#79 – Big Daddy v Giant Haystacks, ?? ??, ????

The Old School Wrestling Podcast stretch their wings and fly into uncharted territory on this week’s episode as they take a look at a classic battle between two of the largest men ever created – Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks. They also have no idea what the date is of this match.

This episode has been archived. It is available either by ordering the physical “OSWP Season 3 box set” with episodes 76-100 or it can be instantly downloaded in a digital version of the “OSWP Season 3 complete set” with episodes of 76-100. The physical box set will always be our favorite, as it comes with a full color booklet featuring art by our friend Dean Stahl and looks great on your bookshelf next to your coliseum home videos. The instant digital download version also comes with high resolution PDFs of the booklet that you can view on your computer. Both the physical box set and the digital download come with two bonus episodes featuring our reviews of the Clash of the Champions 9 and the Royal Rumble 1988. These episodes have never been available on flairchop.com. But if you only want to hear this one episode, we also offer the option of instantly downloading just the individual episode for a small price.

This episode has been archived in the Season 3 digital box set available for $9.99 at the OSWP Merch Store!


  1. thunderboltpeterson says:

    Loved the podcast! Listened to it at work today and went straight home and looked up this “great” match. I’m surprised you guys didn’t mention Giant Haystacks stint in WCW in 1996. He competed as a member of the Dungeon of Doom and went by the name of Loch Ness. I heard they had big plans for him to feud with The Giant, Luger, and Hogan but he was diagnosed with cancer, went back to England and died shortly after…

  2. Rich says:

    I am waiting for the production of the play Big Daddy v. Giant Haystacks play Sponsored by the Old School Wrestling Podcast. I think it would be great to see the two of you in the lead roles.


  3. Eric Miller says:

    I have yet to see any actual King of Sport from England, but in 2011, Chikara brought in King of Sport legend Johnny Saint, as well as Johnny Kidd, for a 2 day shot. They worked some singles, King of Sport style matches with Colt Cabana and Mike Quackenbush, and then they did a regular tag match the next night. It was a unique style of basically catch wrestling, a lot of holds and grappling. Considering this style has all but died in the US, the fans were very into it. I must say that I enjoyed it myself, though I’m not sure if I’d want to watch that style only every week.

    A side note on the weights of Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks. One of you had mentioned that one of these “big fatties” weighed in at 39 stone. I would estimate that this gentleman would weigh in between 450 and 500 pounds. I watched a lot of 90’s WCW, and Lord Steven Regal always weighed in at (insert Gary Michael Capetta voice) “18 Stones, 2 Pounds…Lord Steven…Reeeegal.” I would assume Regal weighed between 220 and 240 pounds, so double it and add a few, and this would bring us to the 450-500 pound range for these “big fatties”. You can trust me on this, I’m an accountant.

  4. Frankito says:

    if you guys like Brisitsh Wrestling, check out Wrestling From Argentina!


  5. Dead Reckoning says:


    Kudos to you for doing such a fine job with subject matter you were previously unaware of. You overdelivered on expectations to say the least.

    I apologise in advance for the length of this post but it’s ever so slightly in my wheelhouse.

    You pretty much got everything right in your review. Personally I don’t remember as many flowers around the ring but this was probably a special occasion, or, there was a flower show held in that hall prior to the wrestling – entirely plausible at the time.

    The rules of British wrestling were much more akin to boxing and were designed to make it appear like a legitimate sport. The bout you viewed was unusual, normally you would have three minute rounds, best of three falls and falls could be achieved by pin, knockout or submission. Knockouts were pretty common at the time which means the UK predated the NFL for concussion issues by some twenty years.

    Also, did you notice the turnbuckles? I assume they were one long vertical pad rather than three separate buckles, and they probably had ‘Crabtree’ written on them? Why? Because Max Crabtree was the owner and promoter, Shirley Crabtree was his brother and top star. Co-incidence?

    Something to think about – imagine the extra dimension that could be brought to WWE matches if they tried British rules occasionally? Pins could be broken up by the bell sounding for the end of the round. Two out of three falls has it’s own tactics and the European uppercut is at least as deadly as the Von Erich Claw

    The bout itself was probably right in the time period Dre alluded to, although his interesting range of accents does not give any clues as to the venue (Yorkshire, Australia, the forest moon of Endor, who knows?).

    Hard as it may be to imagine, but Big Daddy vs Giant Haystacks was like Hogan vs Andre or Rock vs Austin –it was the mega matchup. At the time of no internet, dirtsheets, spoilers, etc . I never thought the two ever wrestled. I think my brother told me the police wouldn’t allow it because it would be too dangerous. I totally believed that at the time, part of me still does.

    Saturday afternoon wrestling on World of Sport was appointment viewing. Yes, until 1982 we only had three channels so our choices were few but we knew no different so little DR was sat glued to the box, never knowing what was coming but always hoping desperately to see a fat old man in sequins surrounded by young children marching to the ring chanting “Easy, easy” or in his northern accent “Eez-eh, eez-eh”. (Google “Gary Glitter”, insert your own joke about old fat men and children here)

    Whilst the wrestling on World of Sport was weekly, it wasn’t episodic so there were no storylines or character arcs. We were presented with a series of unrelated matches between guys we may or may not know. We had to work out quickly who were the good and bad guys (heel and face were not in our vernacular at the time) and cheer or boo accordingly. Over time you got to know who the good ones were – Mark “Rollerball” Rocco, Marty Jones, Kendo Nagasaki (scary dude) and Dave “Fit” Finlay (yes, the same one, you won’t believe how different he looked) to name but a few. Somewhere along the way, we got to know the characters through their in-ring actions. There were no backstage vignettes, no fake marriages or mysterious limousines, there was only the in-ring action.

    Chair shots? Nope, people were using chairs for sitting in

    Steel cages? You must be joking?

    TV production quality? If one camera was enough for the Queens coronation in 1953, its good enough for this (in 1981)

    Pyrotechnics? Whel Brian has got a cigarette lighter, is that any use?

    Moves off the top rope? Get out of here – the ceiling is too low for that and the mat is held on by sticky tape, you would go through the floor

    Muscular physiques? Not around here buddy. These guys were wrestlers, not athletes.

    Hipster fans may look back and claim that they admired the workrate and claim some obscure wrestler was their favourite but they are talking bollocks. Unless you were part of the industry you didn’t know a wristlock from a wristwatch (copyright Gorilla Monsoon) and Big Daddy was THE MAN.

    But without doubt, the single best thing about UK wrestling were the fans. By that I mean the grannies who usually occupied the first row and took it just a teensy bit too seriously. They were probably left over from the afternoons bingo session but boy did they take it seriously.

    I know this because my own Granny was one of them. Upon seeing a wrestling ring she would go from being a lovely dispenser of sweets, smiles and hugs to a silver haired Valkyrie of shrieking, handbag swinging fury and directed her vengeance toward anyone who cheated whilst the refs back was turned (often) or who dared leave the ring and get anywhere near her (this happened less often – the wrestlers soon learned)

    Think Sapphire but ripped to the tits on acid and hate. You get the idea

    One such occasion when I saw my Granny turn from wrinkly bundle of love to Satans girlfriend was when the whole family was on holiday in Blackpool (or Skegness, I can’t recall – it was a shitty seaside resort). Blackpool is like Vegas but instead of glamour we have chips (fries) and mushy peas (don’t ask).

    My dad and gran took me to see Big Daddy vs Giant Haystacks. The didn’t tell me until we were there because I would not have slept from the moment I was told until it actually happened. The highlight of my life to that point (I was 6)

    The arena (bingo hall) was crammed with what seemed like thousands of people (probably a couple of hundred) . It was an event like no other.

    I forget who was on the undercard because I was waiting for THE match. At last these two titans were to fight. I had no idea they did this hundreds of times, this was the one and only match and I was there!

    BD won in a fashion surprisingly similar to the one you described. Our hero was victorious, I was in seventh heaven and them my dad said “Why don’t we see if we can get an autograph”. I was dumbfounded, could this day get any better? An autograph?

    We scuttled round to the stage door such as it was, to see BD leaving and hopefully get a signature on my program (a poorly printed black and white sheet of A4). Alas, every other kid in the place had the same idea so there was a mass of people (again, to my 6 year old eyes, it was hundreds, in reality, twelve). My dad decided that waiting for BD would cut into his drinking time in the pub so instead went for the easier option. Across the way were some of the other non-entity wrestlers milling around – quite possibly the likes of William Regal, Dynamite Kid and Tiger Mask were there, at the time I neither knew nor cared – went over, they were nice and then from nowhere, the single largest object in the world appeared – Giant Haystacks.

    I was terrified.

    Firstly, kayfabe was in full effect in my mind and wrestling was my obsession so the most evil man in the world was right in front of me. Bigger than it should be possible for a human to be (I think he was a legit 6’10”), all scraggly beard and no teeth. Rooted to the spot, I heard the only thing that could have made the situation worse:

    My dad saying “Oh look, its Giant Haystacks, lets go and see if we can get his autograph instead”

    Do you remember the first time the icy hand of fear first gripped your heart? Your feet rooted to the spot, unable to speak, not totally aware if you are controlling your bladder or not but not caring either way.

    I do – it was when Giant Fucking Haystacks started coming towards me, led by the man I referred to as Dad and who, until now, had been pretty trustworthy. Clearly it was all a ruse to gain my confidence before feeding me to this monster in some variant of a Grimm fairy tale.

    My dad said some pleasantries, Haystacks smiled I think, hard to tell, and stuck out his hand. My dad urged me to shake it. Oh I was shaking alright, but not how he was expecting. This shovel of a paw engulfed mine and I heard him say

    “Eh, awight wee man shcjdafp clacjla axc;acvjf”

    He had a thick Scottish accent and I couldn’t hear very well as my senses were starting to shut down in fear. It was probably “Did you enjoy the match” or “My llama is in need of cheese”. I don’t have a Scooby doo (clue) what he said.

    My dad thanked him, he waddled away and I lived, LIVED Dammit! I don’t know how but I survived an encounter with the scariest man alive. My dad was very impressed at what a nice man he was.

    After that, wrestling was in my blood.

    A quick not about the Big Daddy / Hall of Fame Controversy

    I was unaware that this has become a hot topic issue because I assumed that he would have been either a charter member or inducted a long time ago. It is ludicrous that he is not there.

    Whilst UK wrestling is a small (but enthusiastic) player on the international scene, it has been part of the fabric of our society for decades and whilst its popularity is dwarfed by the WWE now, in it’s heyday – post war until the mid-80’s – it was huge. Top wrestlers were household names, and there was no bigger (or morbidly obese) name than Big Daddy.

    Hulk Hogan, El Santo, Antonio Inoki – each arguably the biggest names in their respective country’s wrestling lore and all in the HoF (I assume). Big Daddy belongs right up there with them (as does Giant Haystacks btw,) because he sold tickets. Quite simply, he WAS British wrestling for years, and those years were when the industry was at it’s peak.

    You cannot judge previous era’s performers by todays ‘Smart’ standards. We didn’t care about workrate or who is getting pushed or jobbed, we just wanted to have some fun watching the bad guys gets their comeuppance, and if the weapon of choice for said comeuppance was a 50 year old mans beer-and-pie filled gut then even better. How less believable was the Belly Bump than Hogans Leg Drop? Not at all, but here’s the thing – IT DIDN’T MATTER! We loved Big Daddy, he won, we went home happy. He sold out venues, he belongs in the HoF

    Much like Abdullah, Big Daddy on the card– business goes up, Big Daddy not on the card, business goes down.

    Big Daddy dies, business goes in the crapper permanently.

    You remember how Hulk Hogan had that crappy cartoon on Saturday mornings? Well in 1982, a new Saturday morning kids show was being launched which I was excited about because Big Daddy was to be the host. Then he pulled out for some reason (I blamed Kendo Nagasaki at the time) and I was gutted. My parents actually had to sit me down and explain it to me as if the dog had died.

    I was not alone in my despair. My friends and I chose to boycott the show and its futile attempts at replacing our hero. Yes, Big Daddy inspired a mass protest amongst seven year olds.

    Surely that kind of reaction has to make him worth the Hall of Fame?

    (2000 words! F-Me that’s ridiculous, sorry).

  6. Frankito says:

    what’s up with a flair chop convention to coincide with the 100th episode? we can all meet at a Wendy’s or something and share ‘rasslin’ stories!?! better yet maybe a voyage to Abdulla’s house of ribs and chinese food!

    • Dre says:

      Great idea, I would love to visit Abby’s spot, buti might be more motivated by a double with cheese combo. That orphan can really make a burger!

  7. Wanted to weigh in on what I think is an error, and one I’ve heard referenced before on the show.

    Brutus Beefcake was scheduled to face Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental title at SummerSlam 88, but the reason he missed that match — from a storyline standpoint, anyway — was an attack by “Outlaw” Ron Bass in which he used his spurs to carve up Beefcake’s face. The attack was so bloody it was “censored” on WWF TV and the Colisuem Video release of SummerSlam.

    Beefcake ALSO was supposed to have an IC match at SummerSlam 90 against Mr. Perfect (Curt HENNIG), and that’s the match he had to miss because of his parasailing accident. In fact, that crash put him on the shelf until his early 1993 comeback that led to the Hulk Hogan return at WrestleMania IX. As you know, Kerry Von Erich was the 1990 replacement, shocking Perfect to capture the title and hold it until after Survivor Series.

  8. Dan Rackley says:

    Before I delve into this week’s episode I have to ask is this the match from Wembly Arena I used on an episode of Red Card Headbutt?

  9. Colt Cabana will tell you the wrestler to look up if you want to check out World of Sport is Johnny Saint. If you think William Regal is crisp and fluid in the ring, check out Johnny Saint.

    (Inside Reference Alert) I was disheartened to hear there’s another Big Daddy out there.

    I hate to say it, but I seriously doubt your Big Daddy will listen to this podcast.

    No more Captain Lou impressions. Dre’s Dusty impression it is not.

    Is it safe to assume there’s supposed to be more to this podcast? I just kinda cut off there at the end. I insist there be Dre saying “so long folks” before the podcast ends.

    • Black Cat says:

      It ends with Bob Caudle and DRE definitely says so long folks. How’d you listen to the show?

    • Dre says:

      You must have had a bad download, we did close the show with “so long folks.”
      And I know the other Big Daddy only listens to the Old School Half Marathon Podcast and the Old School American Soccer Podcast.

    • Yeah, must have had a bad download. I downloaded the podcast from this website, then re-downloaded it and got the whole episode.

      That “So Long Folks” had some energy behind it!

    • Paul says:

      I actually was surprised at the Captain Lou impression. It totally took me off guard. One day I want to hear Captain Lou interview Dusty Rhodes.

  10. Paul says:

    Big daddy was shaped like an egg. amazing.

  11. Tarv says:

    Another great podcast guys. It was certainly 100 times better than the match itself. My first viewing of either wrestler and what a stinker that match was. I thought I was fat until I watched this match.

  12. dmcw says:

    This link from youtube appears to show Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks as tag partners, something that would have melted my brain as a child growing up in 1970’s UK! It also seems to provide supporting evidence that Big Daddy’s wife, Eunice, did indeed cut up his sofa to make his leotard/singlet.

    I used to live for 4pm on World Of Sport, when us “Grapple Fans” would get 30-45 minutes of action between sweaty, hairy men with physiques like our dads’.

    In fact, I used my Star Wars figures to play wrestling, which was much more interesting to me than George Lucas’ franchise! Stormtrooper was European middleweight champion (modelled on Rollerball Rocco) until a hip injury retired him. Nowadays he would just dose up on codeine etc and then hit the ring.

    There is definitely a place for the UK-style technical wrestling, although I agree with the earlier poster who said that it would get boring after too long.

    Also, I cannot believe that @Dead Reckoning actually met Haystacks. As a child I would have almost certainly cried if I had been anywhere near him. Such as sensitive youth….

  13. stephen Mullane says:

    Believe this match was on tv 9th may 1981. Match was televised on biggest day for wrestling matches which was day of english and scottishfootball cup final (at the time the uk’s wrestlemania day). for a few years big daddy defeated the biggest heel wrestlers who had been on tv for several months defeating brtish babyface wrestlers. Other memorable feuds included Mighty john quinn 1979 and the mississippi mauler Jim Harris(Kamala) .
    Daddy was British Heavyweight champ in the 1960s but gave up the belt following a non kayfabe series of harrassment by aggreived former champ Bert Assirate , including one occasion where Assirati is said to have turned up at a crabtree match and scared him senseless by his appearance at ringside. Daddy quit the ring in 1966 and his then awesome physique turned to fat. Returning in 1972 to wrestle for his Brother Promoter Max crabtree’s joint promotion. after turning face he was named big daddy after burl ives character in Cat in a hot tin roof. by 1980 no uk sports star was bigger than Big Daddy and he was evening given his own saturday morning tv supershow only for him to pull out a few days before it was due to be put on tv. As the 1980s wore on Daddy became almost exclusvly a tag team teaming with lightweight or midget wrestlerswho would take all the bumps before daddy would tag in and destroy opponents very quickly.

  14. stephen Mullane says:

    some of greatest uk matches i seen on uk were between dynamite kid and mark rollerball Rocco(black tiger). These matches were so differant to any seen on Uk tv being much more like what we were going to get from wwf when it would arrive in mid 1980s. Rocco and dynamite were pure gold together. However when wwf was first shown on tv here it was obvious it was way beyond anything we had ever seen here music and stoylines were mindblowing at time. Rocco could easily have been a character in wwf .like a british version of heel macho man randy savage

  15. Irrestable object says:

    As always your show was tits even though this was a strange choice . I watched the clip an I must say Big Daddy looks like a half inflated beach ball. Gravity is a bitch.

    100th episode is on the horizon how about Wrestlemania 13??
    Keep up the good work.

  16. Jerryvonkramer says:

    Guys did my message come through?

  17. Jerryvonkramer says:

    Just in case it didn’t work again for whatever reason I said something like:

    Fucking hell lads, this is the most I’ve laughed in ages. You chaps have excelled yourselves here, possibly my single favourite show ever.

    Hugely entertaining to me on a number of different levels. Dre’s English accent gives Dick Van Dyke a run for his money. Was very funny that you mentioned that Big Daddy’s from Lancashire but still insisted on giving him a broad cockney accent.

    I would date that particular match to about 1981, based mainly on the appearance of Big Daddy you described and on the fact that there was a BIG match in 81.

    Oh and the Where the Big Boys Play podcast should return this weekend. Had a bit of trouble with a particular show from February 1987 and life getting in the way. Thanks for shout out in comments last time and Seargant J – thanks for feedback.

    I would like Dre and Blackcat to spend an hour watching clips of Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes on youtube and then talk about it.

  18. Bryan Pflanz says:

    Leave it to you guys to turn this “borefest” with a couple of “fatty’s” into another riotous episode of the greatest podcast in the history of podcasts! Nice job, boys!

    I was listening to the episode featuring the “Midnights vs. Midnights” match on the fabulous box set on the plane on my way to San Fran last week. When you guys were commenting on what a dick Bob Caudile was, I broke out laughing, waking the guy next to me. He was pissed! Good stuff!

    As always, thanks for all your efforts in putting together the best wrestling podcast in the history of podcasts! If I may be so bold in suggesting, any chance you guys could review the Tully Blanchard/Magnum TA “I Quit” match, the greatest match ever, in an upcoming episode? I’d love to hear your take on it!

  19. Tough as Nails says:

    I’ve been working my way from #1 to the beginning and am finally getting into some episodes where I can make comments.

    You teased the potential for a music review and I was horrified that The Wrestling Album (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wrestling_Album) wasn’t the first thing that popped into your head. THAT is the definition of mid-80s WWF. So fantastic. And the ‘stories’ that the WWF tried to tie into the album were hysterical. Really hoping you break down and do this one.

    Of course, if you don’t want to do that…there’s always Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band or Jeff Hardy’s hilarious attempt in Another Me to consider.