IYH Interview: D-Von Dudley
By Hunter Shull
Jack and The OIB welcome Brother Devon of Team 3D to In Your Head by asking him how he is doing. Devon says he is doing great, just hungry. He notes that he has been dieting very hard and working on his body since leaving WWE, in order to show them what they lost.
A caller asks Devon who his influences were before getting into wrestling, and Devon answers that Hulk Hogan was his main hero growing up. Devon was captivated by Hogan, especially after Rocky 3.
Devon believes that the One Night Stand PPV was great because it gave the fans something that they had been asking for. It was also great because it got all of the boys back together, although there were guys Devon wished could’ve been there but weren’t. Devon feels that One Night Stand recaptured the spirit of ECW very well, which didn’t surprise him, and was a proper sendoff for the company.
Devon is not surprised the ECW chants have lasted so long after the company’s closing because ECW helped change the business and caused the WWF to push the envelope during the attitude era. He calls ECW fans the most hardcore fans in wrestling.
Devon doesn’t think that a full-time return of ECW would be a good idea. “We’re getting older, banged up,” He
says. He also believes that the newer wrestlers are not as tough as the older wrestlers, and are not being taught how to do hardcore matches the proper way. All of the table, chair spots, etc. have to make sense, according to Devon. Also, back then ECW’s goal was to the the 3rd biggest group in the country. That goal wouldn’t be there anymore because Vince would be in charge.
Devon discussed leaving ECW for the WWF. He didn’t want to leave ECW, because he felt loyal toward Paul, and was also being paid very well, but was excited about the opportunity. Also, he had heard bad stories from other guys who had gone to the WWF. Devon told Paul that he and Bubba would stay in ECW for only one dollar more, but Paul refused. Devon didn’t understand this at the time, but now knows it was because Vince was backing ECW and the two companies were swapping talent.
Devon feels he made the right move by going to the WWF in 1999, and also made the right move by recently jumping to TNA. He feels that something big is about to happen with the company, and is happy to be a part of it. He is excited about his upcoming match with AMW at TNA Final Resolution, and he calls AMW the best team in wrestling right now, along with MNM.
At age 33, Devon feels that he hasn’t reached his prime yet, and may one day give a singles career another shot. First though, he must accomplish everything he can possibly accomplish in the tag team division, which includes holding the NWA Tag Team Titles.
Devon was offended by Vince McMahon’s racial slur at Survivor Series. He notes that there has always been racism in wrestling, remembering Paul Orndorff making a comment about Mr. T leading up to Wrestlemania 1. Devon says that Gorilla Monsoon’s “Pearl Harbor” line was probably offensive to Japanese, but doesn’t believe that Gorilla meant it that way. Devon has dealt with a lot of closet racists throughout his career.
When asked about his battle with WWE over the Dudley trademarks, Devon says that they stopped them from using tables and the 3D at one show, but the bottom line is that the WWE can’t stop them from making a living. He calls it “sad” that the WWE would try to prevent him and Devon from using their signature moves and look. It’s ok with him though, because he wanted a new look anyway, and has hated the glasses ever since ECW.
Devon believes his singles run as Brother D-Von wasn’t successful because he had three obstacles in front of him.First, he had been a tag team wrestler for 6 years, and needed time to adjust. Secondly, even though both of his parents were ministers, it was hard for him to portray that character. Thirdly, he had to guide Batista, who was very inexperienced at the time. In Devon’s opinion, the character went downhill after Paul Heyman took control of the writing from Bruce Pritchard, and started handing Devon two-page scripts, instead of letting him improvise. Devon really liked the character and wished it had been given more time.
Devon says that nobody in TNA has come to him complaining about Team 3D being too stiff in the ring. It was hard to get the “watch your back” mentality out of their heads, but they have been extremely humble in TNA, and told the other wrestlers to come talk to them if they were uncomfortable with anything.
Devon closes the interview by running down the matches for Final Resolution and saying that at this PPV the fans are going to see the ECW version of the Dudleys, and perhaps even flaming tables. Jack tells Devon that he may be competition for Don West’s hard sell, and Devon jokes that he is preparing for his career after the ring.