Throwback Thursday – The Dudley Boyz WWE Career Overview (ECW, Vince McMahon, Paul Heyman)

With the return of the Dudley Boyz on Monday Night Raw it’s time to look back at the last time the Dudley Boyz were in WWE.

The Dudley Boyz with their table, ready for action.

In 1999, when Paul Heyman had a deal with Vince McMahon to supply talent to the (then) WWF the Dudleys soon joined WWF. Formerly known as Buh Buh Ray, renamed Bubba Ray, started his gimmick off with stuttering. This stuttering stopped only when D-Von smacked Bubba upside the head and sort of “re-setting” him. The team dropped their tie-dye look and traded it for camouflage. Despite their differences physically (and as a tongue-in-cheek joke with fans and commentators) the pair claimed to have the same father and different mothers, making them half-brothers.

As in ECW the Dudleys brought their more extreme style to the WWF/WWE and began making good use of tables around and under the ring. (They would later be the tables component in the first ever Tables Ladders and Chairs match). Their signature double team move, the 3-D was applied indiscriminately among men and women although, as a heel, Bubba Ray put a lot of women through the tables as well as part of his psychosis/strange mental state.

Not always heels and usually fan favorites the Dudley Boyz had feuds with T&A, the Hardy Boyz, Edge & Christian, etc. During the three way feud with the Hardyz and Edge & Christian we were treated to the first TLC match at SummerSlam 2000. During the second TLC match the Dudley Boyz had some help from their “little brother” Spike Dudley.

The Dudley Boyz with Stacy Keibler.

When the WCW and ECW alliance took place the Dudleys defected back to ECW and turned heel once more. They continued their rivalries with those that remained in WWF/WWE and were somewhat like attack dogs sent out by Stephanie and Shane McMahon to punish people (usually with a table) for going against the alliance. During this time they added Stacy Keibler to their team as a manager, naming her the “Duchess of Dudleyville”. While she was instrumental in helping the Dudleys win many matches the second she cost them a match Bubba put her through a table as revenge.
During the Alliance story line they were the first ever tag team to have held the WCW, ECW and WWF Tag Team Championships. They would later defeat the Hardy Boyz in a cage match at Survivor Series in 2001, naming them the unified Tag Team Champions (the unifying the WCW and WWF titles).
In 2002 the feud with their younger brother Spike began anew (the original feud coming when they defected to the Alliance and Spike did not). Spike teamed up with Tazz in order to take the titles from his half-brothers.
When the Alliance story line ended and the WWF became the WWE the company split into two brands, Raw & Smackdown. Bubba was drafted to Raw and D-Von to Smackdown! While on Raw Bubba reunited with Spike to form a tag team meanwhile, on Smackdown, D-Von became a heel known as “Reverend D-Von”. Batista, then known as Deacon Batista, followed D-Von.
At Judgement Day 2002 the Dudleys squared off against each other after Trish Stratus (from Raw, with Bubba in her corner) and Stacy Kiebler (from Smackdown, with D-Von and Batista in her corner) came to blows after the match. In the end, D-Von and Batista put Bubba through a table.

D-Von, Spike and Bubba Ray Dudley.

During Survivor Series that year D-Von helped keep Bubba Ray in the match and the pair were reunited as the Dudley Boyz on Raw. Reunited as a team they were both helpers and adversaries of the Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff, working towards the tag titles. In March 2004 all three Dudleys were traded to Smackdown where they aligned themselves with Paul Heyman against the Undertaker. In a fun twist the “older” Dudley brothers Bubba and D-Von helped Spike to win the Cruiserweight title from Rey Mysterio and, during this story line it was revealed that Spike had been bossing the other two around so that they would help him cheat to win. (The funny part being that, despite being physically smaller, hence the little brother gimmick, the wrestler Spike Dudley, real name Matt Hyson, is older than the other two Dudleys.)
The Dudleys last appearance in a WWE ring was at One Night Stand in June 2005 before the contracts were not renewed. Later Bubba and D-Von were given legal notice they could not use the trademark Dudley in other companies.
The Dudleys would go on to wrestle in TNA and independent promotions, each having a good amount of success as singles and as a tag-team. You do have to wonder if Spike Dudley will be joining his “big brothers” or if we will be treated to some old-school Dudley Boyz action.

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