In the world of professional wrestling, gimmicks are often the key to success. And in the world of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) during the mid-1990s, one of the most popular gimmicks was that of the Dudley family. The Dudleys, a group of kayfabe brothers and cousins, were notorious for their hardcore antics and trash-talking promos. One member of this family was Bay Ragni, who went by the ring name Chubby Dudley.
Although Ragni was one of the nine members of the Dudley family in ECW, he continued to portray his Chubby Dudley character on the independent wrestling scene after leaving the company in 1996. In addition to wrestling, Ragni worked at a pizza shop to make ends meet.
However, Ragni’s use of the Chubby Dudley gimmick outside of ECW did not sit well with fellow wrestler Taz. In a recent episode of the Cheap Heat Productions Podcast, Ragni recalled how Taz took exception to his use of the gimmick and even called him at the pizza shop to demand he stop using it.
According to Ragni, Taz accused him of using the ECW gimmick without permission, saying, “That’s our gimmick. We own the gimmick. You can’t do it.” Ragni, taken aback by Taz’s aggressive tone, responded by saying,
“He’s like, ‘Are you doing our gimmick on the indies?’ I said, ‘What do you mean our gimmick?’ He’s like, ‘That’s our gimmick. We own the gimmick. You can’t do it.’ I said, ‘Well, that’s kinda f****d up. All right, you wanna talk, can we just please talk? I would love to talk.’ I said, ‘Taz, all I wanted was a shot. That’s all I wanted. I was never given a shot.’
Ragni went on to explain to Taz that all he ever wanted was a chance to succeed in the wrestling business. Despite his years of hard work and dedication to the Chubby Dudley character, Ragni felt that he was never given a fair shot by ECW. As a result, he was forced to take matters into his own hands and continue using the character on the independent scene.
While Taz’s reaction to Ragni’s use of the Chubby Dudley gimmick may seem harsh, it is not uncommon for wrestlers to fiercely protect their intellectual property. In the world of professional wrestling, a wrestler’s gimmick can often make or break their career. As such, it is understandable that Taz would want to ensure that his own gimmick was not being used without his permission.