My Favorite Match: Spike Dudley
By Michael Dworkis
Spike Dudley has had numerous matches in his career. But his favorite highlight in WWE came weeks after his debut… on April 1, 2001. it was a TLC Match – Matt & Jeff Hardy vs. Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley vs. Edge & Christian.
“WrestleMania 17, it was a TLC match – Dudley Boys vs. Edge & Christian vs. Hardyz, and I debuted about three weeks prior to that. I was thrown into the mix of this giant match, three weeks into the WWE and all of a sudden, I’m out in front of 70,000 people in the Astrodome in Houston, TX. It was pretty breathtaking. I had to do a run in, and the ring was a mile away from the locker room, so when I had to run down, all I could hear was a huge, deafening roar and I said to myself: ‘man, I have hit the big time!’ It was unbelievable.”
Spike may not have been an official participant in the exciting match, but he had his share of TLC action.
“It was fun to be there with Bubba and D-Von, because I’ve known them for a while, worked a lot with them in ECW, and being with them as part of something so huge. In my mind it was pretty cool. What happened was that each team had a third person in the background. The Hardyz had Lita, Edge and Christian had Rhyno who had also recently debuted from ECW, and Bubba and D-Von had me. During the match, Rhyno interfered, then I came down, then Lita ran down. We all got involved. Lita clobbered me with a chair, I put Christian through a table, then Jeff Hardy did the Swanton Bomb off the 15-foot-high ladder onto both me and Rhyno. That highlight was scary. When Jeff hit us, it was the most impactful moment of the match, and well, of the beginning of my career. I put Christian through a table by doing a variation of the Dudley Dog from the ring through the table. It was cool, because every time you did something spectacular, the crowd would just erupt. It was an awesome moment.”
His moments during the match made an impact on Spike. However, before the match, he wasn’t sure what he was getting into.
“Before going through that curtain, the feeling, what was going through my head was just: ‘oh boy, oh boy, oh boy’, was all I could think. You know it’s the biggest show of the year and hear I am, a rookie kid in WWE. I had it all, the nervousness, the excitement. I kept thinking to myself: ‘I can’t believe this is happening to me.’ I had butterflies. I was a mess. I was pacing for hours before the match.”
After it was all over, Spike felt that he earned his initiation into the WWE family.
“Making it to WWE was a big relief,” says Spike. “ECW went out of business, and I didn’t have a job. Getting that phone call from WWE, all I could feel was relief. The second feeling came when I made my debut in Albany, NY and it felt like I went to a “mom and pop” type store… to the big one. You know what I mean? ECW had national TV and pay-per-view, but we were still a small operation, compared to WWE. We walked in, and you see WWE is a corporation. You have 200 people putting TV together, you have an office with hundreds of employees doing all the marketing and promotion, its worldwide, it’s just a whole different level. The cult following in ECW was absolutely awesome, and it will last forever. But while we are doing a show for two-thousand people, WWE does it in front of 20,000 people. When I made it, all I could say Man, this is the big leagues.”
“I love working with Bubba and D-Von, either with them or against them, we know each other so well, you know we can turn it up a notch, we can become exceptionally physical. They don’t mind hitting me as hard as they can, and they certainly don’t mind me hitting them as hard as I can. That makes for some pretty exciting stuff. Going to the Cruiserweight level has been awesome, it’s relatively new to me because I was on the Raw side, with the big guys so now I’m getting in there with guys like Chavo Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Jamie Noble and a whole new door is opening for me. I like taking the fight to the big guys and don’t mind getting tossed around, now I’m against guys that I can get in a lot more offense and a lot more action.”
Spike goes back to when he made his debut in ECW, and how the impact there was also a memorable highlight, and compares that to the highlight of entering WWE.
“ECW to WMX-7, its all relative, the first time I worked a PPV for ECW was unbelievable, I think that was when Bam Bam Bigelow threw clear into the crowd, it was insane. At the time, it was the greatest thing ever. Now, skipping ahead into the future with WWE, its ten time what it was in ECW. There are moments in ECW that I was always treasure and keep close to my heart, but the enormity of the viewers and the fans just blows it away.”
Now, he’s got a Cruiserweight Championship reign on his belt, literally. The current Cruiserweight Champion is enjoying every minute in the spotlight, although knowing that the new attention brings new challenges. To Spike, it’s what he wants.
“It’s cool to be the champ. I’ve been going on at least 12 years now and it’s great that I have reinvented myself, now I feel I can go a lot further in my career. It’s really exciting, you don’t see many semi-veterans getting that breath of new life, and it’s been really exciting to be there on top, stepping in the ring with Rey Mysterio with my brothers behind me is awesome.”
It may have been three years since his unforgettable debut, but there is no possible way Spike can forget it.
“My front tooth still hurts, from when Jeff jumped on me. He did some damage to me, some nerve damage in my mouth. I feel it whenever I eat anything cold. That’s my WrestleMania debut memoir.”
Want to ask Spike about his career? Got Questions? Email your questions to Spike to firstname.lastname@example.org with Ask Spike in the subject line.
For this week… Pencils Down.