My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Friday, September 24, 2004

Big BossMan passes away

Ray Traylor, better known to wrestling fans everywhere as the Big BossMan in WWF/WWE passed away at his home on Wednesday night, 23/09/2004. The cause of death was believed to be a massive heart attack. He was just 42yrs old.
I remember the BossMan when he debuted as the huge prison security guard who's first major feud was with the legendary Hulk Hogan in the early '90s. As a badass heel, he would usually hand-cuff his opponents to the ropes after a match and administer some "hard times" on them by beating them with his nightstick! He also had a stint in the tag leagues in the odd-couple team of the Twin Towers, paired up with the monstrous Akeem the African Dream (aka One Man Gang) to form one of the largest tag teams of that time.
Then the Bossman would turn face when he found out the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase payed off his then manager Slick to retrive his Million Dollar Championship belt which was stolen by Jake "The Snake" Roberts and kept in his snake bag. Bossman declined to be bought and returned the snake bag, belt and all, back to Roberts, and began a feud with Dibiase shortly after.
Another big turning point in his career saw Bossman come out as Hulk Hogan's mystery enforcer for his match with Earthquake at SummerSlam. Earthquake had hospitalized Hogan's original cornerman, Tugboat Thomas, and the whole crowd went nuts when Bossman's theme hit and he came out to side with his former enemy.
There wasn't really much for the Bossman after that though, save for a short feud with Nailz that didn't last long, and he made the jump to WCW where he underwent a slew of name changes since WWF/E held the rights to the Big Bossman name. He became The Boss, The Guardian Angel etc. But all failed and he never really amounted to anything there either as this was during the time WCW was miss-using talent.
Bossman made a surprise return to WWF/E during the Austin/McMahon wars as McMahon's bodyguard. This really caught me and alot of people off-guard when he unmasked to reveal himself as the hooded bodyguard in black riot gear. As a member of McMahon's Corporation he would get a run as Tag Team champions with Ken Shamrock, and a run as Hardcore champion.
He eventually was phased out again and used to put over the likes of Darren Drozdov and Prince Albert, and being a trainer before being released again.

Ray Traylor may not have been one of the best wrestlers in the business, but he certainly was one of the most mobile big men ever who really moved well in the ring. He will definately be missed, and I'm sure he's up there in the big ring in the sky right now dishing out hard-times to all the other wrestle-maniacs up there.

Rest in Peace, Bossman.


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