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Dudley family

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General

The Dudley Family was a large professional wrestling stable of (kayfabe) half-brothers in Extreme Championship Wrestling.

Gimmick

The main gimmick of the group was that, despite their obvious physical appearances and differing races, they were all said to be the sons of the fictional Willy Loman-esque "Big Daddy" Dudley, who had travelled [America as a salesman throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Aside from their races and sizes, the Dudleys did all have common traits, they shared a similar appearance of taped glasses, unkempt hair and all wore the same wrestling gear—tie-dye shirts 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)

Career

Introduction

The original Dudley Boys debuted in ECW on July 1, 1995 with a win over The Pitbulls. They were Dudley Dudley (the only "pure" Dudley in that both of his parents had the same last name, Dudley), Big Dick Dudley (the menacing enforcer, who Dudley Dudley claimed was the result of Big Daddy's fornication with the Holland Tunnel) and Lil' Snot Dudley (the team underdog).

Expansion

The original Dudley Boys were members of Raven's Nest throughout the summer of 1995. After Snot was injured by The Pitbulls at Hardcore Heaven, he was replaced by Dances with Dudley, supposedly the result of Big Daddy Dudley's visit to a Cheyenne Indian reservation in Oklahoma, where he allegedly "poked a hontas". Somewhat suspiciously, Dances With Dudley could only speak Spanish or sing "Ten Little Indians".

Dances With Dudley was followed by the stuttering, dancing, overweight hillbilly Buh Buh Ray Dudley. 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 (hailing from the 'Little New Zealand neighborhood of Dudleyville'). At the Hardcore Heaven '97 pay-per-view event, porn star Jenna Jameson acted as their one-time valet during their tag-title defense versus PG-13. On April 13, 1996 Dances With Dudley suffered a leg injury, and was attacked by the debuting African American 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 all this time 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 Buh Buh (who he helped 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"), the last hold out face Dudley.

Depletion

Big Dick left ECW in 1999, and Buh Buh 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 signed with the WWF following this, and joined his kayfabe half-brothers.

Members

Dudleys after ECW

Buh-Buh Ray (renamed "Bubba Ray") and D-Von Dudley would go on to massive success in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), winning the World Tag Team Championship 8 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 . However, no other Dudley siblings arrived in WWE (at least not under the Dudley name).

For a short time, Stacy Keibler acted as a valet for the Dudleys under the name of "The Duchess of Dudleyville".

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.

On January 8, 2001 in the World Wrestling Federation, Edge and Christian introduced an elderly couple, Mother Faye and Levon, who they claimed were the parents of Bubba Ray and D-Von. The couple were later attacked by The Dudley Boyz.

On May 16, 2002, Alex Rizzo was found dead from kidney failure in his Copiague, New York apartment at the age of 34.

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.

Ownership of "Dudley" name

After the release of Bubba Ray and D-Von from the 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 was controversial because Paul Heyman had "given" the men (including Spike) the rights to the gimmick out of loyalty when Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) folded, but never actually transferred the rights in any official manner. Adding to that the WWE's trademark application cited 1999 as first use, though the gimmick is years older than that.

Though 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 tred on the 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. Another time, during a promo at TNA Lockdown, Brother Ray stated that they would rather go back and work for that miserable company in Stanford, CT than lose their match.

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.

As it stands now WWE owns the right to the gimmick, but the former Dudley Boys (all but Hyson, because he owns his name) are said to be preparing to fight their ownership in court. All the same, Paul Heyman has given up, unlike Raven and Tazz, who continue to fight for it, but without legal action.

See also

External links

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