Raymond Washington "Ray" Traylor Jr. (May 2, 1963 – September 22, 2004) was an American Professional Wrestler most famous to longtime wrestling fans as the Big Boss Man, although he is also known by various other pseudonyms like Big Bubba Rogers, Big Bubba, The Boss, The Boss Man and the Guardian Angel.
He debuted in WCW going by Raymond Traylor, and soon after became the monster Heel Big Bubba Rogers, feuding with Dusty Rhodes. However, his run only lasted a couple years before he made the jump to the WWFnote , and based a new character off his original job as a prison guard in Cobb County, Georgia, and adopted Slick as his manager.
As the Big Boss Man, his WWF run is his most famous, where he continued his reign of terror as a monster heel, and he even formed a tag team with a fellow super heavyweight, Akeem (formerly The One Man Gang) called the Twin Towers. After being a top heel for a couple years, challenging the likes of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, the Big Boss Man turned on his manager on an episode of Superstars and had a very successful run as a Face, while displaying some of the best in-ring work of his career.
After a few years, Traylor returned to WCW and underwent a series of name changes, as listed above, due to the WWF's legal team claiming his gimmick was too similar to the Big Boss Man gimmick. He finally settled on Big Bubba once again, meanwhile having rivalries with the likes of Sting and Vader, and even feuding with the nWo. Traylor did return to the WWF for some time in the late 1990s, but this time, for the more mature Attitude Era, he modified his Big Boss Man character into more of a bodyguard-like personality complete with a S.W.A.T. team-inspired outfit, and served with Vince McMahon's Corporation during this run. During this time, he also had a title feud with Big Show, and another feud with Al Snow, both of which fans would rather forget.
Traylor left the WWE in 2002 and worked the independent circuit before passing away of a heart attack in September of 2004, at the age of 41.
In 2016 The Big Boss Man was inducted posthumously into the WWE Hall of Fame by his former manager, Slick.
THESE TROPES'LL BE SERVIN' HARD TIME!!!
- Acrofatic: At his peak, he could move really well around the ring for a man his size. Many wrestling historians consider him one of the best big men of the modern era.
- Alliterative Name: Big Boss Man, Big Bubba Rogers.
- Arch-Enemy: Nailz, a.k.a. Kevin Wacholtz, was an obvious candidate for this role when he joined the WWF in 1992 with an ex-convict gimmick. As part of the storyline, Nailz claimed the Big Boss Man abused him while he was an inmate.
- The Mountie (Jacques Rougeau) claimed in 1991 that he was the only legitimate law enforcer in the WWF. This led to them having a "Jailhouse match" (the only one of its kind in the WWE) at that year's SummerSlam, which the Boss Man won.
- Bobby Heenan and Rick Rude following Bossman's original face turn.
- (In WCW): Vader, Sting, John Tenta (after Bubba joined the Dungeon of Doom and kicked the Shark out by shaving off half of his hair), the NWO (after getting kicked out of the group.)
- Also, he and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan seemed to go around the world a time or two.
- And, of course, Al Snow and Big Show during his final run in the WWF. Show in particular absolutely loathed Boss Man for crashing his father's funeral.
- Ascended Extra: While working as a Jobber under his own name for Jim Crockett, he impressed booker Dusty Rhodes with how he took Tully Blanchard's Slingshot Suplex, which led to Dusty creating the Big Bubba Rogers persona for him.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Originally wore a suit while working as Jim Cornette's bodyguard Big Bubba Rogers.
- Bash Brothers: Akeem, the Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott), Prince Albert, Bull Buchanan.
- Battle Strip: His shirt always came undone during his more hard-fought matches.
- Bowdlerize: Any depiction of Boss Man in games nowadays removes the Confederate flag patch on his sleeve, replacing it with the regular American flag instead.
- The Brute: For Midnight Express while acting as Cornette's bodyguard, since he managed the team.
- Carry a Big Stick: Everybody ditched the ring quickly when he started wielding the nightstick. His theme music once he turned face even said "He carries a big stick".
- Cassandra Truth: During his first WWF run, Nailz basically told everyone Boss Man was bad news based on their history when Nailz was an inmate in Boss Man's jail. Nobody believed the convict. Then Boss Man left, came back as Vince's hired bodyguard, and eventually showed that he's the Worst Person Ever…
- Cool Shades: Wore a pair of large shades as the Big Bossman. It doubles as Sinister Shades, since he was almost always a heel.
- Darker and Edgier: He was already one of the more foul heels in the cartoonish WWF (what with his brutal beatings of Face jobbers and the whole storyline with Nailz) but his return during the Attitude Era had him come back as Vince's nasty, sadistic and utterly unhinged bodyguard. His misdeeds include murdering a defenseless puppy and feeding the remains to its poor owner and crashing the funeral of Big Show's father while happily driving away with the casket. His runs with the Hardcore Championship also had him become more of a Garbage Wrestler thanks to his willingness to use anything as a weapon just to defend the championship.
- Demoted to Extra: He had a pretty fun run as Big Bubba Rogers in the NWA. During the golden era of WWF, he was with the Twin Towers as a heel, and then he was the good ol' boy from Georgia fighting The Mountie. Top heel, matches with Hulk Hogan, worked with Ted DiBiase and got a decent push, Boss Man was over with crowds back then. Then he had a stint in WCW which was strange; from 1994-1998 he went through five name changes: The Boss Man, The Boss, The Guardian Angel, Big Bubba Rogers, and finally his real name Ray Traylor. In WCW, he was just another guy on the roster, with his biggest feud being Sting in '95 and being turned down by the nWo in '96. His 1998-2003 WWE run started well, with him being The Corporation's enforcer; he'd just stand around in tactical gear and look imposing, and he even held the tag titles with Ken Shamrock for a while. But after that he became an afterthought. Once the "Corporate Ministry" thing wrapped up, WWE put him in some weird feuds: like the time he showed up at a funeral for Big Show's dad, stole the casket, attached it to the back of his truck and drove it off the cemetery.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Despite being a pretty sadistic guy, he loved his mother to the point that he wreaked havoc on the Heenan Family after Bobby Heenan insulted her.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The catalyst behind him turning on Slick and Ted DiBiase in 1990. Boss Man doesn't take kindly to being bought off.
- Faking the Dead: In WrestleMania XV, it was when The Undertaker attached the long harness cord/noose from around Boss Man's neck to the safety harness he was wearing underneath his suit, that Boss Man decided to play along with the "hanging" procedure. When Boss Man was lifted up by the harness, he made a good impression of a hanging/strangulation victim, giving everyone quite a scare. When the procedure was done, only the live audience could watch him get safely taken down onto a stretcher so that he could get to a hospital just fine with minor injuries.
- Finishing Move: The Boss Man Slam (Spinning Side Slam/Scrapbuster slam to pin). The move is so indelibly associated with him to this day that whenever almost any wrestler in any promotion uses it it's still called the "Boss Man Slam".
- The "Fun" in "Funeral": Because what could be more fun than dragging Big Show's dead daddy's casket away in a police car? How about Big Show riding the casket?
- Hanging Around: At the end of one of the main events in WrestleMania XV, The Undertaker proceeded to hang him from the Hell in a Cell structure. Of course, this was mitigated as an illusion, because Big Boss Man had worn a safety bungee harness underneath his suit when he was attatched to a long harness cord disguised as a noose; and he had to be taken down off-camera so that he could get to a hospital on a stretcher. The next time he returned no worse for wear, he became known as The Man Taker Couldn't Hang.
- Heel Realization: It's implied that his Heel–Face Turn in 1990 is also partly the result of him realizing his villany.
- Honor Before Reason: For his face turn in 1990, Bossman refused to give Ted DiBiase his Million-Dollar Belt because Ted had paid Slick to have him get it from Jake Roberts, who had stolen it in the first place, and gave it back to Jake.
- Hot-Blooded: And how!
- I Have Many Names: He wrestled as Ray Traylor, Big Bubba Rogers, The Big Bossman, and the Guardian Angel.
- Jerkass: Part of his character during the Attitude Era. Hell, anytime he was a heel, he was a total thug.
- Kick the Dog: As a heel, he'd handcuff Jobbers to the ropes after his win and beat them mercilessly.
- Large Ham: Has a pretty high-pitched voice for a guy his size, and often has to rely on hamminess to hide this. As a result of this, every single character he portrayed (save for Big Bubba Rogers) was a large ham.
- Lawman Baton: His preferred weapon in both his prison guard and SWAT officer gimmicks was a nightstick, which he would often use in conjunction with his handcuffs.
- Lightning Bruiser: Around the time of his face turn, he lost some weight and became very quick and agile for a guy his size (which was still over 300lbs).
- Made of Iron: During his time as Big Bubba, he was involved in a feud between Jim Cornette and Dusty Rhodes, which included one spot where Dusty would run in and hit him over the head with a folding chair, which would be rigged to shatter without harming him. The spot seemingly went as planned, and by random luck Bubba's hat didn't even fall off, but when Cornette went to congratulate the prop guy afterwards, it turned out he had forgotten to rig the chair. Important to note: Bubba had a real wooden folding chair smashed over his head, and he didn't even FLINCH.
- No Indoor Voice: Every promo he did was shouted. Then again, that's Professional Wrestling in The '80s for you. Possibly because, as Jim Cornette has stated on more than one interview, Traylor's real voice was quite high pitched for his size.
- No-Sell: When he was being managed by Jim Cornette, they were riding in a taxi together and the driver accidentally slammed the door on Big Bubba Rogers's hand, smashing all his fingers. Ray's response was to tell the cabby he needed to open the door. Cornette later asked him why he was not more upset and Bubba said since there were fans watching, he couldn't sell the injury in front of them.
- Only Sane Man: When with Cornette and The Midnight Express.
- Power Stable:
- Real Life Writes the Plot: According to Jim Cornette, the Big Bubba Rogers character was created, at least in part, because Cornette legitimately needed protection from rabid fans who wanted to kick his ass.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Spent the end of 1990 and early 1991 working his way through the Heenan Family after Bobby Heenan insulted his mother.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Jim Cornette asserts that Bossman decided to leave the WWF in 1993 because he was concerned about the steroid indictment pending against Vince McMahon and the harm these allegations would do the Bossman gimmick if Vince ended up losing the case.
- Spell My Name With An S: The WWF couldn't settle on spelling it Big Bossman or Big Boss Man.
- Squash Match: Pinned by The Rock at Survivor Series 1998 in - get this - four seconds.
- Tag Team: The Twin Towers, w/Akeem.
- Verbal Tic: He can talk any he wants to, punk! So don't you forget that, boy!
- Weapon Specialization: Proficient at using his nightstick as a weapon, to the point that wrestlers regularly ditched the ring when he started wielding the nightstick. He was even able to instantly knock out Test by whacking him in the head with it. Once.
- Would Hit a Girl: Teased during a match between Hulk Hogan and Akeem, where Bossman was at ringside, the Twin Towers brutally beat down Hogan before they and manager Slick set their sights on Miss Elizabeth. Bossman actually grabbed Liz’s wrist and put her in handcuffs, and seemed like an instant away from a burtual, bloody beatdown ... until Randy Savage ran to the ring to run the bad guys off. This was a common scene during house shows where Randy Savage, Elizabeth and Bossman and/or Akeem were on the card.
- Wrestling Doesn't Pay: One of the more successful examples of this trope - a prison guard might seem a bit hokey on paper, but Traylor was just big and imposing enough to back it up. Not to mention the fact that he really did work as a prison guard prior to becoming a wrestler.
- Writing Around Trademarks: WCW tried calling him "The Boss" and "The Man."