Big Boss Man’s Best Moments And Memorable Matches

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In honor of National Police Week, WrestleZone is joining in by celebrating one of professional wrestling’s best lawmen, the Big Boss Man. A former corrections officer in Cobb County, Georgia, the Big Boss Man (Ray Traylor) made his professional wrestling debut in 1985 but made the leap to WWE in June 1988.

He went by many names during his run in wrestling—The Boss, The Man, The Guardian Angel, Big Bubba Rogers—but his most successful run was arguably when he was known as the Big Boss Man. Boss Man started off as a villain, often handcuffing his opponents or beating them with a nightstick, and he soon found himself in his first major feud after attacking Hulk Hogan on “The Brother Love Show.” Boss Man enjoyed early success, getting a WWE Championship opportunity, as well as playing a role in the infamous match where Hogan abandoned Macho Man Randy Savage in a match, leading to the Mega Powers’ demise.

Big Boss Man was a guy who could work with anyone and ultimately became one of the WWF’s most popular wrestlers between 1990-93, working high profile matches with “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, The Mountie and Nailz. Throughout his career he was a 4-time WWF Hardcore Champion and held the company’s Tag Team Championship on one occasion, and was posthumously elected to the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2016.

Traylor went to WCW and underwent several gimmick changes, reverting back to being a heel as a member of the Dungeon Of Doom and nWo before making his WWE return in 1998. It was here where he ultimately reached his pinnacle as an evil character, coming back in a black SWAT-inspired uniform and wreaking havoc on the WWF roster.

Initially serving as the bodyguard of Mr. McMahon and The Corporation’s enforcer, he once again saw ring time against top names like The Rock, Steve Austin, The Undertaker and Kane. It was during this period that he finally won gold in the company, but it also saw two of the most infamous incidents of his career, if not the entire Attitude Era. His rivalry with Al Snow started with an unfortunate “Pepper Lunch” and capped off with the Kennel from Hell match, remembered more for how bad it was due to the dogs and not the competitors.

He also tormented Big Show, crashing his father’s funeral to steal the casket, and also got Big Show’s mother to confess that her son was illegitimate. He was the ultimate bad guy in an era full of dastardly guys and we’re not celebrating his nefarious acts, but rather the man that played the role so well.

Big Boss Man would enjoy one more short run in 2002, and ultimately passed away on September 22, 2004 in Georgia. A diabolical heel and lovable babyface, Ray Traylor was not only a great worker but one of the best big men to ever set foot in the squared circle. There have been other “police officer” themed character since then—The Mountie, Fashion Police, Super Cop Dick Justice, to name a few—but Traylor played the character with conviction and we haven’t seen anyone like him since then.

big boss man

Photo Credit: WWE

Most Memorable Matches

Big Boss Man vs. Hulk Hogan (Steel Cage Match)

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event — May 1989

Featuring the trademark blue steel cage of the era, the Boss Man would bring his handcuffs into play in his attempt to vanquish Hulkamania. This stood as the Boss Man’s first true test in the WWF and he proved he could be a convincing heel and work with anyone.

Mr. Perfect vs. Big Boss Man

WWF WrestleMania VII — March 24, 1991

He already proved he could work with big men but this match showed why he could work well with smaller opponents as well. They’d already worked together in the lead up to WrestleMania a number of times, including on The Main Event and on live event loops. The Boss Man came close to winning the Intercontinental Championship here, but still shined despite picking up the win via disqualification.

As it turns out, they worked well together as partners or foes, with the two teaming up later on in both men’s final WWE runs, including pairing up for Boss Man’s final tag team match in WWE against the Hardy Boyz in 2002.

Big Boss Man vs. The Mountie (Jailhouse Match)

WWF SummerSlam — August 26, 1991

This matched showed how good Traylor could be as a babyface and gave us a fun stipulation—the loser would be booked in a New York City jail for 24 hours. The match worked so well because of the two men in the match, Boss Man and The Mountie, the latter of which was a riot as he thrashed about while being booked for lock-up.

Nightstick Match – Nailz

WWF Survivor Series — November 25, 1992

Nailz is more infamous now for being fired from WWF, but his feud with the Big Boss Man is memorable for other reasons. In 1992, Nailz debuted as an ex-convict who alleged that the Boss Man had attacked him while he was incarcerated for crimes he didn’t commit. Nailz handcuffed and attacked him with a nightstick and went on a winning streak until they finally met in a Nightstick Match at Survivor Series. The matchup was unique for the time, both for the gimmick itself and because it saw the prisoner go against the inmate. Boss Man was the clear babyface by this point, but it also helped propel Nailz to other feuds with The Undertaker and Ultimate Warrior, and solidified Boss Man as a top WWE star.

Mankind Vs. Big Boss Man

WWF Raw Is War — November 30, 1998

The Big Boss Man is synonymous with the WWF Hardcore title, with many of the best moments and matches of his second run with the company being related to a fight for the title.

The Boss Man returned from WCW in October 1998 wearing black SWAT gear, and he quickly won the Hardcore Title from Mankind in an underrated ladder match on RAW. The match was short and full of shenanigans (including a well-timed run-in) but both men played to their strengths and made it a memorable encounter.

Big Boss Man vs. Al Snow

WWF Summerslam — August 22, 1999

A month before their ill-fated Kennel From Hell match, Al Snow and the Boss Man clashed at SummerSlam 1999 in a brawl that spilled into the streets and a local bar. This one was before the “24/7” gimmick and comedic elements came into play, but it was still brutal and fun. Two of Boss Man’s most infamous moments came at the expense of Big Show and Al Snow, but it’s hard to argue that his feud with Snow provided some memorable brawls.

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