Giant Haystacks

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Giant Haystacks
Martin Ruane.jpg
Birth name Martin Austin Ruane
Born (1946-10-10)10 October 1946
Camberwell, Greater London, England
Died 29 November 1998(1998-11-29) (aged 52)
Prestwich, Greater Manchester, England
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Giant Haystacks
Haystacks Calhoun
Loch Ness
Loch Ness Monster
Luke McMasters
Billed height 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)[1][2]
Billed weight 48 st 13 lb (685 lb; 311 kg)[1][2]
Billed from Scottish Highlands
(as Loch Ness)[3]
Debut 1967

Martin Austin Ruane (10 October 1946[4] – 29 November 1998) was an English professional wrestler. Best known by the ring name Giant Haystacks, he wrestled in Canada, India, Rhodesia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Ruane was known for his massive physical size, billed as standing 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) tall[5] and weighing 48 stone 13 lb (685 lb; 311 kg) at his heaviest.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Ruane was born in Camberwell, Greater London,[6][7] weighing 14 lb 6 oz (6.5 kg). His parents were originally from County Mayo in Ireland.[5] When he was three years old, in 1949, Ruane and his family moved from London to Broughton, Greater Manchester, which remained his home.[5] He worked as a labourer and as a nightclub bouncer before a friend suggested he take up professional wrestling as a career.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Ruane began wrestling in 1967, initially for the independent WFGB as Luke McMasters (later incorrectly reported as being his legal name).[8] In the early 1970s, Ruane worked for Wrestling Enterprises (of Birkenhead), where he was billed as Haystacks Calhoun, after the American wrestling star William Calhoun who had wrestled under that name in NWA: All-Star Wrestling and the World Wide Wrestling Federation. Ruane's name was subsequently modified to Giant Haystacks.

Joint Promotions[edit]

In 1975, he moved to Joint Promotions, where he formed a heel tag team with Big Daddy (also a heel at this point). Haystacks' TV debut came in July that year, when he and Daddy teamed up against the brothers Roy and Tony St Clair, losing by disqualification. Although mainly known as brutal superheavyweight heels who crushed blue-eye opponents, they also had a major feud with masked fellow heel Kendo Nagasaki.

Daddy in particular heard cheers during this feud and eventually completed a turn to blue eye. This was cemented when Haystacks and Daddy broke up their tag team in 1977 and feuded with each other, with Haystacks remaining as the heel, resulting in high ratings on Britain's ITV any time they battled one another and establishing Haystacks as a household name during the 1970s and 1980s. The feud would continue on and off until Daddy's retirement in 1993.

International appearances[edit]

Throughout Haystacks' homeland success he also wrestled all over the world. Ruane wrestled in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling promotion as the Loch Ness Monster, managed by J.R. Foley from Wigan, England (alias John Foley, alumnus of Billy Riley's Wigan Snakepit wrestling school). He also regularly worked for the CWA in Germany and Austria, winning several trophy tournaments over there.

WCW/World Championship Wrestling[edit]

In 1996, Ruane debuted in the United States for World Championship Wrestling, under the ring name Loch Ness.[2][3][9] He served as a member of The Dungeon of Doom and feuded with Hulk Hogan. However, the feud was short-lived, ending abruptly when Ruane was diagnosed with cancer and returned to England.

Other media[edit]

Ruane appeared in the 1981 film Quest for Fire and the 1984 film Give My Regards to Broad Street. The latter was written by Paul McCartney, a fan of Ruane.[4][9]

Personal life[edit]

On 29 November 1998, Ruane died of cancer at the age of 52.[9]

In popular culture[edit]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Giant Haystacks". Online World of Wrestling. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Inside the Dungeon of Doom". WWE. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "The ring's forgotten big men". WWE. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Szreter, Adam (3 December 1998). "Obituary: Giant Haystacks". The Independent. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c Holt, Richard (2004). "Ruane, Martin Austin (1946–1998)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 
  6. ^ Matthew, Henry Colin Gray; Brian Howard Harrison (2004). "Ruane, Martin Austin (1946–1998)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. p. 63. ISBN 0-19-861398-9. 
  7. ^ Ayto, John; Ian Crofton; Paul Cavill (2005). Brewer's Britain & Ireland: The History, Culture, Folklore and Etymology of 7500 Places in these Islands. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. p. 191. ISBN 0-304-35385-X. 
  8. ^ Garfield, Simon (1996). The Wrestling. Faber & Faber. 
  9. ^ a b c Cappetta, Gary Michael (2006). Bodyslams!: Memoirs of a Wrestling Pitchman. ECW Press. p. 182. ISBN 1550227092. 
  10. ^ "Big Daddy vs Giant Haystacks". Fringe Guru. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 

External links[edit]