Justncredible818 sent along the following:
One-half of the 22-time World Tag Team Champions, Brother Devon joined The Mayhem Crew (The Big Mosh, Blade, & "Wild" Bill Brown) to preview TNA Wrestling’s debut this Saturday night in Buffalo, NY (@ Hamburg’s Agri-Center/Erie County Fairgrounds), as the road to Victory Road (live on Pay-Per-View Sunday night, July 19th) draws closer. Of all the talents scheduled at this weekend’s debut in the hometown of The Mayhem (which include both the TNA World Heavyweight Champion, Kurt Angle & "The Hardcore Legend" Mick Foley), Devon is amped potentially more than anybody, based on having the opportunity to perform in fromt of the Buffalo fans for well over a decade since he debuted in ECW. "Buffalo has been a tremendous place for The Dudley Boyz. We’ve had many successful matches in Buffalo in ECW of course." He went on to remind those members of The Mayhem Nation that reside in the Western NY area that one of their ECW World Tag Team Title wins was in Buffalo against Rob Van Dam & Sabu. "It’s definitely going to be great to be back in Buffalo, and I love the fans in Buffalo."
Brother Devon & The Dudley Boyz were huge parts of the original ECW (quite possible, two of the most-hated wrestlers in the company), and Devon loved every minute of it. Over the years & since the closing of Extreme Championship Wrestling, Devon looks back on that time with great fondness & appreciates how great those times were. "It was a great feeling then, and I do miss it. Unfortunately, the stuff that you see now on TV, doesn’t even come close to what ECW really, really used to be like. And I’m sure there are people in ECW right now, I don’t really want to mention any names, I know feel the same way I do that WWE will never be able to duplicate what Paul Heyman created. You would need ‘Dr. Frankenstein’ himself in order to do that, and I don’t see WWE bringing him in anytime soon. To me, ECW of today is a rip-off to the old the ECW, because today’s fan really doesn’t know & understand, who never saw ECW before, they can’t really grasp what ECW was all about back then."
The "differences" & "similarities" between the new & old ECW have been bantered about relentlessly over the past four years or so, and one of the more vivid memories for many of just how "different" the landscape of ECW changed (from a company to a mere brand) was the now-infamous match between The Big Show & "The Animal" Batista at The Hammerstein Ballroom (from August ’06)..that nearly turned into a riot. "I think Vince (McMahon) took a huge chance on that. He as taken a lot of chances over the years no question, a lot of them has been successful & some have fallen. I think if you ask him his opinion on it, I don’t think he would have thought he failed on that one. But you can’t bring guys like that (Show & Batista) into an ECW setting. Those fans aren’t going to accept these WWE versions of ECW, and they never will. And to bring that type of show there in New York City, where that was ECW’s second home, Vince should have expected something like that to happen."
During their time in TNA Wrestling, Brother Devon & Brother’s Ray’s series of matches with Beer Money Inc. have been seen by many as the "Feud Of The Year," and many of those same fans & journalists alike have called it one of, if not their best feud to date, in the history of Team 3-D/The Dudley Boyz. And some of those have even gone as far to add that they are the greatest tag team in the history of professional wrestling. At this stage in his career, what are Devon’s thoughts on those words of high praise from their fans/those in the business? "I think putting us in the same category as The Road Warriors/The Legion Of Doom is a great honor. Of course we’ve been put in that category before by fans…and even by the critics. But, I would still say to this day that we would have to take a second seat behind Animal & Hawk, because it is kinda of hard to believe that you could be better than the guys you actually idolized growing up. And we got our stuff from watching them." And his candid thoughts about working with Storm/Roode & the chemistry between both teams: "We have stepped up even more with the program that we’ve done with Beer Money. Beer Money is definitely a team of the future, there’s no question about that. They have what it takes, they have the ability, and they know the ring inside & out. That’s the one thing I like about those guys. You don’t have to go in there & hold anybody’s hand, you just go in there and do what you have to do and make business & make money. And’s the one thing we have been able to do with Beer Money."
One of the most-anticipated debuts in recent wrestling history is expected in mere days…and potentially at the Victory Road PPV (on Sunday, July 19th) in the former ECW Champion/WWE superstar, Taz, as he has recently finished up his 90-day, no-compete clause. Brother Devon has had the opportunities to work with Taz prior (both in ECW & World Wrestling Entertainment), so how does he see Taz impacting (no pun intended) the landscape of TNA Wrestling? "Well, let me ask you this…I’m still a little stunned…You say Taz is coming to TNA? I’m still a little taken aback by that one. I thought he was still in the WWE." Here’s to hoping that Devon becomes more in the loop leading into the forthcoming PPV & the rumors become certainty over the next ten days or so.
Some wrestling fans & "armchair quarterbacks" are beginning to think that maybe it’s time for superstars like Taz, Tommy Dreamer, & Team 3-D to pass the torch & wind down their careers in wrestling..and that some of those talents (and several others) have "lost a step" & just don’t have "it anymore." Devon has been very one of the most-outspoken performers in the industry for well over a decade, and on this subject/topic (when it comes to Team 3-D not cutting the mustard anymore), he thinks differently. "I haven’t heard reports of fans that said I personally didn’t have it anymore. I think the only thing that people can actually say of certain people who are over the hill who shouldn’t be in the ring anymore, is quite obvious for the fans who those guys are. As far as Tommy Dreamer, myself, & Bubba Ray, we’re still going. We get the people out of their seats, we’re still putting asses in the seats. So as far as I’m concerned, I think you will always have those types of critics who will say things like that, but they have been saying that since Day One. Nobody ever believed in The Dudleys, nobody thought we would survive in the WWE, hell nobody thought we were going to survive in ECW."
The Mayhem Crew began to give Devon the floor for some parting shots to The Mayhem Nation, until Mosh brought a lingering rumor that has persisted on for many years since Team 3-D stepped foot in TNA..that eventually & at some point, Brother Ray & Brother Devon would alter into The Dudley Boyz once again in the confines of World Wrestlnig Entertainment. Devon wished to go publicly on the record once & for all to everyone in the wrestling business alike: fans, fellow talents/superstars, & all of those within the offices of the WWE/TNA: "I’m gonna put old rumors to rest, and I want people to undersatnd this. TNA has been nothing but good to us. TNA has allowed us to be still the tag team that we are, they have not held us back. They have done the right thing. We’ve had some creative control, and when we need to be pulled back, they pull us back. But there is one thing we love to do…we love to come to work. And we still enjoy doing what we’re doing. So as far as I’m concerned, and I want people to really understand this & realize, we’re not screwing over TNA, we’re very happy here, we’re gonna continue to be happy here. I know a lot of people thought we were gonna go to WWE but right now, I don’t think their product is where we need to be right now. They’re going in a different direction than where we want to be."
More is contained in this near-30 minute exclusive interview with one of the most-decorated tag team performers in the history of the business, Brother Devon, including his thoughts on some more of his best Buffalo memories in ECW (and performing at The Burt Flickinger Center), how him & Brother Ray got started working with Joel Gertner in Extreme Championship wrestling, his experiences/memories at the Johnny Rodz wrestling school (Gleason’s Gym) in New York City, the recent success of the Team 3-D Wrestling Academy in Kissimmee, FL (and the transition of wrestler to trainer), along with his opinions on some of the other wrestling schools around the country. Get the tables ready Mayhem Nation, as this is one interview you cannot afford to miss!