Bully, known as Bubba Ray Dudley in ECW and WWE, described the lead-up to his and D’Von’s legendary Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match that took place at WrestleMania 17. The match also included Edge & Christian and The Hardy Boyz, who had already battled in a Triangle Ladder Match and the first-ever TLC Match just months prior with The Dudley Boyz.
“So, the night before, we’re all in the Astrodome and we’re trying to put this thing together,” Bully explained. “And it’s a little tense because we’re such perfectionists at this point that we were putting everything under a microscope, every last movement, especially myself. This is the only time we argued. It got really heated the day of, the sequence of the final holysh*t bumps.
“In TLC 1, I climbed that ladder, and Edge & Christian pushed it over, and I took that ride and I fell through the four tables. In this one, me and Matt [Hardy] were going to do it together. But now, Edge was going to do the Spear on Jeff Hardy in midair. They had already seen me go off by myself. Adding Matt was cool, but they’d already seen this type of spot before. Edge Spearing Jeff in midair, that’s a moment that’s going to live forever. This was something new. This was something different.
“I thought that should have been the last [spot]. We were in a dead tie. We could not come to a decision, and we eventually walked off to some suite in the top tier of the Astrodome, and we basically yelled at one another. But we were yelling at one another for the best reasons. Because the only business that matters is the business of the match. So what sequence are we going to put last, and we kind of vote on it and the Edge Spear goes first, and the ladder ride goes second, which is not – I didn’t want that. I thought the Edge and Jeff moment is considerably bigger than me and Matt’s moment.”
Bully Ray also revealed that all the teams struggled to come up with an idea to assist Jeff Hardy in gaining momentum to allow Edge to Spear him correctly in midair. It was another WWE Superstar involved in the match who instead had the lightbulb moment.
“The night before, we’re all in the Astrodome. We know that we want to do the spot with Edge spearing Jeff,” Bully said. “But if Jeff is just there in the middle, Edge can’t jump that far. We have to figure out a way to create this swinging motion, and none of us could get it, we can’t figure it out. So it’s the six of us in an empty Astrodome the night before, Rhyno is there, he’s sitting at the announce table. Spike is there, probably half in the bag, and Lita is there also. Only the people that were absolutely necessary for the match were there.
“And I couldn’t figure it out, Matt couldn’t figure it out, and Edge couldn’t, Christian, and all the guys that are really like the thinkers of the match. All of a sudden, Rhyno goes, ‘Well Bubba, why don’t you just pick up the ladder and walk it back to the corner like you’re trying to get it out of the way and Jeff just hooks like he’s trying to bring it back, and that will create the momentum.’ You had to see all of us, we felt so stupid. Rhyno came up with this? Rhyno came up with the solution and it worked perfectly.”
The former TNA World Heavyweight Champion also disclosed that in the spot in which he and Matt fell through the tables at the end of the match, brackets were adjusted to make the fall easier.
“I’ve never told this before, so this is the first time — about the legs,” Bully Ray said. “The spot where me and Matt go through the tables together, because there is only a certain amount of room underneath the table where the brackets come up, we didn’t have the same sweet spot. So we had them move the brackets back, so the sweet spot in the middle of the table becomes bigger, so you had less of a chance of hitting the brackets underneath, so you’re just going through the wood.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Broken Skull Sessions with an h/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.
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