REAL NAME: Matthew Hyson
HOMETOWN: Providence, Rhode Island (Dudleyville)
WEIGHT: 150 lbs
The future Spike Dudley tried to lay down the law in the classroom, and then in the ring...but even that wasn't enough for the man born Matthew Hyson.
Hyson was a school teacher, teaching third grade in his home state of Rhode Island, before entering All Pro Wrestling's Boot Camp in Haywood, California in May 1993 to become a referee and manager. However, he quickly began training to be an active wrestler as well and spent the next three years wrestling on the California independent scene unti he got a fateful call from Paul Heyman.
Heyman, then head of the Philadelphia-based Extreme Championship Wrestling brought Hyson to ECW, renaming him Spike Dudley. Spike was the "runt of the litter" of the dysfunctional Dudley family. After debuting in September 1996, Spike began teaming with Buh Buh Ray Dudley, to feud with the Full-Blooded Italians.
All was not well in Dudleyville, however, as Buh Buh Ray and other Dudley brother, D'Von, turned on Spike, leading to a Dudley family feud. Spike would team with Tommy Dreamer, the Sandman, New Jack, Nova and Balls Mahoney to take on his brothers over the months and years to come in ECW. Spike would normally take on his brothers in tag or six-man matches.
Spike also gained the nickname "The Giant Killer" with his ability to take on and seemingly defeat or at least survive against some of the biggest men in the industry. Case in point: Spike defeated Mabel and Ulf Hermann in a handicap match at the 1998 November to Remember show. In addition to taking on big brother, Buh Buh Ray, Spike also tangled with Mr. Hughes, the One Man Gang and Big Sal. Of course, he wasn't always victorious, losing to Bam Bam Bigelow on successive cards (August's Hardcore Heaven and September's As Good As It Gets) in the summer of 1997.
Spike Dudley became known as ECW's Lucha-sized human-bump-machine, regularly getting power-pressed from the ring into the fifth row, knocked off the top of ladders and taking horrific chair shots.
Not that Spike didn't get a little reward for all of the damage he did to himself or had done to him. He and Balls Mahoney defeated the Dudley Boyz for two seperate reigns as ECW Tag Team Championships.
Spike would also get a shot at ECW Champion Mike Awesome at Guilty as Charged 2000. Unfortunately during the match, Spike would suffer a knee injury. He would aggravate the injury during a match against Lance Storm and during a rematch against Awesome. Spike would miss several months due to the injury.
He would return to ECW in June 2000, turning down Cyrus's offer to have him join "the Network" and return to active competition during November to Remember as Spike, Danny Doring, and Road Kill defeated EZ Money, Julio Dinero, and Chris Hamrick.
After the demise of ECW, Spike made his way to WWE where he helped his "brothers," the Dudley Boyz defeat Edge and Christian to win the WWE Tag Team titles.
Things didn't stay rosy between the Dudley Brothers, however. Spike and Molly Holly began an in-ring romance at the same time that the Hollys and the Dudleys were feuding, leading to a split between Spike and the other Dudley Brothers. After a short stint out with a broken fibula, Spike returned and teamed with the Big Show.
Sadly, his relationship with Molly came to an end when she turned on him, aligning herself with the Hurricane (Shane Helms).
But a more successful partnership came with former ECW alumni Tazz as the pair defeated the Dudley Boyz on Janauary 7, 2002 to win the WWE Tag Team titles. Spike would also achieve some singles success in 2002, defeating Maven to (briefly) hold the WWE Hardcore Championship at Wrestlemania X-8 (he lost it later that same night to the Hurricane) and in April, defeated William Regal to become the European Championship.
Spike would also mend fences with his brother, Buh Buh, and the pair teamed up to take on the Un-Americans in late 2002.
Spike would be put out of action following a missed spot during a 10-man tag match on Raw in September 2003. La Resistance threw Dudley to the outside but Spike missed the table that he was supposed to crash through. After some time away from the ring, Spike returned and defeated Rene Dupre to get revenge for the injury.
In March 2004, Spike was drafted to Smackdown and quickly fit in as one of the top contenders to the Cruiserweight Championship, although he still found himself in the ring against the liked of Mark Jindrak and JBL. In July 2004, things began to change for Spike. The Dudley Boyz, also members of the Smackdown roster, began coming to their little brother's aid, something Spike didn't appreciate at first.
That changed after the Dudleyz helped Spike defeat Rey Mysterio, Jr. for the Cruiserweight Championship on July 29th. A week later, Spike turned on Mysterio during a tag match on Smackdown and rejoined his brothers, almost as the leader of the team.
During much of Spike's reign as Cruiserweight Champion, he enlisted his brother's help in retaining the championship before finally losing it to Funaki at Armageddon.
Spike Dudley would remain in the hunt for another crack at the Cruiserweight Championship, and continues to work in tag team and six-man matches as a part of the Smackdownbroadcasts until he was released as part of the massive firings by the WWE in July 2005.
After months of working independent dates, mostly in the New York state area, Spike Dudley rejoined his "brothers" in TNA. While the Dudley Boyz were now known as Team 3D, Spike was now known as Runt.
July 7, 2005: Released wrestlers speak up on 'Net
July 16, 2001: Molly & Spike: Lovin' their 'love'
More on the Dudley Boys
SPIKE DUDLEY/ RUNT STORIES
---compiled by John M. Milner with files from John Powell
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