Source: CBS Sports
Words: TWM News
Ray Traylor, aka The Big Boss Man finally takes his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame on April 2, 2016 in Dallas, TX.
A former correctional officer in real life, stationed in Cobb County, Georgia; Traylor made his professional wrestling debut in 1985 for Jim Crockett promotions working as enhancement talent under his real name. Shortly after, his potential was seen by Dusty Rhodes who repackaged him under the new name of “Big Bubba Rogers”, the silent bodyguard for Jim Cornette.
In 1987, he joined the UFW for a short time, winning their heavyweight championship from the One Man Gang.
In 1988, Traylor was signed to WWE by Vince McMahon, who upon learning about his past career in the prison service, came up with the Big Boss Man character. Initially a bad guy, Boss Man teamed with Akeem the African Dream in the tag team of “The Twin Towers” with their manager Slick.
In 1990, Boss Man turned babyface and had rivalries with The Heenan Family, Mr. Perfect and most notably from that time period, The Mountie and Nailz. In 1993 he would leave WWE to sign for World Championship Wrestling, initially under the names of “The Boss” and “Guardian Angel” before returning to his former name of Big Bubba in 1995. Perhaps his biggest career victory came at Starrcade where he defeated fellow WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016 member, Sting.
After a short stint in the nWo followed by an absence from TV, he returned to WCW managed by Ted DiBiase to wrestle under his real name for the first time since his debut. He would go on to feud with the likes of The Steiner Brothers, Scott Hall and Curt Hennig. Following a loss to Goldberg in 1998, he let his WCW contract expire.
In October 1998, Traylor returned to the WWE as The Big Boss Man, serving as Vince McMahon’s bodyguard during his feud against Stone Cold Steve Austin. He became a Tag Team champion with Ken Shamrock, and was a four-time WWE Hardcore Champion.
In one of WWE’s most infamous angles, he lost a Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania XV against The Undertaker after which, he was hung from the structure.
Fans fondly remember this period as one of Boss Man’s best, as he then went on to feud with Al Snow and then Big Show in two of the Attitude Era’s most fondly remembered angles. In his feud with Al Snow, he kidnapped his dog, Pepper, cooked him, and served him to Al Snow on a plate.
In his feud with the Big Show over the WWE Championship, he crashed Big Show’s fathers’ funeral, who in storyline had passed away, making incredibly derogatory remarks that fans still remember to this day.
Following 2000, Boss Man would wrestle exclusively in the mid card, usually on shows such as Heat, Jakked and Metal before he was released from his WWE contract in 2003.
Traylor died of a heart attack at his home on September 22, 2004 at the age of 41.