Date: November 20, 2004
Location: Syracuse, NY
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Armpit reader Dave McGuckiin
Bob Holly will go down as one pro wrestling’s biggest bullies, a guy who got away with shooting on wrestlers who couldn’t defend themselves for one reason or another. He should’ve been fired several times, although in a fair world he’d have been arrested for some of the stunts he’s pulled.
Renee Dupree was only 20 years when he got a push in WWE on the SmackDown roster. He was not well liked in the locker room, and even when some of the veterans tried to get him to understand what he was doing wrong to elicit such unpopularity, he still couldn’t get it.
Holly was the company’s unofficial enforcer, and in situations like these, he was the go-to guy to administer beatings on whoever it was felt needed an attitude adjustment. In this case, Dupree had definitely done something wrong. However, he didn’t know about it, and the punishment Holly dished out was totally uncalled for (not to mention illegal and cowardly).
According to Dupree, he, Holly, and Billy Gunn were regular travel partners. Gunn was absent one week, so it ended up being just Holly and Dupree. Since Dupree was under 25, the rental car always had to be in Holly’s name, as some agencies will not rent cars to anyone under that age.
Before one of the SmackDown tapings, there was a hurricane in Holly’s hometown of Mobile, AL. He had no choice but to fly home immediately, leaving Dupree to travel for himself. But the car had already been rented under Holly’s name, which would come back to haunt Dupree months later.
On the morning of the taping, Dupree drove to the building alone. Unbeknownst to him, he violated a traffic law and was caught on camera. It’s believed he was speeding on the highway, but it also may have been running a red light, as some street lights have cameras mounted. Whatever the violation was, a ticket was sent to Holly’s home since the car was still registered in his name. Being on the road, Holly didn’t monitor his mail for a couple months, and enough time had elapsed that Holly had to go to court and deal with the ticket. It turned into a big deal and a major hassle because attending court while constantly being on the road is difficult. He either had to request time off to deal with it, or use his precious days off to go to court instead of spending time at home with his family.
What’s unknown is what happened when Holly confronted Dupree about it. Dupree said Holly approached him very violently at an airport, and that he apologized and offered to pay for the ticket. Another report said Dupree kind of blew him off and had an attitude like it wasn’t that big of a deal. What is known is that Holly was very pissed about it, and he likely consulted with some of the guys in the locker room before doing what he did.
At a house show in Syracuse, there was “hardcore rules” tag team match between Boby Holly and Charlie Haas against Rene Dupree and Kenzo Suzuki. At some point in the match, Holly makes a sudden transition from working to shooting. Those in the crowd who were close to the ring could definitely sense something was up.
There are two versions told by two different people who were sitting near ringside. Version #1 is that he noticed Holly applying a very real front facelock, which caused Dupree to stretch away from him. Holly dumped him out of the ring and started throwing real, hard punches and kicks to Dupree. Dupree got away, and Holly followed him again, hitting him so hard with a chair shot to the head that it caused the chair to dent. The crowd went quiet, as the chair shot was sickeningly loud. He actually threw the chair, hitting Dupree in the head and neck. His eye was swollen shut by this point with visible bumps on his face.
Holly then held him on the ground and kicked him full force in the face a few times, one of which connected while the others were mostly blocked. Holly backed up for a brief moment, but only so Dupree could do the finish, which was him throwing salt in Haas’s face while he was on the top turnbuckle, allowing Kenzo to roll him up for the pin. Dupree ran for the back with Holly and road agent Dave Finlay chasing him. It was apparently far worse than what Holly did to Matt Cappotelli in that infamous beatdown from Tough Enough. It was the talk of all the wrestlers, referees, and security for the rest of the night, and word was that there was another short altercation backstage that we’re assuming Holly initiated and got the better of.
There’s a similar version from another ringside witness. He didn’t notice any hard potato shots until the chair shot to the head on the outside of the ring. Dupree then went into the fetal position as Holly nailed him repeatedly with the hardest punches he had ever seen. When Holly gets off, Dupree’s left eye is ridiculously swollen, and he gets up to grab the belt. Holly goes toward him again, and Dupree runs for his life. Haas and Kenzo did their finish and left the ring, and a little while later, Finlay is talking to security and says they got into it again backstage.
There was heat on Holly, but not as much as you’d think. Undertaker stood up for Holly, saying he was just taking care of company business. This supports our belief, which we’ve held all along, that Undertaker is a bully himself who is far more unprofessional than his peers make him out to be. The belief by everyone in the industry, shockingly, is that the others in the ring (Kenzo and Haas) were in on the plan and knew full well what Holly was going to do.
Holly went unpunished, other than he was forced to do a job for newcomer Chris Masters in a dark match at the next tapings. This was before he had the Chris Masters gimmick, but still it was hardly punishment because the match never aired, and Holly only had to job in front of the few thousand fans who were in the arena. Also, Dupree ended up paying Holly afterwards for the amount of the speeding ticket. On the same taping, Dupree lost to Rey Mysterio Jr, sporting a black eye.
It is mind boggling that a company on the stock exchange, as big as WWE is, allowed this blatantly unprofessional behavior to go unpunished. Even if Dupree did something wrong, punishing him in the ring is inexcusable. If Holly were a real man, he’d have taken it up with Dupree off company time and out of the ring, and not in a situation where Dupree couldn’t do anything about it. He put himself, Dupree, and the entire company at risk for his actions. And it wasn’t the first time such a thing has happened.
Holly should’ve been fired several times, one of which was his stiff beatdown of Matt Cappotelli on Tough Enough in 2002. It takes a special kind of coward to do these kinds of things, and Undertaker is just as cowardly for defending him. Holly once tried not to cooperate with Brock Lesnar in a match, and it backfired as Lesnar inadvertently broke Holly’s neck. He also injured himself badly against RVD in WWE’s version of ECW, and years later, WWE thankfully released him in 2009.