Stevie Ray in 2015
|Birth name||Lash Huffman|
|Born||August 22, 1958|
Houston, Texas, United States
|Family||Booker T (brother)|
Bonita Huffman-Lott (sister)
Carolyn Jones (sister)
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Jive Soul Bro|
The Masked Heel
|Billed height||6 ft 5 in (196 cm)|
|Billed weight||292 lb (132 kg)|
|Billed from||Harlem, New York|
|Trained by||Scott Casey|
Lash Huffman (born August 22, 1958) is an American semi-retired professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Stevie Ray. Stevie Ray is best known for his seven-year tenure with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) from 1993 to 2000, where he was one-half of the tag team Harlem Heat, with his younger brother Booker T. Huffman, better known as Booker T. They won the WCW World Tag Team Championship a record ten times.
Professional wrestling career
Early career (1989–1993)
Lash Huffman started wrestling in 1989 as Super Collider on the independent circuit in Texas. In Ivan Putski's Western Wrestling Alliance, he first started feuding with his brother, Booker (who was G.I. Bro at the time) under the ring name Jive Soul Bro. He began teaming with his brother as Stevie Ray (named after a combination of musical artists Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles) in a tag team called The Ebony Experience for the Global Wrestling Federation, which was on ESPN. They were faces and feuded with the "Blackbirds" of Iceman King Parsons and Brickhouse Brown. They won the GWF Tag Team Championship three times. Stevie Ray then went on to win the GWF North American Heavyweight Championship in 1993.
World Championship Wrestling
Harlem Heat (1993–1997)
In August 1993, they went to World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and changed their team name to Harlem Heat. Initially Lash was known as Kane while Booker became Kole. They were then billed from Harlem. They became heels and were on Harley Race and Col. Rob Parker's team in the War Games at Fall Brawl on September 19, 1993, with Vader and Sid Vicious against Sting, Davey Boy Smith, Dustin Rhodes and The Shockmaster. They lost the match when Shockmaster forced Booker (Kole) to submit.
In 1994, they got Sister Sherri as their manager and changed their names back to Booker T and Stevie Ray. They feuded with Stars and Stripes (The Patriot and Buff Bagwell) and won the WCW Tag Team Titles for the first time.
From there, they feuded with The Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags and Brian Knobs) and got into a feud with Col. Parker's "Stud Stable" of Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck where Parker and Sherri were carrying on a love affair. During this time, Stevie and Booker lost the titles to the Nasty Boys, regained them, then lost them to Slater and Buck and regained them again. They eventually gained Parker as a manager as he abandoned Slater and Buck to be with Sherri. Harlem Heat won the WCW World Tag Team Championship three times in 1995, trading the titles with The American Males (Bagwell and Scotty Riggs) in the early fall.
They had brief feuds with Lex Luger and Sting, trading the titles back and forth in early 1996 and The Road Warriors before starting a long feud with Rick and Scott Steiner in 1996. In October, they lost their titles to The Outsiders, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, when Nash used Parker's cane to attack Stevie. They would then fire the Colonel, beat him up, turn face, and enter into a brief feud against Parker's newest team The Amazing French Canadians, a feud they would win.
In 1997 they feuded with Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock), The Steiners and the New World Order. In the summer of 1997, they fired Sherri and added a new manager, Jacqueline. They were briefly put out of action by the nWo and returned to feud with The Faces of Fear (Meng and The Barbarian).
Singles appearances; New World Order (1998–1999)
As 1998 started to roll around, Stevie had to take some time off from WCW from January to June. Meanwhile, Booker T would go on to win WCW World Television Championship. Through the association with his brother, he would gain his only singles title in WCW, as when Booker took time off with an injury as Television Champion from July to October, Stevie got a "power of attorney" to defend the belt for Booker. He then engaged in a short feud with Chavo Guerrero, Jr. over the right to defend the belt before dropping it to Chris Jericho afterwards.
By June 1998, Stevie Ray had returned to the ring, and the powerful gang-like faction of the nWo had been split into two: Hollywood Hogan's nWo Hollywood and Kevin Nash's nWo Wolfpac. Stevie Ray would be offered a spot in nWo Hollywood, but was hesitant at first. He would join the "black & white" in August, effectively turning him heel.
Although this would make Stevie Ray known for using dirty tactics and a strength-in-numbers mentality, his brother, Booker, showed little resentment and respected Stevie Ray's decision to be a part of the nWo, and they were able to peacefully co-exist. Meanwhile, Booker was steadily gaining popularity as a face, climbing the ranks of the WCW roster and winning championship titles.
During his tenure with the nWo, Stevie Ray would tag team with the likes of Horace Hogan and Scott Norton as well as performing in singles competition, often with Vincent at ringside. Alongside Hollywood Hogan and Bret Hart, he also participated in the War Games of Fall Brawl 1998. The slapjack became known as Stevie Ray's trademark weapon which he would frequently use to knock an opponent unconscious, typically when the referee was distracted.
By early 1999, both nWo factions had fused back together, but members of nWo Hollywood started bickering over who the leader of the sub-faction was. Hollywood Hogan began telling various members in private that he had granted them official leadership, causing confusion and friction between members. Not long after, Stevie Ray won the leadership role in a 4-man battle royal on the April 5, 1999 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, defeating Horace Hogan, Brian Adams, and Vincent.
Harlem Heat reformation (1999)
As tension grew between members of nWo Hollywood, Stevie Ray started helping Booker T during his matches. As Booker was getting ganged up on in July, the two reunited Harlem Heat. They began feuding with Barry and Kendall Windham as well as The Jersey Triad of Diamond Dallas Page, Chris Kanyon and Bam Bam Bigelow. They went on to win the Tag Titles three more times, making them 10 time champions.
Feud with Booker T (1999–2000)
By late 1999, a female bodybuilder named Midnight had joined Harlem Heat. Stevie resented her help and started disputing with Booker over her. He eventually challenged Midnight in a match that would decide whether or not she would stay with Harlem Heat. After being defeated with a surprise small package, Stevie Ray would turn on both Booker and Midnight to form Harlem Heat, Inc. with Big T, Kash and J. Biggs. They won the rights to the Harlem Heat name in a match with Big T against Booker on February 20, 2000 at SuperBrawl X.
Color commentator (2000)
As a commentator, Stevie referred to all of the women as "yaks" and coined his catchphrase "Suckas gots to know!" He also provided in-depth analysis from a wrestler's point of view during matches and constantly criticized wrestlers for mistakes made in the ring. For example, he would often say that a wrestler "should have went [sic] for the cover!" or "needed to hook the leg!" and this advice earned him the nickname, "Straightshootin'" Stevie Ray.
Stevie came back for one more WCW match (a title vs. career match) for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship against Scott Steiner on the November 27, 2000 edition of WCW Monday Nitro, which he lost.
World Wrestling All-Stars (2002)
In 2005, Stevie Ray and Booker T opened the "Booker T and Stevie Ray Pro Wrestling Academy" in Houston, Texas.
On February 21, 2015, Booker T and Stevie Ray reunited as Harlem Heat for one last match at Booker T's promotion, Reality of Wrestling's "The Final Heat" event, where they defeated the Heavenly Bodies for the ROW Tag Team Championship. On March 14, the titles were vacated.
On March 30, 2016, Stevie Ray debuted a new weekly radio talk show, Straight Shooting with Stevie Ray which airs on KCOH radio 92.9 FM HD2 every Wednesday. He is also the host of the podcast Stand Up for Greatness.
In 2015 Ray was added to WWE 2K16 as DLC.
Championships and accomplishments
- Cauliflower Alley Club
- Tag Team Award (2018) - with Booker T
- Global Wrestling Federation
- Reality of Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI Tag Team of the Year (1995, 1996) with Booker T
- PWI ranked him #67 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the year in the PWI 500 in 1996
- PWI ranked him #248 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003
- PWI ranked him #62 of the 100 best tag teams of the "PWI Years" with Booker T in 2003
- WildKat Pro Wrestling
- WPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- World Championship Wrestling
- "WWE 24". WWE Network. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
- Giannini, A. & Murphy, R. (April 4, 2013). "Stevie Ray to induct Booker T into WWE Hall of Fame". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
- Cawthon, Graham (2015). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 5: World Championship Wrestling 1995-2001. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1499656343.
- "Stevie Ray profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved August 10, 2009.
- Clayton, C. (March 6, 2008). "Booker T & Stevie Ray: Bringing the 'Heat'". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
- Mitchel, Pamela (December 3, 1998). "Wrestling 101: getting a grip on the basics". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on November 29, 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
- "Harlem Heat To Be Inducted Into The 2019 WWE Hall Of Fame | Fightful Wrestling". www.fightful.com. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- @RealStevieRay (March 24, 2019). "I'm a big fan of Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. That's how I came up with my name. Had nothing to do with Stevie Ray Vaughan" (Tweet). Retrieved March 25, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Lash Huffman. Shoot Interview with Stevie Ray (2006) (DVD).
- Jason Clevett (June 22, 2005). "Booker T to play two more years". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved April 17, 2008.
- Mooneyham, Mike. "Stevie Ray is now host of a Houston-based weekly radio talk show".
- "Harlem Heat Will Be Honored in Las Vegas - Cauliflower Alley Club". www.caulifloweralleyclub.org.
- "RoW Tag Team Title (Houston)". Wrestling-Titles.com.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Awards « Stevie Ray « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
- "WildKat Sports & Entertainment". www.facebook.com.
- Lash Huffman. Shoot Interview with Stevie Ray (2006) (DVD).