Bully Ray joined Busted Open with Dave Lagreca and Doug Mortman. Here are some highlights from the interview.
The Base Brawl tour coming to Brooklyn on July 5th: “Yeah that’s becoming like a big show for TNA every single year going to Coney Island. I’ve been on every single one of the shows. Some of TNA’s biggest crowds show up for that event. And I think the main event that night is me, defending my world heavyweight championship against ‘The Olympic Gold Medalist’ Kurt Angle.
Sting reforming the Main Event Mafia: “I find it very interesting that nobody wanted to come to Sting’s aid at Slammiversary but now everybody wants to be buddy-buddy with him. I’ll tell you the reason why. You guys haven’t figured it out, have you? It’s been a big question mark in the minds of wrestling fans for a couple of weeks now. Let me tell you something about pro wrestlers. They are amongst the most selfish people you’re ever gonna meet. Ok? What was the stip of that match? The stip was that if I beat Sting, he could never wrestle for the TNA world heavyweight championship again. Right? So why would any wrestler wanna help Sting win because if Sting would have won, he would have become the world heavyweight champion. Which would keep him in the world heavyweight title picture forever. Thus having to wrestle those guys who didn’t come down to save him.”
On why Sting would choose someone (Kurt Angle) who was backstage at Slammiversary to be in the Main Event Mafia: “I’m not sure if Kurt was backstage. I don’t know who stuck around. But I have no idea why he would choose Kurt Angle. I mean the obvious reason is; I guess because they were in the Main Event Mafia before. I gotta tell ya, I wouldn’t trust—if I was Sting, I would’ve probably disappeared for a little while. Because I don’t know how all of the sudden he’s gonna put his trust in guys that wouldn’t even come out to watch his back.”
Sting referring to the Aces and Eights as a family: “At the end of the day there’s one goal. Listen the Aces and Eights may take a couple lumps here and there, win some, lose some. The ultimate goal is at the end of the day I keep the world heavyweight championship and as long as that’s done all is good in Hell’s Kitchen.”
On it being perceived that Kurt Angle took out all of Aces and Eights on his own on Impact: “Well I don’t know if it was only Kurt who did it. Maybe Sting has already assembled his Main Event Mafia and he just hasn’t revealed everybody yet. We’ll definitely gonna get to the bottom of things and I’m sure you haven’t heard the last of the Aces and Eights when it comes to dealing with the Main Event Mafia.”
If there is conflict within the Aces and Eights amongst the members: “Listen you’re dealing with egos, ok? You got an ego like—Ken Anderson’s got an ego. Devon’s got an ego. Doc’s got an ego. You know they all—everybody’s got an agenda and an ego. It’s probably—it’s up to me to keep those guys together. And I will. Every once in a while you’re gonna hit a bump in the road. We’ve been hitting a couple bumps in the road but I’m still the champion and that’s all that matters.”
If Chris Sabin is the future of the wrestling business like Hulk Hogan said at Slammiversary: “Well you know what? Whether I like people or not, I always give guys their due. How they are in the ring, as wrestlers, as athletes, as entertainers. You got to give Sabin credit. He’s coming back now from two blown out knees. He was part of a really, really quality tag team in the Motor City Machineguns. And just getting back into the mix here and champion already. If he’s the guy that wants to step up, I’m sure me and Chris Sabin will have a phenomenal match. And right now there are a bunch of guys in the X division that if they did step up, I’m sure there would be a real quality match. But at the end of the day, I’m sure I’m gonna find a way to get the job done and beat them.”
On Bully not looking like the type of guy who would put other wrestlers over: “Well I’m honest, that’s the thing. People think just because I’m a BMF and cause I’m intimidating and cause I’m a bully and all that stuff that I’m not gonna be honest. I’m very honest about guys. You give me—you throw me out a name and I’ll give you my honest opinion how I feel about them as a performer or an entertainer. Chris Sabin—you gotta give a guy credit. Yeah, little history question for you. How many people have kicked out of the Dudley Death Drop? One. Sabin has. Name me one other tag team finishing move or single’s finishing move for that matter that has only been kicked out of one time. (Silence) There ya go; you gotta give the guy credit. Ok, that move won me and Devon 23 world tag team titles and he’s the only guy that ever kicked out of it. What am I gonna do? Tell him he’s a piece of crap? Sabin is a phenomenal talent. And every—I truly believe that every division in TNA is superior to any other division in any other company. I really believe it has the best talent roster, pool out there.”
His feelings on Matt Morgan: “Well, let me ask you this. You were the guys that put wrestling under the microscope on a weekly basis, ok? You’re fans; you’re analysts of the industry. Tell me why Matt Morgan after how many years now? Over ten years in the business? Long time in the business, you tell me your opinion why he has not gotten farther. Give me a one word answer. Hey, how many times in sports do we see a quality athlete or a quality team who just can’t win the big one? Maybe that’s him. Maybe he’s really, really good but just can’t get to that next level where he could become a world champion. Or become the “It” guy for a company. I mean, yeah, you look at him, seven feet tall, super impressive body. Hell, if I had Matt Morgan’s body my entire career; I’d be making 10 million dollars a year right now. I don’t know. I’m not in his brain. I don’t know what makes Matt Morgan operate. Definitely has all the tools, not quite sure why he has not gotten farther. I mean he stole Hulk Hogan’s cape. You think that would have lit a fire under Hulk Hogan’s ass. But maybe screwing his daughter maybe lit more of a fire under his ass. So there you go. One guy steals the cape; I have sex with his daughter. There you go. But those are the things that maybe are, maybe held him back. Maybe he needs to do something with a little bit more substance. Maybe he has to get himself noticed a little bit more. Everything is there. He has a god-like physique. He’s got it all. I’m not quite sure either way.”
If there are guys in the locker room that he thinks if they push a little harder will get to the next level: “Well the guy that I think can take it to the next level, the guy that I’ve been pretty supportive of, is Magnus. Cause I look at Magnus in the same way that, you know like a Matt Morgan. Physique, he has the look. Magnus, he can talk. He’s very physical in the ring. And it’s just gonna take the right things to click for it to happen with him. I mean, when you look at Magnus right now he has like the, he is the poster boy for what a pro wrestler in 2013 should look like. Natural physique, looks good, he’s got all the tools. Hopefully he can go far with it. And there are plenty of guys in the industry who, you know probably could have gotten a lot farther in their career if they would have just worked harder and not just sat around and accepted mediocrity.”
If Crimson fits into that category with Magnus: “Yes. Crimson, another guy with a great look. Crimson needs to get over some of his mental fears in the ring. He’s still very young in the ring. So sometimes you get in that ring and your mind gets the best of you. And it starts racing. And you might be one step ahead of yourself. I believe that is one of Crimson’s problems right at this very moment that I foresee him overcoming. And being able to do something real in the industry. Guys, when you’re young and you first get in that wrestling ring, it’s not easy. You know you have to be a Jedi knight in there. You have to calm down. Like you said, they gotta let the game come to them. Now Crimson, yes. Has to let the game come to him. Matt Morgan, been around a long time, he’s gotta go take the game. Because, listen. Years going on, not getting any younger. You have to go take the game. How did a guy at 39 years old, who has been part of one of the most recognizable tag teams in the entire history of the business, lose a hundred pounds, reinvent his body, his persona, his everything and become a world heavyweight champion? Do you think I sat there and waited for the game to come to me? No. I took the game by the balls.”
His feelings on the Bound for Glory series in general and if he thinks it takes away from feuds: “Feuds will always be there. Feuds are what make pro wrestling. I like the Bound for Glory series. I like the idea of a tournament. I like when there’s points on the line. And I like having to fight for the goal of the world heavyweight championship because at the end of the day, the world heavyweight championship or any other respected championships in a company should be the most important thing. So I have always enjoyed this series. I think it’s something that makes TNA different. I actually think they should add a stip to the Bound for Glory series. And I’m going to pull this from soccer. From like the Premier league or the Italian league. I think whoever finishes in last in the Bound for Glory series should be relegated. And should have to be sent down to TNA’s developmental territory. Or should have to be not be on TV for 90 days or whatever it is. So that even—so no matter who wins gets the world title shot but even on that last day, guys would be fighting for last place. So I like the whole idea of the Bound for Glory series and I also like the fact that it puts credibility back into the wrestling part of our industry.”
How the BFG series being so long throws back to old school wrestling: “Sure. And an old school wrestling mentality is best when stories play out and feuds play out and a tournament plays out for a long period of time. A slow burn. Slow and steady wins the race. So I’m thoroughly in favored and I think coming out of the Bound for Glory series, you’ll probably see new feuds heat up from what goes down in the tournament. I think it makes TNA unique to any other brand out there. And at this stage of the game TNA needs to do whatever they can do to make themselves different. I think the past two years have been very interesting. I think I’ve been in the final the past two years. So I figure if I can’t just win the damn thing, I might as well just pull the wool over everybody’s eyes, fool the whole world and screw ‘em out of it. So…that worked.”
If Hulk Hogan will be fit enough for one more match in a couple of months: “Absolutely. See you guys don’t see what I see and you don’t know what I know. Listen, like I say I’m always honest. At the end of the day, if you don’t think Hulk Hogan has at least one match left in him, you’re fooling yourselves. Hulk Hogan is a very tough man. He’s been around this industry for a long time. He’s gonna save it all up for one more match. Who knows? That one more match may be against me, it might not. I don’t know. But he’s got one more in him. And I don’t care what anybody says whether it’s the extremely smart fans or the novice fans. In some way, shape or form, everybody wants to see Hulk Hogan one last time. Even if it’s the morbid curiosity of will he take a step in the ring and his knees will blow out? You wanna see it one more time. Maybe you don’t want to see it against me and that’s fine. But you’re gonna wanna see it one more time. What is he supposed to do? What is Hulk Hogan supposed to do? Just ride off into the sunset and not have one last moment in the middle of a ring? He deserves it . And the fans should be more appreciative of the fact that he wants to have one more match. Do you think that Sting was actually gonna step in there with me, not ready to go? And did you not think that I was gonna bring it to Sting so hard that he would be forced to up his game? That’s the thing. Once that bell rings and you’re standing across from me, you might have that moment where you go ‘oh s–t.’ No matter what, he’s going to bring it to me and I better up my game. I better become the Sting of old. I better become the Hulk Hogan of old. Otherwise this guy is gonna eat my guts. And that’s what I’m gonna do.”
Where did the idea to cut open the ring at Slammiversary came from: “My idea. That’s one of those cool visuals that I’ve been saving for the right time. A wrestling ring is no joke. It’s just like bumping on, falling down on concrete. It’s a canvas with a bout an inch of padding and then those hard wooden beams. And steel underneath there. The one thing that I was most proud of when it came to that visual was it had never been done before. And finding things in pro wrestling in 2013 that have never been done before is very hard to do. I mean Tazz and Bigelow back in ’97 going through the middle of the ring. Innovative. They were the first to do it, make no mistake. All of things that you see, have seen over the past 10 years, ECW had done it first. And this one is one that I’ve been saving for the right time. And the thing that I really enjoyed about me and Sting’s match was the piledriver. Putting the credibility on the one move that had been barred more than any other move, you know in the history of pro wrestling. Sting told me he was gonna try to break my arm and break my leg. And I said I’m not going to try that to you, I’m gonna break your neck. And the idea of the piledriver is because of my affinity for Terry Funk. And I’ll never forget the day Funk piledrove Flair through a table. Which is technically, I believe, and I think you can find other examples, it might even be Kevin Sullivan, but that time was the first time you ever saw a table come into play. Although I do think Kevin Sullivan used tables back down in Florida before that.”
The state of tag team divisions today: Unfortunately tag team wrestling no matter where you look in the world is, as I’ve said before, it’s becoming extinct. I actually feel kind of bad about it because I don’t think it should’ve ever had happened. I understand kind of why it happened. I’ve said it before we live in a very selfish era. And wrestlers are selfish and I don’t think there are guys who are willing to share the spotlight anymore with another guy. I think guys just wanna hog it all for themselves. One of the things that made me and Devon so successful were, we were very comfortable sharing the spotlight. We knew that we were worth more together than we were apart. And a lot of guys can’t co-exist that way. And how do you go into a company? Do you go into TNA or WWE as a team? I mean I don’t even think you can step foot into the WWE door saying ‘Hey we’re coming in as a team’ without them going no you’re not. Hopefully it’ll turn around one day.
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