#BullyRayWeek: A Difference of Opinion

It’s the Final Day of #BullyRayWeek, a celebration of all things Dudley and the fifth installment of our patent-pending Juice Make Sugar Wrestler of the Week series. We started with A Wrestler You Should Probably Know Better. We’ve given you the finer points of the Mongo Vyle oeuvre with some Essential Viewing before marching through Hump Day with a GIF parade. Yesterday, we made our “Amazon.com on steroids” dreams come true with “Juice Make Sugar Recommends…“. before finishing everything off today with a Difference of Opinion (where JMS HQ erupts in a 3D!-fueled civil war.) 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This discussion took place while working on Juice Make Sugar Recommends…

Dave: I have two “TOO SOON” moments in here… Dexter and Gandolfini. But people will deal.

Nick: You don’t think Bartolo Colon is too soon? Does Bully even have a steroid suspension?

Dave: Does anyone in TNA? He blatantly lost like 100 pounds when he was 40 and is all toned now.

Nick: Is it, as A-Rod would say “All loosey-goosey?”

Dave: Plus, the nice thing about being a blog and not actual journalism is that I can heavily imply that he’s taking something other than Flintstones vitamins.

Nick: But, honestly, if he is, it’s helped his career enough (and probably made him healthier) that it seems worth it. If taken responsibly, it doesn’t bother me what people do. What’s next? Not being able to take cocaine to help your promos? I’m sorry. I thought this was America.

Dave: Yeah. As long as you’re not putting bibles on top of your dead family members, I’m pretty okay with steroids. Or at least the way guys use them now. Where it’s like “Small amount of steroids. A lot of HGH.” Or at least it’s actual testosterone, which, while PURE steroids, is way safer than 80s/90s anabolics.

Nick: And, I mean, just look at what those things have done for Melky Cabrera, they made him go from unbearable to kitsch.

Dave: Haha. I also feel bad comparing him to a lot of fat guys. It’s like the black guy-black guy thing.

Nick: Michael C.Hall isn’t fat.

Dave: No. But Gandolfini is. Haha. Or was. And Bartolo Colon is. And Lars Ulrich has a fat “my little water baby” head.

Nick: In the Dudley Boyz, who’s White and who’s Billy?

Dave: They’re both Ünderbheit, because they’re both just awful characters. It was just the style that got them over.

Nick: That promo in Dayton is insane. It crosses so many lines, and really makes you re-evaluate how needlessly self-indulgent ECW and the 90s were. Not that it’s a bad thing.

Dave: Oh yeah. A lot of the early Bully Ray stuff is amazing. The last six months have been awful though.

Dave: I love where he does the blow-by-blow explanation of the whole double-cross. So good. Yeah. ECW was like Freaks and Geeks. It had its moments, but it was for nerdy AV Club kids. It’s good, but it was foolhardy for anybody to believe it was ever going to make money.

Nick: And it influenced just the right people.

Dave: Yeah. Exactly.

Nick: Because of Freaks and Geeks we have Seth Rogen and James Franco. Win some, lose some. I guess. Of all of the promos I looked at, the one with Triple H was the best. Bubba was underrated on the mic.

Dave: I love the “Excuse me, champ” at the end.

Nick: I don’t know what Bully was like, but Bubba cut a good promo when he wanted to. It’s very New York in its directness, but he is from Yonkahs. Do you think this character works if he isn’t champion? In other words, will he play a prominent role in TNA after this PPV Can he be the same guy?

Nick: Like, can he be Jeff Jarrett? “YOU DON’T WANNA KNOW THE PAIN THAT I’VE GOT. I’M THE KING OF THE MOUNTAIN BUT MY WIFE IS 6 FEET UNDER AND MY SOUL IS IN HELL.” I think that’s the promo that Jarrett cut on Angle. I partied a lot in college.

Dave: I think the problem is that he played babyface for a while, partnering with Sting and Hogan. And then came out saying, “I WAS EVIL ALL ALONG!” So I don’t think there’d be any legs to him playing face ever again.

Nick: He also kind of shouldn’t.

Dave: It’s like Del Rio playing face. It just didn’t work. Don’t do that to a guy who’s a good heel.
Because it literally takes the fun out of everything they like doing. Like, look at Jericho’s last run. His matches were good, but him playing Y2J in 2013 was so, so bad. It’s also pretty morally bankrupt for TNA to tell fans to cheer him after how they’ve portrayed the character. Not that that’s stopped them before.

Nick: Yeah, Cool Dad Bully Ray is basically worst case scenario. And the WWE has Bully Ry(back) right now. It’s hard to say if they would have a role for him.

Dave: Yeah, I don’t think there’s any place for him in WWE at this point. A 42-year-old guy that they already defined as a tag team guy…

Nick: I’m still amazed that they didn’t use him when they couldn’t figure out anything to do with D’Von.

Dave: That’s the awful part — Reverend D’Von. But I think, at the time, D’Von was seen as easier to work with. (Read: Some people were politically afraid of Ray.)

Nick: How high is D’Von on the Jannetty Scale?

Dave: D’Von is Marty Jannetty if Marty Jannetty hadn’t failed umteen drug tests and been fired umteen and two times. D’Von got the run Jannetty would have if he was actually a good soldier and not a screw-up. It wasn’t just that Reverend D’Von was bad, it was that Ray was stuck doing “The New Dudley Boyz.” Any time you’re in a tag team with the word “New” in the title, run.

Nick: Woah. Woah. Woah.

Dave: Unless it’s the New Age Outlaws.

Nick: The New Hart Foundation?

Dave: Checkered genie pants, my friend.

Nick: Exactly my point. Where are the Dudleys relative to the Road Warriors?

Dave: Not even close.

Nick: But 23 titles!

Dave: The Dudleys are “accumulators,” as baseball writers would say. They were multi-time champions in the era of passing around the belts like they were red hot.

Nick: Are they better than Demolition?

Dave: Yes, but less so than people think. The Dudley Boyz worked a style that was a perfect fit for the years 1998-2001. Outside of the context of that era, I don’t think their work is really that special. And they fell into some abysmally bad habits.

Nick: For a guy that’s been in so many federations, is he a TNA or WWF or ECW guy?

Dave: I think Ray would tell you he’s an ECW guy who made it in the mainstream wrestling world. But that’s just my guess.

Nick: As a TNA fan, are you happy he’s been world champion? Not necessarily his title reign, but the basic idea of him as champ.

Dave: Yeah, I think he was a great monster for Jeff Hardy to chase. But then they didn’t even continue the Hardy feud, which made no sense. He’s a great heel champion to play “Keep the Belt Away” from a great top babyface. But TNA booked him to feud with non-wrestler Hogan rather than actual top babyface Jeff Hardy.

Nick: Was that Hardy being unreliable?

Dave: I don’t think so. Hardy was allegedly a choir boy at that time. I think it was that their booking team got bored of Hardy and didn’t know what to do with him.

Nick: Was this Hogan’s “what’s best for business, Brother” bureau?

Dave: I think it was more Eric Bischoff wanting to push the cool heel over the heroic babyface.
He has a tiny track record of doing that, ya know? But feuding him with Hogan was proof that TNA and Spike are totally clueless about how wrestling works. At least in the WWE, Triple H was a top-level wrestler recently enough that we can envision him and Daniel Bryan eventually having a very good match.

Nick: Hogan is famous. Hogan is wrestling.

Dave: There’s no foreseeable payoff to Hogan-Ray.

Nick: Hogan. Hogan. Hogan Sorry, I got stuck in an H-hole

Dave: Holler if you find Ed Leslie. I’ll lower a bucket with some food and a protective face mask.

Nick: He was carrying a lot of bags, I think he fell pretty quickly to the bottom. Probably re-arranged his face.

Dave: Now I’m just imagining Beefcake at the bottom of a pit in Hogan’s basement a la Silence of the Lambs. It puts the mask on its face, brother!

Nick: IT PUTS ME OVER, OR IT GETS THE HOSE AGAIN, DUDE.

Nick: We are both terrible people.

Dave: I know. Poor Ed Leslie. All he has are his shattered dreams and a baggie of coke.

Nick: Does Bully win at BFG?

Dave: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY I HOPE NOT. This Bully Ray angle has had its moments. But we’re only a few weeks away from the big show, and the story ran out of steam two months ago.

Nick: Does AJ being the white knight change anything?

Dave: No, because much like Ray and Hogan, AJ is feuding with Dixie, not Ray.Explain that.

Nick: I can’t, Dave. And quite frankly, I don’t even want to think about it anymore. TNA gives me the Howling Fantods. It hurts.

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