Bully Ray Explains why Vince McMahon Didn't Want the Bully Character, Wants to Wrestle Tessa Blanchard

Posted By James Walsh on 05/21/20

In an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Bully Ray discussed meeting with Vince McMahon about possibly bringing the Bully Ray character to WWE, revealing that the main hangup Vince had was the word “bully” since WWE had an anti-bullying campaign (the Be A Star Program) and Vince feared getting negative media for having a wrestler with “bully” in the name (he also said that Dixie Carter later tried to get rid of the Bully Ray name for the same reasons). He also revealed that the backup name they came up with was The Intimidator Bubba Ray, but wouldn’t reveal why WWE ultimately didn’t use the character. Highlights are below.

On telling Vince McMahon that he is done with WWE’s version of the Dudleys: “I had three meetings with Vince, sit downs, one on one, and not just Vince giving me the obligatory five minutes. These were real talks. And I’ll never forget, Chris, sitting there with him, and I told him, I said Vince, I’m not doing the Dudley thing anymore. I said, ‘I’m done with this.’ I’m like, ‘Your version of the Dudleys doesn’t work for me anymore. You told us what you wanted on day one, you paid us very handsomely. We did what you asked us to do.’ ‘Bubba, we want you to work with the New Day, we want you to work with the Usos, we want you to work with the Wyatts, we want you to work with any team that we can throw in front of you and help get them to the next level.’ ‘Ok Vince, no problem.’ But after a year, I didn’t like the way the Dudleys were being kind of stepped on. Now, Vince owns the name, Vince owned the right to do whatever he wanted to do with the Dudleys, but I wasn’t into it anymore. So I went to him and I said, ‘I’m done with this Dudley stuff, if we’re going to continue to do the Dudley stuff, I’m going to split.'”

On why Vince McMahon didn’t want to use the Bully Ray character in WWE: “I said, ‘But I do have something that I’d like to pitch to you.’ And he looked at me and he goes, ‘I know all about Bully Ray.’ And for the first time in a long time, I got stopped in my tracks, because you don’t expect Vince to acknowledge something that happened in another company, and that kind of told me that whatever I did over there kind of got back to him, which is kind of cool, so we had the Bully discussions, he couldn’t get around the word ‘bully’ because the Be A Star program, so I told them, I said, ‘Vince, listen, here’s how we go about it, we do Bully Ray for a year, and when we get to the end of the Bully Ray story or run, that one babyface, that uber babyface makes Bully understand the errors of his ways, and why you shouldn’t be a bully, and now Bully Ray can go and do all the Be A Star talks with the younger kids, and don’t be a bully, I learned from my ways.’ It was an in the ring and out of the ring concept. And he goes, ‘My God, I love it, it’s great, but in that year that it’ll take to get to that, I’ll get killed in the media, because how can you have an anti-bullying program but call somebody Bully Ray.’ Now they can have characters that act like bullies, but they’re not directly calling somebody Bully something.”

On the backup name they came up with to use in place of Bully Ray: “The backup name was going to be the Intimidator Bubba Ray. That was it. He loved it.”

Bully Ray did an interview with Chris van Vliet and talked about his thoughts on the current IMPACT regime compared to the previous one.

I've been ultra-critical of TNA because I spent 10 years there, and I saw how great the company was. I know how great the company could be. Current management, current ownership is doing a good job. They have definitely taken steps in the right direction, as opposed to who was there before them which I did not agree with and I didn't think was good for the brand at all. That's just my opinion. I think the new regime is definitely taking steps forward.
I watch the TNA pay-per-views. I try to stay as up-to speed on the product as I can. I think that obviously Tessa's doing a great job and Sami's doing a great job. There are a lot of people. I'm a big Su Yung fan. I don't think anybody has immersed themselves into a character as much as she has since The Undertaker immersed himself into a character. And I've loved the stuff they've done with her.

Bully Ray also spoke about possibly challenging Moose for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship:

Bubba vs Moose doesn't interest me. Bubba vs Tessa? That's interesting. It's a match that I would consider but when you say Bubba vs Moose? Okay. Two big guys. Bunch of clotheslines. Bunch of shoulder tackles. Meh. Bubba vs Tessa? Now my ears just perked up. Now you got me listening, because Tessa is a really, really great women's wrestler, right? I think if I were to jump the guardrails and stick her with a powerbomb into the concrete, that would be interesting.

Bully Ray also talked about what moves Tessa Blanchard could pull off believably in a match against him:

She could probably pull off any move on me that that I allowed her to pull off. If I was compromised on the ropes. could she possibly (suplex me)? Maybe, because we have enough rotational room. But is Tessa Blanchard gonna lift 325 pound Bubba off his feet into a standing vertical? Absolutely not. If Bubba missed two sentons and Tessa went to the top rope and gave me a missile dropkick, would I bump for her? Absolutely. Because it made sense within the storytelling and the realm of the match. It's not just a real big guy bumping for a much smaller girl for no good reason. Then it becomes gratuitous and then we're just taking the art and throwing it out the door. Now it just becomes acrobatics for the sake of acrobatics.