WWE.com gets extreme with D-Von Dudley
He’s a devoted family man with a contagious smile. However, when he steps into the ring, D-Von Dudley becomes the extreme opposite. From the onset of his debut in ECW in 1996, D-Von — alongside his brother, Bubba Ray — left a trail of opponents’ broken bodies in his wake. Tables, chairs, barbed wire bats and more were the name of the game for “Those Damn Dudleys!”
With WWE’s Extreme Rules upon us, we thought it would be interesting to find out what one of the architects of extreme is doing these days — and if he has any plans to bring his signature brand of mayhem back to WWE. Or, to put it in his own words, we simply asked D-Von, ‘Wassupp??!’
BILL APTER: It's been a long time since we chatted with you, D-Von. When did you last compete in WWE?
D-VON DUDLEY: That was in July 2005. Since then, I have still been wrestling and taking care of personal issues along the way. Sometimes you have to take a break from the business and take care of other things.
APTER: I know a lot of that time is spent with your family.
DUDLEY: Yes, I really enjoy my family life. I have a total of five kids from my ex-wife and my wonderful current wife, Stephanie. She is a great woman. I have twin boys, a 12-year-old son, a 5-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter. The twin boys and my 12-year-old are from my first marriage.
APTER: Are they sports-entertainment fans?
DUDLEY: Yes, and my twin 19-year-olds — Terrence and Terrell — are now getting into the business. They currently train at a wrestling school I have in Kissimmee, Fla.
APTER: Being a master of the extreme style, are you training them in that genre already?
DUDLEY: Not yet. I am teaching them what WWE Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz, who trained me, taught at this point. I am teaching them the style of what the fans look for today. I am still active, so I know what's going on and pass that onto them.
DUDLEY: At first I was not comfortable with it, to be quite honest. I forbid them to get into the business. I wanted them to use their minds to make a living as opposed to their bodies. Then someone told me had I listened to my own parents, I would not be here today doing what I am doing. I told them that they would need to go to college while they are training if they want me to go along with it. They need to get a degree. I told them if they didn't do that I would call Vince McMahon personally and make sure they couldn't work for WWE! They are both studying Physical Training, so that goes along well with the business they are getting in.
APTER: With Extreme Rules upon us, can you take us back to your first taste of the extreme style?
DUDLEY: I saw extreme for the first time when I was bouncing for a night club in New Rochelle, N.Y., in 1995. I was still training and working some indie shows as a character named A-Train. They had around five TV screens in this club and they had wrestling on one night, but this wrestling was different from the WWE or WCW I was used to seeing. This was, as I would find out, ECW. I watched and thought to myself, ‘These people are nuts!’ That was one organization I would never want to wrestle in. I remember seeing somebody swing a chair at somebody's head for the first time and thinking I could never do that. Fast-forward less than one year later and I’m in ECW, and the first thing I do is hit somebody with a chair!
APTER: What was your first extreme match?
DUDLEY: It was on April 13, 1996, at the Lost Battalion Hall in Queens, N.Y. I ran out to help Bubba Ray Dudley against J.T. Smith & Little Guido. I took a cane and crushed J.T. Smith so hard he sustained a concussion. To this day, every time I see him I apologize. I beat him and poor Little Guido so bad with that cane. I also picked up bottles and everything I could get my hands on, including tables, and he was trying so hard to get out of the way. If you watch the match, you cannot believe the chaos that went on. The ECW crowd erupted and I was into extreme from that day forward.
APTER: What was the most hardcore match you had ever seen?
DUDLEY: That would be Terry Funk vs. Sabu. It was "Born to Be Wired." They took the ropes off and barbed wire surrounded the ring. Sabu did his jump off the chair into the corner and Terry moved. Sabu hit the barbed wire full force and ripped his bicep completely open down to the tendon, down to the bone. He taped himself up and finished the match. It was so extreme!
APTER: What would be your list of the five most extreme weapons?
DUDLEY: Number five would be barbed wire. Thumbtacks would be number four. Number three is a pizza cutter. Two would be the kitchen sink. Number one, of course, is my all-time favorite — the tables!
APTER: I'm surprised chairs didn't make the list!
DUDLEY: No chairs. They do hurt, but you can get past them most times and continue the match.
APTER: Paul Heyman was, of course, the extreme ringleader. He riled the troops up and got everyone in an extreme mood, didn't he?
DUDLEY: He sure did. I met Paul after I had a tryout for ECW. He was at the Pelham, N.Y., production studio they used for editing and doing the commentary. I got in there, Paul was sitting down, and we wound up talking and hitting it off great. I will admit right now that I am a Paul Heyman guy! When a lot of us wrestlers back in those days were looking for work and were not looked at by WWE or WCW, Paul was the one who gave us a shot. He believed in us. He saw things in us that we didn't know we had and it brought out the best in us. Paul knew how to get certain things out of us to make us better. I used to call him Dr. Frankenstein because he created so much talent that came out of ECW that no one else would have been able to create.
Chairs hurt, but you can get past them.APTER: What do you think of the current Paul Heyman?
DUDLEY: It's the real Paul Heyman! He does things that make you hate him, but a minute later you want to marry him and love him. [laughs]
APTER: Who do you consider extreme on the current WWE roster?
DUDLEY: Daniel Bryan, for one. Most people wouldn't put him in that category because he is such a technician in the ring, but I can see him getting down and dirty. Sheamus could be in that category as well. Put Randy Orton there, too. We beat the hell out of each other many times. I know a lot of people cheer him and a lot boo him, but I would put John Cena on that list as well. I had many brawls with him when I was in WWE and he was working himself up in the ranks.
APTER: So much of your career was as a tag team competitor with your partner, Bubba Ray. What is your current view of the WWE tag team scene?
DUDLEY: I think it's great that WWE is strengthening the tag team division. If given the opportunity to go back to WWE, I would love to have a partner to take on The Usos, Cody Rhodes & Goldust, Ryback & Curtis Axel, The Shield, The Wyatts.
APTER: Who would you pick as your tag team partner if Bubba was not available?
DUDLEY: I like Big E! I would love to tag with him. He's a big, strong guy. Let me go in there and get things rolling, and I think we could become WWE Tag Team Champions. Look out, Usos!