Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Bully Ray revealed that he was just one day away from debuting the character in WWE this past August but the powers that be then decided in the last second to pull the plug.
“We came one day away in August from debuting Bully Ray in WWE. At the last second, the decision was made to not go forward with it. Bully Ray was ready to go, but that’s all I can tell you. We were one day away, and they had to pull the plug on it,” he said in the interview.
Bubba Ray Dudley and Devon Dudley retired as a tag team from WWE on the August 22 episode of Monday Night Raw and they were attacked by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Devon transitioned to a producer role backstage with the company and there were rumors – now confirmed – that Bubba was reprising the gimmick he used in TNA as he wanted to continue to wrestle.
The former TNA champion also spoke about the contract that TNA offered him to come back for the first show under the new regime. His spot eventually went to Alberto El Patron.
“At the last minute, TNA came in hard and heavy and made me a significant offer,” said Ray. “But the way I look at it is this: If I can’t go back some place and top what I did before, then it’s kind of pointless. I’m not blowing smoke up my own ass here, Bully Ray was the top heel in TNA. I generated ratings – me and Jeff Hardy drew TNA’s biggest house of all time at Lockdown, and I had my run with Hulk and with Sting. If you take a look at the landscape of TNA and their locker room, I don’t have anybody to top what I did before.”