Big Boss Man, a legendary figure in the world of professional wrestling, is known for his distinct character and impactful presence in the ring. With his imposing figure, the “Big Boss Man” persona encapsulated the essence of a brutal and no-nonsense law enforcer. This article will serve as a nostalgic journey through the life and career of Big Boss Man, from his iconic song to his memorable exploits in the WWE and beyond.
Early Life and Entry into Wrestling
Born as Raymond Walter Traylor Jr. on May 2, 1963, in Marietta, Georgia, the man who would become Big Boss Man grew up with a passion for wrestling. As a young man, he trained under the tutelage of experienced wrestlers, honing his skills and preparing for the physical demands of the sport. His imposing figure and natural athletic ability made him a perfect candidate for the wrestling industry.
In the mid-1980s, Traylor made his debut in the wrestling world. He initially performed for Universal Wrestling Federation and Jim Crockett Promotions. However, it was his entry into the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) in 1988 that would catapult him to international stardom. Adopting the character of “Big Boss Man,” a corrupt prison guard, Traylor quickly caught the attention of fans and fellow wrestlers alike with his powerful in-ring performances and compelling character work.
DID YOU KNOW?
Before his wrestling career, Traylor worked as a prison guard in Cobb County, Georgia. This experience directly influenced the creation of his iconic wrestling persona, Big Boss Man.
The Big Boss Man in WWF/WWE
The Big Boss Man’s arrival in the WWF marked the beginning of a memorable wrestling career. With his nightstick and uniform, he quickly became a standout character in the WWF roster. His intimidating presence and ruthless demeanor made him a formidable heel in the wrestling narrative. His feuds with some of the biggest names in wrestling history, such as Hulk Hogan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and The Undertaker, further elevated his status within the industry.
Particularly memorable was his feud with The Mountie over who was the legitimate law enforcer of the WWF, culminating in a Jailhouse Match at SummerSlam 1991, which Big Boss Man won.
In 1998, Big Boss Man made a return to the now-renamed WWE, repackaged as the bodyguard for Vince McMahon. His character took on a more sinister tone, becoming one of the standout villains of WWE’s Attitude Era. He won the WWF Hardcore Championship four times during this period.
Career Outside WWE
One question that often comes up when discussing Big Boss Man’s wrestling career is, “When did Big Boss Man leave WWE?” The answer to that lies in the year 1993. After a successful stint of nearly six years with WWE, Big Boss Man decided to part ways with the organization. It wasn’t a dramatic exit nor was it the result of any behind-the-scenes controversy. Rather, it was a decision based on career progression and the desire for new challenges.
While the character of Big Boss Man was widely popular, he had reached a point where he had explored most storylines and rivalries within the WWE. Hence, the decision to venture out into other wrestling promotions like World Championship Wrestling (WCW) felt like the logical next step for him.
After leaving WWE in 1993, he joined World Championship Wrestling (WCW) where he was known by various names like The Boss, The Guardian Angel, and Big Bubba Rogers. He had notable feuds with Vader and the Nasty Boys during this time.
In the late 90s, he also became a Member Of The New World Order (nWo) faction in WCW, adding another significant chapter to his wrestling journey. Although he continued to do his thing in WCW he would never achieve the success he did in his early days of the WWE.
Big Boss Man was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame posthumously in 2016, a testament to his lasting impact on professional wrestling.
Boss Man Wrestling Stats and Facts
DOB – May 2nd, 1963
Birthplace – Marietta, Georgia
Height – 6’6
Weight – 315 lbs
Finishing Move – Sidewalk Slam
Classic Moves – Spinebuster, Double Leg Slam, Slide To The Outside Punch, Rope Splash On Opponent’s Neck
Tag Team Partners – Akeem, Bad News Brown, Honkey Tonk Man, Ken Shamrock, Rick Martel. (See more 80s Tag Teams)
Managers – Slick Rick, Ted Dibiase, Jim Cornette, Skandar Akbar
WWE Titles Won: Hardcore Title (4x), Tag Team Title (1x)
Singles Record: 2 Wins, 1 Loss
Tag Team Record: 3 Wins, 0 Losses
Most Wins Vs:
Ted Dibiase (64-12).
Big Boss Man had the most wins vs The Million Dollar Man over his career. Ranking second was Jacques Rougeau whom he had 63 wins and 27 losses.
Most Losses Vs:
Dusty Rhodes (4-92).
Big Boss Man had the most losses vs the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. Ranking second behind Dusty was Hulk Hogan with an overall record of 5 wins and 72 losses.
Big Boss Man Theme Song
No discussion about Big Boss Man can be complete without mentioning the iconic “Big Boss Man” song. This theme song, which would blare out from the speakers as Big Boss Man made his way to the ring, is as much a part of his identity as his nightstick and handcuffs.
The “Big Boss Man” song, also known as “Hard Times”, was composed by Jim Johnston, a prolific composer who has penned many memorable WWE theme songs. The song perfectly encapsulated the character of Big Boss Man. With its hard-hitting beats and its lyrics speaking of “serving hard times”, the song communicated the stern, no-nonsense law enforcer persona that Big Boss Man was known for.
But the song did more than just set the mood; it became a vital part of the Big Boss Man brand. The moment those initial beats hit, fans knew they were in for a spectacle. The song also holds a lot of nostalgia value for fans of the era, instantly transporting them back to the golden age of wrestling whenever it’s played.
The “Big Boss Man” song was so popular that it was included in several WWE music compilation albums, cementing its place in wrestling theme song history.
Death Of Ray Traylor (Big Boss Man)
The wrestling world was deeply saddened when news broke of the untimely passing of the Big Boss Man. Tragically, on September 22, 2004, Ray “Big Boss Man” Traylor passed away at the age of 41 due to a heart attack. His sudden death shocked his fans and colleagues, leaving a profound void in the world of professional wrestling.
Despite his passing, the Big Boss Man’s legacy continues to live on through the memories of his classic matches and unforgettable moments in the ring. He is remembered not just as a towering figure in the wrestling world, but also as a consummate professional and a dedicated performer who gave his all to entertain the fans. His induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016 served as a posthumous recognition of his significant contributions to the sport.
In conclusion, the life and career of the Big Boss Man is a testament to the enduring appeal of a well-crafted wrestling character. From his beginnings in Cobb County, Georgia to the height of his fame in the WWE, and later in the WCW, the Big Boss Man left an indelible mark on professional wrestling. His distinctive character, memorable feuds, and the unforgettable “Big Boss Man” song are all part of the rich tapestry of his career.
In the world of professional wrestling, few figures command as much respect and admiration as the Big Boss Man. From his impressive physical stature to his compelling in-ring persona, he was a true giant of the sport in every sense of the word. His legacy lives on in the memories of the fans he entertained and the wrestlers he inspired. In remembering the Big Boss Man, we celebrate not just a remarkable wrestling career, but also a remarkable life.