It's all in the family for 3D's Devon
TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
Devon Hughes picks up the phone and for the next 45 minutes or so eloquently and passionately talks about wrestling ... and family.
He doesn't threaten to put me through a table. A helluva wrestler when he steps into the ring as half of Team 3D (formerly The Dudley Boyz), he's well-spoken, extremely polite and seems like a helluva guy out of the ring. But I guess that's par for the course when your father Preston was a bishop and your mother is Renee Washington, who took over where the father left off -- presiding over 300 members of the Memorial Baptist Church in Harlem.
Devon has plenty to be thankful for -- his wife high-school sweetheart wife Yessi and three boys (a three-year old and 10-year-old twins), his family, his friends and the wrestling industry.
"This is a rough business -- it hasn't been easy, (Yessi's) been at home, with the bills and the kids, while I've been on the road.
"She's been there through all my screwups ... she stuck around. Other people may have told me to go to hell. I tell you ... a lot of wives in this business have hearts of gold."
A string of tag-team championships have followed Team 3D, which also includes Bubba -- with continuity and talent pushing them to the top.
"A lot of people compare us the the Road Warriors," said Devon. "That's a great honour, but I don't think we've accomplished enough to be cast in that light."
Devon was brought into ECW to be one of a huge dysfunctional pack of Dudleys -- Dudley Dudley, Snot Dudley, Chubby Dudley, Sign Guy Dudley, Dances With Dudley, Big Dick Dudley and Spike Dudley, along with Bubba.
"Johnny Rodz had been training me," said Devon. "ECW was looking for a Rastafarian Dudley and I told them I couldn't grow dreads in my hair because it had stopped growing in the middle."
His tag-team partnership with Bubba blossomed, thriving in the anarchy that was ECW.
"Paul E (Heyman) pushed the envelope every single night," said Devon. "Paul E was told to tone it down for TV so by the time you saw was ECW was, it had been watered down."
From there, it was on to WWE. Devon appreciates his days there -- calling Vince McMahon "a genius" who has gotten sidetracked.
"They're trying to make John Cena into The Rock
," said Devon."Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against the guy, but there's only one Rock. There are guys Vince has been dropping the ball on. I love watching Carlito. Shelton Benjamin is a tremendous athlete. And they never really got Rico. It's unbelievable how over the guy was doing the gay role."
Devon says more wrestling and less microphone time is a good thing, pretty well summing up TNA's mandate.
"Fans want to see wrestling," he said. "It seems WWE is more and more about acting after the Wrestlemania vignettes. Let's face it, we're not like Brad Pitt.
"Guys like HBK and Bret Hart showed you don't have to be jacked up. You can tell the story in the ring, not in the back."
The association with TNA has been wonderful for Devon. The shows are done in Orlando, about a 40-minute drive away from his Cocoa Beach home. Devon is just 33 years old, while Bubba is 34.
"This takes me a bit back to the ECW days," said Devon. "The talent is hungry ... the locker room is tremendous. Like ECW, everybody is out to help each other.
"We're not at the point where we're better than WWE -- they've been around for 50 years. But TNA's been around for three or four years, look at the strides they've made already."
More on Team 3-D
- While most of the post-Armageddon talk should have been about the wrestling, it was about another dubious stunt. Referee Tim White was being interviewed in a bar, The Friendly Tap, reminiscing about a Hell in a Cell match. The haunting memories spurred White to pull out a shotgun and viewers were left with the sound of a bang. Geez, I know this stuff isn't real, but this is just plain stupid. Not funny, not engaging ... just stupid.
- Armageddon results: The Undertaker beat Randy Orton; JBL beat Matt Hardy; MNM beat The Mexicools; Chris Benoit beat Booker T; Bobby Lashley beat Paul Burchill and William Regal; The Big Show and Kane beat Rey Mysterio and Batista; and Kid Kash won the cruiserweight strap from Juventud.
- Sting is expected to make his TNA debut at the Impact tapings on Jan. 3. While it might make sense for Jeff Jarrett to lose the heavyweight title, it wouldn't make sense for Sting to have a long championship reign -- not with talented wrestlers like Christian Cage, A.J.Styles and Samoa Joe in the wings.
- AWE Overload will debut Jan. 2 on The Fight Network. The weekly show for the red-hot Winnipeg-based promotion will air Mondays at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m.