Being repackaged following a successful career is never easy but for this WWE Hall of Famer, it was almost career-shattering.
The Dudley Boyz were arguably the greatest tag team in history but like all good things, they had to go their separate ways at some point. That happened in the 2002 WWE Draft, with Bubba Ray Dudley being drafted to Raw and D-Von Dudley being sent to SmackDown, where he would become Reverend D-Von.
Speaking on The Hannibal TV, D-Von discussed the short-lived gimmick, explaining that, although many thought he was getting buried, he enjoyed the character for what it was:
“I don’t think Triple H would have ever laid down for me if he thought that character was garbage. I enjoyed it; Hunter enjoyed it. Hunter made a reference that D-Von was getting the short end of the stick. I remember Randy telling me that he had conversations with Hunter about it, and he said, ‘Yeah, D-Von is getting the short end of the stick on this push.’ And I was like, ‘Wow! If Hunter’s saying that then I am getting screwed.'”
D-Von Dudley continued, commenting that it was “always destined to fail” due to his lack of activity as a singles competitor:
“I wasn’t a singles competitor at that point, so trying to be a tag team wrestler…that was hard. Now you put Batista, who’s never really been on TV, never really been anywhere, never done anything, and now you put him with me, and now I have to get him over along with myself. It’s a hard task.”
The Reverend D-Von persona lasted for just six months, with D-Von making his last appearance under the moniker on the 16 November 2002 broadcast of Velocity. He reunited with Bubba Ray Dudley at Survivor Series that month, helping him, Jeff Hardy, and Spike Dudley win an Elimination Tables match.
A subsequent singles run in IMPACT Wrestling a decade later, where he competed simply as Devon, saw the multi-time Tag Team Champion amass two runs as Television Champion.