While most fans know Ray Traylor as the Big Bossman, some may not recall his foray into WCW in the mid 1990’s.
Those fans would be called “lucky”.
Traylor had enjoyed a measure of fame as the nightstick-wielding Big Bossman in the WWF in the late 80’s – early 90’s. Shortly after Hulk Hogan entered WCW, Traylor followed suit, with a gimmick very similar to the Bossman, as he was known as “The Boss”. The WWF felt that was too close to the original character, so they threatened legal action. WCW renamed Traylor “The Man.” The WWF still felt it was too similar, so WCW renamed Traylor “The Big”.
Ok, they didn’t really do that. Instead, they had Traylor go through training to become a Guardian Angel.
Now for those of you who don’t know what a Guardian Angel is, here is a snippet from their official website:
“The mission of the Guardian Angels is to develop role models through volunteer safety patrols and education to improve the quality of life in communities around the world. We feel our mission is best accomplished by training diverse groups of volunteers — who come from all walks of life — to be effective as visual deterrents to crime through safety patrols. Our emphasis is on coordinating a wide variety of community based programs that address the ongoing issues of violence, crime, drugs, and gangs.”
Pretty cool, huh? Sounds like a worthwhile organization, right?
How pathetic is it, then, that WCW decided to use this honorable group for the sole reason of giving Ray FREAKIN’ Traylor a gimmick that WWF couldn’t sue them over?
To be fair, I suppose the Angels did get some exposure on national television. Traylor was shown going through the training, and eventually was inducted as a full blown Guardian Angel. He was a crowd favorite, and did what was right, in the tradition of the real Guardian Angels.
Naturally, this lasted all of a month before he flipped out (with a hysterical line that makes me laugh no matter how many times I hear it) and decided he didn’t want to be a Guardian Angel anymore. He changed gimmicks AGAIN, this time to his Big Bubba Rogers persona that he had used early in his career. Believe it or not, he kept this gimmick until he left WCW in the late 90’s.