Giving them their money’s worth: Bubba Ray Dudley on the Royal Rumble’s most shocking return
No tag team in sports-entertainment history has caused as much destruction or spewed as much vitriol as the vicious and sadistic Dudley Boyz. Half-brothers Bubba Ray and D-Von were architects of the original TLC Matches in WWE alongside Edge & Christian and The Hardy Boyz, and incited riots in the original ECW. So when Bubba shockingly showed up at the Royal Rumble on Sunday, South Philly knew it was in for a fight.
Although Bubba had been gone from WWE for nearly a decade, he barely missed a beat as he tossed both The Miz and R-Truth before being eliminated. WWE.com spoke with the Royal Rumble Match’s most surprising entrant moments after he came back through the curtain to find out how the return came about and what the future might hold for those damn Dudleys.
WWE.COM: What was it like to hear the name Bubba Ray Dudley in a WWE arena once again?
BUBBA RAY DUDLEY: I’ve always been Bubba Ray Dudley. That’s who I am. Throughout the course of your career, sometimes you have to reinvent yourself. I’ve always considered WWE my home and where I belong. Sometimes you have to leave a place to truly appreciate what you had. Being away from here for so long made me appreciate what I had here. I’m more mature as a person, I’m more mature in the business, and this was a great night for me. More importantly, it was a great night for the WWE Universe. I think they had a great time for the five or 10 minutes I was out there. If tonight was the only night, great. If it could go on longer, that’s great, too. Hopefully it can.
WWE.COM: How are you different today than you were when we last saw you 10 years ago?
BUBBA RAY: I just think that I’ve learned how to be a smarter entertainer. I’ve learned to entertain in a way the fans can truly appreciate. Whenever I talk about going out there and entertaining, I compare it to the rock ‘n’ roll band Kiss. They don’t waste a note. They don’t waste a breath. They don’t waste a second. It’s constant entertainment from the minute they play “Detroit Rock City” to the end of “Rock and Roll All Nite,” they are giving you your money’s worth. That’s what’s different about me. I try to go out there and give the people their money’s worth every inch of the way.
WWE.COM: What was it like to make your return in the home of ECW, Philadelphia?
BUBBA RAY: I’m from New York, but Philadelphia is really the town where I got my start and where I was able to make a name for myself. Philly will always be special, because it will always be my first. Coming back here and being able to perform in front of these people at such a big event for WWE, it’s cool as hell. There’s no other way to put it. To be able to walk out there in front of 18 or 20,000 people and hear the rush, what’s cooler than that? Nothing.
WWE.COM: Was there any part of you that worried you wouldn’t get the reaction you hoped for because you’ve been gone from WWE for so long?
BUBBA RAY: Nah, in this town, I knew they’d welcome me back with open arms. I’ve always given my heart and soul to perform for this city. I knew they’d give me a warm reception, and I’m very appreciative of it. And I’m appreciative to WWE for giving me the opportunity.
WWE.COM: How did the opportunity to return in the Royal Rumble Match come about?
BUBBA RAY: WWE called me about a month ago and said, “Would you like an opportunity in the Royal Rumble?” And I said, “Absolutely.” I showed up here today and they said, “We want you to be a surprise.” I thought that was great, and I hid all day.
WWE.COM: In a tour bus?
BUBBA RAY: Well no, I have on camo so they can’t see me anyway.
WWE.COM: Are there any particular moments in your WWE career that stick out to you more than others?
BUBBA RAY: Well as far as the Royal Rumble is concerned, it was Hardys vs. Dudleys in 2000 in the first ever Tables Match at Madison Square Garden. That was an awesome Rumble memory for me. In general, winning our first World Tag Team Championship against The New Age Outlaws and being able to unify the World and WCW Tag Team Championships inside a steel cage against The Hardys. And obviously, the TLC Matches. I have so many fond memories, it’s almost impossible to narrow them down.
WWE.COM: What does the future hold for you? Are there more matches for Bubba Ray Dudley or The Dudley Boyz after the Royal Rumble?
BUBBA RAY: If the WWE Universe and the WWE higher-ups want to see us here, then yes, hopefully there is a future. I really say it’s up to the fans. By the reaction tonight, I’d say the fans would love to see us back. And hopefully we can do it.
WWE.COM: Where’s D-Von?
BUBBA RAY: He’s getting the tables.