MAC DADDY DUDS
If I were to describe the character and behavior of professional wrestler Mac Daddy Duds, you would have to believe me. No one can make stories like this up. The antagonist on the independent scene goes out of his way to infuriate the Gulf Coast wrestling fans, but they cannot help to also laugh with him because he is so obnoxious.
Behind the character is Matthew Dudley. Currently, you can find the six-foot two-inch, 230-pound wrestlers actively wrestling for Diamond Championship, Southern Championship, and Alabama Wrestling Alliance. Due to Dud’s location, he is centrally located in such a way that has allowed him to create a reputation in the sport by wrestling for several promotions in the southeastern region of the country.
Drawing emotions from the audiences in Alabama, Florida, and Alabama; is exactly what the man from Dauphin Island, Alabama wants to do. Duds not only does it by how he acts but also by what he wears. Sunglasses usually cover his eyes and his unkempt beard is one of the things he is known for. His uniquley printed tracksuits and numerous gold chains hanging down to his chest are attention getters.
Watching music videos is one of Mac Daddy Duds’ favorite things to do. It is the Hip Hop music videos where he tends to get most of his ideas from. Clothing that is outrageous, colorful, and that is eye-catching is what Duds likes. The audience is not only mesmerized by his apparel, but it is also by what he says that is unforgettable. Duds often grabs the microphone to say just about whatever he pleases. Do not be surprised when he reminds you several times in one evening that, “there is no slackin in his Mackin.” The catchphrase is humorous and almost always puts a smile on the faces who are listening.
“I’m going to leave an impression on the spectators. Win or lose, they are going to remember something about me,” Matthew Dudley declared. “I like when people have an opinion about me. I love getting a response from the people. I can make them laugh or yell at me.”
To say that he flaunts the status of his wealth is an understatement. Walking through the curtain with a money boa around his neck should explain it all. He has been known to throw money into the crowd. Mac Daddy Duds is arrogant and is known to be as mean as a snake. He is the heel wrestler the sport of professional wrestling has been yearning for.
“I have been a fan of the heel character ever since I was a kid. Those were the guys I looked up to,” Dudley said. “A lot of the kids I grew up with looked up to Hulk Hogan, but I looked up to Roddy Piper. I liked the fact that the bad guys got away with just about anything with the referee standing right there.”
In 2001, Duds went to an independent wrestling show and when it was over, he was so amazed by what he saw he did not want to leave. Staying in the building as the crew was cleaning the promoter noticed the teenager. Since the business was highly protected back then, Duds was asked to leave, but instead, he struck up a conversation with the man in charge.
Within minutes of chatting with each other, Duds found out that there was a wrestling school 45 minutes from his home in Paducah, Kentucky. His father was more on board with his desire to train than his mother was. However, from that point on they both took turns making the trip several times each weekend for his weekly lessons.
On Friday the trainees set up the ring and were taught how to run the ropes and basics moves and holds at first. The next day, the coaches taught and trained from the morning to the afternoon. The students in the class then set out the chairs and prepared for the evening event. During the shows, those being taught worked as the security team. The following day, the trainees returned to the facility in Harlen once more for lessons until it was time to take the wrestling ring down and put it away.
“We did that every week,” Duds recalled. “It was good for us because we got three days in a row of consistent training. I learned a lot faster that way.”
Before long it was time for the teenager’s first match. He called himself Matt Winters and he took the role of the babyface. In those days, to wrestle in Kentucky, a license was required. Being only 14 years old, the state was not going to allow him to participate professionally. So, Duds traveled with his fellow wrestlers to places like Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois where promotions there gave him opportunities.
Wrestling became his main focus and there were times when he had as many as four and five matches a week. Duds was happy to be doing what he loved, but wrestling for him then was difficult. Being a kid and out-weighed by most of his competitors made the sport quite challenging.
“When I started the veteran wrestlers liked working with the younger guys because they could beat us up and get away with it. The business was different back then,” Dudley recalled. “The training was rough and you had to earn respect before you got anywhere in the business.”
When Duds started in his wrestling training, there was a total of 10 students who were being taught. Of those 10 pupils, along with Duds two others are still wrestling up to this day. One of those men is Chuck Taylor who was recently signed with AEW.
Unlike Chuck who stayed as close as he could to the sport and consistently wrestled for the past 18 years, Duds took another path. Serving in the United States Army became his new occupation in 2006. Traveling and being away from the promotions that booked him, he began wrestling less and less.
He still wrestled, but instead of wrestling two or three times in one weekend, he remembers there were times when he only wrestled that many times in one year. Duds’ in-ring activity slowed down immensely.
“I wasn’t doing it like I was because of my relationships and the things that were going on in my life at that time,” Dudley explained. Wrestling for me went to the back burner.”
In 2017, now out of the military and living back in Kentucky. Duds had pretty much removed himself out of the wrestling spotlight. Out of the blue one day, the phone rang. On the other end was a wrestling friend who wanted to see if Duds was interested in participating in an event called “Wrestle For A Cure.”
Duds agreed to go to the show that was held in Illinois, but he didn’t have too high of an expectation for his adventure. Duds wrestled and to his surprise, he fell back in love with the game. From that moment on Duds had a new passion for wrestling and he pursued it with everything that he had.
“As soon as I got out of the ring I started contacting several promoters in Kentucky,” Dudley answered. “In a few weeks not was I meeting with them in my state, but also in Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama.”
One could say that the phone call from his wrestling buddy was the turning point in his life professionally. Duds quickly started thinking of ways that he could market himself. He tried several different ideas. Some of them stuck and some of them did not. It was then when he grew out his beard and came up with the name Mac Daddy Duds. He intended to create a unique character that was simply better than what everyone else was doing.
However, having one booking a weekend ended up in him having a handful of matches just in a few days. Due to his notoriety, he has even wrestled a couple of times in one evening.
“Nothing other than professional wrestling ever allowed me to create a character and my gimmick. I came up with the ideas for my music and outfits,” Dudley replied. “Every bit of this idea came from my mind. I created the character that I wanted to go and watch when I went to wrestling events.”