Chris Hollyfield before and after the ‘Little Boogeyman’

By Scott McCabe

Chris Hollyfield is best known for his role as the ‘Little Boogeyman’ in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), but there’s a lot more to the life of Hollyfield than just wrestling… 

Born in Pensacola, Florida, Chris grew up in a military household. His father was a member of the US Air Force, which meant that the Hollyfield family were constantly on the move depending on where his father was stationed. 

At a young age, Chris was diagnosed with achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism. Achondroplasia is a genetic condition that affects the protein in the body, which ultimately slows down the growth of bones. 

It wasn’t until Chris reached the age of eight or nine [Chris can’t quite remember] that he noticed kids were calling him names and looking at him differently, but Chris was more than capable of defending himself.

During his childhood, Chris attended two elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools, but he reflects on all this movement as a blessing.

 “I was able to adjust to different people and I grasped an understanding of who I was at such a young age. I had to have self-love,” Hollyfield told the City.ie

The making of a star

During a summer trip, Chris had a eureka moment as he realised that wrestling was his destiny.

 “We had an eight-hour drive to my grandmother’s house; I was about 16 years old at the time. I got a wrestling magazine and started flicking through it. I saw the likes of ‘Haiti Kid’ and ‘Little Tokyo’ and I knew that I had the potential to beat those guys,” Hollyfield said. 

WWF’s ‘Haiti Kid’ a well-known figure in the 80’s wrestling scene. Image via: (80’s Wrestling)

WWF’s ‘Haiti Kid’ a well-known figure in the 80’s wrestling scene. Image via: (80’s Wrestling)

Hollyfield was benching 330lbs at 110lbs body weight and knew he was destined to be special. 

In his freshman year of college, Chris travelled to Missouri to train for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), leaving behind his family and his high school sweetheart.

At 19 years of age, Hollyfield stayed with Roger Littlebrook a.k.a ‘Lord Littlebrook’, a highly influential promoter in the wrestling scene. 

 “When I got to Missouri, I was shocked. It wasn’t what I thought it would be like. The assumption of what I had and what I pictured was completely different. I was misled by my thought process. The facility was more or less a backyard barn with a ring in it”, Hollyfield said.

Show up and show out

In 2007, Hollyfield, now 40 years of age, got the chance to showcase his ability in the WWE (formerly the WWF), he was handed the role of the ‘Little Boogeyman’ another version of  ‘The Boogeyman’ played by Martin Wright. Hollyfield was given a shot to make his mark on the WWE and he ran with it. 

“I came out from underneath the ring and the crowd went crazy. I said, ‘I’m here baby’. I showed up and showed out. I was doing my boogie dance. If I tried that now, I’d probably tear something,” Hollyfield said with a chuckle. 

Chris Hollyfield in action as the ‘Little Boogeyman’/ Image via: Pro Wrestling Wiki

“Honestly, I wish I could’ve been more human as a character rather than the ‘Little Boogeyman’. I’m grateful for the opportunity and I don’t want anyone to think that I’m not. I knew the business. 

“When they made me ‘Little Boogeyman’, I said in my mind, this is going to be short-lived. The reason why I thought that was because when you’re a monster, you’re boxed in. In the wrestling world, it’s a storyline, but I didn’t have a storyline because I couldn’t say anything,” Hollyfield added. 

The X factor:

Hollyfield has practically rubbed shoulders with the biggest celebrities you can think of including Kobe Byrant, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and he’s even filmed a music video with DMX.

“They [DMX and his production crew] flew me out to Los Angeles for four days. I met DMX and we shot a music video together. DMX said: ‘hey man, glad to see you’re here. We went through auditions and when I saw you on MTV – you were my guy’,” Hollyfield said. 

Rapper Earl Simmons a.k.a ‘DMX’/ Image via Jonathan Mannion 

Unfortunately for Chris, the music video was never released, but Hollyfield did meet one of his heroes.

“He [DMX] was raw and authentic and that’s what I loved about him,” Hollyfield added.

Life after wrestling

Chris jokes about sounding like a used-car salesman. “I always had to sell myself. I was selling you, me. Give me that chance, that opportunity,” Hollyfield said. 

Since his time in the wrestling arena, Hollyfield has become an author and published his own book in 2018 titled ‘Big Message, Short Story’. 

Hollyfield has also played roles in a variety of movies and TV shows. However, motivational speaking has become his priority as he loves nothing more than spreading love and positivity to all ages.

Hollyfield in action as a motivational speaker/ Image via: (The Youth Alliance)

Hollyfield in action as a motivational speaker/ Image via: (The Youth Alliance)

Hollyfield has travelled thousands of miles as a motivational speaker and works tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of others.  When it comes to Hollyfield’s legacy, he knows exactly how he wants to be remembered. 

“I don’t put a mask on, this is who I am. I’m Chris Hollyfield before and after the ‘Little Boogeyman’. I came into this world that way, I’m going to leave that way. I’m the guy that gave you a hug and made you laugh, that’s my legacy. If they don’t say anything when I’m gone like ‘he was funny’ or ‘he was always trying to make a difference’, I come up short,” Hollyfield said. 

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