Welcome to another exciting edition of the Phat Daily Column. Today, we take a look at one of the hottest tag teams today, the Dudley Boyz, as we chop away at the request list. Dudleys have an interesting history in their 5 years as a team, and several more years in the business.
Multimedia Note: I bought ECW's Anarchy Rocks CD yesterday, and I'll have a full review of that this Monday. Why? I want to listen to it a little more before making a final judgement. For the first ECW CD, I didn't give the CD time to grow on me, and I ripped the hell out of it originally. Good lord, I've been a reviewing machine lately!
On a History note.... Wrestlers like the Rock, Mick Foley, Bill Goldberg, Chyna, Diamond Dallas Page, and many many others have auto- or close to autobiographies out there for you to read. That's why I'll always hold back if a wrestler has wrote a book in terms of my histories. Now I'm sure I could write a nice contradicting one to Chyna or Bill Goldberg for some of their cover-ups, but I have better things to do.
On to the PDC.
What on earth made this crazy team in 1997 to the most over tag team in the WWF in 2001? Believe it or not, it's been a long road for the Dudley Boyz, Buh Buh Ray and D'Von. From being a loudmouth heel team to a the crowd favorites to put someone through a table, it's been a strange trip.
Buh Buh Ray Dudley made his pro wrestling debut in 1991, and D'Von Dudley made his pro wrestling debut in 1992. Some way or another, both wrestlers made it to Extreme Championship Wrestling. Now, I don't know much about the Dudley Family history when the whole stable was formed. I know that it consisted of weirdos like Sign Guy, Big Dick, Spike, and a few others. Buh Buh was stuttering then, which is where Vince got the idea in late 1999. From what I know, D'Von was mainly an outcast to the family, and he always went after the other Dudleys.
The team of Buh Buh Ray and D'Von formed under very strange circumstances in either late 1996 or early 1997. Since I screwed up on another column, mentioning the Dudley formation, I had to sit down and watch their formation on the old ECW TV tape my brother has. It was a match with Buh Buh vs. the Sandman, and it was brutal as hell. Like now, Buh Buh sold moves like nobody's business, and he dished them out as well. D'Von and Spike Dudley hit the ring after the match, and everyone thought that Buh Buh and Spike would attack the evil D'Von. But something else happened. Oddly enough, Buh Buh and D'Von are standing in the ring, and they begin to smile at each other. After smiling, they both look directly at Spike Dudley, and give him a rough beatdown! Buh Buh and D'Von were now a team, and they went straight to the top of ECW!
Armed with a tough finisher, the eye-catching 3-D, the Dudleys went after the Eliminators, Perry Saturn and John Kronus, who were the current ECW World Heavyweight Champions. Along the way to the top, the Dudley Boyz gained a ring announcer in Joel Gertner, and then Big Dick Dudley "got out of prison" and joined his "family" members as well. Sign Guy Dudley eventually joined too. On March 15th, 1997, the Dudleys won their first tag team titles, but not without lots of interference. The Eliminators, the best tag team in the business back then, had the Dudley Boyz DESTROYED during the match. However, the ref was distracted and Sign Guy ran in and slammed a glass window over Perry Saturn. I was just SHOCKED when I saw that one. The Dudleys nailed Perry with the 3D after the window smashing, and the titles were theirs.
Barely Legal was right around the corner, which was the 1st ever ECW Pay Per View. To lead up to the rematch between the Eliminators and the Dudleys, there were a series of tag matches to "build heat". In fact, some of those tag matches were the most brutal and insane match ups I've ever seen. The Gangstas, back then, always had a rough feud with the Dudleys, but they could never win the titles. So, it was decided to have several 3 Way Dances for the World Tag titles. Before Ladders, Tables, and Chairs (oh my!), these were the supreme 3 way dance tag matches. New Jack's leaps from balconies or wherever else became famous, as he'd take long dives on either Buh Buh or D'Von. For some strange reason, the Dudleys ALWAYS pulled a victory out in these crazy matches. Kind of like how Edge/Christian can today, in the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches.
The Dudley Boyz, however, got theirs at Barely Legal. The Eliminators had no problems defeating the Dudleys whatsoever. I believe Paul Heyman just wanted to use the match as a showcase of the most talented tag team in the world to any other kind of wrestling fan who just decided to buy the Pay Per View. Dudleys had NO chance to even come close to winning in this match. However, the Dudleys weren't through with the Eliminators. Right after this event, I had the honor to watch an ECW houseshow live! The Dudleys took on the Eliminators for the World Titles, to which the Eliminators won. But the real thrill of the night was when Buh Buh Ray Dudley got on the mic, and told off the WHOLE crowd. Since the show was in West Virginia (West Liberty State College), Buh Buh used lots of inbred jokes, since the stereotype is that those who live in the mountains in West Virginia, are related several ways if you get my drift. I was just shocked to see him rip the crowd a new asshole, and eventually, it became routine at every show... especially Pay Per Views!
The Eliminators wouldn't hold onto the titles long, though. Perry Saturn badly tore up his leg, probably during one a nasty bout with the Dudleys at a Houseshow (not mine). So now, John Kronus was without a partner. At Wrestlepalooza 1997, the Dudleys and Joel Gertner insisted that the Eliminators hand over the titles because Perry couldn't compete. However, crazy John Kronus had other ideas, and the lunatic took on both of the Dudleys. He actually held his own, for a while, that is until the Dudleys got the upper hand with the help of Big Dick Dudley. But the Eliminators would retain the titles.... D'Von found himself lying in the middle of the ring, and Perry Saturn, injured leg and all, climbs the ropes and drills D'Von with a Perry Saturn elbow! Saturn made the cover, and the Dudleys were shocked! By the way, you should make every attempt to buy Wrestlepalooza 1997, if you can. It was probably the last great ECW show until all of the talent fled to WCW.
The Eliminators couldn't keep the titles long, though. The Dudleys grabbed them shortly thereafter, and John Kronus was without a partner. Since Kronus had nothing going for him now, the Gangstas stepped up to the plate. New Jack and Mustafa captured their 2nd Tag Titles just a month after the Dudleys recaptured the belts. Funny enough, a month later, the Dudley Boyz won the titles back for their now 3rd title reign. 3 World Tag titles in less than 6 months?!? Well, this reign didn't last either, but it would be a very entertaining one.
Mustafa, one half of the Gangstas, left ECW during this time for injuries or whatever else. So not only was John Kronus without a partner, but New Jack too. John Kronus made several challenges to the Dudleys for the Tag Titles, but in a famous Gertner speech... "You could fight D'Von Dudley.... but wait, he's a TAG TEAM wrestler, which you aren't John Kronus. How about Buh Buh Ray Dudley? Oh no, he's a TAG TEAM specialist too. " or something like that. It's a funny interview, and it was decided that John Kronus could only fight Big Dick Dudley, since the other guys were "tag team wrestlers". If he beat Big Dick, he would be allowed to find a tag partner, if he could find one. So John Kronus defeated Big Dick in a thrilling match, and his partner was revealed to be New Jack.
The Gangsta-Nators were formed. Joey Styles would claim "the better half of the BEST tag team in the world and the better half of the most violent team in the world have formed!" Back then, you could dispute who was better between the Eliminators. Anyway, the Gangsta-Nators would win the World Tag titles in a crazy and violent match in September of 1997, and the Dudleys would have to wait more than a year to receive the tag titles again. In 1998, they'd feud with the likes of New Jack/Spike Dudley, and also, the team of Tommy Dreamer/Sandman.
In October of 1998, the Dudleys Boyz finally regained their World Titles for their 4th reign by defeating the team of Rob Van Dam and Sabu. About a week later, the team of Balls Mahoney and Masato Tanaka beat the Dudley Boyz for the World Titles. 5 days later, the Dudleys won the titles back for their 5th title reign. A month later, RVD and Sabu came back at the Dudleys Boyz and took the tag titles way. In April of 1999, a deal was struck between the teams to have the titles changed in a singles match. Buh Buh pinned Rob Van Dam to allow the Dudleys to win their 6th Tag Titles.
Spike Dudley, however, fought his family more and more. Armed with partner Balls Mahoney, they defeated the Dudley Boyz for the tag titles in July 1999. Dudleys got the titles back in August of 1999, for their 7th title reign. A day later, Balls and Spike regained the titles! Almost two weeks later, the Dudley Boyz regained the titles for their 8th and final ECW Tag Team title reign. 8 time champs, folks!
ECW was on the verge of signing a deal with TNN to broadcast their shows. However, the WWF was on the verge of signing away some key ECW talent to pad their roster. Russo wanted Taz in the WWF, and everyone in the WWF wanted the Dudley Boyz to give a new possible heel team for the Hardy Boyz or Edge/Christian to fight. So the Dudley Boyz were signed away from ECW. However, they left like champions, willing to drop the straps to whatever team was booked to do so. Raven just left WCW and joined ECW, and the braintrust in ECW decided to kill all locker-room morale by pushing him to the top immediately. The Dudleys did an angle where they called on anyone from ECW to take them on, mainly focusing on Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer came out, and tried to fight both Dudleys. It was no use, and the Dudleys looked to have the easy victory. However, out of no where, Raven runs in, DDTs one of the Dudleys, and wins the titles with Dreamer. This show was taped on the weekend before the Smackdown debut, and aired the Friday after the Thursday Smackdown. It's funny how television can play mind games.
The Dudleys made their WWF debut by attacking the Acolytes and Edge/Christian during some kind of tag team elimination match. It seemed to have taken offense with the Acolytes, who attacked the Dudleys at will. The Dudleys, however, had something going against them. A short while before their debut, the team of Public Enemy finally made their way into the WWF. Word has it that they had bad attitudes with everyone in the locker room, claiming that they were going to easily climb the ladder to success. So Vince McMahon tested them.... against the Acolytes! If you've ever seen the Heat match, you'll know that the Acolytes really roughed Public Enemy up, and PE couldn't take it. They were immediately released from the WWF.
Now since the Dudleys were from ECW, and former ECW World Tag champs, everyone thought the same fate would happen. But it didn't. In fact, many wrestlers got along with the Dudleys, Buh Buh Ray and D'von, very quickly. Their in ring performance and their ability to take punishment without complaining afterwards impressed WWF officials. The Dudleys passed the "Acolytes test" with flying colors, and they were on their way to WWF success. The real funny thing was that Vince McMahon actually liked the Dudley family in its early days in ECW, and he wanted Buh Buh to stutter again. All of the faces they would fight could make fun of the way Buh Buh talked, proving instant comedy. Buh Buh wouldn't have it for long, and he'd go back to his old ways of ripping the crowd, but without the curse words and other foul language.
Their proven ability as a tag team landed them in a feud with the Hardy Boyz, leading up to Royal Rumble 2000. Leading up to the match, the Dudleys attacked the Hardys with many nasty table shots. The Hardys got some revenge too, but the one spot where the Buh Buh powerbombed one Hardy over the ropes, onto another Hardy boy on some tables was so nasty! So a tables match was booked for Royal Rumble, and damn, was it impressive! The Dudleys and Hardys were both taking unbelieveable bumps during this match, with a thrilling ending of Jeff Hardy jumping from the top of the entrance and onto D'von with a Swanton bomb. Just a vicious bump overall.
But the match pissed off the Dudley Boyz. The went after every lady in the WWF, and powerbombed them violently from the top rope and into a table. Oddly enough, the fans started enjoying this kind of table violence, and you'd hear "tables, tables, tables" from the crowd, and they'd also cheer "3-D" when the Dudleys were applying their finisher. The Dudleys were in the making of being strong faces due to the crowd reaction, just like Stone Cold and the Rock have done.
The Dudleys would eventually set up a feud with the New Age Outlaws, who everyone was sick of by now. At No Way Out 2000, the Dudleys won their 1st WWF World Titles by defeating the Outlaws. I seriously question whether the Dudleys would have won the titles if Billy Gunn was healthy, though. But let's ignore that, because the Dudley's BEST WWF match was coming up at Wrestlemania 2000.
The longstanding feud with the Hardys was just heating up since the Dudleys were now the champs, and then Edge/Christian somehow got involved too. It was decided to have a Tables, Ladders, and Chair match at Wrestlemania 2000, which stole the show! Each team sold a variety of nasty bumps, and each team walked out with minor injuries after the match. Edge/Christian actually won the titles for this match, and they would turn heel immediately thereafter. Dudleys wouldn't get revenge, however, as a lame feud with the newly formed T&A was called for. By now, however, the Dudleys were full-fledged heels, and everyone was cheering when Trish Stratus was powerbombed through a table. Next would be a long feud with X-Pac and Road Dogg, to which the Dudleys would lose 2 straight Pay Per View matches to. They say X-Pac had no booking influence then.......... The Dudleys would powerbomb the hell out of Tori after the King of the Ring 2000 match, which I believe put Tori on the shelf until she returned as the evil Masked Ninja for Raven. (I think that was it)
Come Summerslam 2000, the WWF needed something extra to jack up the fans' spirit again. The WWF lost some momentum during the early summer, so they needed to satisfy with a hot Summerslam show. So another Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match was set up, but with this one, the Dudleys took more bumps than in the previous one. Hey, that's what happens when you become face. Mick Foley set this one up, using the famous "Tables, Ladders, and Chairs, OH MY" phrase to really pump up the excitement. The funny thing is that the WWF is now setting up a 3rd TLC match between the Dudleys, Hardys, and Edge/Christian for Wrestlemania 17 next week, which proves, yet again, who can put on great matches in the WWF. Edge/Christian proved their manhood, again, by winning the 2nd TLC match.
The Dudleys would get thrown into the Right to Censor feud, since nobody could get the RTC over. So Vince threw the Dudleys at them because the crowd doesn't stop cheering "tables, tables, tables". The Dudleys would do nothing BUT fight the RTC for a while, until the WWF got their head out of their ass and decided to have them go after the tough champions, Edge/Christian. Edge/Christian got the best of the Dudleys at Royal Rumble 2001, but on a TV show afterward, the Dudleys would gain their 2nd World Titles. Their feud with Edge/Christian wasn't finished, and the WWF decided to throw Kane/Undertaker in their feud as well. It was so sickening to see both the Dudleys and Edge/Christian getting pounded by the Kane/Undertaker, but the Dudleys would retain at No Way Out 2001 during their 3 way dance, Thank God.
Thanks to the screwjob help of Christian, the Dudley Boyz lost their tag titles on a Monday Night RAW to the Hardy Boyz. Last Monday, we saw Edge/Christian defeat the Hardys for the title, but we also saw the Dudleys win their 3rd WWF Tag Titles by defeating Edge/Christian with the help of Spike Dudley, the same family member they turned on to originally form their tough team, and the same family member who teamed with New Jack or Balls Mahoney to win the ECW Tag Titles a few times. The Dudleys are now preparing for the next Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at Wrestlemania this year.
Buh Buh Ray and D'Von have come a long way, and they remain the most loved tag team in the WWF right now. That's not bad for a team who was expected to be another Public Enemy in the WWF.
Make sure you check out the latest CLICK HERE to listen to the show! Keep in mind that the Audio Show is giving away a Wrestlemania care package, which you could win by listening to the show and answering Wrestlemania Trivia. Also Note that former WCW and ECW star, Scotty Anton, will be a guest on the show sometime in April. I'll keep you posted.
LoP T-Shirts: NEW STUFF IN STOCK! Mouse Pads, Sweat Shirts, Coffee Mugs, more T-Shirts, Baby Doll shirts, and more! Also, you can now order via Credit Card!
Backyard BBQ: The Best in Backyard Wrestling!
KOLTERSHOCK!!! NEWS ORGY!!!
If you need a movie to watch this weekend, check out Say It Isn't So at the theaters. Damn, that was a funny movie!!!
@I hope you've enjoyed this look back on the Dudley Boyz. They are truly one of the best tag teams, ever, in professional wrestling if you ask me. Who knows what I'll have tomorrow for you...
Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.
NY Times is reporting that Vince McMahon will step up his efforts in television relations with UPN for his XFL games if NBC decides to pull out soon. UPN is actually happy with having the XFL on their network, since it actually does higher ratings than many of their other shows. Plus, the XFL is UPN's only sport program they carry. McMahon and UPN are already looking into seeing if its 125 affiliates could carry more XFL games next season.
Memphis Maniax (3-4) vs. San Francisco Demons (3-4)
*Las Vegas vs. Los Angeles will most likely get the most coverage and the "A" announcing team.