Bully Ray is a major asshole. And wrestling fans love to hate him. Every week on Total Nonstop Action's weekly TV show Impact Wrestling on Spike, the 41-year-old ring veteran portrays a bad-ass, loudmouthed thug who roughs up TNA's heroes and gets under the skin of the audience and gets plenty of boos in response.
He's been doing that sort of thing for years, whether it was during his stint in Extreme Championship Wrestling or World Wrestling Entertainment as one-half of the legendary tag team The Dudley Boys. Jackalope Ranch recently spoke with Bully Ray about the transformation of his character, his feelings about his former partner Devon, and TNA's big pay-per-view event Bound for Glory, which takes place this Sunday at Grand Canyon University Arena.
You've reinvented yourself over the past year, going from a goofy tweener to a badass thug. How come? Well, you have to reinvent yourself in this business. I was part of the most successful tag team in the history of pro wrestling, other than the Road Warriors, for 15 years. Twenty-three major world tag team titles and I've done just about everything you could possibly do as a tag team on the planet.
So when you decide to venture off and go into a singles career, you gotta do something drastic and you gotta do something quick. You gotta make people forget that you were the part of a tag team. In only a short amount of time, I've gone from one of the most successful tag team guys of all time to an extremely successful singles competitor in just about a year and a half.
You've cut some killer promos in wrestling and are probably one of the biggest assholes in the business. What's been the key to getting people to hate you? How do I get people to get pissed off and hate me? It's just me. There's no acting, there's no nothing. What you see is what you get. What you see on TV is the way I am in real life. You don't like me? I don't care. I don't care if people like me, I don't care if people hate me, love me, wanna name their first born after me, wanna throw a brick through my window. Don't give a damn. You gotta respect me for what I've done. This is real personality. When you hear me...I don't cut promos. I just talk. I just say what comes into my mind. What you saw in ECW, what you saw in WWE...In WWE, I didn't have as much time to really get [things] off my chest what I wanted to. in TNA, I do. There's no character here, buddy. No character, whatsoever.
You just recently signed a two-year contract for TNA. Were the negotiations difficult? My business negotiations with TNA is my business and my business only. The only thing that you need to do is watch me on TV and pay-per-view.What are your feelings about Devon leaving TNA?
I really could not care less about Devon. I haven't cared about Devon in almost two years. If Devon didn't let Chris Sabin kick out of the 3-D, I would've never blasted him in the back of the head and turned on him. Devon is not my concern. I have one business interest in Devon outside of TNA and that is [our] professional wrestling school, theTeam 3-D Academy
. Other than that, I really don't care about him.
Could you comment on Devon leaving TNA in a non-kayfabe way? I don't understand. Non kay...what?
Not in character. I'm giving you my legit answer. I...really...don't...care. Whatever he does with his time, and whatever he wants to do is fine. We have one business interest that is extremely successful, so we choose to continue with that successful business interest, which is our wrestling academy. Other than him deciding not to sign, his business. He doesn't want to be with TNA, his business. Whatever he decides to do with his life, his business.
I have to ask this: Are you behind Aces and Eights? I do not know who's behind the Aces and Eights.
TNA has vastly improved over the past year. Are y'all on a quest to beat WWE? When I sit back and look at the scope of professional wrestling these days, I definitely think TNA offers a much better product than anything else that you see right now. In my opinion, it's 'cause we give more variety of wrestling. Things like the X-Division, which are a bunch of high flyers, great personalities, great in-ring wrestlers, great brawlers. We're a much better buffet of pro wrestling than anything else out there. TNA has only been around for 10 years, so basically still in their [infancy]. I think the company's doing really well. I think what you see on TV is very entertaining and I see a tremendous light at the end of the tunnel with this company.
Once you win the TNA title, then what? Once I get the TNA title, that's when I get to do what I said I wanted to do from day one. Sit back and watch the shock on people's faces. The horror that somebody that they never thought could ever become the world heavyweight champion did exactly what he said. It's not about money, it's not about titles, it's just doing what I want to do and pissing people off and upsetting the wrestling world. That's what actually brings me real satisfaction. And banging strippers.
And how often do you get to do that? At least once a week.
What are the drawbacks of doing that? Banging strippers? Venereal disease. Haven't you ever banged a stripper before?
Um...Were you inspired to... Wait a minute, you didn't answer my question.
No, I haven't banged a stripper. Oh, okay. That's your loss. Next question.
Does the chain around your neck ever get in the way? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, the strippers like it.
Were you inspired by some of the biggest assholes in wrestling when creating your character, whether it was Ric Flair or Paul Heyman or someone like that? No one has ever inspired me in wrestling. I grew up watching certain products and appreciating cetain products more than others. If you're asking me to talk about guys who I gravitated towards, yes, guys like Terry Funk, teams like the Road Warriors, absolutely. That's who I grew up appreciating and watching the most.
Would you ever go back to WWE? And do you think your new character could get over in WWE? Pro wrestling is a business just like any other business, and you always go where the best opportunities and the best money is. So whenever it comes time to negotiate, I always leave myself open to make whatever the best decision is in my world, in my best interest. Sticking with TNA right now was in my best interest. When my contract is up with TNA, you never know. I might retire, I could end up with another company. You never know where you're going to end up and you never know if a company's gonna still want you around. So you always leave things open-ended. It's a smart move.
Total Nonstop Action's Bound For Glory takes place at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 14, at Grand Canyon University Area. Tickets start at $10.