Throwback Thursday: WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Showcase: Big Boss Man


A former prison guard Ray “Bubba” Washington Traylor, Jr.  worked for Jim Crockett promotions and Universal Wrestling Federation before joining the WWF. In June 1988 he entered the WWF as “Big Boss Man” fashioned after his time as a prison guard. He was a heel character and, after his matches, he would handcuff his defeated opponents and beat them with a nightstick.

After defeating Koko B. Ware at the first ever SummerSlam Boss Man began his first major storyline by attack Hulk Hogan. During this feud with Hogan he challenged Randy Savage for the title, formed a team with Akeem (the Twin Towers) and this would lead to many battles between the team of Savage and Hogan (The Mega Powers)  and the Twin Towers. Savage would turn on Hogan but Hogan would defeat the Twin Towers alone. At WrestleMania V the Twin Towers defeated The Rockers and went on to feud with Demolition over the Tag Team Championship.

Boss Man’s feud with Hogan ran concurrently with the Demolition feud. During a steel cage match against Hogan Boss Man would be superplexed off the top of the cage. Like most tag teams Akeem and Boss Man would go their seperate ways, battling each other at WrestleMania VI. He began working as a face character, making peace with Hogan and teaming up with him in the 1990 Summerslam. He feuded with Bobby Heenan and the Heenan Family anger Heenan continually insulted Boss Man’s mother.

In 1993, after he lost to Bam Bam Bigelow at the Royal Ruble he departed the WWF and worked in All Japan Pro Wrestling.  He worked there briefly, tagging with Stan Hansen, Kendall Windham or “Dr. Death” Steve Williams.

After his run there Boss Man began working in World Championship Wrestling. While in WCW he worked as “The Boss” but, when the WWF took issue with the legality of the name similarities he began working under the name “The Guardian Angel.” He worked several feuds in his time at WCW but, when his contract expired Boss Man decided not to renegotiate.

In 1998 he returned to the WWF as the Big Boss Man and served as Vince McMahon’s bodyguard during the McMahon’s feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin and feuded with D-Generation X. While in McMahon’s stable, The Corporation, Boss Man was often the bodyguard for the members and he formed a tag team with Ken Shamrock, winning the Tag Team Championship. He also won the Hardcore Championship and, during the Corporation’s feud with the Undertaker, fought the Undertaker at Wrestlemania XV.

After his match with the Undertaker at Wrestlemania XV Boss Man was hung, using a concealed body harness for safety to perform the illusion.

Wrestlemania XV was a Hell in a Cell match and, after losing to the Undertaker, Boss Man was “hung” from the roof of the cage, a symbol of the Undertaker’s unholy ways. See the end of the match and infamous moment here. Boss Man also feuded with Al Snow and The Big Show. He briefly formed a tag team with Bull Buchanan (his protégé) before the team split after Boss Man, angry after losing a match, knocked Buchanan out. Boss Man would work the secondary television shows like Sunday Night Heat and work in a few lesser known storylines before being assigned to work in the developmental system with newer talents. He was released from the WWE in 2003.

After leaving he worked with the International Wrestling Association of Japan before retiring from wrestling. He died in 2004 of a heart attack.

What was your favorite Boss Man moment?


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