibility to his inclusion in the group. While in the Varsity Club, Spivey feuded with Rick Steiner and The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal), acting more as back-up while former tag team partner Mike Rotunda and Steve Williams were pushed as the stars of the group. When the Varsity Club disbanded, Spivey came under the management of ex-referee Teddy Long and started teaming with newcomer Sid Vicious under the name of The Skyscrapers. The Skyscrapers' first taste of success came at the Great American Bash pay-per-view, where they first co-won a Two-Ring King of the Hill Battle Royal with Sid being the survivor in one ring and Spivey surviving in the other. The rules called for the two to fight each other but manager Teddy Long convinced them to shake hands and share the prize money. Later in the night, the Skyscrapers defeated The Dynamic Dudes (Johnny Ace & Shane Douglas) due to their overwhelming size and power.
The Skyscrapers quickly became involved in a feud with the Road Warriors, sparked by Teddy Long's actions while he was still a referee. The two teams were very evenly matched in power and intensity, creating a series of matches that did not favor one team over the other. Spivey and Vicious were disqualified against the Road Warriors at Halloween Havoc. Shortly after Halloween Havoc, the Skyscrapers faced the Steiner Brothers (Scott Steiner & Rick Steiner) at Clash of the Champions IX in a hard hitting match. Sid Vicious suffered a punctured lung due to a broken rib. With Vicious out of action, Teddy Long brought in another tall newcomer in the same mold as Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey and dubbed him "Mean" Mark Callous (who would eventually join the WWF to become the legendary Undertaker). The New Skyscrapers immediately picked up the feud with the Road Warriors and kept on having inconclusive matches with them. At Clash of the Champions X the Skyscrapers finally got the better of the Road Warriors, not in the match, but afterwards when they beat the Road Warriors down. At this point in time, no one had ever been able to physically dominate the Road Warriors, something that pointed that big things had been planned for the Skyscrapers. However, in the days before the scheduled Chicago Street Fight at WrestleWar 1990, Dan Spivey suddenly left WCW, leaving the bookers to scramble for a replacement. Spivey stated in a shoot interview that he left the company over money issues, as well as his dislike of the Road Warriors themselves for taking what he perceived as liberties with his tag-team partner "Mean" Mark Callous.
While working for the NWA as one of the Skyscrapers, Spivey also competed in his home state of Florida, winning the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship in late 1989. However, this title win was not referred to on NWA Television. Spivey would go on to hold the title until July 1992, when he lost it to Lou Perez. Spivey also kept on touring with AJPW while working for the NWA, mainly teaming with Stan Hansen. Spivey and Hansen formed a very popular Gaijin team that almost won AJPW's "World's Strongest Tag Determination League" in 1990. By the end of 1990, Spivey returned to WCW television. The Skyscrapers briefly reunited at Starrcade 1990 as he and Sid Vicious defeated The Big Cat and the Motor City Madman.
With Sid Vicious being part of the Four Horsemen, the Skyscraper reunion was short lived. Instead, Spivey started to focus on his singles career in WCW, challenging WCW U.S. Champion "The Total Package" Lex Luger at the February 24, 1991 PPV WrestleWar. Spivey did not win the title, and he did not get another high-profile title opportunity while with the company. On April 18, 1991 Dan Spivey and Stan Hansen captured the World Tag Team Championship from Terry Gordy and Steve Williams in Tokyo, Japan. Spivey and Hansen even brought their successful tag team to WCW during this time. On June 22, 1991, Spivey and Hansen were booked to face Rick Steiner and Tom Zenk and Spivey was told to lose the match to Zenk. Spivey refused since the duo were the World Tag Team Champions. After further discussions, Dan Spivey once again left WCW.
Spivey and Hansen would lose the tag-team titles back to Gordy and Williams. After the title loss, Spivey started to team with other wrestlers, mainly with Johnny Ace, but also linked up with Jim Brunzell, Kendall Windham and Jim Steele. Spivey managed to mend fences with WCW enough to work with them once more during the summer of 1992. His biggest match during this time was his appearance at Starrcade where he teamed with Van Hammer to defeat Johnny B. Badd and Cactus Jack to advance in the "Lethal Lottery". Spivey was eliminated from the main event battle royal by eventual winner The Great Muta.
Universal Wrestling Federation (1990–1995)
Between 1990 and 1995, Spivey made regular American appearances for Herb Abrams' Universal Wrestling Federation. He defeated Johnny Ace at UWF's Blackjack Brawl to become the only UWF Americas Champion.
Return to World Wrestling Federation (1995)
Spivey rejoined the WWF in June 1995, adopting the name Waylon Mercy in a character based on Robert De Niro's portrayal of Max Cady in the 1991 remake of Cape Fear. Like Cady, he had jet black hair, wore white attire with a Hawaiian shirt, and sported several strange tattoos, including one of a dagger on his forehead (Spivey's were artificial). The character was introduced through a series of vignettes that always had Spivey speaking in a calm yet sinister manner, finishing with the phrase "Lives are gonna be in Waylon Mercy's hands. You know what I mean?"
Spivey portrayed a heel despite his character acting as a peaceful southern gentleman outside of the ring. Waylon would shake the hands of the fans, his opponent, and even the referee before his matches. However, once the bell rang, he became vicious, insincerely apologizing for actions such as kicking or choking a downed opponent. Mercy's finishing move saw him apply a sleeper hold as he revealed a wide-eyed, insane expression. Once the bell rang, he would return to his "peaceful southern gentleman" act.
Mercy was pushed upon his debut with victories over numerous enhancement talents, as well as established stars such as Bob Holly, The 1-2-3 Kid, and Doink The Clown. Soon after, he competed in matches with the top faces of the WWF at the time, such as Bret Hart, Razor Ramon, and WWF World Heavyweight Champion Diesel. Spivey's only pay-per-view appearance as Waylon Mercy came at In Your House 3, where he lost to Savio Vega. Spivey defeated Diesel by countout in his last televised match. While it was rumored for years that Spivey suffered a career-ending back injury after the match when he was Jackknife Powerbombed twice by Diesel, a January 2010 WWE.com "Where Are They Now?" interview with Spivey clarified that his retirement in October 1995 was the result of built-up injuries over the years.
Spivey was arrested on July 14, 2007 for driving under the influence in Odessa, Florida. He was released on $500 bond. He began to turn his life around and became sober in April 2009. He now owns his own company, Spivey's Sober Companions, in Odessa and Stamford, Connecticut.
- Finishing moves
- Entrance themes
- "Bloody Killer" by Koji Makaino (AJPW, 1988–1994)
- "China White" by Scorpions (NWA/WCW, 1989–1990)
- "You Could Be Mine" by Guns N' Roses (AJPW, 1994–1995)
Championships and accomplishments
- Universal Wrestling Federation
- UWF Americas Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him # 244 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003