The Dudley Brothers
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|The Dudley Brothers|
|Name(s)||The Dudley Boyz
The Dudley Brothers
The Dudley Family
"The hills of Charleston, Pennsylvania"
|Debut||July 1, 1995|
The gimmick of the group was that, despite their obvious differences in physical appearance and race, the members were all said to be the sons of the fictional Willy Loman-esque "Big Daddy" Dudley, who had traveled America as a salesman throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Despite the differences in their races and sizes, the Dudleys shared a similar ring attire of taped glasses, unkempt hair, tie-dye shirts, high-tops and overalls. As a group they also utilized a few similar mannerisms. The real-life origins of the group were based on the Hanson Brothers from the 1977 movie Slap Shot. (see below)
Extreme Championship Wrestling
The Dudley family debuted in ECW on July 1, 1995 at Hardcore Heaven 1995, where the tag team of Dudley Dudley and Snot Dudley (accompanied by their enforcer, Big Dick Dudley) defeated The Pitbulls. Shortly after their debut, the Dudley family aligned themselves with Raven, temporarily joining Raven's Nest and briefly feuding with The Pitbulls.
After Snot Dudley was injured in a jet ski accident, he was replaced in August 1995 by Dances with Dudley, who was said to be the child of Big Daddy Dudley and a Cheyenne Native American woman. Dudley Dudley and Dances with Dudley teamed with one another through the latter half of 1995, competing against teams such as The Gangstas and the Bad Crew. In September 1995, Dudley Dudley and Dances with Dudley unsuccessfully challenged The Pitbulls for the ECW World Tag Team Championship.
In November 1995, the Dudley family was joined by Buh Buh Ray Dudley, a stuttering, dancing, overweight hillbilly who began teaming with Dances with Dudley against tag teams such as The Public Enemy and The Eliminators. In January 1996, Dances with Dudley and Buh Buh Ray Dudley unsuccessfully challenged Cactus Jack and Mikey Whipwreck for the ECW World Tag Team Championship.
The group was later expanded when the obese, slobbish Chubby Dudley and the mute, placard-wielding Sign Guy Dudley (the result of Big Daddy Dudley's incarceration in an asylum) began accompanying the Dudleys to ringside.
Bushwhacker Luke and Bushwhacker Butch even became honorary Dudleys for one night, said to hail from the "Little New Zealand neighborhood of Dudleyville"). At the Hardcore Heaven pay-per-view event in 1997, porn star Jenna Jameson acted as their one-time valet during their tag team title defense versus PG-13.
On April 13, 1996, Dances With Dudley suffered a leg injury and was attacked by the debuting D-Von Dudley as he was stretchered out of the arena. D-Von began warring with all the other Dudleys, citing that the comedy act they had been putting on was not the way "true Dudleys" should be conducting themselves. He eliminated Dances With Dudley, Dudley Dudley, and Chubby Dudley before eventually joining forces with Bubba (whom he helped to overcome his stutter), Sign Guy, and Big Dick. These four Dudleys became a powerful, unified heel force in 1997, but were soon challenged by the debuting stoner Little Spike Dudley ("LSD"), who was said to be the "runt" of the Dudley family and the last hold-out face Dudley.
Big Dick left ECW in 1999, and Bubba and D-Von followed soon after for the World Wrestling Federation. Without the rest of the Dudleys Sign Guy changed into Lou E. Dangerously, leaving Spike as the only remaining Dudley in ECW before the promotion folded in April 2001. Spike then signed with the WWF and joined his kayfabe half-brothers.
The Dudley family after Extreme Championship Wrestling
Buh-Buh Ray (renamed "Bubba Ray") and D-Von Dudley would go on to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), winning the World Tag Team Championship eight times, as well as the WWE Tag Team Championship and WCW Tag Team Championship once each. Though initially heels, they had much more success as faces, a different turn from their evil days in ECW. Spike Dudley joined his "half-brothers" in 2001 and remained with them on and off until their collective release in 2005. For a short time, Stacy Keibler acted as a valet for the Dudleys under the name of "The Duchess of Dudleyville". The Backseat Boyz, Trent Acid and Johnny Kashmere, appeared on an episode of WWF Sunday Night Heat as "The Backseat Dudleys."
Several more Dudleys were created outside of ECW. Big Dick Dudley formed a tag team on the independent circuit with Mark Vartanian, using the name "Psycho Sam Dudley", while Snot Dudley formed a tag team with Jeff Roth, using the name "Schmuck Dudley".
In early 2007, actor Steve Schirripa appeared alongside Bubba Ray (renamed "Brother Ray") and D-Von (renamed "Brother Devon") in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where he was depicted as a distant relative of the Dudley family.
Trademark of name
After the release of Bubba Ray and D-Von from WWE, they were informed by the company that they could not use any aspect of the "Dudley" name in any other promotions thanks to WWE trademarking the names before their release. This decision was controversial because Paul Heyman, the owner of ECW, had "given" the men (including Spike) the rights to the gimmick out of loyalty when ECW folded, but never actually transferred the rights in any official manner. The WWE's trademark application cited 1999 as first use, though the gimmick is years older than that.
Although the former Dudleys attempted to fight WWE for ownership, they were unsuccessful before their debut in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) and instead took the monikers of "Brother Ray " (Bubba Ray) and "Brother Devon" (D-Von), combining under the new name "Team 3D". As a jab back at WWE they wore shirts with middle fingers on them with the message "Trademark This!" and constantly tread a fine line of the official trademark by either having others use their common phrase "Get the tables!" or almost saying it before stopping short right before. They were originally going to adopt the last name of Deadly when they applied for it to be copyrighted but for some unknown reason to the public they have yet to use the name. When Spike was released from WWE he was forced to work under the name Matt "LSD" Hyson in various independent promotions. Upon joining his brothers in TNA he was re-christened "Brother Runt".
Yet one more person has laid claim to the intellectual property that is The Dudley Boy gimmick. Former ECW wrestler Raven has said multiple times that he is the person who came up with the original Dudley idea. Tazz has corroborated his story, but added that it was not just Raven who came up with the idea, but Raven and Tazz together.
Dudleys outside of ECW
- Extreme Championship Wrestling
- History of ECW, episode 9/17/95