Raymond Washington Traylor (May 2, 1963 September 22, 2004), Jr., a.k.a. Ray Traylor, is 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 WWF, 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. As always, That Other Wiki has a more detailed biography of the career of Ray Traylor.
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.
- 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. You know the rest.
- 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.
- 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.
- Awesome McCool Name: His real name was so damn cool that one must wonder why he didn't stick with it.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Originally as Jim Cornette's bodyguard Big Bubba Rogers.
- Badass Beard/Beard of Evil: Depending on whether he was a face or a heel.
- 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.
- 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
- Corpsing: During his time as Big Bubba Rogers, Jim Cornette would intentionally try to make Traylor laugh during their promos. Since he was playing The Stoic, Ray would bite his own lip until it bled holding the laughs in.
- Darker and Edgier: In the Attitude Era.
- Demoted to Extra: According to people like Jim Cornette, X-Pac Heat" was originally called "Boss Man Heat" until he got eclipsed by Waltman.
- That's a leftover from his Attitude Era run; he had a pretty fun run before that 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. The Identity Crisis Man, as he should have been called, had a stint in WCW which was strange. From 1994-1998 he went through four name changes: 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 then he got written into Vince Russo's worst shit.
- 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. People thought Boss Man was a proper dick for smashing The Big Show's family heirloom, his grandfather's gold pocket watch, with a hammer and anvil. He was a well-liked guy in the back; a shame he died so early, as he was teaching wrestling to youngsters at the time.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: See Roaring Rampage of Revenge below.
- 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.
- Finishing Move: The Boss Man Slam (Scrapbuster slam to pin).
- 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?
- Heel Realization: See Even Evil Has Standards.
- 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 Ate WHAT?!: In his feud with Al Snow, he actually kidnapped Al's dog, Pepper, cooked her and fed her to Al. This was the match that actually made J.R. apologize, bah gawd.
- 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
- 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!
- 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 Lizs 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."