Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Royal Rumble was the participation of former TNA champion Bubba “Bully” Ray Dudley, who came in at number three to a massive ovation from the Philadelphia hardcore crowd.
“A HUGE THANK YOU to @WWE, the @WWEUniverse and the fans of Philly for the INCREDIBLE reception. It was great to be back,” he wrote on Twitter. It’s not known if this was just a one time appearance or if he signed a new deal with the company.
As soon as the old Dudley Boyz theme song hit the speakers, the fans erupted and Bubba Ray came out in his Dudley Boyz ring gear including glasses, a lot different from his TNA days where he was Bully Ray.
“Glad they reinforced the ring @WWE #RoyalRumble ENTRANT No. 3: @REALBully5150 #DudleyBoys #BubbaRay #WelcomeBack,” wrote Tommy Dreamer, who now works for TNA.
Dudley’s former TNA colleague, Taz, also chimed in. “Congrats @REALBully5150 great shit brother…. #RoadWarriorPop”
Bubba Ray, along with the help of R-Truth, performed the usual Dudley Boyz signature moves including the 3D. Ray eliminated both The Miz and R-Truth but was taken out by Bray Wyatt.
Bubba Ray was last seen on WWE television in mid 2005 when he along with his tag team partner Devon and several others were released. The two then moved on to TNA where Ray had a successful 9 year run.