Big Boss Man (wrestler)
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|Big Boss Man|
Big Boss Man at a charity event in 2002
|Birth name||Ray Washington Traylor Jr.|
May 2, 1963|
September 22, 2004 (aged 41)|
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
Angela Traylor (m. 1989)
|Professional wrestling career|
Big Boss Man|
Big Bubba Rogers
The Guardian Angel
|Billed height||6 ft 6 in (198 cm)|
|Billed weight||330 lb (150 kg)|
|Billed from||Cobb County, Georgia|
|Trained by||Ted Allen|
Ray Washington Traylor Jr. (May 2, 1963 – September 22, 2004)  was an American professional wrestler who was best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) under the ring name Big Boss Man, as well as for his appearances with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as The Boss, The Man, The Guardian Angel, and Big Bubba Rogers. During his appearances with the WWF, Big Boss Man held the WWF World Tag Team Championship once and the WWF Hardcore Championship four times. On March 7, 2016, Traylor was confirmed to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016. He was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame 2016 by Slick and the award was accepted by his wife Angela and his daughters Lacy and Megan.
- 1 Professional wrestling career
- 1.1 Jim Crockett Promotions (1986–1987)
- 1.2 Universal Wrestling Federation (1987)
- 1.3 World Wrestling Federation
- 1.4 All Japan Pro Wrestling (1993)
- 1.5 World Championship Wrestling
- 1.6 Return to WWF/E
- 1.7 International Wrestling Association of Japan (2004)
- 2 Personal life
- 3 Championships and accomplishments
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Professional wrestling career
Jim Crockett Promotions (1986–1987)
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A former corrections officer in Cobb County, Georgia, Traylor debuted in 1985, initially working as a jobber for Jim Crockett Promotions, under his real name. Seeing his potential, head booker Dusty Rhodes pulled Traylor from TV for 12 weeks, in order to repackage him as "Big Bubba Rogers", a silent bodyguard for Jim Cornette, who, along with the Midnight Express, was feuding with the James Boys (Dusty Rhodes and Magnum T.A., under masks). He got a solid push as a seemingly unstoppable heel and feuded with Rhodes (the top face at the time) in a series of bunkhouse stampede matches in 1986. He and Rhodes were tied for wins in this series, leading to a tiebreaking cage match, which Rhodes won.
Universal Wrestling Federation (1987)
Traylor lost the title to "Dr. Death" Steve Williams on July 11, 1987 in Oklahoma City, OK.
In the second WarGames match on July 30, 1987, The Road Warriors, Nikita Koloff, Dusty Rhodes, and Paul Ellering defeated The Four Horsemen and Traylor as The War Machine at 19:38 when Road Warrior Animal forced the War Machine to submit by gouging his eyes with a spiked armband.
World Wrestling Federation
Twin Towers (1988–1990)
In June 1988, Traylor joined the WWF as "Big Boss Man", a character inspired by his previous career as a corrections officer. Wrestling as a heel and managed by Slick, Boss Man's post-match routine often included handcuffing his defeated opponents to the ring ropes and beating them with a nightstick or ball and chain.
After defeating Koko B. Ware at the inaugural SummerSlam, Boss Man began his first major WWF angle by attacking Hulk Hogan on "The Brother Love Show". During this feud, he also challenged Randy Savage for the WWF Championship, and formed a team with Akeem (formerly billed as One Man Gang, his UWF opponent) to form The Twin Towers. They feuded with Hogan and Savage (who had formed The Mega Powers), and were a key part in the top storyline of Savage turning on Hogan, leading to the WrestleMania V main event; in the later part of a tag match between the four on Saturday Night's Main Event, Hogan abandoned Savage to attend to the hurt Miss Elizabeth and went backstage. After being double-teamed for a while, Savage eventually rallied until Hogan returned to the match. After Savage tagged Hogan in, he slapped Hogan and left him to defeat The Twin Towers on his own. This led to The Mega Powers' demise as Savage beat Hulk in the backstage medical room where fellow wrestlers, managers and staff had to break them up.
At WrestleMania V, The Twin Towers defeated The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) and then, for most of spring and early summer 1989, feuded with Demolition (Ax and Smash) over the Tag Team Championship. Meanwhile, Boss Man concluded his feud with Hogan in a series of steel cage matches; one of the most memorable aired on the May 27 episode of Saturday Night's Main Event, with Hogan's WWF Championship on the line. During the match, Hogan superplexed Boss Man off the top of the cage.
The Big Boss Man turned face on the February 24, 1990 episode of Superstars, when Ted DiBiase had paid Slick to have Boss Man retrieve the Million Dollar Championship belt from Jake Roberts, who had stolen it. Boss Man retrieved a bag containing both the belt and Roberts' pet python, Damien. On The Brother Love Show, he refused to accept DiBiase's money for the bag, and returned it to Roberts.
Boss Man then feuded with former partner Akeem, defeating him in less than two minutes at WrestleMania VI. As part of his face turn, he later stopped handcuffing and beating jobbers after matches. He made peace with Hogan, appearing in his corner in his match against Earthquake at Summerslam 1990, and teaming with him at the 1990 Survivor Series, along with "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and Tugboat, to defeat Earthquake's team.
Singles competition (1990–1993)
In the fall of 1990, Boss Man began feuding with Bobby Heenan and The Heenan Family after Heenan continually insulted Boss Man's mother. He won a series of matches against Heenan Family members in 1991, including The Barbarian at the Royal Rumble and Mr. Perfect (via disqualification) at WrestleMania VII in an Intercontinental Championship match, which featured the return of André the Giant. At the SummerSlam, he defeated The Mountie in a Jailhouse Match, a match in which the loser must spend a night in jail. This was the only such match ever held by the promotion. Boss Man then briefly feuded with Irwin R. Schyster.
In 1992, Boss Man began feuding with Nailz, an ex-convict character who, in a series of promos aired before his debut, claimed Boss Man had been his abusive Officer in prison, and warned he was seeking revenge. On the May 30 episode of WWF Superstars, Nailz — clad in an orange prison jumpsuit — ran into the ring and attacked Boss Man, handcuffing him to the top rope and repeatedly choking and beating him with the nightstick. Boss Man took time off TV to sell his (kayfabe) injuries, eventually returning and having a series of matches with Nailz in the latter half of 1992. The feud culminated at Survivor Series, when Boss Man defeated Nailz in a Nightstick on a Pole match. This was the final push for the Boss Man during this run, as he was subsequently used as enhancement talent against Razor Ramon, Bam Bam Bigelow, and Yokozuna on the house show circuit.
The Big Boss Man's last pay-per-view match of this run came at the 1993 Royal Rumble, where he lost to Bam Bam Bigelow. He left the WWF shortly after a house show in Gatineau, Quebec on March 14. During the next few months he made appearances in the USWA and SMW. On December 4 he made a one-time return to the WWF as a special guest referee to officiate the main event of a house show in Anaheim, CA between Bret Hart and Jeff Jarrett. Bossman was expected to rejoin the WWF but elected to sign with WCW instead.
All Japan Pro Wrestling (1993)
Traylor had a brief stint in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) in 1993 as "Big Bubba", a name he had used in his previous tour with the promotion, the 1988 Champion Carnival. Here, he mainly worked tag matches, often with Stan Hansen, Kendall Windham or "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, but also defeated Mighty Inoue, Johnny Smith and Tamon Honda in singles matches.
World Championship Wrestling
Early years (1993–1995)
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Traylor returned to the United States to debut for World Championship Wrestling (WCW), as "The Boss", on the December 18, 1993 episode of WCW Saturday Night, pinning the International World Champion, Rick Rude, in a non-title match. A face, he received a title match against Rude at Starrcade '93: 10th Anniversary, but lost. In light of legal complaints from the WWF regarding the similarity of "The Boss" to "Big Boss Man", Traylor was renamed "The Guardian Angel", and wore similar attire to those in the organization he was named after. He feuded with Big Van Vader for most of 1994. In early 1995, he turned heel, and became again known as "Big Bubba Rogers". He defeated Sting at Uncensored in 1995.
Dungeon of Doom and feud with nWo (1996–1998)
In 1996, Rogers joined The Dungeon of Doom. He feuded with former Dungeon of Doom member John Tenta, and newcomer Glacier. By the end of the year, he had turned on the Dungeon of Doom and joined the nWo. His stay in the nWo was brief, with Traylor knocked out by an unknown assailant at the start of the February 17, 1997 edition of Nitro, with Traylor later explaining Eric Bischoff fired him from the nWo while he was temporarily paralyzed. Traylor returned on September 1, now using his real name and vowing to rip Bischoff's head off. He feuded with the nWo, defeating members such as Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, and Vincent. He formed an alliance with The Steiner Brothers, who also sought DiBiase as their manager. The union abruptly ended when Scott Steiner turned on them to join the nWo in February 1998. After losing his final WCW match to Bill Goldberg on the March 30 episode of Nitro, Traylor sat out and let his contract expire.
Return to WWF/E
Hardcore Championship pursuit (1998–2000)
Traylor rejoined the WWF shortly after his WCW release and once again became "Big Boss Man". On October 12, 1998, he returned to television with a new look, abandoning his blue police shirt for an all-black SWAT-style uniform, including a tactical vest and gloves. He served as Vince McMahon's bodyguard during his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin and his later feud with D-Generation X. He briefly wore a mask, before his identity was revealed.
Boss Man was one of the first members of McMahon's heel stable, The Corporation, and served as a bodyguard for other members, such as Vince's son Shane. While in The Corporation, Boss Man won the Tag Team Championship with Ken Shamrock, won the Hardcore Championship four times, and lost to The Undertaker at WrestleMania XV in a Hell in a Cell match. After this match, The Undertaker hanged him from the roof of the cage (an illusion made possible by a body harness concealed under Traylor's outfit).
In the WWF's Hardcore division, Boss Man's major feud was with Al Snow, a feud that eventually involved Snow's pet chihuahua, Pepper. At SummerSlam, the two had a Falls Count Anywhere match that spilled into the backstage area, the street and, finally, into a nearby bar. Just prior to the match, Snow had set Pepper's pet carrier near the entranceway. Minutes into the match, Boss Man picked it up, taunted Pepper, struck Snow with the carrier and carelessly tossed it behind him. Commentator Jim Ross immediately apologized to viewers for the act, and stated that Pepper had been removed from the box before the match.
Two weeks later, Boss Man kidnapped and ransomed Pepper, arranging a meeting in which he fed Snow a meat dish supposedly made from Pepper's remains. The two settled their feud in a Kennel from Hell match at Unforgiven, in which a blue solid steel cage surrounded the ring, itself and ringside surrounded by the chain-link fenced "cell". The object of the match was to escape from the cage and the cell while avoiding "attack dogs" (which turned out to be disappointingly docile) positioned outside the ring. Snow won the match and retained the Hardcore title, which had been returned to him by Davey Boy Smith, who had defeated Boss Man for it. Boss Man would later win back the Hardcore title in a triple threat match involving Al Snow and The Big Show, and would hold it until January 2000, when he lost it to Test.
Boss Man then feuded with The Big Show over the WWF Championship. During the feud, Boss Man showed up at Big Show's father's funeral, made some disrespectful remarks, then chained the casket to the back of his car and drove off. The Big Show attempted to save the coffin by jumping on it, riding it for a few yards before losing his grip and tumbling off, the feud also included a segment in which Boss Man invaded the home of Big Show's mother and forced her on camera to admit her son was born an illegitimate child. Boss Man became the #1 contender for the WWF Championship by defeating The Rock on the November 15, 1999 episode of Raw. At Armageddon, The Big Show defeated him to retain the title and end the feud.
Final years (2000–2003)
On the March 19 episode of Sunday Night Heat, he introduced Bull Buchanan as his protégé. They teamed to defeat The Godfather and D'Lo Brown at WrestleMania 2000, and the Acolytes Protection Agency the next month at Backlash. On the June 5 Raw is War, after losing to The Hardy Boyz and subsequently arguing, Boss Man knocked Buchanan out with his nightstick when his back was turned and the team split up.
In the summer of 2000, Boss Man disappeared from the WWF's primary television shows, wrestling mainly on Jakked and Heat, where he had a minor feud with Crash Holly until suffering a legit injury in January 2001. When he returned on the December 20, 2001 of SmackDown, he formed a team with Booker T, after Vince McMahon ordered him to be Booker's enforcer. on the December 27 episode of Smackdown, Bossman and Booker T defeated Stone Cold in a handicap match. on the January 7, 2002 episode of Raw, Bossman and Booker T was defeated by Stone Cold & The Rock. on the January 17 episode of Smackdown, Bossman lost to Diamond Dallas Page. At the Royal Rumble (2002), Bossman competed in the Royal Rumble match where he was eliminated by Rikishi. On the January 24 episode of Smackdown, Bossman lost to Rikishi. The team quietly split in late January 2002, and Boss Man returned to Jakked/Metal and Heat. On the February 2 episode of Metal, Bossman defeated The Hurricane. On the February 2 episode of Metal, Bossman defeated Perry Saturn. In April, he formed a short-lived tag team with Mr. Perfect after both were drafted to the Raw brand. On the March 23 episode of WWF Jakked, Bossman and Mr. Perfect lost to The APA. On the April 1 episode of Raw, Bossman and Mr. Perfect lost to The Hardy Boyz. On the April 14 episode of Heat, Bossman lost to Bradshaw. On the April 28 episode of Heat, Bossman defeated Crash Holly. On the May 5 episode of Heat. Bossman lost to D'Lo Brown. On the May 20, 2002 Heat taping, he lost his final WWE match to Tommy Dreamer.
Traylor was assigned to train developmental wrestlers in Ohio Valley Wrestling, before being released from WWE in 2003.
International Wrestling Association of Japan (2004)
Traylor's final matches were in the International Wrestling Association of Japan, where he competed in a tournament for the vacant IWA World Heavyweight Championship. He made it to the final by defeating Freddie Krueger before losing to Jim Duggan.
Traylor had two daughters, Lacy Abilene Traylor and Megan Chyanne Traylor, and was married to Angela, his childhood sweetheart.
Death and legacy
Traylor died of a heart attack on September 22, 2004, aged 41 at his home in Dallas, Georgia. He was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016, with his wife and daughters accepting the award on his behalf.
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Pro Wrestling This Week
- Wrestler of the Week (May 3–9, 1987)
- Universal Wrestling Federation
- World Wrestling Federation/WWE
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- "Big Boss Man". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
- "Big Boss Man's OWOW profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
- Big Boss Man « Wrestler-Datenbank « CAGEMATCH – The Internet Wrestling Database. Cagematch.de. Retrieved on November 20, 2016.
- "Millions of Cemetery Records and Online Memorials". Find A Grave.
- Pappolla, Ryan (March 7, 2016). "Big Boss Man to be inducted into WWE Hall of Fame's Class of 2016". Retrieved March 7, 2016.
- WWF History – Big Boss Man (from heel to face) YouTube video, March 17, 2008, retrieved October 16, 2016
- Big Boss Man's 1993 WWF matches, from. WrestlingData.com. Retrieved on November 20, 2016.
- 1993. thehistoryofwwe.com
- "Big Boss Man". Wrestlingdata. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
- Csonka, Larry (September 24, 2004). "Tremendous Tirades Special: RIP Ray Traylor". 411mania.com.
- Oliver, Greg (September 24, 2004). "Friends remember Big Bossman". Canoe.ca. Québecor Média. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
- IN MEMORY OF RAY TRAYLOR – "The Big Boss Man", by Tammy L. Fincham. Paulding.com. Retrieved on November 20, 2016.
- RWT Enterprises profile at. Chamberofcommerce.com. Retrieved on November 20, 2016.
- Clevett, Jason. "Ray "Big Bossman" Traylor passes away". Canoe Slam. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 – 1992". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on August 13, 2011. Retrieved August 3, 2009.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2008.
- Pedicino, Joe; Solie, Gordon (hosts) (May 9, 1987). "Pro Wrestling This Week". Superstars of Wrestling. Atlanta, Georgia. Syndicated. WATL.
- Solie's Title Histories:UWF – UNIVERSAL WRESTLING FEDERATION. Solie.org (May 30, 1986). Retrieved on 2016-11-20.
- Hardcore Championship. Wwe.com (November 16, 2016). Retrieved on 2016-11-20.
- "Big Boss Man & Ken Shamrock". WWE. Archived from the original on November 29, 2005. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
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