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Devon Dudley says today's wrestling locker rooms have a respect problem

Mike Kalasnik via Wikimedia Commons

His famous partner made a celebrated, if brief, return to WWE at this year's Royal Rumble.  But just because Devon Dudley wasn't in Philadelphia for that show doesn't mean he hasn't been busy.

One half of one of the most popular and decorated tag teams in pro wrestling history recently sat down with Brian Fritz on the Between the Ropes podcast to update up on what he's been up to, including working for Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore and running he & Bubba's Team 3D Academy, whether a WWE return is in his future and general thoughts on the business in which he has spent the last quarter century.

The discussion that really stands out is Fritz and Dudley talking about whether or not wrestling has a respect problem.  Here's Devon:

There's a lot of guys that I've seen in the locker room whether it be in independents or whether it be in TNA - and I don't know about WWE because I haven't been there in almost ten years - but a lot of these locker rooms that I go in, the respect level for the veterans is really thrown out the window for some of these guys because they have been brought up the wrong way.

You've got a guy who opens up a school who's never been anywhere and has no name value, no nothing but yet can tell somebody how to make it in WWE or TNA but yet they've never made it. It's like how do you go to a guy like that to teach you how to wrestle when he's never made it and he's still trying to make it? If he's never made it in that aspect, that means something's wrong. And to see how so many of these guys come from schools like that and how there's no level of respect for the veterans of the business in general, it saddens me because Bubba made a point one time and I definitely agree with him that our generation is the last of the old school generation. We're the last ones that really know about respect and honor.

Seems to be a pronounced divide between generations on some of these issues today.  From the conflicting views between Vince McMahon & Daniel Bryan on the goals and perspectives of millenials, to rumors of The Young Bucks being blacklisted from WWE for failing to adhere handshake protocol...I'd be really interested in seeing Devon and some other stars of the 90s and aughts sit down to talk about these things with guys hitting their prime now, like Seth Rollins or Sami Zayn.

Until that happens, we can always speculate on if Devon is coming back to the 'E.  And that's another thing that Fritz talks to him about:

I've been with TNA for what, ten years, since I left WWE after being there and having a successful run. Who knows? Anybody who been there one time and made that company money and done things for them, anyone's possible to come back. Maybe on day Bubba and I will be back.

I think there will always be interest in Bubba and I on going back home. Regardless of where we've been, WWE is our home. We might have been away from them for ten years but the WWE and the WWE Universe will always be the Dudley Boys home. When you look at us, whatever company we're in whether TNA, Japan or what have you it's still the Dudley Boys from WWE. We still have that stamp. Do I think one day it will still happen? Sure, anything's possible. We would be definitely open to the WWE to want to talk and do business and help the younger talent and really help pass the torch because that's what this is all about now.

And we can keep hope alive for for a Dudley Boyz reunion on Raw, because at 42 years young, Devon isn't planning on hanging up his boots:

I haven't really contemplated retirement. I've contemplated in terms of leaving certain companies along the way but never really thought about retiring. I think with everything that Bubba and I have done and accomplished and then getting in the best possible shape we could be in, right now retirement hasn't entered my head. I know helping the younger guys and helping the new generation, in other words, pass the torch that has been said a lot about me and Bubba. That's what we want to do. It's only fair that we do that. It was done for us. The old timers back in the day when we were coming up in the business helped us along the way and showed us the ropes. It's only fitting that we do the same for the younger generation today.

So, while he may not think much about their levels of "respect and honor", brother Devon is determined to work with guys and gals coming up in the business today.  Whether he does that hands on with WWE or just by having wrestlers come out of his Central Florida school is still up in the air.

You up for (at least) one more run for Bubba & Devon in WWE?  And what do you make of the younger generation's respect issues?

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