WWE & Impact Wrestling Hall of Famers The Dudley Boyz have signed WWE Legends contracts.
Bubba Ray Dudley (aka Bully Ray, Brother Ray) and D-Von Dudley (aka Brother Devon, Reverend D-Von) recently spoke with Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso to promote their in-ring return and reunion as the Impact 1000 tapings this weekend, and they both recently signed WWE Legends contracts.
The WWE deals were not disclosed, but the most decorated tag team in history is excited to return to the ring on Saturday at the Impact 1000 taping, which will air on Thursday, September 14. As of this writing, Impact had not named their opponents. In their nearly 30-year career, Bubba and D-Von have worked for all of the top companies, but it was noted that their Impact run is their most complete body of work.
“We spent more time in Impact than in ECW or WWE,” Bubba said. “It’s going to be fun to get back for one night. We never thought this would happen with Devon’s health, but he says he feels great. So we’re going out there on Saturday, and we’re going to give our fanbase what they know, love, and expect from Team 3D.”
While D-Von retired shortly after their final match in December 2016, Bubba has continued to wrestle and is now a top heel in Impact. After suffering a stroke in 2019, while working as a WWE Producer, it appeared that D-Von’s future in the ring was bleak. However, after recovering from the stroke and undergoing back surgery, he left WWE in January of this year, after serving in that capacity since September 2016. D-Von then returned to the ring and continued to improve, and now he’s having his first match in 7 years.
“It’s no secret I had the stroke in 2019, which was stress-related,” D-Von said. “Working behind-the-scenes for WWE at the time as a backstage producer was very stressful. A year later, when I had back surgery, I thought I was done. But I had a great trainer, and I kept getting stronger. Then I thought, ‘Let me get in the ring and try it again.’ At first, I was a little off. But then I started doing it on a regular basis. I thought, ‘What if I do something with Bubba? Or something with my sons, who wrestle on the independent scene?’ The more I did it, the better I moved. At my wrestling school, I started getting into the ring with my students. Then I got the call from Bubba about doing the thousandth episode of Impact! He asked if I could get into ring shape, and I said, ‘Hell yeah.’ I’ve been working so hard to prove I haven’t lost a step. I’m ready for another 3D.”
The Aces & Eights storyline, which included a singles push for both tag team veterans, was a shared highlight of their time in Impact.
“Eric Bischoff saw something that no one else really had, which is what led to working as singles wrestlers in Aces & Eights,” Bubba said. “It’s a body of work I’m extremely proud of.”
D-Von stated that Team 3D’s time on Impact was better than their time in WWE.
“We had a better run in TNA than we did in WWE,” D-Von said. “But that’s our story–we’ve always been able to create something special. Look back, and you’ll remember that the Dudley gimmick was not meant to be serious. It was masterminded by Raven, and Taz put his two cents into it, but it was meant to be a joke. At first, we were just happy to be part of it. But Paul Heyman believed in us, and we decided to take the tag team to the next level.”
D-Von added, “Now we get to go back out there, the two of us, and return to Impact. Can you believe that? This Saturday is going to be incredible. The fans have no idea how inspirational they are to me. During my rough days, they were always there for me. I’m grateful for God, who brought me here, and I am grateful to the fans for lifting me up.”
Team 3D will compete in their first standard tag team match since defeating Neville (aka PAC) and Sami Zayn on the SummerSlam 2016 pre-show this Saturday. This will be their first Impact match together since defeating Tommy Dreamer and Abyss (aka Chris Park) in a Hardcore Match at Bound For Glory 2014. They worked House of Glory’s HOG VI show on December 17, 2016, just a few months after their SummerSlam 2016 appearance, in a Fatal 4 Way that saw Santana and Ortiz win the HOG Tag Team Titles by defeating The Dudleyz, Private Party, and former champions The Hardys. Team 3D will also be present at the Impact 1000 Fan Celebration, which will take place at the same location on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fan event is free with the purchase of a Saturday taping ticket.
Depending on which promotions are included, the Dudleyz are a 23-time or 24-time tag team champions. In 2014, they were inducted into the Impact Hall of Fame, and in 2018, they were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.