Something to Wrestle – The Big Boss Man – Episode 99
Release Date: May 4, 2018
Recap By: Pradeep Kachhala
- HBK on the network show was discussed – the WWE liked this show the most which surprised Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson.
- BP plugged some of the external work outside the podcasts which he is doing around the country – given that I live in the UK this didn’t really interest me much!
- Episode 100 will be a Brother Love special, while on YouTube they will cover Royal Rumble 1992 even though BP wasn’t in the WWE at the time.
- CT said that on the RR 1992 episode they mentioned that in 1992 Hart was negotiating with WCW and was planning to take the IC title over with him.
Early days of the BBM
- Born in May 2nd 1963, Ray Traylor grew up in Rome, Georgia; this was also where Arn Anderson was from.
- He spent some time as a prison guard in Cobb County Georgia…
- BP met Ray Traylor when he was the bodyguard of Jim Cornette and was very green at the time, no one really knew whether BBM could work but he was a very nice man and universally liked.
- Ted Allan got BBM booked as enhancement talent, but BP didn’t know him very well.
- BBM did jobs for Crockett for the Midnight Express and Road Warriors. Dusty spotted how smooth he worked as an enhancement talent and was repacked as Big Bubba Rogers.
- BP said that as Bubba Rogers worked well especially with faces. The point where Dusty broke a chair over BBM’s head and his no selling of it was his break out moment.
- The chair was supposed to be “gimmicked” and Klondike Bill from WCW forgot to do this.
- Cornette always tried to make BBM laugh on TV during their promos and BBM had to turn his head away on camera so he wouldn’t be caught sniggering.
- BBM’s fingers were trapped in a cab door once and completely no sold it in front of the driver. He only screamed in pain once he got inside the building when the fans weren’t watching.
- BP mentioned that BBM was old school and always stayed in character in public.
- Starrcade 1986 – big moment in BBM’s career, he forgets to catch Cornette when he jumps from the scaffolding and Cornette ends ups injuring both knees.
- As a reference to their future tag team, BBM beat One Man Gang for the UWF title once Crockett bought out UWF.
- Starrcade 1987 – Midnights vs. Rock and Roll in yet another scaffolding match. Everyone in the match was paid $10k, except BBM who was only paid $5k and subsequently felt underappreciated given he was taking the same risks. This lead to talks with the WWE.
- BBM reached out to Pat Patterson and VKM liked him right away.
- Saturday Nights Main Event 1985 Andre was referred to as the Big Boss Man. VKM saw Ray Traylor as the prison guard fitting for a name of BBM.
- The name BBM for Ray didn’t go down well with Andre and Ray Traylor had to win him over.
- BBM was seen as a giant heel opponent for Hogan.
- He made his debut on June 1st 1988 handcuffing jobbers to the ropes and using his nightstick to beat them up. This idea came from Hogan seeing a segment about police brutality on the news.
- Reason for using Slick as BBM’s manager rather than Bobby Heenan – BP thought that Bobby had a lot of guys already and that Slick would help BBM in his promos.
- Hogan liked working with BBM because he bumped so well. BBM made the faces look good and was believable when he received heel heat from the crowd.
- CT mentioned the wrestler known as “Pork Chop Cash” – BP joked that he was very close to having the belt put on him.
- October 1988 Hogan is on the Brother Love Show – BP said the idea was to handcuff Hogan to the railings and for BBM to beat him up. VKM wasn’t happy with the segment; he thought people didn’t want to see Hogan in a helpless position so the angle had to be redone the next day. The difference in the 2 segments was that Hogan made a comeback and chased BBM and Brother Love down in the reshoot.
- BBM made $12k a week in working with Hogan in 1988.
- Hulk sang BBM praises all the time.
- Survivor Series 1988 – BBM was in the main event and CT mentioned this was a quick rise to the top of the company. BP mentioned the vignettes that they produced in a maximum security prison prior to BBM debut helped BBM a lot.
- In the vignettes they used live prisoners, BP said this was an eerie feeling, BBM though was at ease and knew how to rile the prisoners up, and the promos were unscripted.
- BBM picked up the promos instantly.
- Twin Towers team up for the 1st time; they were formed so the Mega Powers could team up against them.
- Matches with Hogan around the country continued to break records such as the Cage Match in Anaheim.
- Hogan vs. BBM in a steel cage was Schiavone’s favorite wrestling memory.
- BBM also started working with the Warrior to get him over.
- CT feels that if BBM was in early 1986 he could have been in the Bundy spot and the timing of his arrival meant he never main evented as a singles against Hogan. BP agreed with this assertion.
- BBM v Hogan in a steel cage on NBC Saturday Night’s Main Event. VKM felt this was the right time to end this angle.
- BP was editing the match prior to it being shown on BC when a livid VKM called him to say that Dave Meltzer (DM) was going to expose BBM cutting himself (in the match v Hogan) to the mainstream press.
- VKM wanted to know how DM got a copy of the SNME tape, BP said he didn’t know but there was no shot of it on tape and the copy of the match never left the studio.
- NBC had done an ad for the match and one shot was where BBM was cutting his head, this is according to BP where DM assumes BBM was cutting his head. BP says this wasn’t the point where BBM was cutting his head.
- BP called DM a fraud and that he didn’t know what he was talking about.
- Since this podcast DM has responded to this claim on Twitter.
- BP mentioned how they spent money editing Hogan’s bald patch out and shooting matches where Hogan’s bald spot wasn’t visible.
- Twin Towers and Demolition – talk about a title run but they couldn’t work out who would then subsequently beat them
- Dusty Rhodes feud – Given their past and how BBM left NWA, he was slightly reticent initially about working with Dusty. VKM saw it as a way of getting BBM back over after the Hogan feud, and Dusty made him look good as he felt the original BBM creation was his.
- Duty and BBM ball and chain match – BP 1st heard of this when VKM wanted something visual for BBM to have.
- BBM steals Damian from Jake Roberts for DiBiase as the million dollar belt was in the snake bag; the angle leads to a BBM face turn.
- The face turn was because BBM was so well liked backstage, VKM thought that he fans would like him equally.
- BBM and Brother Love segment – BP was beaten by BBM with the ball and chain. BP said this was a “piece of cake” compared to how Warrior would work with him.
- BBM now teaming with Hogan on house shows to help get him over.
- WM6 and short match with Akeem – BP said it was for time purposes and had to cut it short. BP felt more should have been done with the angle given how over the Twin Towers were over.
- NJPW – BBM and Jake Roberts match – both were faces but the Japanese remembered BBM as a heel so they wanted to keep them in the roles that the Japanese fans were familiar with.
- BBM and DiBiase feud continues over the summer – VKM liked their chemistry and matches.
- BP also mentioned the segments when they went back to BBM’s Cobb County roots and the glowing references that his colleagues and old school teachers gave him to get him over more.
- BP got into trouble where they were going to show a Cobb County officer willing to take a bribe from DiBiase on camera.
- BBM was put in Hogan’s corner at Summerslam rather than Tugboat. VKM was finished with the Tugboat idea and put BBM instead.
- BBM lost a lot of weight around the time, mainly due to knee problems; VKM was keen on him losing a few pounds too.
- Bobby and the BBM mother insults – this was an accident. During the DiBiase vignettes with BBMN’s mother, Heenan started on BBM mother and the ribbing started organic and natural which took a life of its own.
- Heenan liked working with BBM because he never hurt him.
- Royal Rumble and feud with Barbarian – this was an extension of the Heenan feud.
- WM7 – IC match with Perfect. There was talk about putting the belt on BBM but VKM preferred Perfect as the champion. BBM and Perfect were good friends outside wrestling.
- 1991-92 – BP takes leaves from WWE so he isn’t around for this period.
- CT went through the Mountie feud and the Summerslam 1991 Jailhouse match. BP felt this was probably a VKM idea and was a little hokey.
- BBM feud with Nailz. BP met Nailz when he was The Viking and working with Bill Watts. BP said he was a unique guy and not a people person according to VKM. BP’s time with Nailz was limited.
- BP returns in October 1992 and Survivor Series Nightstick on a Pole Match. Nailz wasn’t a good athletic worker and was simply an attraction.
- CT mentioned the physical altercation between VKM and Nailz.
- Nailz was unhappy with his Summerslam payoff and was caught trying to strangle VKM. Police were called and Nailz claimed sexual assault as his reason for the attack. He claimed that he was sexually assaulted once previously at MSG by VKM.
- Hebner heard the argument and confirmed the attack by Nailz but said no sexual assault by VKM occurred.
- Nailz was trying to get 150k from VKM.
- BP was only told of the incident after by Paul Bearer. BP said it was a weird but it was business as usual straight after.
- BBM had put on some weight again. BP thought that VKM was looking to cool him off a little and BBM had become a little frustrated with his push.
- Eventually moved to WCW, BP felt he left on good terms and VKM was looking to give him a rest as he couldn’t be on top forever.
- BP felt that BBM never needed a title.
- WCW run over 5 years included gimmicks like The Boss, The Guardian, Bog Bubba Rogers etc.
- Returned as Bossman and came back 50 pounds lighter.
- Russo had the idea to bring him back and VKM had a soft spot for the character
- Look was different with a riot squad gear as VKM bodyguard/enforcer with a different look and feel.
- Everyone was happy to see BBM when he came back as he never burned bridges.
- BP told the story of BBM missing his spot to interfere with SCSA’s match at Survivor Series 1998. In BBM’s absence Briscoe had to hit SCSA with a really light chair shot – Briscoe was concerned about Steve’s neck.
- BBM was happy to be in a big program and working with the top guys.
- DX impersonating the Corporation and Chyna imitating the BBM was very funny according to BP and helped get them over.
- BBM wins the Hardcore and Tag Team championship – BP still didn’t think he needed these titles even though he didn’t keep them very long anyway.
- BP mentioned the bump that VKM took when Chyna threw him over the top rope to qualify for the Royal Rumble. He suffered severe whiplash and BP thought at the time he had broken his neck.
- BBM feud with the Undertaker – behind the scenes BP said that they got along great. BP thought that the matches were good too.
- BBM getting tied to the Undertaker symbol– BP unconvincingly denies that this was similar to a crucifixion.
- The WM match between BBM and Undertaker – BP said that this was a terrible contest. BBM was wearing a harness under his outfit. The aim was to hoist him to the top of the building as a visual.
- It became a debacle as so many people like Edge and Christian were out of position for the spot. The crowd was silent and it made no sense and Undertaker hated it.
- It was even worse given the BBM returned to work right away.
- Coalminer’s glove match with Test and BBM – CT questioned the logic of such a match in 1999. BP thought it was a colloquial gimmick, but admitted that in 1999 it was a WTF moment.
- BBM and Owen – BP said that they were friends and it was tough for BBM to go out right after the incident.
- Gimmick matches were on the up, in addition to a coalminer’s match there was a blindfold match – BP hinted these were Russo ideas were there was no reason for the stipulation and the matches were just for gimmicks sakes.
- BBM was happy to do the gimmick matches.
- BP thought the BBM and Al Snow feud was very good especially their hardcore match at Summerslam, he described it as an absurd spectacle and even today it sounds like an exciting match. The type of match suited BBM’s abilities at the time.
- BBM stealing, cooking and feeding Pepper the dog to Al Snow. BP described this as something to be careful about suggesting random things to VKM aloud. The angle was based on the story that Mr Fuji fed Snuka’s pet dog to him. BP said it was tasteless entertainment and wasn’t a big fan of it or something he was proud of.
- Al Snow and Pepper on a pole match – this actually happened and I don’t recall it! Suggested names were “leftovers on a pole” and “puppy on a pole” match.
- The cage inside a cell with dogs surrounding the ring was described as “bowling shoe ugly” by Jim Ross. The dogs paid no attention and kept barking of each other. Nobody cared about the match and the dogs didn’t even chase BBM. BP thinks the match could go down as the worst match of all time. BP said it was one of most ill-conceived matches of all time. Outside the ring the dogs were humping each other; BP reiterated that it was horrible, although to this day, Al Snow will continue to defend the match. VKM thought it was hilarious because there was nothing else you could do about it.
- Feud with the Big Show – DM disliked the fake death of Big Show’s father storyline and felt given recent wrestler deaths and Ross and Lawler’s solemn reaction to the news that the angle was in bad taste. BP of course disagreed with DM but did feel that the angle was too soon.
- There was going to be a taser angle with BBM and Big Show. BP in order to demonstrate to the Bog Show that it was safe took a low voltage shot backstage. When BP was downed by the taser, Show decided not to do the idea. This was why they used the tear gas angle instead.
- CT read out a poem that BBM wrote dedicated to Show’s dead father. BP said he hated it on all levels especially given it was only a few months after Owen’s death.
- Big Show’s dad’s funeral – BP was called on a Sunday by VKM to tell him to go and produce the segment so it didn’t go wrong. VKM wanted it tongue in cheek and over the top. Given it was Sunday there were people visiting departed ones and people were being buried that day. BP had never filmed in a cemetery during the day and it was full of families so BP was thinking as to how he would film a hokey funeral. But with the Blue Brothers Car that BBM drove being so loud with BBM shouting through the loudspeaker BP knew he only had one shot before they were kicked out of the cemetery. Show offered to jump on the casket as the car was moving, BP agreed as long as it didn’t look silly. People watched on in disgust, Show jumps on the casket as the car driven by BBM is moving, but the car is hitting bumps and BP ordered him to keep going. It was all shot in one take, BP stayed behind to apologize and pay people off and it was the last time he used the cemetery.
- VKM loved the segment, as did Show and BBM. They saw it as campy and some of the best work that they have ever done. BP said that it may have not been in everyone’s taste but it was a success to pull such a skit off.
- Decision to split the team of BBM and Albert – BP said it was a lack of chemistry, WWE were trying new things and not everything worked.
- Tazz feuds with BBM – BP said it was to give Tazz a victory over bigger and top guys. In addition he teamed with Bull Buchanan to educate Bull on how to work.
- The BBM and Bull team was promptly split up – BP said the angle was so that it could show BBM couldn’t keep friends and was only in for himself.
- BBM is pushed down the card and appearing on Jakked and the house shows. At this point BBM was happy to be on the roster and the BBM wanted a little more out of him on his second run which they didn’t really get.
- BBM teams with Mr Perfect – it felt like old times and BP felt putting 2 veterans together they could work with younger guys like Randy Orton.
- BBM last WWE match was against Tommy Dreamer.
- BBM career ended when he had an accident and hit a deer.
- At this point BBM was a little bummed out by not being on the road all the time.
- BBM was sent to OVW to rehab and hurt his shoulder. BP felt that he tried to come back too soon which lead to the shoulder injury and a further stint out.
- Hennig passed away in 2003 and BBM took it very hard. BP spoke to BBM and he felt he should have been there to save Hennig. This was the only time that BP had spoken to Ray.
- DiBiase spoke of BBM turning to religion later on in his life.
- BBM final match was against Duggan in Japan in 2004.
- He dies of a massive heart attack in his hotel room, found by his wife.
- BP on BBM’s death – the wrestling business can make people callous. BP said that BBM was too young, and loved his family a lot.
- BP remembers the “chubby boss man shots” when he first came in 1988. He was innocent and fresh and BP misses him to this day.
- BP thinks BBM’s legacy would be his original run with Hogan and this is what he will be remembered for.
Responses to questions
- BP doesn’t feel that BBM left his 1dt run in WWE due to the scandal and bad press, which Cornette claims BBM said during his stint in Smokey Mountain.
- BP thinks BBM’s best match was his cage matches with Hogan.
- Didn’t agree that One Man Gang rather than Akeem would have been a better fit for the Twin Towers.
- BBM was never close to winning a title.
- BBM practiced all the time backstage spinning his nightstick.
- BBM tapped the steps on his second run with his nightstick just to create a presence.
- There was a BBM lookalike who was involved in a string of bank robberies. BBM had to go to Georgie to clear his name!
- In his second run there was no consideration to bring his old uniform look back.
- BBM never had a concern for heights during his WM15 hanging.
Final thoughts on the podcast
- A fun beginning, great nostalgia for those fans of late 80s and early 90s wrestling.
- Tailed off towards the end – seemed like BP wasn’t particularly inspired to talk about his second run.
- Overall a good if not great podcast, but definitely worth listening to.