Being that the two remaining members of the faction are going into the WWE Hall of Fame this year, Bubba Ray and D-Von, it seemed only fitting that for this month’s look into the history of factions that we spent some time in Dudleyville. The Dudley Brothers faction should not have worked really and should not have become as great as it did. The growth of the group over time was remarkable and their time in ECW was one of the high points of the promotion. Next stop, Dudleyville.
ECW was many things during its run. What I appreciated about it possibly most of all, was its ability to take something silly and make it totally work, which is what they did with the Dudleys. The original trio in 1995 was Dudley Dudley, Big Dick Dudley, and Snot Dudley. The story goes that the patriarch of the Dudley family, Big Daddy Dudley, a traveling salesman, populated the earth with little Dudleys around the country. So, the fact that the wrestlers in the stable looked absolutely nothing alike, made perfect sense since they had different mothers. (because that’s how that works right?) Dudley Dudley was the leader of the trio since he was the only “real” Dudley being the son of Big Daddy Dudley and Momma Dudley. Big Dick, the 6ft 6 325 lb hoss of the group, was the enforcer. Snot Dudley was the quick hitter who picked his nose during matches. Snot wasn’t around long though, as he got injured in a jet ski accident and was replaced by the pairing of Big Daddy and a Native American woman, Dances with Dudley.
For most of ’95 Dudley Dudley and Dances with Dudley teamed together with Big Dick playing a managerial role. Midway through the year, they expanded with Chubby Dudley and Sign Guy Dudley. Chubby never did much apart from carry snacks to the ring and look shitty while Sign Guy became a big part of the group with an impressive range of awesome signs. (Signs were a huge part of 90’s wrestling. Seriously, look up any event from the 90’s and look in the crowd) Late in ’95 the family grew again with the addition of Buh Buh Ray Dudley, a stuttering goofball hillbilly character. This incarnation of the group would go on to have decent matches with a bunch of ECW tag teams but never capture the tag belts. Things didn’t really explode for them until April of ’96.
At the Massacre on Queens Blvd. show in April of ’96, D-Von Dudley debuted calling out the rest of the Dudley clan for acting foolish. D-Von would go on to feud with the remaining Dudleys including the also new member, little Spike. Dances with and Chubby were both gone from ECW by the summer of ’96 leaving Buh Buh, Sign Guy, Spike, and Big Dick. (Dudley Dudley left at the end of ’95) The remainder of ’96 saw the Dudleys feuding with various teams and Buh Buh having singles matches with D-Von. Everything changed for the stable though in February of ’97.
At Crossing the Line Again in February Buh Buh Ray turned heel, joined D-Von, brought Big Dick and Sign Guy with him, dropped the stuttering, and the family became the Dudley Boyz. This incarnation became the most successful having eight different runs as ECW Tag Team champions. It was the pairing of Ray and D-Von that had legendary matches with the Eliminators, Sandman and Dreamer, and other big time teams. Spike stayed face during this time and feuded with his family always ending up getting his ass kicked quite thoroughly. Throughout ’97 and ’98 the Dudley Boyz dominated tag team wrestling and were one of the most over teams on the planet. Their run will go down as one of the best ever in my opinion. They did some amazing things as a team and as a group are as responsible as anyone else for the success of ECW.
In early ’99 Big Dick left ECW over character/opportunity disputes. (he never felt he got the shots he deserved and was relegated to singles feuds with spike) Buh Buh Ray and D-Von left to join WWE and became one of the top teams in the promotion for years before leaving for TNA and becoming one of their top teams as well. Their time in WWE was even more successful than their time in ECW and included some truly amazing feuds with The Hardys and Edge and Christian as well as popularizing the use of tables in the most mainstream promotion in America. Never as good apart as they were together, though the Bully Ray stuff in TNA is awesome, the Dudley Boyz will forever be remembered as one of the most dominant factions in wrestling. They left their mark and are more than deserving of a spot in the hall of fame. Check out the clips below and make sure to follow me on twitter and instagram, @geekadedan, for more nonsense. And don’t forget to check back next week for another reason to love wrestling. Until then…