On the 30th May, your friends here at Calling Spots were invited to join other major wrestling publications in taking part in a conference call with possibly one of the top 3 heels in the business of the last 5 years, TNA World Heavyweight Champion and President of Aces & Eights, Bully Ray. Obviously we were very excited about this, and our newest contributor Chris Pilkington was the lucky man who actually took part on behalf of both us and CollarAndElbow.com.
We were so excited about this, we felt we had to share this with our wonderful fans, so, exclusively for you….we bring you the full transcript of what the Bully had to say.
Hello Bully, how are you sir?
How you doing?
I’m doing good, obviously the last year of your career has been a pretty stellar one, a different role for you, and obviously a top role as a singles performer, how does being in that top position change the way that you prepare for your matches mentally, and even physically, because you’ve been on top before in different companies and different scenarios but being THE guy at the top of the pyramid, how does that change the pressure of going into a main event at Slammiversary?
I channel all the pressure into the performance, and because I have been in the tag team world, I’ve been in high profile matches all over the world. So, being in a high profile singles match, I kinda understand the pressure and I’m able to channel the pressure into the performance. The only difference is now it’s all on me, from a total performance point of view. In a tag team match, if something’s going wrong or you need a break, a breather, you can always look to your partner and tag out, ummmm can’t do that. I’m up against, obviously, one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time in Sting. This is probably the biggest match of my singles career and I’d say, one of the biggest matches of my career. Looking forward to it a lot, proud of the fact that I am main eventing TNA’s second largest PPV of the year probably.
All right, thank you sir.
Hey Bully, we’re really proud of you obviously for those of us who’ve followed your entire career before ECW, what you and Devon accomplished in Japan. So we’re currently enjoying your role as world champion and boss of Aces & 8’s. So heres the question. Currently in TNA is this the most satisfying for you professionally and do you feel the success and interest globally in Aces & 8’s has forced WWE to try yet another invading group in their copycat The Shield?
I’m not quite sure The Shield is a copycat of Aces & 8’s. They have their product, and we have ours and I’m proud of our product because when I sit back and look at the landscape of pro wrestling I can honestly say that I believe TNA offers the best brand of sports entertainment/pro wrestling. There is a little bit of everything for everybody in this promotion. I really don’t worry about what they’re doing, I believe they offer a different brand of entertainment than ours, which is a little edgier, and as you mentioned, ECW, maybe not as edgy but definitely dipping towards that way. I’m really proud of everything that we’ve been able to accomplish with the Aces & 8’s, proud of the fact of where I’ve come and how I’ve been able to do it, I done it the old fashioned way. I went out there and made everybody open their eyes just the way I’ve been making everybody open their eyes for the last 20 years. Whether you loved me and Devon or you hated me and Devon you always had to respect the fact that we went out there and found the spotlight and we commanded the spotlight, and that’s exactly what I’m doing now on my own as the TNA world heavyweight champion.
And certainly TNA is way more wrestling centric and can’t wait to see the PPV, congratulations.
Thanks a lot I appreciate it.
Bully Ray, World Champion, is that something you expected to hear earlier on in your career?
Well, I heard it pretty early on in my career it was just world tag team champion.
Yeah, but transitioning from tag team to singles wrestler, was that always your goal?
No, actually, I’ve said this in other interviews, when I first got into wrestling as a matter of fact as far back as I can remember being a wrestling back in the late 70’s when I was watching the Strongbows against Fuji and Saida, I was a tag team wrestling fan first, that’s my earliest memories of wrestling. I always loved tag team wrestling; I always thought a wrestling match could be so much more exciting with 4 guys instead of 2. So, as I got into the business I knew I wanted to be part of a tag team, I wanted to have a successful legendary tag team that people would talk about forever like the Road warriors, the rock n roll express, the midnight express and Arn n Tully, the Freebirds and the Funks, that was my goal and I believe that me and Devon accomplished that goal. I would never say me and Devon are the greatest tag team that ever lived, cause i really don’t know what dictates being the greatest or best, but I will say this, we are the most the successful of all time. And when you sit back and analyse tag team history and when you talk about the best or greatest of all time you will have to mention me and Devon, the Dudley Boyz/Team 3D have accomplished what no other team have managed.
So now, after we look back at the landscape of things about 3 years ago when we see that there is no other tag teams for us to feud with or have a run with or make money with, you sit back and think “well, what do I do now?” That was the right time for us to go our separate ways and embark on singles careers and say “alright, we’ve conquered the world of tag team wrestling, let’s see what we can do with our singles careers”. Everything is going really well for both of us, he’s the TV champion and as you know I’m the world heavyweight champion and the Aces & 8’s are on the tips of everyone’s tongue in the wrestling world.
Hey Bully, the question I have is just on your overall evolution and transition into the singles ranks, what do you attribute that to and did you ever think you’d be that successful as the TNA world champion, was that the ultimate goal when you first transitioned into the singles ranks?
No, when I first transitioned into a singles wrestler, my goal was to see how close I could get to the original version of me, without actually being able to do what I did in ECW. That very edgy character, that in your face guy who I knew could be the most hated guy around, and is. I’ll put Bully Ray up against anybody when it comes to being the most hated. Nobody spits venom like I can on the microphone, that’s not me just saying it, that’s fact. So, the whole evolution has been very interesting because I just wanted to see how far I could go when we first split up and see how many people I could piss off. Was my goal to become World Heavyweight Champion? Not necessarily at first, but when I saw how everything was going and when I saw how some of the fans were reacting and really getting into everything, my last man standing match with AJ Styles, any of the other matches that I had with any of the great wrestlers in TNA, people were really getting into it and the character has really grown. I’ve always said this, I say the word character, it’s really weird, it’s not a character, I just turn the volume up on who I really am.
Ok. You’re able to get such a rise out of people, such a reaction, I was curious, obviously TNA give you the freedom on the microphone, is there any time you’ve gone backstage and they’re like “wow I can’t believe you said that or wow that was great what you did?”
No, that’s the great thing about TNA is, the freedom that we do have and the freedom that I enjoy. TNA allows guys to be who they think they should be. I think that’s why we have such great talent and such great characters here and that’s why I think the fans can emotionally invest in our characters better than any others out there. Being able to go out there and say the things that I want to say and how I want to say them allows me to be as successful as I am.
Alright, thank you very much, congratulations.
Hey Bully, how you doing?
What was your inspiration a few years ago to really dedicate yourself to getting into shape?
Well, I knew that when me and Devon went our separate ways that there would need to be a drastic reinvention and quickly. I knew which direction I wanted to go in, “character wise”. I always knew what I was and what made me successful as a character and I always knew that my in ring ability was always there, so now I just had to do something from a visual point of view and I thought “now’s the time to get into the physical condition that I always truly wanted to be in and knew I could be”. You know, whether I was 400lbs or where I am now, 275, I always considered myself a really good athlete. If you go back and watch any of the matches, there’s no one that me, or me and Devon couldn’t hang with, but I knew there had to be a reinvention. I was always compare it to Kiss, Kiss wore the makeup, then they needed to reinvent themselves so they took the makeup off, and then they needed to reinvent themselves again, so they put the makeup back on. I think the physical reinvention is what made people sit up and take notice and I think that’s when they realised how dedicated I was to making this whole singles transition work. I feel great out there, I know I look better out there and it all clicked at the same time, so that was my motivation, I just needed an overnight reinvention.
I wanted to commend you, I heard you on the local radio yesterday in Boston doing a show, and the host was pretty disrespectful to you, he was a Jeff Hardy fan, and I thought you handled yourself very well considering some of the things he said to you. What’s it like for you to go out there and represent TNA in a setting like that and get questions like that from a host like that that I didn’t think existed in this day and age?
Well, as far as the interview yesterday, its cool that he’s a Jeff Hardy fan, I don’t care, you can be a fan of anybody you want in wrestling, that’s objective, so if he’d have just said “Hey Bully I don’t like you cause I like Jeff Hardy better” well then that’s cool, but don’t ever call me average, don’t ever second guess what I’ve accomplished in this business and tell me that “you were disappointed to have me on the air”. You know, if you were that disappointed to have me on the air, tell me that when I shook your hand and said hello, and we could’ve saved everybody the hassle of doing the interview. But this guy thought he would throw his digs in on the air and try to get at me and I just verbally shot him down. Anybody that’s on the line knows that if this was 10 years ago, the verbal berate could’ve been a lot worse, but there’s only so much you can say in this day and age. That’s past me, I enjoy doing interviews like this and speaking on behalf of TNA and Aces & 8’s, because I believe all we can do is help move the company forward, I see so much light at the end of the tunnel for TNA and I think things start to click, sometimes we get a little off track and then they start to click again but I think Slammiversary is gonna be a great PPV, I know that I’m gonna go out there and deliver and I know every guy in the back in the locker room will deliver because when you sit back and look at this locker room, and every single wrestler that makes up this company it’s the best cross section of pro wrestlers in the whole world, anywhere.
Thank you Bully and congratulations on all your success.
How are you mate? (Really bad English accent)
Pretty good thanks.
Which football club do you root for?
I’m actually Welsh, so I’d have to say Swansea at the moment
Swansea? Eurghhhhhhhh, ok, what’s your question?
I understand you’re a big fan of soccer over here, but did you get to see a game on the UK tour, as a matter of interest before my proper question?
No, unfortunately not, whenever we go to the UK, my first question is what day we have off, and is there a game? Actually, one time when we were over there me and James Storm got to see a German B league game. It was great because the passion of football over there in Europe blows away anything in the United States.
Well next time you’re over in January let Simon Rothstein know and I’ll hook you up with tickets.
Anyways, back to my question, first of all I want to say that your character development over the last 2-3 years has been absolutely phenomenal and seeing you with the belt just feels right so well done on that. But my question is to do with UK tour, when you were over here this year; you were pretty much the top babyface in the company at the time before you were revealed as the leader. A lot of the programming around the time, you were doing a lot of Hulk Hogan mannerisms, whose idea was that and how did it feel doing it? Did you enjoy it?
It was my idea, and it was a lot of fun to do. It was fun to do because the people responded to it. Whatever I do in the ring I don’t do for myself, I do it for the emotional investment of the fan. Are they gonna like this or are they gonna hate this, I learnt that from Vince McMahon, I’ll never forget the time he pulled me to the side and he told me, straight up he goes “all of your ideas and everything you come up with are so so good, but remember, never ever go out there and do what you think is entertaining, go out there and do what they think is entertaining” so I knew at the time Hulking up would fit perfectly into everything that we’re doing and I enjoyed it also. I thought it was a lot of fun to do, hell; he got 25 great years out of that.
Absolutely, on that note, as a quick follow up, obviously you have your wrestling school; does the way that you teach the students differ whether you’re a face or a heel on television?
No, no no no, mine and Devon’s wrestling school the Team 3D academy of pro wrestling in Florida, we are a very old school pro wrestling academy, our slogan is “old school rules, new school tools”. We teach our students in the old school way of the business, which has a foundation in respect for the business. You respect the other guys that you’re in there with, you respect the business, you respect the veterans that came before you, and then we try and teach them in the new school way, what it takes to make it in pro wrestling today. There’s so many wrestling schools out there in the United States and all over the world run by guys who have absolutely no business training younger wrestlers. Because they weren’t successful, they never made any money and they never got over in the business, so what business do they have training up and coming wrestlers? So that’s really how we look at wrestling at our academy, we try to give them the strongest foundation in the wrestling business we can, and we have the longest school out there, we have a 1 year school so even after a year you still don’t know what the hell you’re doing, but at least you have a year of quality training under your belt.
Well thanks for your time tonight and I hope to see you back in January when you’re back in the UK .
Sounds good, thanks.
Let me start by saying it’s a true honour to talk to you and my question is how does it feel to be THE guy of Impact Wrestling , is it as good as you always imagined, and do you think you could’ve been any bigger in WWE?
Being “the guy” of Impact Wrestling is definitely cool. I never really sat back and thought “Hey I wanna be THE guy” I always knew that if I busted my ass and did what I did, it would happen. You can’t stand in the way of success, you can’t stop rock n roll and you can’t stop me. As far as me being THE guy, it’s great to be World Heavyweight Champion, but at the end of the day, this is a wrestling company composed of a lot of different wrestlers and not only one guy can carry a wrestling promotion in my opinion in this day and age, it takes everybody, and like I said, this is a great locker room and a great cross section of great wrestler, and we give you the best bang for your buck. If pro wrestling was a buffet, Tommy Dreamer’s fat, that’s a Tommy Dreamer’s fat line, I always gotta bury Dreamer, you guys know that. So, we offer the best buffet in pro wrestling a little bit of this, a little bit of that.
Ok, who of the newest guys do you see has the biggest futures in TNA?
As far as new guys are concerned, really young guys, 2 guys stand out to me, Magnus and Rockstar Spud. I think Magnus is “the total package” he’s got a phenomenal physique, he’s young, he has great in ring ability, he speaks really well and I think he has world champion written on him in years to come. Rockstar Spud, he’s got “It!” he’s got that it factor, he’s got passion, he’s got fire, he hits that ring like it’s the last match he’s ever gonna have and you just can’t help but be in to him when he speaks or he hits that ring.
Thank you very much.
Hey Bully, how are you doing?
Great pleasure to speak to yourself, you’ve mentioned Vince McMahon already, how do you compare your 3 bosses, Paul Heyman, Vince McMahon and Dixie Carter?
The people that I’ve learnt the most about the pro wrestling business are Paul ‘n Vince, because those are pure wrestling minds, and those are two of the greatest minds you could’ve learned from. Imagine being a young wrestler and having Paul Heyman mould you in a gimmick that he created as The Dudleys and being able to work side by side with one of the greatest speakers in the business and a guy who has a great mind for psychology and coming up under Paul was awesome I learnt so so much. Then its like going from Darth Vader to the emperor, to go from Paul Heyman to Vince McMahon, cause now you see things on a much bigger scale and I’ve learned so many things from Vince, so many individual lessons, I mean I told you one before how he taught me to go out and put things together for what the people really want to see, there’s also other lessons that I learned from him one on one, he taught me so much cause I had a really good relationship with him on a business and personal level. So learning from these guys was incredible, now Dixie, Dixie has been a phenomenal boss, Dixie runs a wrestling company from a more personal point of view, I’ve learnt things from her in the wrestling business that I would NEVER have learned from Paul or Vince because those guys are such die hard wrestling guys, cut throat guys, Dixie takes a different approach to things so in one way shape or form I have learned from all of them. I don’t have anything negative to say about any of them because they’ve all been great to work for.
Definitely, of course you and Devon had so much success as a tag team, what do you make of the current state of the tag team divisions in both WWE and TNA?
There is no state of a tag team division anywhere; tag team wrestling unfortunately is almost extinct. I’m happy for guys like Bad Influence, like Daniels n Kazarian, Roode n Aries are together for a while and Chavo n Hernandez. But it just doesn’t feel the same, as great as Frankie n Chris Daniels are together I don’t think you can build an entire tag team division around that. Because there is just such a lack of other teams. Unfortunately tag team wrestling is almost extinct, I wish I could tell you there was light at the end of the tunnel for tag team wrestling in any division, but until WWE or TNA really puts the focus on trying to rebuild it, I don’t think its gonna happen. I am very proud of our tag team run in ECW, the great tag team run in WWE, being the most successful team ever over there, and then coming to TNA and having a phenomenal tag team career and help develop teams like The Motor City Machine Guns, Beer Money, America’s Most Wanted and any of the other great teams we worked with in TNA.
That’s great, thank you so much Bully, and good luck for Sunday
Hey Bully, you eluded to your babyface run earlier, I’m just curious, you’ve had a lot of great success as a heel in your career, do you think you could have the same level of success as a babyface character whenever this heel run with the title comes to an end can you see yourself changing over and have the same amount of success with that type of character?
That’s actually a very good question and something that I’ve thought about, because I’ve taken the people on such a roller coaster ride over the past year, year and a half, I’m not exactly sure I could get the full emotional investment that would be needed to be a top tier babyface again. Can it be done? Yes. Will it take a lot of time and investment? Absolutely. You know what? Being liked sucks, being hated is so much better. I tweeted it out the other day “if you like me that’s good, if you respect me that’s better, but if you hate me that’s the best”. So, how’s that?
Sounds great, kind of a follow up, so many times when we see these factions pop up like Aces & 8’s where they are all consuming of the show, we see them come to a terrible end where the stories seems to fall apart, there doesn’t seem to be a conclusion, is there any concerns of this happening with Aces & 8’s, is there a plan for how this ultimately plays out or is it still just a work in progress?
I think everything is still a work in progress, and as long as I continue with the Aces & 8’s to generate the amount of distain in people that we can do, the sky is the limit. I’ll even throw this back at you, you answer my question cause I’ll be interested to hear you answer. Tell me right now in pro wrestling, who generates the kind of heat that I or we do?
I don’t believe there is anybody
Generates real hatred, real heat, real distain, the kind of distain that makes people wanna throw bricks through your window, who does it?
I hafta say, I think it’s you guys, specifically you.
There you go, and that’s what’s gonna keep it alive for a long time because we bring to the table, something that is, you don’t get a lot of organic response in the wrestling world anymore, it’s a canned response, I should boo him, I should cheer him, that’s not what you get with me n not what you get with us. I can’t speak for the other guys but I can definitely speak for me and I know I can speak for Devon, you will never get that with us, if you hate us you will hate us with every last breath in your body, and if you love us, you’re gonna love us till the end.
Thank you for your time Bully, good luck at the weekend.
Chris: Hi Bully its brilliant to speak to you
Chris: I wanted to start with something you kind of touched on earlier, you’ve been very successful in every promotion you’ve wrestled for over the years, but what do you think is the key to that longevity in the industry and your ability to stay relevant for so long?
The key to my success and longevity and Devon’s longevity is one word, passion. We are in the business that we have wanted to be in, we came up the old school way, we paid our dues, we busted our asses we’ve been up n down the roads, we’ve been all over the world, we’ve done it all and it’s still fun and we still make a boat load of money doing it and we still love the business. All those things keep our passion burning, and that’s it. It’s the passion for the industry. Not many people get the opportunity to wake up every morning and they are doing exactly what they wanted to do with their lives, I do, Devon does. That’s what keeps us going. Being able to help train some of the future stars of tomorrow in our wrestling school. Being able to help the younger guys in TNA reach their dreams so hopefully they can make a lot of money and they can become future champions, all that stuff. But I can say, we’re the last of the Mohicans, were the last of a dying breed, because guys like us who have so much passion for the industry, you don’t find a lot of those anymore.
Chris: That’s fantastic, and if I can ask a quick follow up to that, you mentioned the Team 3D academy again, what is the relationship between TNA and the academy, is there anybody there who you’d like to see step up or perhaps even join you in Aces & 8’s
The academy and TNA have done some cross over business before but we are not affiliated with anybody, we are a standalone school. We don’t work directly with one particular company because that’s not why we opened the school. We opened the school to help guys get started from day 1. We don’t promise them anything, we don’t tell them were gonna get them jobs in WWE, TNA, Ring of Honor or Japan or any place. But what we do tell them is when you leave our school, you’re gonna have just enough info under your belt to go out there and give yourself the best opportunity to succeed in the world of pro wrestling.
Chris: Fantastic, thank you so much, it’s a real pleasure….
And just as a quick follow up Sam Shaw who’ll be wrestling at Slammiversary in a Bound For Glory qualifying match, Sam Shaw is a graduate of the Team 3D academy.
Chris: Thank you.
Hi Bully Ray, thank you for joining me.
Thank you brother.
Now at Slammiversary if you manage to defeat Sting, he will never get a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship, I’d like to know how important it is for you and the aces to keep sting away from the title picture?
It’s extremely important because Sting will always be a threat, I’ve heard rumblings like “Sting doesn’t deserve to be in that position” or “Sting is too much of a veteran to be in that position”. You know what I say to those people? Go to hell! You’ve never laced up a pair of boots and you don’t know what it’s like. Sting can still go. I’m in the ring with him, I’m the one who’s trading punches with him, I’m the one who lays into him and he lays into me and the guy has it 1000% and he is one of the toughest guys I’ve ever been in there with and when he comes out there, the people still love him. So does he deserve to be standing across the ring from me wrestling for the World Heavyweight Championship, absolutely, and we’re gonna deliver at Slammiversary, well, I know I’m gonna deliver, I’m gonna be kicking his ass. And as far as the follow up to your question about Sting never being able to fight for the title again. It’s a very important stip, because, from a personal point of view, I do want that notch in my belt, I do want to be able to put that up on my trophy wall and say, look, there’s Sting, I’m Bully Ray, I’m the guy who made sure he could never wrestle for the world heavyweight title again. I want him to have to lace up his boots knowing that im the guy that ruined his world title aspirations for the rest of his life.
Thank you, and for a quick follow up, will the Aces & 8’s be following you and joining you at ringside on Sunday at Slammiversary?
You never walk alone.
Very well, thanks, and good luck, keep up the good work.
Hey there Bully, you mentioned earlier about the Team 3D pro wrestling academy and obviously, there are so many different styles around and so much knowledge for young wrestlers to soak in, what I wanted to ask you, is there one piece of specific advise you were given right at the start of your career which still holds true today?
Absolutely, two words, very simple and I still tell these words to any up and coming wrestler who comes up to me and says “what advise do you have” it’s very very simple, you ready?
Yeah, go for it.
Get over, get over. What that means is; I don’t care what you do when you get out there. I don’t care if you run around naked and do hand stands. Make the people react, make them boo, make them cheer, make laugh, make them cry. Get them to invest in you emotionally, get the people to do something, get over, and then a company will want to use you. I don’t care what moves you can do. Just go out there and get over, because if you can get over a company will be sourced to use you.
Fantastic, and as a follow up to that, since going live, TNA seems to have an extra buzz, which many people felt was lacking a little. Just how much has TNA going live and going out on the road meant to the guys in the locker room and to the promotion overall?
There’s no doubt about it that going live is the best step ever for TNA. You always want that feeling of anything can happen. The wrestlers can feel it, the fans can feel it. Live has so much more energy. Imagine if you went to a rock n roll concert, imagine you were going to see Kiss, you were expecting to see Kiss, but you really are just watching them on a big screen instead of live. It’s cool and all but it kind of loses it energy and its flavour. So going live is the absolute best thing. And as far as going on the road, you have to, you have to grow, and you have to move forward. You can’t stay in one spot. You can’t stay in a sound studio that you’ve been in for 8 years. You need new blood, new life, new passionate fans, people going crazy. Going on the road, the people in the arenas have been loud, they’ve been with it, they’ve been getting entertained and getting their money’s worth and I think all the fans and wrestling columnists and journalists can see the difference
And just finally as well, a quick note on AJ Styles who has been a quite polarising figure upon his return, it’s a very interesting character and he’s got that link or many fans has been linked with Aces & 8’s, having wrestled AJ a number of times, what do you think of his new character and do you think he’d be a good fit for the Aces & 8’s?
I thought he would make a great fit for aces, but as of last week it didn’t go as planned. I think J is content on doing his own thing right now, being a guy on his own right now. Not only did he stab me and Aces & 8’s in the back but he stabbed Kurt Angle in the back. I don’t think anyone knows where AJ’s head is at right now, maybe you should call him. I couldn’t answer that question. It’ll be interesting to see what path AJ chooses in the weeks to come.
Thanks for your time. Congratulations on all your success and good luck on Sunday.
No problem, thank you.
Hey Bully, how are you?
Oh yeah, how you doing bro?
I’m doing good, I’m looking forward to Slammiversary, but apart from your match, what is the match from the Slammiversary card that you are looking forward to?
From a personal point of view, my brother Devon’s match with Joseph Park, from a pure morbid interest point of view, I wanna see what goes down with AJ and Kurt. Especially with everything that has happened in the last couple of weeks I wanna see where AJ’s head is at. AJ and Kurt have always had fantastic matches, they go at each other really hard toe to toe, AJ is in a different mindset right now and I’m really interested to see what goes on in that match. And another one that has a little bit of personal interest for me is Sam Shaw vs. Jay Bradley because Sam Shaw is a graduate of Team 3D academy, I’d like to see him win it and make it into the Bound For Glory qualifications.
Cool, you may be following the Gut Check challenge, there is a German wrestler on it, Bad Bones John Klinger, and do you know him and what are his chances of being a TNA wrestler soon?
I don’t know him, so I can’t tell you what chance I give him.
Last question, I heard you are a big soccer fan and 2 German teams were in the champion’s league final, did you see it, and who were you rooting for?
Yes I watched the game, I wasn’t rooting for either team as I’m not a fan of either clubs, I was just hoping for an exciting game, and it definitely was an exciting game.
Ok, thank you and good luck for Sunday.
Hi Bully, I actually have an interesting question for you, recently on our show we done a specific show on blood in pro wrestling, whether or not it was necessary nowadays concerning the health risks that are related to blood in pro wrestling. What I want to know as someone who came from the land of extreme, what is your opinion on blood in pro wrestling and the possibility of blood borne illnesses in pro wrestling due to blood?
Well, all I know is, guys have been bleeding in pro wrestling for 100 years. In ECW I was in the ring with guys who bled every single night, all over the place. Guys that might not have led the cleanest of lifestyles. Do I think there’s room for blood in pro wrestling? Yeah, why shouldn’t there be? Not having blood in pro wrestling goes along with the watering down of society, everything is so PC. I personally don’t look at it like that. If you have a safe company and everyone is properly tested, I don’t see why guys can’t get busted open and bleed out there and matches should continue. I have absolutely no problem with it.
Perfect, I was just interested in finding your opinion as we’re really just trying to get a broad view on the subject and it’s good to hear someone who is pro, a lot of people are very negative of it.
Hey Bully, as great as your title win was and run is, you get to enjoy it with Devon in aces, how special is that that you get to work with someone your whole life, and now you get to celebrate being at the top of the mountain, you have a title, he has a title. How great is that? Does that make it more special?
I tell you what, it is kind of cool because; let me ask you this, what other tag team in history who have been as successful as me and Devon as a team have also enjoyed this success that we are?
Very few, if any.
I don’t know if you could, let’s take TNA world title and TNA TV title, has any other tag team held the two highest ranking titles in a promotion side by side?
Well I guess we’ve done something special again. I’m not sitting here trying to be a douche or blow smoke, its a fact. We were the most successful tag team in history and now we’ve accomplished this. I’m the world heavyweight champ, he’s the TV champ, and we head up the most successful faction in pro wrestling right now. Nobody has done it. We’ve reinvented ourselves again, and put ourselves on the tip of everybody’s tongue. That’s why we stay relevant for so long.
Staying with your world title, Hulk Hogan has come out saying he would like another shot at the title eventually, you and him have a beef obviously, so would you like to fight Hulk Hogan eventually?
Let’s put it like this, after I beat Sting at PPV, I want Hulk Hogan in the ring, that’s who I want. I want HH, I want that match. I wanna look across from him and know that his fate is gonna be the same as Sting’s. And let me tell you this. Hulk Hogan vs. Bully Ray will get the whole wrestling world talking. For one reason or the other, people will be talking. I don’t care who sits back and says “Oh Hulk Hogan he’s this, he’s that, he doesn’t belong there”. At the end of the day people will be interested and they will want to see what happens.
Thank you for your time.
Hi Bully, you talked a little bit about growing up watching wrestling, a little bit later on, did you used to watch any Sting matches before you broke into the business?
Oh yeah, in fact, one of my all time favourite stand out matches of all time involved Sting in a tag team match. Halloween Havoc ’89 Sting and Flair vs. Terry Funk and Muta in the Thunderdome Cage with special guest referee Bruno Sammartino.
How does it feel then knowing that on PPV he’s gonna be standing on the other side of the ring to you?
It’s cool; I won’t down play it at all. Listen, growing up, I wasn’t a little Stinger or a Hulkamaniac or anything like that, but I was a fan of what these guys did. Sting was always at the forefront of the NWA or WCW, so whether I wanted to see Sting or I didn’t wanna see Sting I mean, he was always there as the top guy. So to be able to stand across from him knowing that he has always been a top guy, knowing that he has been in one of my most memorable matches that I’ve seen and knowing how hard he’s gonna come after me after I screwed him over . You got everything that you need there for a great main event.
It’s a very exciting scenario, best of luck for the PPV.
Hi Bully, your opponent Sting was the first member of the TNA Hall of Fame, who do you think will be announced as the second member of the Hall of Fame this Sunday?
I really don’t know. I have no idea. I’m sure they’ve sat around that big round table and discussed it. Let me ask you. Who do you think they should induct?
For me personally, I think it should be Jeff Jarrett, a guy who started the company with his dad, we haven’t seen him for a while and I think it’d be great to induct Jeff.
Yeah, that’s a great name, that would be a great induction, I agree.
Secondly, you had a magnificent tag team career, what were some of your favourite matches from yours and Devon’s tag team career?
I really don’t have favourite matches; I really don’t have favourite anything’s from my career. I don’t put one anything in front of the other. Everything has been my favourite. I have enjoyed everything just as much as anything else I’ve ever done. Obviously there are moments in my career that stand out more than an. The night me and Devon hit our 1st 3D in the ECW arena. The night that we won our 1st ECW tag team titles. Our last night in ECW in New York when we both won and lost the tag team titles in the same night. Obviously in WWE the TLC matches, Wrestlemania 2000 the 1st triangle ladder match, Summerslam was the 1st ever official TLC match, Wrestlemania 17 which many say is the best WM of all time where TLC II stole the show. In TNA all the great matches against Beer Money and Motorcity Machine Guns. In Japan winning the 2005 All Japan Tag Team League Cup going undefeated in the whole tournament and defeating the Great Muta and Akibono. All of those things stand out in my memory of tag team wrestling.
And you’re a big football fan as well, are there any wrestlers who you think would make a good football player?
Yes, Magnus, Magnus enjoys a bit of footy.
Thank you so much.
And that was that. A massive thank you to Chris Pilkington for attending the call, not only on behalf of us but on behalf of our very good pals over at CollarandElbow.com. You can find more of Chris’ work on their website as well as his NXT coverage for the Mirror and, of course, in the pages of our little publication. A huge thank you to Mick for sitting typing up all 8000 (ish) words of this.
Thank you for reading!