Where Are They Now? Spike Dudley

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July 25, 2012

Molly Holly & Spike Dudley

Crediting Tazz, Tommy Dreamer and Paul Heyman with conjuring up the Spike persona, Hyson knew what he was charged to do when he hit the ring.

“I was supposed to be a little maniac who wouldn’t back down from anyone,” he said.

That was exactly what he did. Thrust into The Land of the Extreme as the runt of Big Daddy Dudley’s diverse litter of children, Spike Dudley refused to be bullied by anyone, from his own brothers, Bubba and D-Von, to the giants who roamed around ECW.

Spike’s first test in ECW came in the form of Bam Bam Bigelow. The Beast from the East tossed Dudley around with ease, resulting in one of the most iconic moments in the promotion’s history. Bam Bam pressed Spike over his head and ran toward the ropes, looking as though he was going to hurl his tiny foe to the arena floor. Bigelow’s aim was off by a few feet, and Dudley went flying into the ECW faithful. Unwilling to see one of their heroes decimated, the fans passed Spike around on their hands. And while the image of Dudley crowd surfing around the arena may endure, that’s not the lasting memory in Hyson’s mind.

“Everybody remembers the throw, but nobody remembers that I beat the monstrous Bam Bam Bigelow,” he said.

“That really put me over the top and gave me credibility that even though I’m 140 lbs., I can be in there with these giants and have a chance at winning.”

Spike Dudley eventually rose to the main event of ECW, challenging Mike Awesome for the company’s World Title on pay-per-view. Though he didn’t capture the championship, he earned the love and respect of the ECW faithful, who, along with Dudley, stuck with the company until it’s dying days. For Hyson, ECW was a ride that he thought would last.

“I didn’t think it was ever going to end,” he said. “A lot of people there did. It was my family, where I worked for about five years. I didn’t want it to end, so I just refused to believe it.”

ECW was on its last legs by 2001. The promotion shut its doors early in the year. However, Spike Dudley wouldn’t be unemployed for long. He rejoined his brothers in WWE by March of that year, which came as a surprise to him, since he didn’t actively pursue a job with the company.

“I got a call. It was as simple as that,” Hyson said. One phone call from Jim Ross led to the debut of Spike Dudley on Monday Night Raw, helping his Bubba Ray and D-Von win the World Tag Team Titles.

Even though he’d been fighting larger opponents his entire career, Hyson was still surprised at the size of his colleagues in WWE.

“Everybody was enormous,” he recalled. “There were a few big guys in ECW, but not the whole roster.”

Larger competition aside, the runt of the Dudley family fit in perfectly in WWE. In fact, one of Spike’s most memorable stories was told not long after his debut.

In "Beyond the Mat," Hyson quoted Shakespeare’s "Henry IV." In WWE, he was part of sports-entertainment’s own Romeo and Juliet story. And while the Dudleys and the Hollys were a far cry from the Montagues and the Capulets, Spike and Molly Holly were star-crossed lovers in the middle of warring families, which was exciting for Hyson.

“It was a very innocent romance,” he recalled. “We were the two most average people in WWE, which I think normal people could relate to.”

Spike and Molly’s whirlwind romance even led to a bout with one of the biggest Superstars of all time: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The paranoid Texas Rattlesnake was trying to petition his way out of a WWE Title defense, getting signatures in hopes of swaying the powers that be.  Austin made the mistake of calling Molly a bimbo in front of her beau. “Stone Cold’s” poor choice of words sent Spike into a rage, tearing up Austin’s petition and leaving him flustered. (WATCH)

The Texas Rattlesnake regrouped and faced Dudley in the squared circle. Though Austin came out victorious, Spike, still relatively new to WWE, had once again earned the respect of the WWE Universe.

“Getting the rub off a star of his magnitude was so much fun,” Hyson recalled. “It’s the kind of thing you dream of as a wrestling fan."

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