September 23, 2004
Ray "Big Bossman" Traylor passes away
By JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling
The Big Boss Man is dead. Ray Traylor, a WWF star as The Big Boss Man, died Wednesday. According to The Wrestling Observer, Traylor and his family were visiting with his sister at his home in Dallas, Ga. Traylor's two daughters went upstairs to play, while his wife Debbie briefly left the room at about 10 p.m., and returned to find him on the sofa. A preliminary report suggested he had a massive heart attack.
Virginia promoter Marvin Ward, who had scheduled Traylor with Dennis Condrey and Bobby Eaton for an Oct. 30 show in Waynesboro, Va., said he was stunned by the news.
"This is just tragic," said Ward, who had talked to Traylor within the last few days and spoke with Condrey and Traylor's representatives again Thurday morning.
As they described the picture to him, Traylor and his family were visiting with his sister at his home in Dallas, Ga. Wednesday night. Traylor's two daughters went upstairs to play, while his wife Debbie briefly left the room at about 10 p.m., and returned to find him on the sofa. "It was apparently that quick," Ward said. "Everybody is just in shock."
Traylor began his career in 1986 as Jim Cornette's bodyguard Big Bubba Rogers. His career saw him perform in WWE, WCW and All Japan Wrestling, and he has competed as The Big Boss Man, The Boss, The Guardian Angel, War Machine, and under his real name and he teamed with Akeem in the late '80s as 'The Twin Towers.' At 6-foot-6, 330 pounds, he was a legitimate Twin Tower.
Bossman's feud with "The Mountie" Jacques Rougeau Jr. culminated in the Canadian spending a night in jail after a loss. Rougeau remembers the time fondly. "It was one of the greatest moments of my career. No matter how bad the situation looked like when I was put in jail with that big 400-pound, 7-foot guy, the Mountie always gets his man!" said Rougeau.
Traylor was indeed a prison guard in Cobb County, Georgia before turning to wrestling.
-- with files from Steven Johnson and Greg Oliver