With a possible tenth tag team championship reign in the offing, Bubba Ray Dudley spoke to Channel Guide magazine to talk about the past few months. From the rapturous ovation he received at this year’s Royal Rumble that lead to his and D-Von’s WWE return this August, to the upcoming match against the New Day this Sunday at the Hell In A Cell PPV, from the Staples Center, Los Angeles.
Here are some excerpts from the interview which can be read in it’s entirety right here.
Who from WWE got in touch with you about working the Royal Rumble?
“The very first person I spoke to was Road Dogg,” he said. “He was the one who reached out. saying, ‘Hey Bubba, would you be interested in coming to the Royal Rumble? I told him yes. I always had a great working relationship with him in the ring and a good working relationship outside of the ring. Me and D-Von won our first WWE tag team championship from the New Age Outlaws. He got in touch with me. That’s how it all started. It was pretty funny, because I think a lot of people within WWE were shocked by the reaction. I think they all thought, ‘Oh, it’s Philly, so he’ll get a nice little reaction.’ I didn’t think they were expecting anything like that.”
The reaction he received that night was a contributing factor on WWE signing the veteran tag team and bringing them onto the roster full time.
While mindful of being full time sports entertainers for the WWE, when not on the road Bubba and D-Von teach at their wrestling school the Team 3D Wrestling School in Kissimmee, Florida. They not only teach their students the know how and fundamentals in the ring, but outside of it too.
“I teach my students from day one that they have to remember that this is the wrestling business, not wrestling friends. It’s the wrestling business. They have to treat it like a business. You have to climb the ladder to success. You always have to try to make more money in this industry, especially with what you are going to put your body through. The longevity can be short. You can do this for a year or 30 years. You just have to realize that and do the right thing with your money. From a performing point of view, I tell them to keep their ears and eyes open and their mouth shut to learn as much as you can.”
After hearing reports of wrestling starting GoFundMe campaigns, Bubba replied:
“I think a wrestler that goes out there and asks people for money so they can chase their dream is pathetic. There is something within the wrestling industry called ‘paying your dues.’ Paying your dues doesn’t just mean financially with money. It’s about living in the back of your car, eating bologna sandwiches. You have to learn how to lose before you learn how to win. You have to have it rough in this industry first. Then you can appreciate it more when you make it.
If somebody were to put out a GoFundMe account saying, ‘Hey, can you lend me this money while I’m chasing my dream? I would be happy to pay each and every one of you back,’ then I don’t have a problem with it. Someone technically asking for help because they don’t have a family member they can get money from — or a bank. So they are asking the wrestling fans to lend them x amount of dollars, but they’ll pay them back. I don’t have a problem with that. What I have a problem with is an up-and-coming wrestler or wrestlers who are taking from the fans just so they can chase their dream.”
With his tag team championship match with the New Day on the horizon, Bubba speaks candidly about the trio.
“I think New Day is an extremely entertaining act in WWE. They are a good team. Kofi and Big E have been around for a while. Xavier definitely brings an entertaining quality to the table, so to speak. They have been doing well. I think New Day needed a team like the Dudleyz to help them get to the next level. You always need that one team that you can work with that is going to elevate you. I think it’s definitely working for the New Day. I think the most important thing is the fans are being entertained because the Dudleyz versus the New Day storyline is one the WWE Universe is interested in right now.”
Ski’s Take – From his personal and candid opinions about up and coming wrestlers starting a GoFundMe page (I can honestly say I’ve never heard of anything like that before) to putting over the New Day, Bubba again shows how easily he is to interview. He doesn’t hold back and sounds as honest as always.
I’ve heard that his and D-Von’s school is top notch. With notable successes like Rob Terry, Jesse Neal and Rosie Lottalove (Ugh! What a name!), the school has some pedigree in training some now well known names in the industry. It’s great to see that being on the road hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for his school and students.