WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray recalled a time when he and his on-screen brother refused to sign autographs for fans, much to the chagrin of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
The Dudley Boyz have had an illustrious career in WWE and beyond, and it’s natural for fans to want autographs from the former WWE Superstars–but Bully Ray (formerly known as Bubba Ray) recalled a time when he and his on-screen brother tried to refuse the fans’ requests to keep up their heel personas.
Speaking to Busted Open Radio about one of his first meetings with the WWE Chairman, the former WWE Tag Team Champion had this to say:
And then, you know, our first meeting with him, where it’s me Devon, JR and Vince in JR’s office, and I looked at Vince and I’m like, ‘Hey, I just want to let you know that me and Devon are old school heels and we don’t sign autographs and we don’t take pictures with fans.’
And he chuckled and he put his hand on my knee and he said, ‘Bubba, you and Devon will take pictures with fans and you will sign autographs’ and it’s like the light bulb went off immediately. Oh, okay, I get it. Now we’re in. This is a much different world we’re in.
Bully Ray continued with another anecdote about one of his earliest encounters with Vince McMahon.
One of the other first times I met him was at the airport. I was checking in at US Air at LaGuardia, and I turned around and Vince and Linda were in line right behind me. And I think I told this story at the Hall of Fame. I was shocked. I was like, Holy crap. That’s Vince and Linda.
So when I was done, I turned around and I go to walk away and I go up to him. I go, ‘How you doing, sir? You know, Mr. and Mrs. McMahon, I’m Bubba Ray Dudley, ECW.’
And Vince goes, ‘I know who you are. And I’m looking forward to working with you’ and I was shocked that the guy actually – and he kind of tipped his hand because it was only a couple of months later that we actually started working together.
During the same conversation, Bully Ray detailed his respect for Vince McMahon, saying that he established a relationship with the WWE Chairman from his first day in the company.
Vince, I have not one bad word to say about Vince,” Bully said. “Vince took very good care of me [and] very good care of Devon our entire career. It’s because we established a relationship with him on day one. And you know, Mark [Henry] talks about how Vince is a man’s man, you know, and he wants you to establish a relationship with him.
If Vince smells fear on you, you’re dead in the water. He doesn’t want you to fear him. He wants you to respect him.
Despite this respect, however, Bully Ray was not afraid to confront McMahon when he tried to play a practical joke on him.
And I always respected him, but never feared him to the point where he’s actually tried to play a couple of practical jokes on me also. And I got right in his face.
I mean, one of the ones that I remember vividly is he came up behind me at about four or five in the afternoon, while all the guys are in the arena. They’re at the ring or talking or whatever it is.
And he waist locks me from behind. And he’s trying to like kind of take me down and Mark [Henry] and Tommy [Dreamer] know that he likes to play this roughhouse bulls**t sometimes, because he just wants to see how you react.
I completely no sold it. And when he let go, I turned around and I looked at him and I said, ‘if you ever do that again, I will embarrass you in front of your whole f**king locker room.’ And he just went (deep laughing).
He popped so hard, because he was popping because I no-sold it because I had the balls to kind of play back with him and poke back at him. And that’s what he really likes.
The Dudley Boyz were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2018.