Check out our retro interview with Devon... or Dvon... or oh whatever...
Because he's one half of arguably the best wrestling tag team ever and to a lesser degree, because he digs Cosby's sweaters, it's time for Cheek to Cheek with TNA Wrestling's Brother Devon (formerly Dvon Dudley of The Dudley Boyz)
By Jon Chattman, for thecheappop.com
JC: Hey Devon, how long have you been a wrestling fan?
D: I started watching wrestling back in '77 at five years old. I was hooked. I remember saying to myself at one point 'man, it's great. It's fun.' I never really thought about it again until Hogan came on the scene. Growing up in the projects, it was very hard. I tried to stay out of trouble, and it was Hogan that kept me [out of trouble.] Back in 1983, it was just unbelievable. I saw people all the time, especially young people [rooting for Hogan]. You don't know what it was like unless you were there. The Steve Austin and Rock era was huge, but it was nothing like the Hulk-a-mania era. They'd never seen wrestling on that big of a scale. Wrestling never crossed over into the entertainment business and you never really saw actors and things like that, coming to the shows. I remember thinking, 'that's what I want to do.' I owe a lot to Hulk Hogan, because watching him made me want to do this. And just a small little tidbit, everytime I'm in the ring, I do a leg drop almost similar to Hogan's. I hit the ropes, take two steps, jump up, and hit it. That's just my little tribute, because if it wasn't for him I don't think I would've taken the initial step to get into the business.
JC: You've never been on the receiving end of a leg-drop from Hogan, right?
D: No, I've never been. That was always my dream to be in the ring with him. I was in the ring with him one time at a Battle Royal on Smackdown! and I remember telling everybody, "Do not touch me. I don't care what he does to me. Let me just stay with Hogan." When the man grabbed me, I felt like a little kid in a candy store. It was just unbelievable. I'll never forget that. I don't have it on tape, unfortunately. I wish I could get it. That was my only moment that I had in the ring with Hogan.
JC: Did the Hulkster know how big of a fan you were of his?
D: I never had the heart to tell him. I do know Big Show told him. Big Show was a huge fan, but I think he even knew that I was an even bigger fan than he was. I believe Edge told him, too. Edge is a huge Hogan fan, and he always rubs it in my face that he got to win the tag team belts with him.
JC: That bastard! Just kidding... lets jump into TNA. You and Brother Ray have been there a couple months now after being arguably the most dominant tag team in WWE history....
D: I like it. I think TNA is great, and I'm not just saying that because I left WWE. In my opinion, I've had a lot of great years at WWE, during The Rock and Austin era. It was a great time. We made a lot of money. We had a great time. It made us into stars. There's no question about that. Right now, the direction the company is going: it's not us. We'd been there for six years, but within that last year, it was a whole new regime that came in. And, there were no tag teams to work with. I don't mind if you're putting tag teams together, but for not for the hell of it. They were putting these tags together to beat us, but then breaking them up next week. And, we're supposed to be the [best] tag team in the business? That was one of the things we were really unhappy with.
JC: TNA is filled with tag teams....
D: The list goes on and on. I remember we were embraced by a lot of the boys in the back [when we arrived to TNA.] They were happy to see us especially the tag teams. They wanted to learn from us, which was great. It was weird actually being the veteran, but it was a role that we would've been more than happy to take. These guys are hungry. They love it, and you can see it. They remind me of ECW when it first started. It's a promotion trying to make headway. They're the real deal. This is what they're trying to do. I think they have potential. You got A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Monty Brown... you've got all these guys that are making an impact. The fans may not know who they are right now, but they will get to know them as time goes on. It's just like when ECW started going mainstream. TNA has some learning to do, but that's with every new growing company. That's going to come with time. Everything that they're doing now, they're doing it on the right track. They're making headway and I think one division I'm very proud of is that X-Division. It's fantastic.
JC: Yes, the emphasis there is wrestling as opposed to the entertainment factor...
D: We're wrestlers, not actors. We're the worst actors in the entertainment business, but you let us do what we do best, and we can put on a show. Let wrestlers go out there and perform. Let them wrestle. The fans want that. This is what the fans have been asking for and for some reason WWE are not listening.
JC: It ended pretty bad with The Dudley Boyz and WWE. Are you guys bitter at all? It's one thing to let you guys go, it's another to copyright your names and gimmick....
D: Yeah it's a shot in the [butt], but as far as taking our names, I look at it this way: we know we have the right to our names. They know we have the right to our names. Basically, we're being bullied. I'm tired of bullies. We were The Dudley's way before we even thought about coming to WWE. We made a name for ourselves before we even got there, and we were on a national level TV-wise, way before we got to WWE. And, Vince [McMahon] knows this. He can try every loophole he can, but it's not going to work because we know the deal. [Legally], we're not giving up on that by a long shot.
JC: Moving on, TNA just signed Christian, is it exciting that talent is flocking to TNA?
D: I'm loving it. I think the more names, the better. It'll help TNA's product. Not that we're trying to get rid of the guys that helped build the foundation of TNA, but it just help those guys along way. It can make things a little bit easy on them. We're in this to make money and entertain the fans and that's what we have to do. A lot of the boys that are coming over from the other company or anywhere else, if they can help out in any way, shape or form, I think that's great. We need competition, because that's when Vince is at his best, and the business...
JC: Do you know others in the business that want to jump to TNA?
D: Oh yeah. There's a few of them that I know of, that I speak to, that tell me they can't wait because of how unhappy they are because they're not able to do what they want to do. They don't want to be actors, they want to wrestle, and put on a show in the ring. They want to tell their story in the ring, and not in front of a camera with a script in front of them. They're not getting that opportunity. At one point in time, you couldn't go anywhere because there was nowhere to go. Now there is and they're happy about that. They can't do anything now until they're contracts are up. You're going to see a lot of the boys leaving and coming over to TNA.
JC: Out of curiousity, why do you think tag teams are a dying breed?
D: Tag team wrestling was never at the forefront of the company. It was always on the backburner. I think that was used, in my opinion, to add on to the show: to give guys work to do. WWE has always been a company that emphasized on singles wrestling. It's always been that way. Tag-team wrestling was always secondary. It's just something that Vince has always seen as his baby. I think it all started back in the day of the Hulk-a-mania era. [In recent years], the tag team division started to wear down and they started breaking people up, and making them singles. They never have anything planned ahead of time. But I don't know, maybe one day Vince will wake up and start doing things the way he's doing them and stop the "I'm Vince McMahon and you do as I say.'
JC: Okay Devon, now for the serious questions. Why don't you ever wear tights?
D: Uh, I've got legs like my mother. I didn't take from my pops. I remember my trainers telling me once, "How the hell are those legs holding up that body?"
JC: What was the most embarassing moment you've had?
D: I can't remember the place, but I can see the building. Someone stuffed toilet paper as a trick, down my pants, hanging down. I'm running [to the ring], and you can see the paper flapping in the background as if it was a cape. As I'm circling the ring, Brother Ray sees it and goes, "come here." He pulls the paper out. Thank God it wasn't on TV.
JC: Who's the greatest and worst tag team of all time?
D: I would have to say The Road Warriors. A lot of people say we surpassed them, but I don't think so. I think they made such an impact that it would be hard for even us to take that away from them. I don't think we could. I really don't think we could. The worst? The Dynamic Dudes, or something like that. They came out on skateboards. We tease Shane [Douglass] all the time about that. Anything with Johnny Ace was the worse.
JC: What's your favorite TV show?
D: Number one is The Cosby Show, shows like Good Times and What's Happenin' Now. I love watching those shows. They bring back so many memories of my childhood and how I use to always be in front of the TV watching those shows. I'm happy seeing them back on TV now [with] TV Land.
JC: Are you old school with music, too?
D: I love the '80's. I'm a big 80's fan. I'm a huge fan of the rap and R&B of the '80's, early '90's. Even somewhat mid-90's. Today's rap I'm not too fond of, but there's certain artists I like 50 Cent and Eminem and Jadakiss, but a lot of it really turned me off because of violence and what have you. I know they're not glorifying violence. They're just talking about what goes on in their neck of the woods and where they grew up, but sometimes you don't want to hear that. At one point when you heard rap music, it was to forget all those bad things that were going on in your neighborhood.
JC: Hell yeah, people used to rap about McDonalds!
D: Exactly. That's what I miss about it. And, that's why I stick with the '80's and early '90's. If I could go back in time, I'd go back there. I look at that show, "Where are they now?" and it brings back so many memories, because you have no idea. It was so easy to please me as a kid.
JC: Thanks for your time Devon. Good luck in TNA and happy holidays. The latter of which, bring us to our final question. You've broken a lot of tables, but have you ever set the table?
D: [Laughs] Oh, plenty of times! My wife won't let me do anything else but set the table!