In a recent interview, Road Warrior Animal made some strong comments about The Dudleys, which you can view in the embedded video.
Here are the comments about The Dudleys, courtesy of WrestleZone:
“Let me sum this up. I got nothing against D-Von or Bubba, D-Von is a great guy. Love him. They were good back in ECW in their early years. I’m gonna say this. But here’s the bottom line, you can say you’re the greatest cause you won the WWE championship so many times, all the TNA championships, but come in my shoes where you’ve won 14 different world championships. I’m talking Australia, Mexico, six different Japanese company belts, AWA, NWA, WCW, WWF, WWE. Right there you got 12 championships. Not only are you going down to Portland and winning those titles, going to Mexico City – I’ve been a part of 14 different belts. Even Hawk and I have been at least 10, 12 different titles. The only team ever to take the international belts out of Japan, and defend them against the AWA, NWA, and not WWF, but those titles and the WCW titles, and made the international belts famous. They ain’t done that. I have nothing against The Dudleys, but let’s be real to all the fans out there. You got to be real when it’s time to be real and be honest. Listen, Hulk Hogan is the greatest single thing to ever happen to the wrestling business and I’ll be the first one to say it. When something is true you have to say it. The best entertainer to ever come out of this business is The Rock. Number one best entertaining guy ever and has set the wrestling standard that nobody will ever match. The guy did 170 million dollars in profit this year. No wrestler will ever do that ever in movies. I’m the first one to say it. So the Dudleys come out here and say that kind of crap, they really need to think about it and before they open up their mouth and say ‘Okay, did we really do anything that was better than The Road Warriors?’ The answer is simple, no. Are they great? Yeah, they’re great. But they’re not The Road Warriors. They’re not gonna go down in history as a legendary status.”
As a kid, I loved the Road Warriors. LOVED. They were amazing. They were doing things no one else would do. The loud music, the spiked shoulder pads, the paint. They were the ones–no one else. Not until Vince McMahon created Demolition did anyone really come along and copy them to the point that it became okay for others to wear paint like Hawk and Animal.
And it went further than that. The amount of credibility they held was unheard of. As a kid I was also an avid reader of Pro Wrestling Illustrated. For years the publication would list The Road Warriors at the top of their rankings, even if they weren’t holding a championship. This was a departure from their normal practice at the time, but it was okay because Hawk and Animal had that much credibility. And what I mean by credibility here (and I have said it twice now) is that during that run, regardless of any championships held, when they stepped in the ring they were viewed as the favorite to win. That, my friends, is credibility.
I also believe they are one of the most influential tag teams in the history of the wrestling business. But I don’t think they are the most influential. They are among the most influential: there is no one most influential tag team. The Road Warriors obviously influenced many, as has The Midnight Express, The Steiner Brothers, The Hardy Boys, and Animal’s aforementioned The Dudley Boys. They might all fall below The Rock-N-Roll Express, who had the greatest formula for sucking the crowd into a tag team match…a formula still followed to a tee today.
But Animal’s judgment is clouded. He can’t compare The Road Warriors to The Dudleys because he IS one of The Road Warriors. Basketball pundits are currently arguing over who the sport’s true “best ever” is. Is it Michael Jordan or LeBron James? Tons of people can argue this point. The two who most definitely can’t? Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Outside of saying Devon is a good guy (Devon, not Bubba, by the way), Animal really focuses on eras in his arguments. The teams he mentions along with The Road Warriors are The Steiners. The Rock-N-Roll Express and The Midnight Express. The Briscoes and The Funks. Even the Russian pairings they battled throughout the years. And it’s apples and oranges. He’s really calling his era better, and maybe it was. It’s really hard to tell.
According to Hawk, The Road Warriors held 14 different tag team championships all over the world. They did this in a time where the territories were huge. There was no internet to follow along. You could do something in Memphis and make tons of money doing it, then head to Portland and run nearly the exact same program and make a ton of money again! You can’t do that now. The landscape has changed.
The Dudleys have held 10 different tag team championships in an era with less territories for them to run. More of their tag team championships have been won “in the spotlight.” More were televised, more were viewed and talked about. That doesn’t make them better, either. It’s just different.
If you have read any of my work, you know I take a stand. I have an opinion. If you don’t have a take (one you truly believe, not one you just took to have one), you haven’t really said anything. I am not going to tell you who the better tag team is–that’s not the “take” here. No one can significantly define who is the better tag team between The Road Warriors and The Dudleys.
The take is that Animal is wrong. Dead wrong. He’s a legendary performer, and The Road Warriors are one of most legendary tag teams in wrestling history. But so are Bubby and Devon. And for him to not give The Dudelys the “legendary” tag is irresponsible and incorrect. Different eras, but both are legendary.