Big Boss Man Cause of Death: How the WWE Legend Passed Away at 41

Big Boss Man was one of the most iconic wrestlers of the late 1980s and early 1990s, known for his imposing physique, his nightstick, and his law enforcement gimmick. He had a successful career in both the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW), winning several championships and feuding with some of the biggest names in the industry. But how did Big Boss Man die? What was the cause of his death? And what legacy did he leave behind? In this article, we will explore these questions and more.

Early Life and Career

Big Boss Man was born as Ray Washington Traylor Jr. on May 2, 1963, in Marietta, Georgia. He grew up with a passion for wrestling and trained under the tutelage of experienced wrestlers, honing his skills and preparing for the physical demands of the sport

He made his professional wrestling debut in 1985, working as a jobber for Jim Crockett Promotions under his real name. He faced the likes of Tully Blanchard, The Barbarian, Ivan Koloff, The Midnight Express, The Road Warriors, and Wahoo McDaniel

Seeing his potential, head booker Dusty Rhodes pulled Traylor from TV for 12 weeks, in order to repackage him as “Big Bubba Rogers” with Traylor debuting as Rogers on the May 31 edition of WorldWide. As Big Bubba, Traylor was a silent bodyguard for Jim Cornette, who, along with the Midnight Express, was feuding with the James Boys (Dusty Rhodes and Magnum T.A., under masks). He got a solid push as a seemingly unstoppable heel and feuded with Rhodes (the top face at the time) in a series of Bunkhouse Stampede matches in 1986. He and Rhodes were tied for wins in this series, leading to a tiebreaking cage match, which Rhodes won on February 27. Traylor also defeated Ron Garvin in a Louisville Street Fight at Starrcade 1986

In 1987, Traylor joined the Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) after it was purchased by Jim Crockett. On April 19, Traylor challenged and won the UWF Heavyweight Championship from One Man Gang, who was leaving the UWF for the WWF. Following his title win, he aligned himself with General Skandor Akbar and his Devastation Inc. stable. Traylor would hold the championship for nearly three months before losing it to “Dr. Death” Steve Williams on July 11, 1987 in Oklahoma City during the Great American Bash 1987 tour

WWF Debut and Rise to Fame

In June 1988, Traylor signed with the WWF and was given a new gimmick: Big Boss Man, a corrupt prison guard from Cobb County, Georgia. He was managed by Slick and wore a blue police uniform with a badge, handcuffs, and a nightstick. He often used his nightstick as a weapon and handcuffed his opponents to the ropes after beating them. He also had a theme song that warned his foes not to mess with him or they would serve hard time

Big Boss Man made his WWF debut on June 22, 1988 at a house show in Providence, Rhode Island, defeating Scott Casey. He quickly established himself as a dominant heel, defeating Sam Houston at SummerSlam 1988 and Koko B. Ware at Survivor Series 1988. He also formed a tag team with Akeem (formerly One Man Gang), who had adopted an African-American gimmick under Slick’s guidance. The duo was known as The Twin Towers and feuded with The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage), who were the top faces at the time. The Twin Towers never won the WWF Tag Team Championship but they played a pivotal role in breaking up The Mega Powers at WrestleMania V on April 2, 1989. During that event, Big Boss Man attacked Miss Elizabeth (Savage’s manager and wife) after she tried to get help for Hogan from backstage. This enraged Savage, who blamed Hogan for not being there for him or Elizabeth. The two former friends then had a heated confrontation that led to their match later that night for the WWF Championship, which Hogan won

Big Boss Man continued to feud with Hogan throughout 1989 in various matches such as steel cage matches and No Holds Barred matches (based on the movie of the same name starring Hogan). He also faced other top stars such as Brutus Beefcake and Jake Roberts. However, he also showed signs of having morals when he refused to accept money from Ted DiBiase (The Million Dollar Man) to join his stable. This earned him the respect of the fans and he eventually turned face in late 1989. He then feuded with his former partner Akeem and his former manager Slick, defeating them both at WrestleMania VI on April 1, 1990

As a face, Big Boss Man became one of the most popular wrestlers in the WWF. He changed his uniform to a black one and adopted a more heroic persona. He also had a new theme song that praised him for being a good cop who fought for justice. He feuded with some of the most notorious heels in the WWF, such as The Mountie (a Canadian lawman who used a cattle prod as a weapon), The Nasty Boys (a pair of street thugs who used spray paint and trash cans as weapons), and Nailz (a former prisoner who claimed that Big Boss Man had abused him in jail). He also teamed up with other faces such as Hulk Hogan, Jim Duggan, and Virgil. He won his first WWF title on November 24, 1991 at Survivor Series, when he and his partner Legion of Doom defeated The Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon) and The Irwin R. Schyster (IRS) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. However, they lost the titles back to The Natural Disasters on February 7, 1992 at a house show in Denver, Colorado

Big Boss Man’s last major feud in the WWF was with The Undertaker, who had recently turned face after breaking away from his manager Paul Bearer. The two had a series of matches in 1992, culminating in a Coffin Match at Survivor Series on November 25, 1992. The Undertaker won the match by locking Big Boss Man in a coffin and rolling it to the back. This was Big Boss Man’s last pay-per-view appearance in the WWF until 1998. He left the company shortly after due to creative differences and personal issues

WCW Return and Various Gimmicks

In March 1993, Traylor returned to WCW and was given a new gimmick: The Boss, a face character similar to his Big Boss Man persona in the WWF. He wore a gray police uniform and carried a nightstick. He feuded with some of the top heels in WCW, such as Vader, Rick Rude, and Harley Race. He also teamed up with Sting and Davey Boy Smith to face Vader’s team at WarGames on September 19, 1993. However, he was forced to drop the gimmick after the WWF threatened legal action over the similarities to Big Boss Man

Traylor then changed his name to The Guardian Angel, a member of the real-life crime prevention organization of the same name. He wore a red beret and a white shirt with the Guardian Angels logo on it. He continued to feud with Vader and also faced other heels such as Steve Austin and The Diamond Studd (Scott Hall). However, he turned heel himself in October 1994 when he attacked Sting during their match against Ric Flair and Arn Anderson at Halloween Havoc. He then joined Flair’s stable, The Four Horsemen, and changed his name again to Big Bubba Rogers, his original ring name from Jim Crockett Promotions

As Big Bubba Rogers, Traylor wore a black leather jacket and pants and shaved his head bald. He feuded with Sting, Dustin Rhodes, Alex Wright, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. He also formed a tag team with Vader called The Masters of the Powerbomb. They faced Sting and Davey Boy Smith at Slamboree on May 21, 1995 in a match where the losing team had to disband. Sting and Smith won the match after Smith pinned Rogers with a roll-up

Traylor then changed his name once more to Big Bubba, dropping the Rogers surname. He also changed his attire to a black suit and tie and grew back his hair and beard. He became a member of Kevin Sullivan’s Dungeon of Doom stable, which was formed to destroy Hulk Hogan (who had recently turned heel and formed the New World Order). He feuded with Hogan’s allies such as Randy Savage, Lex Luger, and The Giant (The Undertaker’s kayfabe brother). He also had brief stints as a face when he teamed up with John Tenta (Earthquake) against The Dungeon of Doom and when he joined The nWo Wolfpac (a splinter faction of The nWo led by Kevin Nash) in 1998. However, he was mostly used as a mid-card heel until he left WCW in June 1998 after suffering an injury during a match against Rick Steiner at The Great American Bash on June 14, 1998.

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