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When Ray Traylor arrived in WCW in 1993, he joined as a guy who was certainly well known from a six year run in the WWF, but never someone who held a major spotlight, particularly once he was done with Hogan and Savage alongside Akeem as "The Twin Towers". He joined WCW as a guy with good size, a good gimmick as a prison warden based on his previous, real-life occupation, and someone who had enough recognition to be of value to WCW higher ups. Rebranded as "The Boss" but under an identical gimmick, he debuted in December.
He would lose his first outing against Rick Rude at Starrcade in 1993 - although the opponent and the match placement (third from the top) shouldn't be misrepresented, this was a one man show that very much played out like that. Boss was then thrust into the main event of Superbrawl in 1994, although as a special guest referee in a "Thundercage" match between Ric Flair and Vader. Boss, as the babyface, would end up handcuffed to the cage, but would break free before calling for the end of the match with Vader in the figure-four leg lock. Vader earlier was the cause of Traylor being caught in the cage.
This setup The Boss against Vader at Spring Stampede in April. As a fan of big man wrestling this was a phenomenal match, while not long featured both men working incredibly hard and bumping incredibly hard to produce a match that just about stood out in a show full of great matches that won our award for 1994 show of the year. The conclusion of the match was noteworthy for Boss being stripped of his nightstick and handcuffs by commissioner Nick Bockwinkel. The reality was the WWF had come calling, and threatened legal action for WCW essentially copying their gimmick. It wasn't just the gimmickry that Traylor was stripped of, the name was taken from him too.
Traylor returned in June, this time under the guise of "The Guardian Angel". The idea being he'd joined a group of good-guy vigilanties that stood for "law and order". As Angel, he would offer people "three strikes" when they would hit him, effectively hulking up before winning. His first match on the Clash of the Champions against Tex Slazenger was a brief one, but was effective in getting over the new character - Traylor now dressed in red and white, wearing a beret and a shirt a few sizes too small. Traylor was always big, but it was a look that fit the prison guard gimmick. As a "Guardian Angel", it worked less well.
Traylor listed for the rest of the year, regularly rekindling the feud with Vader without ever reaching the heights that their first outing did. In truth, they were never given the chance - the match at Spring Stampede was given a heathly nine minutes, subsequent matches were often shorter and dissapointingly always ended with a messy finish - the company attempting to keep Vader hot whilst not in the main event. The Boss would play the third wheel in a triangle match involving Sting and Vader at Fall Brawl, taking the opening fall before the other two had the best match of the night. He faced Vader again at Halloween Havoc, in a largely forgettable match with a fantastic finish. Angel, at the end of his tether dragged Vader's manager Harley Race into the ring, before beating him down the suplexing him. Before Race had even hit the mat Vader splashed Angel and got the pin.
The Guardian Angel was then charged with being the special guest referee, again, at the Clash of the Champions XXX in January 1995 in a match between Sting and Avalanche. The match, thankfully, was brief, but ended in controversial fashion with Sting putting Avalanche in the scorpion deathlock; Angel refused to call for the bell but Nick Patrick ran out and called for the end of the match, shouting at Angel for not calling for the end. Afterwards, Angel and Avalanche beat down Sting before Angel for the second time in less than a year dropped his name and gimmick, promising a return of “Big Bubba Rogers” - a gimmick he played in Jim Crockett Promotions in his days prior to his first WWF run.
Traylor in both the WWF and WCW was undoubtedly an asset. You'd describe him, not insultingly, as a very good squad player. A decent promo, a decent wrestler with decent size - a solid hand. He had enough ability to be utlised reasonably well in both companies, but the truth is that probably outside of the Boss/Boss Man character Traylor struggled to find a purpose and an identity. Still, watch his match back with Vader from Spring Stampede 1994 – you won't be disappointed!