By John Napolitano
Is there anyone out there who remembers Bully Ray? Strike that. In the words of Bully himself, “Do you know who he is?” Of course I am talking about the innovator of the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match, the 25-time World Tag-Team Champion, and the first ballot hall of famer, Bubba Ray Dudley. Whether you recognize him as the viciously, vitriolic villain Bully Ray, or as Bubba Ray Dudley, one half of, arguably, the greatest tag-team of all time, you definitely noticed him when he blew the roof off of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia this past Sunday at the Royal Rumble. Bubba Ray was the number three entrant in the 2015 Royal Rumble matchup, and he shocked the entire world as he appeared on WWE programming for the first time in nearly a decade. If you have seen his latest interviews or follow him on twitter, you should know that he is elated to be back with the company and even referred to the WWE as his “home.” As farfetched as that comment may be, the WWE Universe is certainly delighted to have Bubba back in our midst. But will this one off appearance lead to a full or part-time run with World Wrestling Entertainment?
Unfortunately, I would imagine that the suits of WWE’s upper management are not aware of Bubba’s work in TNA as Bully Ray and will likely reunite him with his half brother Devon Dudley somewhere down the line. Don’t get me wrong. I, like many members of the WWE Universe, would love to see a Team 3D reunion. But at a time when there is such a glaring lack of heels in World Wrestling Entertainment, who better to take the reigns than Bubba “Bully” Ray Dudley?
Bully Ray was one of the greatest villainous characters in TNA history; now that may not carry much weight with some of you, but his mic work and in-ring skills were second to none when he eventually broke out in TNA. For the entirety of his career, he was known as one half of Team 3D, but Bully Ray really turned heads when he proved that he did not need to be type casted as a tandem wrestler and could cut it on his own. His condescending and egocentric mannerisms were what made him an utterly despicable figure, and that persona is very much needed in WWE today. Bad News Barrett, Rusev, Big Show, Kane, Seth Rollins, and the soon to be departing Brock Lesnar are the only noteworthy heels on the roster as of now, and no one quite has that rugged, gritty, loud-mouthed, and self-centered attitude that Bully Ray is capable of displaying on a weekly basis. His thick New York accent is sure to get under the skin of all members of the WWE Universe, and if you put him in the ring with the WWE’s best and brightest, he is sure to give you one hell of a match.
If he were to start a full-time schedule with World Wrestling Entertainment, he could have amazing bouts with current mainstays of the company, John Cena and Randy Orton. Bully Ray going over on two of the most decorated WWE Superstars of all time would give him the ultimate credibility in order to return the favor to the handful of up and comers. Imagine the clashes this legend could have with the young blood of the current WWE roster. Daniel Bryan, Dolph Zigger, and Roman Reigns could create some real in-ring magic with Bully Ray, while Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt could more than hold their own on the mic with him. These young bucks feuding with Bully Ray would give them a worthwhile program and enhance their in-ring resumés at the same time.
Bubba “Bully” Ray Dudley could be a huge asset to the WWE if he is used correctly. He is a surefire hall of famer and someone who genuinely loves this business. Hopefully, his appearance at the 2015 Royal Rumble was not his last on WWE programming. I think it is safe to say we are all ready for Bubba to bounce back into World Wrestling Entertainment.