Exclusive interview: Former WWE Diva Terri Runnels on her friendship with Big Boss Man
DALLAS – In addition to family, friends and fans gathering to remember the greats of sports-entertainment, the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is also a night when old friends gather and share stories about the fond memories they have of careers on the road, entertaining the WWE Universe.
WWE photographers spotted former Diva Terri Runnels among the crowd in Dallas’ American Airlines Center, clutching an action figure of 2016 inductee Big Boss Man. WWE.com caught up with the beauty after the ceremony to get the story on her relationship with the newly-minted Hall of Famer.
WWE.COM: How did you come to know Big Boss Man?
TERRI RUNNELS: Ray Traylor and I actually started our careers at exactly the same time in WCW, and he became my traveling partner.
WWE.COM: How did your relationship grow over the years?
TERRI: Knowing him that long and being on the road for hours and hours and hours, he became my father, my brother, my best friend. We talked about our children.
WWE.COM: Was his wife OK with you being his traveling buddy?
TERRI: I was very fortunate that his wife understood our relationship. A lot of wives would not allow their husbands to have a single, blonde female riding with them. That wouldn’t fly. Angie knew our relationship and respected it. She would say to me, “Terri, I know that when he’s on the road with you, he’s safe, he’s good, and I don’t worry about him.”
WWE.COM: What was he like on the road?
TERRI: We had our routine. We always liked to drive the next day into towns. Some people liked to drive that night and wake up in the town you’re going to do TV in, go to the gym and all that. We always liked to stay over. We’d go to our hotel, he’d tell me what he wanted from room service and go call Angie. I’d order room service and get in my PJ’s. We’d watch a pay-per-view movie or TV together and eat room service. He always kissed me on the top of the head and say, ‘Good night, sissy.’ He gave me away at my wedding in lieu of my father.
WWE.COM: What does Boss Man’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame mean to you?
TERRI: Ray and Jacqueline being inducted are the reasons I chose to come. It means the world to me. I guess, because I’m so partial, it’s long overdue. I beg you to find anyone to say anything negative about Ray Traylor. He was a bear in terms of being protective of those he loved. He was the most tender, big hearted soul. My father was a dud, in terms of being a good father. I never had a brother. Ray was all of those things. I felt safe and protected when he was on the road with me. I miss him terribly.
WWE.COM: Why do you carry his action figure with you?
TERRI: He travels with me. Any time I travel, to do appearances or autograph signings, he’s with me in my Louis Vuitton case. That’s where he lives. I just thought, since he travels with me all the time, he was going to come and be with me here. It was very interesting when I saw Dana Warrior with her action figure of Warrior. I don’t feel so funny having an action figure with me anymore.